I thought that I would put a few things that I have learned on paper as a reference for you and your new puppy. Some of them I have learned the hard way, but most of the bits of advice have come from my friends who have been raising dogs for a long time and know what they are talking about!
1. See your vet regularly. Your puppy has had its first and maybe second round of shots when it arrives. You will need to continue worming the puppy at regular intervals, and you will need to also continue with the vaccines. You will also need to protect your puppy from heartworms and should talk to your vet about how.
2. For the prevention of ticks and fleas, I recommend Nexgard. It is used once a month. It is a oral chew given monthly. Nexgard must be purchased at your vet. I like to use along the side of Heartgard for my heartworm prevention.
3. Feed your dog a quality dog food that is high in protein. I am currently using Purina Pro Plan Chicken and Rice, a dog food that is available at TSC & all pet stores. I recommend using Eukanuba, Iams, or Purina Dog Foods, which can be purchased at pet stores, grocery stores, etc. I use the dry dog food and soften it or my puppies so that it is easier for them to eat. Canned dog food often causes stomach problems. Make sure that your puppy has access to fresh water all the time. Also, some people feed their dogs the same food that they eat. Please don’t do this. Your dog will have a much longer life if you refrain from feeding it “table food”.
4. Your puppy will begin to chew on things because he/she is teething. You will need to supply rawhide chews, or other toys for her to chew on. When the puppy chews on things that are inappropriate, please offer them the chews instead. You can clap your hands (to get their attention) and tell them “no” when they have unacceptable behavior. Your dog is highly intelligent, and will learn what no means. You can also use a rolled up newspaper to discipline the puppy (it is effective, and won’t harm him/her).
5. Treat your puppy like a new baby. Keep it away from unvaccinated animals and places that those animals have been until all of the shots are complete. Any public place, especially rest areas, and places that other animals have visited may be dangerous to expose your new baby to.
6. Sometimes small dogs are stressed by changes, travel, or if they are injured. When this happens their sugar level drops. If you notice your puppy lying around an excessive amount, try to entice him to play. If he will not, give him a tablespoon of water and sugar or ½ to 1 teaspoon of honey or corn syrup depending on the size of your dog.
7. To house train your dog, I recommend crate training. It is the easiest way that I have found to train my dogs. They like to be in their crate as a safe haven sometimes as well. There is lots of info on the internet to help with that!
If you have any questions, please ask your vet. I also don’t mind phone calls, texts, and e-mails when it is something that I can help you with.
Thanks! Enjoy your puppy as much as our family has enjoyed ours!