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How To Care For Your Puppy
Be prepared for your kitten to become a little stressed while it settles in to its new environment. It may be away from its friends and litter mates for the first time, and will need very gentle uninterrupted sleep periods, for up to 80% of the day. If kittens do not get enough sleep, they can become ill. It is important to not let your kitten outside alone until it has been settled in for at least a few weeks.
Settling in, Sleeping, and Transportation
Be prepared for your puppy to become a little stressed while it settles in to its new environment. It may be away from its friends and litter mates for the first time, and will need very gentle uninterrupted sleep periods, for up to 80% of the day. If puppies do not get enough sleep, they get stressed.
We recommend the following things to help your new pup settle in:
The best beds are snuggley, flea proof, washable, and insulated. We recommend the “Fuzzyard” and “All Pet” brand because they are good quality, and Australian brands.
Selecting a small cosy bed will help your pup feel like he is surrounded by litter mates (they often sleep squashed together) which will help ease separation anxiety.
Getting a bed that isn’t too big for your pup will also reduce the likelihood of him soiling it.
For the first few nights your puppy's bed may need to be kept right next to one of the family's beds. You can put them in a Crate or Playpen; they are available in metal or in fabric. These are a great tool to have because puppies who are locked away by themselves and can’t see you can fret, stress severely and whine. If your puppy does wake up during the night, a comforting pat is usually enough to get them back to sleep. If this does not work try popping them in your bed for a little while, until they fall asleep again. Don't worry, you can always move the puppy out to another room after a few days, once they are used to the new surroundings.
A Snuggle Safe heat pad will make it more comfortable for your new pups first night. This is a microwavable heat pad; it can last up to 12 hours and is safe to leave with chewing puppies. The warmth of the heat pad combined with a companion fluffy toy and a cosy bed will help to simulate litter mates which may help settling in easier.
Carry crates are handy to transport your puppy home, to the vet or on vacation safely. It is now the law that all dogs in cars must be restrained, either by harness or a crate which, must be attached to the car in case of an accident.
For any puppies that are going to be outside a lot of the time it is best to get them used to a kennel early. Start by getting the pup used to sleeping in the kennel inside; this will make the transition to sleeping outside a lot easier. We recommend the Kazoo Cabana Kennel because it is weather proof. It can be a warm, cosy kennel for winter and a cool retreat for summer.
Toys & Chewing
Preventing boredom is one of the key factors to preventing behavioural problems in our pets. Chewing is one of the dogs' favourite activities and should be encouraged throughout their entire life.
It has many important health benefits: it has been shown to release endorphins in the dog’s brain, releases energy, exercises the jaws and gums, and helps to remove plaque to prevent dental disease.
Your puppy can be “teething” up until about 12 months of age.
Chewing helps their puppy teeth to fall out and soothe their sore gums. Puppies will need to learn what is appropriate to chew on and what is not; never punish your puppy for chewing and destroying things in the house. They don’t do it because they are angry, jealous or spiteful; they do it because it comes naturally them. The puppy should not have “free run” of your house when you are not there until you feel your puppy can be trusted not to destroy your home or yard. Instead, leave your puppy in a crate, pen or puppy proof room with a variety of toys. When you are home and you see your pup chewing on their toys, be sure to give them plenty of praise and attention. Provide a variety of different shapes and textures for your dog to keep it challenging and different. It is best to leave out at least 5 toys for your dog to play with and rotate them every day so it seems like there is always something new.
The following toys should be provided for maximum benefit:
Soft toys are great entertainment for dogs as they stimulate their inner hunting instincts. Even though they may not last as long as rubber toys, they have A LOT of fun with them. We stock a wide variety of stuffing free toys called “skineez”. They are the same fun as a soft toy but with less mess!
A companion fluffy toy; put in your puppy's bed at night, is a very important component of avoiding separation stress. We can introduce the companion toy to the litter mates to transfer their scent onto it so your puppy will have a familiar smell in its new home. If possible, select a toy that is roughly the same size as another puppy. If you want a toy that is long lasting, we recommend Fuzzyard toys as they are fully washable.
Food dispensing toys such as Kongs, Kazoo treat balls and Busy Buddies can give hours of challenging entertainment for your puppy. These toys can be stuffed with food and treats, which essentially “rewards” your dog for playing with the toy. Toys with food in them are much more enticing for dogs. It is best to give your pets meal inside a food dispensing toy to make them “work” for their food as they would have to in the wild (note: this only works if you don’t have a fussy puppy). Tip: Classic Kongs can be frozen which is excellent for soothing sore puppy gums.
Nylabones, vinyl toys, latex toys and rope bones are essential for teething puppies, and should be chosen for their different shapes and textures. You can attract your pup to chew on them by putting a smear of canned food on them, or even soaking them in cooled chicken stock.
Edible chews such as dried chicken necks, pigs ears, jerky and rawhide are also excellent for teething puppies. There are many varieties that keep them entertained for long periods. Remember to adjust the daily portion of puppy food.
You can use Fooey or Bitter Bite to discourage indiscriminate chewing. For safety, it is recommended that it be sprayed on electrical cords.
Training & Toileting
You need a selection of suitable treats available as positive reinforcement for housebreaking and general training. Positive reinforcement is the best way to get your puppy to repeat desirable behaviour. We recommend selecting a variety of different flavours to keep your pup guessing. Otherwise, if the treat is a predictable flavour it may be less rewarding. Suggested training treats are: dried liver, lamb crumbles, buddi bics and micro bones.
Scented Pee-Pee Pads are great when it comes to housebreaking. An 8 week old puppy can generally only hold its bladder for a maximum of 2 hours. By the time your puppy is 7 months it should be able to hold it for a full 8 hours. The training pads are very useful to leave inside for your pup when you’re not there. When you are not supervising, it is best to leave your pup in a relatively confined space such as a exercise pen or a puppy proof room with a training pad. Puppies are most likely to want to go to the toilet after waking, eating, drinking, and following a play session. Take them to the training pad at these times, try to reduce distraction, and give plenty of praise and rewards when your puppy goes on the pad. The high quality pads are very absorbent and can be urinated on several times without needing to be changed (unlike cheaper brands and newspapers). They are leak proof and are scented to instinctively attract puppies to toilet on them.
Using House breaker drops in conjunction with the training pads is a powerful duo. It makes the attractant on the pad stronger and it helps when transitioning your pup to go outside. After the first week, start taking your pup outside first thing in the morning upon waking, after meal times, exercising and right before bed. When you take your pup out to the designated toilet spot, place a couple of drops of housebreaker drops on the grass, let your pup sniff it and try not to let there be too many distractions. When your pup is in the act of toileting give plenty of praise!
When long term use is required (for example in units), a Pet Loo or a Pet Potty which is an astro turf toilet, is great for apartment living. It has also been shown that having a toilet available inside for indoor dogs reduces the likely hood of urinary infections and bladder stones.
Enzymatic cleaners ( Fresh n Breeze, Urine off and Industrial Strength stain remover) are required for when your puppy has accidents on the carpet, tiles or wooden floor. They are used to remove stains and break down odours which may attract the pup to go back to the spot where they had the 4 accident. Do not use any other cleaner other than these specialised products; otherwise you can “set” the stain or even make it a stronger attractant for your puppy. Enzymatic cleaners will completely remove odour as well as any germs.
Don’t punish your puppy for mistakes, “negative” reinforcement can sometimes be interpreted as a “positive” for some dogs because they see any attention as good attention. Many other dogs will just be intimidated by negative reinforcement serving only to distance you and your puppy. If you punish a puppy for having an accident, the puppy is likely to think that you just don't like them going to the toilet in front of you, which makes it very difficult to get them to toilet in the right spot.
When training your puppy to toilet outside, they must be taken out on a collar and lead so that you can reward them straight away. Positive reinforcement does not work if the puppy is at the other side of the backyard!
Training a puppy to walk on a harness and lead should be started as soon as possible, even though they may not be old enough to be walked on the street. Gentle Leaders may be helpful for our stronger willed puppies. Seat belt attachments can be added to restrain your puppy in the car. Dogs are required by law to be restrained in the car.
An id-tag should be left on your puppy at all times. A microchip is invaluable, but your neighbour six houses down can’t read it without a microchip scanner!
There are many benefits to teaching your puppy to be well behaved at an early age:
The most important thing about Puppy Pre-school is to start early. Waiting too long can allow behaviour problems to establish, which will require more intensive training to overcome.
Getting your puppy used to bathing while young will avoid bath time dramas later on in your pets life. The Pet Head and SPA range are particular favourites. It is recommended to use a very mild puppy shampoo because they will be bathed more frequently when young. Never use human shampoo because the pH is not suitable for a dogs skin. Bathe in warm water and give plenty of praise and rewards to make it a positive experience. Gently place cotton balls in the ears to prevent water from entering the ear canal, as this prevents infection.
Grooming sprays and powders can be used in between baths to assist with brushing and leaves the coat smelling fresh.
The most suitable brush will be recommended based off the type of coat your puppy has. For medium to long haired dogs; a wide tooth comb will separate any big knots before going over with a slicker brush to separate all the hairs. A medium to fine toothed comb should be used around the face and feet. For short to medium haired dogs, use a rubber “zoom groom”, massage brush or a grooming glove. These brushes pick up loose hair via static electricity, spread healthy oils through the coat and stimulate better circulation.
For shedding breeds of dogs, the Furminator brush will reduce shedding by up to 90%!
Ear Cleaner should generally be used fortnightly to remove excess ear wax and prevent infections.
Tear Stain Remover should be used on lighter colored dogs as often as required. Remember that when your puppy goes through teething it can also increase tear staining.
Nail clippers are used as often as required; puppy's nails grow faster than an adult dogs nails.
Grooming scissors are needed for long coated dogs to trim around the eyes, ears and feet. Specially designed grooming scissors have a blunt nose so there is less chance of injury.
Electric clippers let you be the hairdresser, saves a lot of money, and can be a very rewarding DIY project. It is best to get your dog used to being clipped early.
Dental hygene is as important for dogs as they are for people! Studies show that 70% of pets over the age of 3 have periodontal disease. If you want you dog to tolerate tooth brushing its best to start early. A special dog tooth paste must be used as human tooth paste is toxic to them. If tooth brushing isn't for you, special water additives (Tropicclean or Dental Fresh) can be added to your dogs drinking water which reduces the overall bacteria in the mouth.
Stainless steel or unbreakable plastic bowls are great as they are dishwasher safe, hygienic and puppies can’t chew them.
Ceramic bowls should be used for water, as they are hard to knock over, and keep water cool.
Pet water fountains are a good way to encourage your pet to drink more water. Because the water is constantly being aerated and filtered it will taste much better.
Earthborn is what we use and recommend diet wise. This premium food is completely balanced, leads to less doggy smells and clean up, uses human quality ingredients, is loaded with vitamins and calcium, is preserved naturally, and is ideal for all puppies. For feeding tips see the "Pet Town Puppy Feeding Guide." Calcium supplements are not generally required these days, if kept on premium foods.
It is essential you feed your puppy exactly what it has been eating in our shop. Sudden change of diet can cause diarrhoea.
IT IS ESSENTIAL THAT ANY FOOD NOT EATEN AFTER TEN MINUTES BE REMOVED.
If you leave food down for long periods, your puppy will become forever fussy (not something you want). Most puppies should be fed for ten minutes, 3 times daily until 12 months, and then for ten minutes once or twice daily.
ARE THEY NOT EATING?
Contact the shop if your puppy is not eating well. There is nothing more important to us than ensuring our little ones are doing great and are eating properly. Because puppies do not have any fat reserves, their sugar levels can drop very quickly and very dangerously if they do not eat properly. The first few days in a new home can be very stressful for them, and the first thing a stressed puppy does is stop eating. If puppies are not eating the dry food, try soaking the kibble in warm water to make it softer. If this doesn't work, try mixing canned food through the kibble. If they do not eat the canned food, you can substitute (only if absolutely necessary): cooked or raw mince, boiled chicken, premium puppy canned foods, rice or mashed vegetables (such as pumpkin). Don't give milk or any fatty meat at all as it may cause diarrhoea.
Our Vets offer exclusively to Pet Town customers, 10% off your puppies next vaccination and their de-sexing!
DON’T LET YOUR PUPPY GET FAT!
It is very important you do not let your new puppy get too fat while it is growing, or later in life. However, is especially important if:
To help decrease the risk of any problems, you should not overfeed or overexercise your puppy when he or she is still growing. Also keep them on a quality, high calcium "puppy diet" (like the Earthborn we sell with our puppies). Any questions you have about kneecap(s) or hips, feel free to run past our vet when you go for your free vet check.
Health and Medicine
Paralysis Ticks and Brown Dog Ticks are the most common Ticks found on Dogs, although Paralysis Ticks are the most dangerous. Without proper prevention or treatment, a paralysis tick can be fatal. Thoroughly check your dog twice a day for ticks, especially after walks. Although no Tick preventative is 100% guaranteed, Tick Treatments and preventatives should be used fortnightly unless directed otherwise. Using Kiltix collar in conjunction with Advantix is said to be the best combination in preventing ticks. The collars can be used from 12 weeks of age.
• Frontline Plus
• Frontline Spray
• Kiltix Collar
• Preventic Collar
• Flea treatments should be used every month. (Unless treating fortnightly for Ticks).
Without proper prevention and/or treatment, fleas can cause dermatitis, transmit Tapeworm and in some severe cases can cause Anaemia.
Ensure your animal is treated with one of the following to prevent/control fleas:
• Frontline Plus
• Frontline Spray
• Kiltix Collar
Heartworm preventatives should be used monthly for life or, alternatively you can have your Vet give your dog an annual heartworm injection once the dog is over 12 months of age. Heartworm is spread through the bite of a mosquito, and there is no way of telling whether a mosquito is infected. heartworm treatment must be given for the first time before the Puppy is 12 weeks old. Untreated, heartworm can lodge into the heart, lungs and surrounding blood vessels and begin reproducing. In severe cases, heartworm infection can lead to heart failure and eventually death.
The following products are treatments and preventatives of heartworm:
Allwormers should be used quarterly for life; however some products are combined heartworm and allworm treatments. allwormers are for the treatment and prevention of Roundworm, hookworm, whipworm and tapeworm.
The following products are recommended for ALL intestinal worms:
All our Veterinary care is performed by either Acacia Garden, North Rocks or Willoughby.
These Vets are modern veterinary hospitals that were established to provide the highest standard of professional care in a friendly and compassionate environment. The team endeavour to make your pet feel at ease when visiting the clinics with a caring and gentle approach to consultations and treatments. The staff and leading veterinarians are all passionate about pets and avid animal lovers.
At these Veterinary Hospitals, you’ll be fully supported with sound advice first and foremost. With good advice and professional recommendations, you’ll be well equipped to make the best ongoing health care decisions for your pet.
Your puppy has already been microchipped by us. If within 8 weeks of purchase, you have not received a confirmation from your Local Council of the ownership of your puppy being transferred from our name to yours, you must ring them immediately with your microchip number. After Desexing, your puppy can be registered. This only needs to be done once for life. If you move or change phone number, don't forget to change your details registered to the microchip!
Your puppy is supplied with a vaccination record. Puppies are usually vaccinated at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age. The basic level Vaccination (C3) prevents against the most deadly diseases: Canine Parvo Virus, Canine Distemper and Canine Hepatitis. Your puppy will have its vaccinations current at time of sale. If your puppy’s vaccination is due within 2 days of going home, it can be done at one of our vets at no cost. After the 3rd vaccination, yearly boosters will be required.
It is highly recommended that you desex your puppy at 6 months of age. For this procedure we highly recommend getting it done at our vets. At these vets; you can be confident that your puppy will receive the highest level of care and safety.
While visiting our vets, ask about the 4 week free pet insurance trial from Pet Plan. You can be signed up in clinic and it usually takes only 3 days to get approved. It is highly recommended that you take out pet insurance while the puppy is young in order to have better cover later on in life. It will give peace of mind that you will be able to give your pet the best care if he/she was to become ill. A recent survey suggests that you are more likely to claim on pet insurance than on car or house insurance!