Puppy Take Home Tips
Suggestions for Our New Puppy Families
Congratulations on your new Designer Shichon Teddy Bear puppy! Your puppy depends on you for protection, nutrition, and affection! We’ve compiled this tip list for our new puppy families.
GETTING READY FOR PUPPY
Here are some basic puppy items you may want to consider purchasing.
For Nutrition - Science Diet Small Bite Puppy food, Nutri-Cal (optional)
For Basic Care - food and water bowls
For Teething - chew toys
For Bedtime – soft bed, snuggle buddy
For Bedtime/Travel- crate (size small or medium) that fits bed
For Potty - potty pads (for outside crate)
For Hygiene - soft brush, puppy shampoo (no tears), soft toothbrush, nail clippers
For Small Walks - leash and dog harness - typically extra small size
For Convenience - a portable pen and/or baby gate to contain the puppy to a specific (washable) area when you aren’t focused on watching them
Collar with name or identification
Your puppy is still a baby and needs plenty of rest throughout the day. You will need a small, quiet, comfortable place the puppy can go to get away from a lot of noise, other pets, children, and anything that might intimidate or over-stimulate them. You’ll want their bed in a small space that is comfortably warm (about 70 degrees) and can become their safe place. A snuggle buddy and favorite chew toy are nice to have in their bed. For a snuggle buddy, we recommend a stuffed animal or stuffed animal with a heartbeat – this helps puppy adjust and whine less when alone. If using a crate, you may keep the crate open to their food, water, and potty pad if they are within a confined area, such as a small bathroom or utility room dedicated to them.
FOOD AND WATER
Your puppy is used to having food and water available at all times. You will want to replace your puppy’s water with cool, fresh water at least once per day. It is very important that these little dogs have high quality food intended for small dogs to stay healthy. They will nibble throughout the day and don't eat much.
Your puppy has been eating Science Diet Small Bite Puppy food. It is recommended that your puppy stay on this diet, at least until adjusted to their new home, and ideally for their first year. If you choose to switch to another high-quality puppy food for small dogs, it is recommended that you introduce the new food gradually by mixing in the new food with the Science Diet until they are totally on the new food.
We recommend that you have food and water available for your puppy at all times. You will want your puppy to eat often and maintain a proper body weight. If your puppy is not maintaining weight or needs help eating, you may mix moist puppy food with the Science Diet. For a picky eater, you can add some cottage cheese or mix a little water to make a gravy. Gerber beef baby food can help your puppy eat. Stay away from treats while your puppy is little, as they can spoil appetite, and limit treats to only a partial treat per day once your dog is an adult. Table scraps are not recommended while your puppy is young and should be limited to occasional crumbs on the floor when your puppy is older. Milk is not recommended.
Your puppy has been using a potty pad next to their bed. If taking them outside, you may also want to put a potty pad next to the door where you take them out. At first, you can put a potty pad outside where you want them to go potty to help them understand what you are expecting. You will want to use the same door, take your puppy to the same spot, and use the same words every time. Routine and consistency are key. We typically say, "you wanna go out?" while we open the door to their fenced yard. Weather permitting, wait until they do what they need to do before bringing them back in.
You will want to set the routine, not wait until your puppy tells you they need to go. (If your puppy is barking or whining, they may be telling you they need to go potty.) First thing in the morning, right after a nap, before and immediately after snuggles, and right before bedtime are good times to take a puppy to their designated place to go potty. At first, you will want to take your puppy frequently (up to every 20 minutes), then as they get older, you will be able to take them first thing in the morning, at noon, evening, and right before bedtime (about every 4 to 5 hours).
Your puppy has been in a constant temperature in the nursery of 70-plus degrees. While your puppy is still little, you may want to use a potty pad in a specific location indoors during the winter or find a way to keep your puppy from getting too chilled. Getting too cold can be dangerous for your pup.
Some families hang bells on the doorknob where the pup can reach to help these quiet little pets communicate when they need to go out.
WHAT TO EXPECT
For the first couple of days, the following may be considered normal: whining or crying, loose stools, potty accidents, separation anxiety, timidness, lack of appetite, teething/mouthing.
To help your puppy adjust, we recommend spending plenty of time with your puppy over the first few days to get to know them and for them to get used to you and a routine. Puppies thrive on routine, including a consistent bedtime and potty times. Give your puppy time to adjust before beginning any training sessions, crate training, or unnecessary outings.
Lots and lots of potty breaks, playing and cuddling will accelerate the bond you form with your new puppy. Have toys on hand for them to chew and mouth. Like toddlers, puppies want to mouth and teeth everything. Replace anything you don’t want them to mouth (like your hand) with a chew toy.
Your little puppy’s nails can get caught easily; carefully pull the material from their nails (don’t yank). If you hear your puppy whining, it may be a sign they need to potty, have something wrong, or simply miss you. When your puppy licks you, it is their way of kissing.
WHAT TO AVOID
Dog parks, vet clinic floors, busy dog friendly areas, highly populated/overwhelming places, kennels, dogs you don’t personally know, pet elimination areas, overly loud noises such as fireworks. We recommend not to leave your puppy alone where they can fall, chew an electric cord, or chew something that could cause your puppy to choke (such as a small toy).
Do not leave your puppy alone with another pet or small child. Even though another pet may have never shown aggression, your new puppy has no way to defend itself and can be harmed very easily. Supervising while your puppy is with other pets and children can protect your puppy from accidental harm. It is best to socialize your puppy with other pets and people in supervised settings where the experience is positive for your puppy.
Until your puppy is fully vaccinated at sixteen weeks, we suggest keeping them away from other dogs that you do not know. Only dogs up-to-date on shots and that have never come in contact with Parvo should be around your puppy. If you have a dog who has had Parvo in the past, we would recommend keeping your puppy in his own area away from the older pet until at least sixteen weeks. Parvo is highly contagious and very difficult to get rid of. Preventing contact with potentially contaminated areas and adhering to your vet schedule is very important in putting the health of your pup first.
It is best to put your puppy outside to potty immediately before bathing, as you never want to put your puppy outside immediately after bath time.
Young puppies may be brushed gently with a soft brush to be kept clean. And spot cleaned with a warm damp cloth.
Brushing your pup regularly and before a bath helps remove dead hair and dirt to prevent their coat from matting. I personally like using a toothbrush to brush their nose.
Older puppies may be bathed once a month or weekly. We prefer using a natural shampoo with lavender and a conditioner to keep their skin from getting too dry. You may bathe your puppy with puppy shampoo, baby shampoo, or conditioning shampoo for kids, like Suave Kids. Dry shampoos for puppies are also available for use between baths or during colder weather.
After bath, dry them with a towel and then completely blow dry your puppy so they do not get chilled. Even when completely dry, keep your puppy in a warm area without a draft.
Brushing your puppy between bath times can keep their coats shiny and untangled. There are some wonderful fragrances specifically for dogs you may use to spray your puppy as they get older to add that extra pampered touch. (Remember to cover your puppy's eyes when using any sprays.)
PREVENTING TEAR STAINS
To help with tear stains on light color coats, we recommend several frozen blueberries daily for about ten days at a time. Here are some additional tips from one of our puppy families for keeping a light color coat free of tear stains:
1) Once a day, wash the eye area with a warm, moist washcloth.
2) Three times a week, use eye wipes called Angel eyes.
3) About every two weeks, wash entire face with a shampoo called Spa by Tropic Clean Lavish Tear Stain Remover. It doesn’t sting the eyes. Then blow dry face on low heat until it’s completely dry.
When these dogs get sad or lonely, they do cry. While any of these pups can have tear stains, a happy puppy tends to have brighter eyes and fewer tears.
You will want to brush your puppy’s teeth regularly. There are little treats that freshen their breath and may be used as a daily treat to keep their breath fresh as they get older. We use half a Greenie per day with our adult dogs as a treat.
Your puppy’s coat will continue to grow. There are many grooming styles that look good on this breed. I typically like a "Teddy Bear cut" or "puppy cut" and ask a groomer that they keep the face rounded and the hair a bit longer on the body (for a summer puppy cut, a groomer may shave the dog’s body close to the skin). The groomer will trim hair between the pads of the feet and shave under the tail. Some groomers may also cut their nails, clean inside their ears, and brush their teeth for you. The tail will be kept long and fluffy.
After your puppy is several months old, you will want to start keeping their hair trimmed under the eyes so their eyes do not become irritated. To prepare your puppy for their first groom, you can run the handle of an electric toothbrush along their body while petting and comforting them. A little trim here and there also helps prepare them.
A natural way to keep your puppy's nails filed is by walking your puppy on cement sidewalks, asphalt, or gravel. When your puppy is only a few weeks old, you may wish to clip the very tip of their nails with regular fingernail clippers, being careful not to cut low enough to cut into the quick.
These little dogs do not need to be exercised. Running around the house or a yard are plenty for them. If you like taking a dog for a walk, start small and gradually work up as your dog gets older, making sure it is a positive experience for your puppy.
Positive Reinforcement is twice as effective as negative. Praise them every time they do a good job and they will be so happy that they pleased you!
Replace negative behavior with a positive one. For instance, say no to the sock, but replace with a toy. And then praise them for picking up the toy. The important thing is that they understand what you want. Whatever your house rules are, be consistent. Be patient. The key is making sure they understand what you are asking them to do. Then reward them when they do it!
They are just learning, and it takes time. If you discipline, a simple scold with “no” is usually enough if immediate to an unwanted behavior. You’ll confuse your puppy if you scold them when it is not associated immediately with the bad behavior.
Please maintain your puppy’s health schedule with a reputable veterinarian. And call your veterinarian immediately with any concerns.
If your puppy is having difficulty adjusting, or will be going on a trip, we recommend Nutri-Cal, a high calorie supplement. It helps with stress or when a puppy runs low on energy. A puppy will typically lick it if you put a small pea-size amount on the tip of your finger.
If your puppy is straining and struggles from constipation, we recommend giving your puppy an infant spoonful of vegetable oil.
IN AN EMERGENCY
If your puppy feels too cold, acts lethargic, starts shaking, has a blank stare, has convulsions or any other concerning symptom, use the Nutri-Cal (or clear syrup) and then call your Veterinarian concerning a possible episode of Hypoglycemia. Always assume your puppy is alive, and rub Nutri-Cal or Caro syrup in his mouth, warm your puppy, and seek professional help immediately. We’ve never had this happen to any of our puppies, but small puppies of small breeds can be susceptible to an episode of hypoglycemia without having any chronic condition.
FROM YOUR BREEDER
These are special puppies, hand raised from our home to yours. You are welcome to call us with questions concerning the care of your new puppy. And we hope you will text us pictures, or post pictures to our Facebook Shichon Teddy Bear Puppy Family group. We’d love to hear how your puppy is adjusting in your family!
Wishing you many years of Happy Teddy Bear Hugs!