To help you navigate the joys of raising a new dog, we are delighted to offer you this guide, containing lots of valuable information to help get you off to a great start. While exploring his new environment, your puppy will be exposed to new challenges to his young, stuck developing immune system. Feeding a specially designed diet will help protect and secure your dog’s immune health during this transition to a new environment. Providing your puppy with the best nutrition depends on how big he will be when he grows up.
Choose the diet recommended by your veterinarian and follow the feeding instructions outlined on the bag. At adulthood select one of a range formulas based on your dog’s lifestyle, breed or specific needs - again, your vet is a great source of advice. Breeders, owners and veterinarians all over the world have relied on Royal Canin for nutritional expertise for 40 years. Created by a veterinarian in 1967, Royal Canin is renowned for Knowledge and Respect for the dog. Hundreds of scientists from diverse fields are involved in Research and Development programmes that ultimately lead to the development of innovative foods aimed at enhancing the health and longevity of your dog. You can trust Royal Canin to provide the best nutrition available to ensure a long and healthy life for your dog.
Enjoy the adventures and pleasures of life with your new puppy.
Congratulations on your new puppy!
At last, the puppy you’re wanted for so long is here. This is an exciting time for you, but it can also be a frightening time of adjustment for your pet. He will be leaving the security of his mother and littermates, and experiencing a multitude of new sights, sounds and smells. To help you with this transition, here is some helpful information to assist in introducing your new pet to his new home. Choosing a veterinarian It is important to have an initial check-up, so selecting a vet before your new puppy comes home can save time. If you don’t already have a vet, friends or family members with pets can be a good source of recommendation.
You will need to make sure the whole house is safe from anything the puppy could get into. By getting down to the puppy’s level you can assess if there are any exposed electrical cords that could be chewed. Is there anywhere your puppy could get stuck, or maybe fall from – check the windows, balconies and stairs. By puppy-proofing now, you can avoid a lot of heartache later.
Will your puppy be spending time outdoors unsupervised? Look around your garden. Are there holes or gaps in your fence where your puppy could escape? Are there chemical fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides within his reach? What about poisonous plants? Check with your veterinarian for a list of poisonous substances.
Preparing for your new puppy
The very first things
At home together
The science of Nutrition
How to feed your puppy
Different puppies, different needs
Preventative health care
Spaying and neutering
Behaviour and training
1. Preparing for Your New Puppy
Making your home safe.
Schedule a veterinary visit soon after bringing your puppy home. Keep emergency veterinary clinic numbers handy.
Indoors or out, look out for danger.
Use stainless steel food and water bowls.
Keep your puppy collared with proper tags and identification.
Food and Water Bowls
Stainless steel food and water bowls are durable and do not rust, break or chip. Teething puppies will chew anything in sight, which can be a problem when using plastic. Stainless steel is also more sanitary than plastic.
Decide where your puppy will eat.
Collar and Leash
Although you won't venture beyond the garden in the early days, a collar and leash are essential so your puppy can get used to them. He also needs a comfortable bed in a quiet corner. Having his own space will help your puppy get used to his new home, feel safe, take refuge and sleep. Make sure your puppy always wears his collar, with a name tag, and that the collar is snug enough not to slip over his head.
Brush and Comb
Grooming your puppy regularly teaches him to like being handled by people.
Rubber toys are almost indestructible and may last years. Choose a smaller size for young puppies (helpful during teething), and a larger size for large puppies.
Make sure it is a safe toy!
2. The Very First Things
Basic Equipment Before Your Puppy’s Arrival
An adult should always be present when children play with a puppy. Introduce dogs outside the home in a neutral area confine the puppy to the areas of the house where you spend the most time with baby gates.
Children often don’t realize the need to be very careful with a small puppy. A responsible adult should always be there to supervise. When you bring your puppy home, it’s always a good idea to have the children sit down and let the puppy come to them.
Introducing Older Dogs
If you have an older dog and he’s lived in the house for a long time, he may have a hard time adjusting to sharing his space with a new puppy. Try introducing the dogs in a neutral area,
not your home, where your resident dog may not be so protective. Make sure both dogs are on a leash and that they can be controlled by you. Let them sniff and investigate each other. Do not shout at the older dog if he doesn’t react the way you want him to. Give him plenty of time to get used to the puppy. Dogs have their own rules, and your older dog will certainly let your young puppy know what the rules are.
Let your dog explore his new home, but only under your supervision. Block off your puppy’s special area with baby gates. If you must be away from the house or can’t supervise the special area, put the puppy in his crate. Reinforcing acceptable behaviour often just means preventing misbehaviour.
3. At Home Together
The frequency of baths will vary according to the coat texture. Shaved coats only need to be washed when they are dirty.
Short-haired puppies need to be bathed twice a year on average and long-haired puppies need to be bathed approximately every three months.
Lukewarm water should be used, along with a special shampoo for puppies. After the bath, wipe your puppy down vigorously and keep him in a warm room until he's properly dry. In the summer the puppy can be let outside.
All puppies need proper nail care.
Please don’t let your fear of hurting your puppy stop you from taking care of your puppy’s nails.
When trimming your dog’s nails, use nail clippers made for dogs. Hold your dog’s foot and gently push down with your thumb at the base of each nail.
Cut each nail back just a little at a time until you get close to the quick.
4. Dental care
Begin dental care early.
Use a toothbrush designed especially for dogs Schedule tartar to be removed by a veterinarian if necessary.
Temporary teeth in Puppies
The milk teeth fall out easily and often are not found (the dog swallows them).
Caring for Teeth
Dogs are rarely cooperative when it comes to handling their mouths. The teeth should be white and should not have tartar build up. It is therefore necessary to clean your dog’s teeth very regularly. It makes sense to start dental care when your puppy is very young, so he gets used to having his teeth brushed. The most efficient way is to use a toothbrush and toothpaste specially designed for dogs. Try to brush your puppy's teeth several times a week. After a while, tartar
removal by a veterinarian may be the only solution.
5. Puppy Hygiene
Brushing and Combing
No matter what type of coat a dog has, hair dies and new hair grows in its place.
Outdoor dogs shed their coat twice a year (spring and autumn) corresponding to the changes in daylight. Indoor dogs are not as affected by changes in light, so they shed hair throughout the year, with two periods of increased shedding in spring and autumn.
Regular brushing and bathing will help remove dead hair. The frequency and the type of equipment used will vary depending on the nature of the coat.
Although short coats might not require regular grooming, brushing once or twice a week is necessary.
Because of the coat density (both undercoat and a topcoat), the puppy should be brushed every other day.
Long-haired puppies require daily brushing so proceed delicately to avoid hurting the puppy.
Regular brushing will keep your puppy’s coat shiny and healthy. A wide-toothed comb can be used on the hocks, tail and paws. Trim away hair that is likely to become tangled or dirty
A healthy balance growing up with Health Nutrition
Good nutrition can increase a dog’s life expectancy. A veterinarian can advise you on the appropriate diet for your puppy.
7. The Principles of Nutrition
Of course, food has to supply energy, but it also has to build and maintain the body’s cells, preventing eventual digestive, joint and age-related problems. To fulfil these 4 objectives, the diet must be very precisely formulated. Proteins, minerals, oligo-elements, vitamins, fats, glucides - each group of nutrients plays its role. Their quantities must be exact, neither too much or too little, in order to attain the objectives for each dog.
A nutritional food, meeting the demands of Health Nutrition, will contain at least 50 different nutrients!
A list of ingredients is a basic list of raw food materials, compared to a nutritional approach which is the achievement of a complex puzzle of nutrients selected for their specific role in terms of the dog’s
You have a number of choices when it comes to meeting your puppy’s nutritional needs, ranging from home-made foods to completely manufactured foods (whether in the form of kibbles, cans, or pouches).
These are foods you make yourself, using rice, meat and vegetables. Apart from the satisfaction of cooking for your puppy yourself, this type of feeding has several major disadvantages, in particular the high cost and most importantly, the difficulty of making a home-made food into a balanced diet with exactly the right amount of nutrients. If the result does not contain enough of the vital nutrients in the correct proportions, your puppy could suffer from major nutritional deficiencies, with resulting poor growth and long term damage to your puppy’s health.
Choose a "top quality" food for your puppy which will offer a complete, balanced package of all the nutrients he needs during growth offer a complete, balanced package of all the nutrients your puppy needs during growth. They are made to the same health and safety standards as human foods.
Dry foods (kibbles)
Dry foods contain less than 14 per cent water. Balanced and complete, they provide all the nutrients your puppy needs. The quality of raw materials and precise control of the production process means you can rely on an ultra-digestible and highly precise nutritionally balanced diet for your puppy. They need no preparation and are easy to feed, along with a bowl of fresh water.
These are also good quality, balanced and complete diets, made from carefully selected raw materials. The downside is that they contain around 80% water, which means that daily portion sizes must be much larger, making them less practical. Once opened, they need to be stored in the fridge.
Good habits • Dividing meals up Until the age of six months, your puppy needs to eat three times a day, at regular intervals. Always feed your puppy from the same bowl, in a quiet spot, so that he learns how to eat properly.
Feed him after the family
Dogs are natural pack animals, and they need a clear hierarchy. To help him understand that you and your family are in a dominant position in the home, it is advised that you don’t give your puppy his bowl until after your own meal. If he does not eat his meal, take it away – do not let him snack on it.
The portion recommendations on the pack are designed to meet your puppy’s daily needs, so it is important to keep to them. Don’t give table scraps, and particularly not chocolate, which are not suitable for your puppy’s nutritional needs. Chocolate contains a molecule called theobromine, which is very toxic for dogs – a 200g chocolate bar can kill a medium sized dog, so think of his health and ban the chocolate.
Always make sure your puppy has a bowl of fresh, clean water available.
Regular weight checks
To be sure that your puppy is growing up in a controlled, harmonious way, weigh him regularly. The easiest way is to weigh yourself first, and then again with your puppy in your arms – the difference is how much he weighs. Consult your vet if you are at all concerned.
Teaching him manners
Your dog is going to live as part of your family, and he needs to learn to do so without aggression. Get him used to the fact that you will take his bowl away and that you can touch his food while he eats, without any complaint.
Respect the Puppy-to Adulthood Transition
As your puppy reaches adulthood, his nutritional requirements will change. It is important to provide your adult dog with a diet that will meet his new nutritional requirements and needs. When changing your dog’s diet, make sure to gradually mix the food over a period of 7 days at least, increasing daily the amount of the new food added so that 100% of the new food will be provided to the dog by day ten. This will help to avoid any digestive stress and diarrhoea.
8. How to Feed Your Puppy
Chocolate must be forbidden. Change your dog’s diet slowly to avoid digestive stress
Change the water in his bowl often, because puppies do like to play with it…
Days 1 & 2
Days 3 & 4
Days 5 & 6
Days 7 & after
Growth: a key stage
Growth is a critical period in your puppy’s life, because it is not only the time when his adult body type is laid down, and the outline of his silhouette formed, but also his character develops.
Dogs by size:
Throughout the world, dogs can be divided into four groups, based on their adult body weight:
- Small dogs (adult body weight between 1 and 10kg)
- Medium dogs (adult body weight between 11 and 25 kg)
- Large dogs (adult body weight between 26 and 45kg)
- Very large dogs (adult body weight over 45kg)
Small, medium or large, eventual adult size affects the way a puppy grows up. There are fundamental differences linked to your dog’s size, weight and breed. The length of growth How long growth lasts varies according to eventual body weight: from 8 months for small dogs, 12 months for medium dogs, 15 to 18 months for large dogs, and up to 24 months for giant dogs.
The scope of growth
At one year old, a Dachshund weighs around 25 times his birth weight, while a Great Dane will have increased around 100 times in the same period.
The range of weight
Between a Chihuahua and a Great Dane, adult weight varies from 1 to 80kg, or a factor of 1 to 80. In comparison, in man this factor only varies from 1 to 2 at the maximum. These considerable body type
and physiological differences mean that nutritional needs are fundamentally different too.
Nutritional needs for every puppy Sensitive digestions Growth is the time when the digestive system is most sensitive. To ensure that intestinal flora is well-balanced and transit remains regular, it is essential to choose an ultra-digestible food adapted to your puppy’s individual size.
Immune defences - a weak spot!
During the first weeks of his life, your puppy has all the benefits of immunity transmitted by his mother.
Between 4 and 12 weeks, he progressively loses this protection before his own defences have been built up. During this time, called the “immunity gap”, the puppy is more sensitive to disease. Vaccination helps him develop protection against certain specific diseases: check your vet advice.
9. Different Puppies, Different Needs
Their small size and lively, energetic character explains their growing household popularity. Small breeds are also frequently fussy eaters. This behaviour is accentuated by their special requirements and the fact that owners often give them treats and table scraps, leading to poor eating habits.
In contrast to what you might think, miniature and toy dogs have much higher energy requirements per unit of body weight than larger dogs. For example, a dog of 59kg needs 3,000 kcal per day, whereas a 3kg dog needs 300 kcal per day (twice as much per kilo of bodyweight).
Small dogs are also noted for their long life spans (from 14 to 16 years).
Short Growing Period
Small puppies require the correct levels of protein, carbohydrates and fat necessary for optimal skeletal and muscular growth in a short space of time.
Small Teeth and Jaws
Small dogs have small mouths and jaws. It is important to take this into account when choosing a diet. If you are using dry food for instance, make sure that the size of the kibbles fits well and makes it easy to chew for your puppy.
In addition, small dogs are particularly prone to dental disease ("periodontal disease" in vet terms). This is the most commonly diagnosed disease in small dogs, and is the result of the formation of dental plaque over the teeth. This plaque then mineralizes into tartar, requiring de-scaling by a vet. In the advanced phase of the disease, there is a risk of oral infection. This makes it all the more important to look for diets which can help improve oral health.
Larger Digestive Tract
A small breed’s digestive tract represents 7% of his total body weight, on average, compared to only 2.7% for large breeds. It is critical to adapt the digestibility of your dog’s food to the size of the his digestive tract.
Small Breed Dog
Up to 10kg at adult weight
Life expectancy of 14 to 16 years
Birth weight increases by 20 times
Higher energy needs than larger dogs
Can be fussy eaters
Examples of small breed dogs include:
Chihuahua, Dachshund, Miniature Schnauzer,
Poodle, Shih Tzu, Yorkshire Terrier, Jack Russel
Medium Breed Dog
11 to 25kg at adult weight
Life expectancy of 10 to 12 years
Birth weight increases 40 to 50 times
Examples of medium breed dogs include: Basset Hound, Bull dog, Standard Schnauzer, Cocker Spaniel,
Border Collie, English Setter.
Historically, medium sized dogs were bred for their energy and their physical ability to work outdoors. Because of their body type, medium breed dogs can perform brief intense efforts while also being fast runners.
Today, medium sized dogs have adapted to a wide variety of lifestyles - from working
farm dogs to household pets. Regardless of where he lives, it is essential for a medium breed dog - to have frequent exercise so he can expend his energy.
Medium sized dogs put great stress on their bodies when taking outdoor exercise, while their natural defences can be put under heavy strain by injuries, physical stress and adverse weather conditions.
Medium sized puppies are grown up at
12 months of age. During this period, a medium-sized puppy increases his birth weight by 40 to 50 times, so he needs a high intake of energy and nutrients as well as balanced amounts of calcium and
phosphorus for good bone mineralization and harmonious growth to occur.
Skin and Coat health
The skin is the body’s largest organ. It acts as a physical, chemical, thermal, mechanical and microbiological barrier between your dog and his environment. Skin is constantly being renewed and reflects both the pet’s health and the quality of his diet. This is why a complete diet should bring the
Nutrients to nourish and protect overall skin and coat health: high supplies of zinc, amino-acids, vitamins and ω-6 and ω-3 fatty acids are of particular interest.
Medium Breed Dog
Originally bred as working dogs, they still excel as sheep dogs, trackers, emergency rescue dogs, guard dogs or as guide dogs for the blind. They are faithful, affectionate and make ideal pets.
Large breed dogs can withstand tests of endurance such as long walks, working under extreme conditions or keeping guard. In order to combat the oxidative stress these activities produce, large dogs
put a heavy demand on their natural defenses.
Small Digestive Tract
The digestive tract of a large breed dog represents 2.7% of his bodyweight, compared
to 7% for small breeds. The large breed dog requires a highly digestible diet to
compensate for the proportional difference.
Long and Fast Growth Period
The growth period for a large breed dog is approximately 15-18 months. During this phase, the large breed puppy’s diet should contain a more moderate energy level to help maintain the puppy in optimal body condition. Large breed puppies multiply their birth weight by 70 to 90 times.
It’s crucial that the nutritional needs of the large breed puppy are met in order to prevent any malformation of the skeleton during this developmental stage. The correct calcium/phosphorus balance is key here. In addition, specific nutrients like chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine help keep joints
healthy by stimulating production of cartilage components. They can help feed and protect your large breed puppy’s joints.
Large Breed Dog
26 to 45kg at adult weight
Life expectancy of 9 to 12 years
Birth weight increases by 70 to 90 times
Need a highly digestible diet. Lower energy requirements than smaller breeds
Examples of large breed dogs include:
German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Boxer
Weigh over 45kg at maturity
Multiplies birth weight by 80 to 100 times
Life expectancy of 9 to 12 years
Examples of giant breed dogs include:
Great Dane, Mastiff, Rottweiler, St. Bernard, Newfoundland
Giant breeds are primarily from the working group, used to protect families or livestock. These breeds were developed to work in cold climates as rescue dogs. Giant breed dogs were predominantly selected based on their body type typically focused on a specific characteristic.
To reach his full size, the giant breed puppy needs 18 to 24 months. His birth weight will increase by 80 to 100 times. The giant puppy's longer growth period must be monitored carefully to prevent any
malformation in the skeleton and muscles.
Shorter Life Expectancy
The bigger and heavier the dog, the earlier the ageing process starts. It is best to begin addressing the nutritional considerations of ageing early in the large breed dog’s life to help promote optimal health and longevity.
The dog’s body weight, combined with an active temperament, puts his joints under daily stress. A food rich in the antioxidant Vitamins E and C, plus natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin, can help
protect the joints.
Because of their reduced digestive capacity, giant breed dogs are very sensitive to their food. Heavy meals and indigestible food can lead to diarrhoea, abdominal distension (bloat) and other digestive disorders.
Giant Breed Dog
Training your Puppy
Don’t wait for your puppy to tell you he needs to go out. Don’t punish a puppy who has had
an “accident” Stick to a regular schedule for feeding and outings
Good behaviour and obedience need to start early! Your training programme must start as early as possible, at an age when your puppy naturally has an excellent capacity for learning. For your comfort, and other people’s, your dog must understand some basic rules of life. Don’t hesitate to call in professional help with your dog training. There are many dog clubs or “puppy schools” which can help you with your mission...
When he arrives at your house, your puppy will most likely not be house-trained. The exception is his bed, because it is very unusual for a dog to soil his sleeping area.
- Remember, most “accidents” happen by allowing too much freedom, too soon. Confine the puppy to the one or two rooms in the house where the family spends the most time.
- Crate the puppy when you can’t supervise him.
- Have regularly scheduled feeding times. Reward your puppy for eliminating outside. So that you can give him immediate praise, you should go outside with your puppy.
- Never punish or reprimand a puppy who has had an “accident”. Instead, find ways to prevent your puppy from ever having the need to eliminate indoors.
- Don’t wait for your puppy to signal to you that he wants to go out. Most puppies will not learn to signal their need until they first learn to “hold” in the house.
Take them out on a regular schedule.
10. Preventative Health Care
Check for ticks after outdoor activities. Puppies can be wormed at two weeks of age. Worm medicine can be administered as pills, paste or liquid. Parasitic infections affect the skin and coat. The dog is easy prey for nasty visitors like fleas and ticks! His skin and coat are affected by the presence of these parasites which can also cause serious infectious diseases. Therefore it is essential to inspect his coat carefully, particularly after walks in the country. Treat the dog as well as the environment (basket, blanket..). Ticks can be removed with special tweezers. Don’t forget that there are also internal
parasites, particularly in the digestive system. As well as upsetting his digestive system they can also cause more general health problems, so it is essential that your dog is wormed regularly. Contact with other dogs and the outside world means that it’s easy for him to be recontaminated, so ask your vet’s advice about a worming programme.
11. Parasite Prevention
Look out for unwanted guests!
Vaccinations supplement your dog's natural defences.
Natural defences are affected by stress, injuries and weather conditions. Vaccinations can be started as early as six to eight weeks.
Vaccinations help prevent contagious and sometimes fatal diseases. Some are obligatory, while others are recommended. They are most effective when they are given at fixed dates with booster vaccinations. Puppies usually begin a vaccination programme at the age of 6 to 8 weeks. Your vet will help you choose the vaccination programme best suited for your puppy, depending on the risks he faces from lifestyle and environment. Tell the vet where your puppy will spend time (boarding kennels, in the bush, travelling outside the country, etc.) and what activities he will participate
in (such as sporting events), as special vaccinations may be required.
12. Disease Prevention
7 to 9 weeks
Carré’s disease, infectious hepatitis, parvovirus.
11 to 13 weeks
Booster for 3 previous vaccinations + rabies and leptospirosis.
15 to 17 weeks
Rabies and leptospirosis boosters.
Boosters for all vaccines above.
Rabies and leptospirosis booster
Carré’s disease, infectious hepatitis, parvovirus boosters.
13. Spaying or neutering
Spaying or neutering is an important choice that you should consider carefully may reduce aggressive behaviour will prevent unwanted litters.
Sterilisation produces metabolic changes, so to avoid weight gain it is recommended to switch to a specially adapted diet immediately after the operation.
An Important Decision
Deciding whether to spay or neuter is an important choice which must be considered carefully. It is important to weigh any potential benefits of spaying or neutering against the possibility of being able to
breed from your dog in the future.
Potential Benefits of Spaying or Neutering Your Puppy
- Reduces roaming behaviour and fighting with other dogs.
- Eliminates or reduces the risk of certain kinds of tumours.
- Reduces or eliminates marking from other males.
- Eliminates unwanted litters.
- Eliminates the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
- Eliminates male dogs from your garden during heat.
- Eliminates or reduces the occurrence of certain kinds of tumours, including mammary ovarian and uterine tumours.
- Eliminates bleeding that would otherwise last three weeks every six months.
- Prevents unwanted litters.
Vomiting is commonly caused by the ingestion of harmful substances. There are many items that are known poisons to dogs. Just as with children, make sure these items are locked up so your puppy can’t get into them. For more information on poisonous substances, or for an item that isn’t listed here, please consult Animal Poison Control center.
Symptoms: Vomiting - Diarrhoea – Difficulty breathing - Abnormal urine (colour, odour, frequency) - Salivation - Weakness. If your dog should ingest harmful chemicals, contact a veterinarian or poison control centre immediately.
14. Behaviour and training
A well-trained dog
Essential good manners house-training. Take him out frequently, after every meal and nap, before bed and as soon as you get up in the morning. Congratulate him with your voice and a pat when he performs. At the beginning, take him to the same place every time so he can recognise his own scent.
Knowing the signs If he turns round and round, or sniffs the floor indoors, he needs to go!
In the event of an “accident”, don’t scold him but disinfect the spot to remove his smell. Don’t clear it up while he is in the room, or let him see (to avoid stimulating his interest in what you are carrying).
The dog is a pack animal and needs authority. From the very beginning he needs a single person who can be his teacher. Don’t shout when you call him - he is sensitive to variations in your voice, and will understand different tones very well, such as short and sharp for commands, happy to congratulate him and severe for a reprimand. Always use the same words for the same orders, and at the start use
gestures as well so he can make the link.
Teaching Your Puppy to Sit
Using a food treat, hold the food over the puppy’s nose and slowly move it up and back over the puppy’s head. When the puppy follows the food with his head, he will sit down. When your dog does this, say the word “sit” with the action. As soon as your pet sits, say “good sit” and give the treat. Many repetitions will be necessary for your puppy to learn to associate the treat with the sit.
Start off with 3 short training sessions lasting just 5 minutes a day, and extend the sessions little by little as your puppy gets older.
Teaching Your Puppy “Down”
Once you have taught your dog to sit, you can start teaching the “down” command. Get him to sit first, and then encourage him to lie by holding a treat, lowering it between his front paws and pulling it forwards (away) at the same time while saying "down". When he lies down, give him his treat, and of course, a "good boy"!
Controlling Chewing Behaviour
Many puppies and young dogs are chewing machines! They seem to test everything they encounter inside and outside your house. If you are starting with a young puppy, you can help establish a chewing preference by controlling what he chews on. (his toys, not your shoes!)
It is best to ask the breeder or veterinarian which toys are appropriate for your new
pet. Make that toy the focus of fetch and play sessions between you and the puppy.
15. Basic Commands
Travelling with Your Puppy
Get your puppy used to going in the car from an early age, so that it doesn't worry him. Planning ahead is a good idea if you are going on a long trip. If your puppy isn’t accustomed to riding in the car, here are a few tips on how to make it more comfortable for both of you.
- Sit in the car with the dog, playing with him and giving him a treat.
- Take a few short rides before any long trips.
- Taking your dog for a walk or playing in the garden can help to calm your pet before a trip.
- Always keep proper identification and current tags on your pet.
- Always keep your dog on a leash, even if he normally responds to voice commands, because he could easily spook in a new environment.
- Drugs are available to counter travel-sickness – ask your vet.
16. Travel training
Calm your dog before a trip with mild exercise or play. Make sure to pack your puppy’s food if you are taking a long trip. Keep your dog on a lead when you let him out of the car during stops
- Take along an adequate supply of your pet’s regular food and medication, as well as bowls, waste pick-up bags and a plastic bottle of cold water.
- Dogs should not be allowed to ride with their heads outside car windows. Particles of dirt can enter the eyes, ears, and nose, causing injury or infection.
- Tell your vet which countries you will be visiting and how you will be travelling. He will let you know the formalities necessary.
- If you’re not taking your dog with you, ask your vet for the name of a good kennels.
If you have further training aspirations, you can check with your local obedience training club, breeder or veterinarian for the best websites, training books and videos.
Preventative Health Care
Good health starts with good hygiene. It is much easier to prevent an infection than treat one which has already started. In keeping your puppy healthy, taking care of his ears and eyes is as important as feeding him, and should be taken just as seriously.
Caring for Your Puppy’s Ears
Ear care should be part of your regular grooming routine. By checking your puppy’s ears often you will notice signs of irritation earlier and prevent painful and hard to treat infections. Puppies’ ears are
either long and floppy or erect. Their ear canals are not well ventilated and need to be checked more frequently. The type of hair growing on the ear (long, curly, short, etc.) is also an important factor.
Weekly ear inspections and prompt veterinary treatment at the first sign of infection are important.
To clean the ears, use a solution specifically formulated for the puppy’s ears. Most ear cleaners work by breaking up and liquefying wax in the ear canal so it can be safely removed.
Caring for Your Puppy’s Eyes
Eye care is important for every breed of puppy. It’s important to clean your puppy’s eyes of any discharge, but there will always be some amount of tear-staining whenever hair rests around the eyes. Tear-staining results from the hair absorbing moisture produced by the eyes. The preferred method to clean your puppy’s eyes discharge is to use saline solution or eyewash.
Don’t worry about trying to find your puppy’s milk teeth - he swallows most of them and excretes them naturally without any problems!
Consider a tattoo and/or microchip for your dog. A qualified vet will insert a microchips beneath the skin, which contains information on both the dog and owner. Most rescue organisations, vets and
police scan dogs for chips, which will help quick return home if the worst happens.