The info here is brief and should not replace reading some of the books on my products page that I recommend.
Your Puppy's Homecoming
As part of the Puppy Pack that is sent home with your puppy, a toy is included which will have familiar comforting scents that he will recognize. You can put this with your new puppy which will comfort him on the ride home and during the first few stressful nights. It is pretty much guaranteed that your puppy will cry and whine the first few nights but by following the suggestions in this article you should be equipped with the knowledge of how to deal with this.
Once Your Get Your Puppy Home
When you first bring your new puppy home you should immediately take him out to potty. Once he has been to potty bring him into the area where you plan for him to sleep. I find the best place is the family room - center of my house and the puppy doesn't feel isolated. Allow your new puppy to have supervised exploration of the area at their own pace and try to resist overly fussing your puppy. If you notice that your puppy is a little anxious try not to amplify this by soothing them. Any attention for fearful behavior will only reinforce this response i.e. when I am fearful, I get attention. It is important that your puppy learns coping strategies in stressful situations. You will have made your house as pet friendly as possible so this in itself will minimize stress, interfering in the exploration of your puppy's new home will actually add to any anxiety.
What If My Puppy Doesn't Want To Eat
Go about your usual day to day life without over fussing but make sure you take him out regularly to pee and poop - I take a mental note of 1 hours per month of age to take the puppy potty. Don't worry if your puppy isn't eating a full meal the first day - it's completely normal, just be sure to keep an eye on the puppy to make sure he is well. If you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact me. Your puppy will be sent home with a bag of his food. My Aussiedoodle puppies are "free-fed" - meaning that they are given 1/2 cup of dry kibble first thing in the morning and allowed to graze all day long. I recommend that when they move to your home that you start with a 3X a day feeding schedule in order to facilitate house training. I suggest offering food three times a day,(better yet feed them by starting their 'clicker' training one kibble at a time) at regular intervals, and leave this down for 20 minutes and then pick it up till the next feeding. At night, I take their food and water away. No food or water after approx 7 pm is best.
(please also read below about hypoglycemia in young dogs for further reference)
How To Stop Your Puppy Crying At Night
Be prepared for the crying at night as there are very few puppies who don't go through this. As long as you have provided your puppy with water, puppy training pads and a comfortable bed in a room that is neither too hot nor too cold you can rest assured that their needs are catered for. If you want to give your puppy a toilet break in the middle of the night then try to schedule it rather than go down when they are crying, as you will reinforce the crying behavior.
The first night can be one of the most frustrating and upsetting times when you are lying in bed and hear that little whimper. Some useful items is to wrap a hot water bottle in a towel or thick blanket and put it at one end of the bed. This simulates the warmth of another dog. Put a ticking clock in the room with your puppy to simulate the heart beat of another dog; your puppy is used to sleeping with its brothers and sisters. A stuffed animal can be of great comfort to your puppy; a little larger than them is usually a good fit (make sure it does not have any plastic parts for your puppy to chew on).
Dog appeasing pheromone can be purchased from your vet and comes in two forms. A plug in (in the same way an air freshener works) or a spray that can be applied to bedding. It releases a synthetic analogue of a pheromone that is secreted by bitches during whelping. It has been proven to relax dogs and puppies and should allow for a more peaceful night sleep. It has also been demonstrated that it can reduce fear and even improve house training acquisition.
Make sure your puppy is worn out before you leave it for the night. A short walk before bed or some intensive training/play time are essential. Once you have worn your puppy out the best thing to do is to take him or her out to the bathroom so you know if they cry they do not need to be let out. After they have peed and pooped, take your puppy to its bed and say "bed", gently say "goodnight" and walk away. Make sure your puppy has water available, a potty pad just in case they need to go and a nice comfortable bed. Also be aware of the temperature; too hot or too cold and your puppy won't sleep well.
When you leave your puppy for the night try not to make too much of a fuss. After the preparation for bed, your puppy should be settled and you can simply leave the room without encouraging your puppy to cry. This is the trickiest part for any new puppy owner. When the puppy cries or barks throughout the night you must not go down to the puppy. Given you have followed the previous advice you can be rest assured you have covered all of your puppies needs. It can be a difficult first few nights but by going down to check on the puppy you can accidentally reinforce the barking. This can mean your puppy learns I bark and Mum or Dad come running down i.e. I get attention. It makes little difference if you go down to comfort or chastise the puppy as at this stage any attention is good attention. If you have already been going to your puppy when it cries, then the same rules apply but the results will take slightly longer to see. Fear not, young puppies are extremely quick learners. This puppy training method will pay you back ten fold and being consistent will enable your puppy to cope with being left alone during the day and help prevent other attention seeking behaviors while you are busy around the house.
The time that you take now to train your new puppy will be worth what you receive in return as they become an adult.
Initially your puppy needs plenty of rest, so handling and playtime should be kept to a minimum. If you have children, be sure to instruct them of the proper way in which to pick up and hold the puppy; a puppy should never be picked up by it's front legs or neck. Do not let puppy jump on or off the furniture. Until a puppy can jump ON the furniture they cannot get off. If they are too small as an adult to jump onto the furniture, they should never be left unattended. They could get a foot stuck between the cushions and pull a ligament or slip a patella. Be consistent and patient with your puppy; he/she will reward you with unconditional love and companionship.
Hypoglycemia is a condition which occurs in humans and some animals when their blood sugar, or glucose, level falls below normal. Glucose is a form of sugar which is such an important fuel for the body, and especially the brain, that a deficiency can cause serious health problems. The main dietary sources of glucose are carbohydrate-rich foods such as grains, starchy vegetables, dairy products, fruits, and sweets. It occurs mostly in toy breeds but it can also occur in the larger breeds as well. This can occur in ANY breed and not an indication of a sick puppy or bad breeding! Hypoglycemia can occur without warning when a puppy goes to a new home, misses a meal or doesn't eat full meals, becomes chilled, overtired, an increase in physical exercise activity without a corresponding increase in food intake; improper diet or feeding schedule, or exhausted from too much handling or playing.
Typically a puppy is scared when you take them home that they may not want to eat for the first day/evening. I want to say don't be alarmed but cautious. This is very common and by the next day they should start eating like they are starving and everything is back to normal. If your puppy is pretty small, you should have a tube of Nutri-Cal at home for your puppy. This is a vitamin supplement that the main ingredient in it is corn syrup. This is what saves a lot of puppies that stand a chance of getting hypoglycemic. It can be given every two hours if needed. I go ahead and give my little ones NutriCal while they are making adjustments in their lives every two hours for the first day and then twice on the second day. When the puppy is eating well and into his/her routine, Nutra Cal can be given once a day as a vitamin supplement. Some people have used corn syrup when there is nothing else available and their puppy is very weak (becoming hypoglycemic). If your puppy seems to be acting normal one minute, running and playing and then all of a sudden they are so tired they cannot lift their head, this is a sure sign of hypoglycemia. If ignored, the puppy will become almost lifeless, have seizures and lose conscience. This would be near death and nothing to be ignored. A puppy can die very quickly if not treated. The best thing to do is get some corn syrup down them quickly (pancake syrup or something very sweet) and rush the puppy to your vet. After giving them the sugar, they should respond within 30 minutes. They can almost return to normal but you need to find out what the cause is.
Symptoms of Hypoglycemia (in increasing order of severity)
* Fatigue, Weakness, Listlessness
* Nervousness, Trembling, Shakiness
* Confusion, Dizziness
* Rapid Heart Rate, Palpitations
* White Gums
* Rolling Eyes
* Convulsion or Seizure (spasms, locking jaws, rigid muscles)
* Breathing Stops
Treatment for Hypoglycemia
Immediately feed them Nutri-Cal or if you don't have Nutri-Cal on hand, a few teaspoons full of something that contains some form of sugar (pancake syrup, honey, cake icing) in order to raise the blood glucose level. (Force feed if necessary--worry about the mess later.) We recommend Nutri-CalTM/Nutri-StatTM, a high calorie food supplement gel containing molasses, protein, fat and several essential vitamins, complex carbohydrates, amino acids and omega fatty acids. Hydration is also very important--make sure that they drink some fluids.
If the dog won't take the food willingly (or consciously), put some mashed food on your finger and rub it on the roof of their mouth and on their tongue. Then, if necessary, insert a syringe (without needle) of water into their mouth and gently squeeze the water in for them to drink and wash down the food. Be careful not to force too much at a time, or they could choke. Once something is ingested, you should see a quick improvement and lessening of symptoms--if not, get immediate emergency attention from a Veterinarian. Even if you decide to go to the Vet from the beginning, try to get something into them to raise their blood sugar levels while on the way to the Vet because time is critical.
Prevention of Hypoglycemia
At regular intervals, feed small meals containing complex carbohydrates (rice, yogurt, etc.), as well as the usual fiber, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. Give a daily nutritional supplement that will maintain glucose levels, such as the recommended Nutri-CalTM/Nutri-StatTM high calorie supplement. Avoid skipping meals. Balance extra exercise activity with extra food.
After a puppy has experienced Hypoglycemia, I always monitor them 24 hours a day. I will scramble eggs with cheese, give yogurt, Gerber Meat Sticks, any food that I feel they will eat - they get.
YOUR PUPPY NEEDS YOUR TENDER LOVING CARE, AND IN RETURN YOUR PUPPY WILL GIVE YOU A LIFETIME OF LOVE