How to care for your puppy

To maintain your puppy’s health always make sure that it is free from fleas and worms and has a warm, clean, dry bed away from drafts to sleep in. Regular, monthly worming should be carried out for puppies and a flea treatment such as 'Advocate' or ‘Revolution’ used when necessary.

Our vet advises that puppies should be vaccinated at 6 weeks, 9 weeks and 12 weeks of age, and then yearly to keep your pet healthy and hopefully, vet-free.

Due to your puppy’s fine coat they do tend to feel the cold and appreciate a coat or two and a warm place to sleep. The ‘cold ear test’ is a good way to tell if your pup / dog is actually cold before it starts to shiver - if the ears are cold when you touch them then your dog is cold and needs a coat. Your puppy can get cold very quickly so please keep it rugged in cold weather and let it sleep inside somewhere warm.

A pup is very small and has limited body mass to keep itself warm. However, like any other breed of dog, you should never leave your dog in a locked car or house in summer as they can quickly suffer heat stroke and always provide shade, shelter and water in the yard.

Your puppy will soon become a loving, obedient member of your family if given direction and training with much encouragement and affection. Always give exercise in the form of walks or games before affection or treats and your puppy will become obedient and respectful. Your puppy is like a little child and needs to know what you expect of him so direct/correct first and praise and cuddle much when your puppy does what you have asked of him. Stop unwanted behaviour early with a firm ‘ahh’ and redirect to the appropriate behaviour followed by much praise when the desired behaviour is accomplished. 

Tenties are intelligent and need company and stimulation, particularly when you have to leave them home alone. If you are working and your pup is to be alone for long periods, consider getting a second puppy as a companion. Plenty of toys and exercise will prevent boredom for you intelligent, active little companion and a secure yard will prevent annoying habits such as wandering from developing. Make sure your fence is high enough to prevent bigger dogs from invading your dog’s territory as your fur baby is a little dog with a big heart and has no idea how small and cheeky he can be. Fit a dog flap to the house door to give constant safety access and for toilet training.

If you live in an area where snakes are prevalent it is advisable to use snake mesh on fences and gates to prevent your little huntsman from being bitten. Whites Wire produce a mouse and snake mesh in 30m rolls which is available through hardware and rural stores and can be attached to the outside of your fence to prevent snakes from entering the yard.

Vitamin C can be given to your dog if bitten by a snake but always seek veterinary assistance immediately. 

Vit. C can be given by mouth in powder or crushed tablet form or as a liquid injection but warm the Vit. C liquid first. Vit C can also be used to reduce swelling from bee and insect stings. It is very important to have a thorough understanding of this treatment before attempting to use Vitamin C. The treatment is explained fully in the book ‘Natural Pet Care’ by Pat Colby .

NB: Vitamin C is not suitable for the treatment of tick paralysis.  

* Research this treatment further before attempting to use Vit C.

Some garden plants and foods are poisonous for dogs. Do not allow your puppy to eat bulbs such as Daffodil and Jonquils and do not feed them onion, grapes, avocado, nutmeg, alcohol or chocolate. Remove all snail baits from your garden and make sure there is no mouse or rat poison in the area. Remember this breed is athletic and can climb so keep all poisons safely locked away.  

Remove electric cords from the floor or tape them to skirting boards to prevent your puppy from chewing them. Provide an alternative for you puppy to chew such as a brisket bone or puppy chew toy.  

Good preparation for the arrival of your puppy can prevent heartbreak later.

  

Bedding and warmth

Your puppy is a very small breed with a fine, single coat and will feel the cold. It is vital to your dog’s health that you keep them warm, particularly in winter

 

Dog coats are excellent with a second coat put on at night if your dog sleeps in an unheated area. If you don’t mind them on the bed, or on a chair with a rug or sheepskin they will certainly adapt to the pampering and snuggle down under the doona, but if you prefer, a warm dog bed with a doona, blanket or old sleeping bag and ‘doggy pyjamas’ (coats) will keep them warm at night. Always place the dog bed on top of a trampoline bed to prevent heat drain through contact with the floor and keep the bedding clean and dry.

 

Op shops and second hand shops are a good source of cheap warm bedding but wash before use. Crochet rugs, old sleeping bags and doonas can be used as bedding for your best friend.

Alternately, you can purchase heated pet mats and we use Warm-A-Pet heat pads with a variable temperature control to regulate heat. Snugrug at snugrug.com.au make special polar fleece doggy sleeping bags that your best friend can burrow in to.   

To settle your puppy on his first night at his new home, place him in a dog crate with a warm fleecy blanket or sheepskin, hot water bottle (depending on the weather). Place the dog crate near your bed and tap on the top of the crate with a firm ‘aah’ if the puppy whimpers. The puppy will feel secure and know what you expect of him and should settle well. If the puppy stirs during the night, take him outside onto the grass for a wet. If you say ‘do wee’ and praise your puppy each time he wets you will soon train him to wet on command.

  

Affection, attention and exercise

The more you pick up, stroke and cuddle and praise your pup the better the response you will get from your new friend. They are intelligent and easily trained and benefit from puppy training and socializing as will your family members. Once your dog is trained and obedient you will be able to take them to public places, dog parks and beaches without stress. A well trained dog is cute and can go everywhere with you without problems.

Please feel free to contact Coolamin kennels if you have any questions about your puppy’s behaviour.

  

They love to play

Lots of toys and other distractions such as brisket bones can keep you puppy / dog happy while you are absent. Some dogs enjoy toys with squeaks, bells and rattles or soft toys and bits of rope to tug on.

 

They love to dig, so provide a sand pit for them to dig in. A child’s plastic clam sandpit can be filled with sand to provide not only a digging place but also a paddling pond if the other half of the clam is filled with water (they love to swim and splash in water). Remember to empty the water and close the clam to prevent it being used as a toilet by wandering cats.

  

De-stress, laugh more: get a Tentie!

 

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© D Smith 2011