Your Puppy at New home !

Should I have a special place for the puppy when he is brought home?
When a puppy is brought home for the first time, he should be kept in a confined or a fairly closed area. Let him not run around and settles anywhere. He should also be protected from falling from the staircase, chew unnecessary things, getting jammed between doors or eat anything which comes on its way.

What will be the reaction of a new puppy to the new surroundings?
As most puppies will do, he will be trying to explore his surroundings. He will try to smell, get himself acquainted, try to defecate and search to feel the mother. Spread plenty of old newspaper on the floor since he is likely to 'eliminate'. This is for the easy disposal of excreta. Let him explore the safe area where he is kept to his heart's content or till feels satisfied or even exhausted! Familiarise with him very slowly.

Let not visitors call him with names and do not lift him frequently to change the place. He is already confused and do not add to the confusion. Talk to him very gently and softly. Dogs can hear very low voice. Avoid children cuddle him; possibly, introduce the pup to them later since they can’t control the excitement of a new pup. Other pets shall also wait to 'meet' him till he is familiar with the house.

How soon shall I feed him after he is brought home?
It depends. First, find out when he was last fed. You may give him clean lukewarm water to begin with. Find out from the first owner whether it has been fed with anything other than mother’s milk. If so try to feed with something which is close to it. Ready-to-feed, milk substitute and starter feed is available in the market. Alternatively, begin with boiled and cooled (sterilised) milk. This is to make your puppy to feel at home and settle easily. Feeding will be dealt in detail separately.

Do puppies need a separate place to sleep?
Yes. Your puppy needs a bed of its own in warm cosy place. This is important in area where extremes of climates are encountered. This area is to be free of dins and buzzes of traffic, rail or of household activities, not subjected to strong winds and free from dampness. The area should be selected so that the pup can be kept in the same area for a month or two. Subsequently when it attains growth, area may be changed and shifted to a more convenient place if needed.

What shall be the nature of puppy bed?
The one and probably the only requirement of puppy bed shall be that pup should be able to get up and lie down easily and come out of the bed with ease. It could be anything from a custom made one or to a very simple one as described herewith. It can be made at home using a thick carton box or a corrugated box. Cut and remove one side of it. Put a mattress in it. Mattress can be made form an old blanket, soft carpet, or a Turkish-towel.

If you go for a ready-made bed, buy one which is of good quality. Frame shall preferably be of safe materials since the pup is likely to chew and if made of thin wicker it may cause wound or eat splinter. At times, it may even cause the splinter to lodge or jagged in his throat. It is best to avoid paints since the pup is likely to lick and bite these surfaces. If painted, ensure that the coating is safe even if licked or chewed. Clean or change the pup’s bed at frequent intervals or whenever it is required.

How about having a bed for an adult dog?
Yes, if you are keeping him indoor for long periods of time it is better to have one bed for him. He should have a place of his own. This will prevent him in running around in the house and sleep wherever it feels - at times on your bed or chairs. He may be shown a place and asked to be there only whenever he is inside the house. Never allow him near the dining table! This will lead to 'begging for food', which is a very bad habit.

Feed a grown up dog only after you have eaten. Also, do not entertain him when you have snacks. There is behavioural psychology involved in it. In the wild when they live as a pack, it is always the dominant or the pack leader who gets the first bite. So in your house also make him feel that you are the pack leader or the dominant!

What can I do if the new puppy cries at night?
This may be due to two reasons. One- it is by fear since it is removed from the mother and the litter-mates. The other one is for seeking attention. Most owners will pick him up and cuddle. You may not do that but scold him gently. If he is trying to get out of the box/bed, put him again in it and firmly say- 'stay'. This is common during the first few days. It may be frightened by the absence of dam and litter mates.

Feeding a little of warm milk is good. You may wrap him in a towel. Providing a bottle with warm water may substitute the dam! Another method is to keep an old-fashioned time-piece alongside. The 'tick-tick' sound may simulate the heart beat of the mother and pacify the freighted pup.

If the crying persists even after a few days it is for seeking attention. You can gently command him 'NO' and come back. There-after you can ignore even. The pup usually settles down.

Is it useful to give the pup something to chew on?
Yes. Chewing is almost as natural to it as any other body activity. He will enjoy it and will help him 'teeth'. Since chewing is normal and enjoyed by the pup do not make a mistake of allowing him to chew anything and everything. Providing a nutritional chew-stick will also help him prevent chewing furniture or clothing, which is close to the ground like the bottom of skirts of womenfolk, trousers and the like. Make sure it does not pick up the habit of chewing stones and may even eat it. It's difficult to stop, if it is developed as a habit. So provide items which are safe and that will satisfy his instincts.

There are toys often in the shape of a dumb-bell, musical balls, tugs or nutritional chew-bones specially made for the pup. Do not offer him your old foot-wear to play with. He may not distinguish between the bad ones and the good ones. And, please don’t blame him if it keeps your premium shoes! A bone of knuckle or shin is also good after it is boiled and sterilised. But be cautious about bones which are splintered and with sharp edges. Remember never to provide a fish or fowl bone.

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