Surviving puppyhood is not hard. Puppies are predictable. They chew everything, urinate and defecate everywhere and get into trouble every time they are out of sight. This is normal! Surviving puppyhood with some semblance of calm begins by planning for puppies to behave like puppies. Here are some hints:
Supervise: When your puppy is loose, he must be in sight. Treat him like a human toddler. You would never leave your toddler unsupervised. Don't leave your puppy either.
Entertain: Puppies have active minds as well as active bodies. Get several safe toys and rotate them so your puppy doesn't get bored. Don't give them all the toys at once. Variety helps to keep them interested.
Educate: Your pup is learning every day he is with you. Start teaching him manners right away. Use short sessions with lots of praise and food rewards (freeze dried liver is a great training treat). Even seven-week-old puppies can learn to sit, stay, and come. Educate yourself as well. There are many books and videos available to help you successfully raise a puppy.
Prevention: Put things away. Close cabinets and doors. Coat electrical wires with an anti-chew product (gold Listerine in a spray bottle works well for many pups).
Confine: Confine parents use cribs and playpens. Puppy owners use crates and kennels. Small room with baby gates can be used but remember; a puppy can strip wallpaper, chew the ends of cabinets, or bite holes in drywall. Therefore, our preference is to always use a crate or kennel.
Enjoy: Your puppy is exhausting, frustrating, and demanding. He is also charming, innocent, adorable, eager, smart, and wonderful. Enjoy him every day.
By 4 months of age your puppy should be well on his way to becoming a well-mannered member of the family. To help him achieve this goal, we outline some major "expectations" you should attempt to achieve. Your pup should:
KONG Recipes & Stuffing Techniques
Kong toys are uniquely shaped, extraordinarily durable rubber toys with a hollow center which can be filled with food or treats. Un-stuffing Kongs can become a very important and popular activity for your puppy or dog because it can keep him or her content and busy for long periods of time while they crunch up and lick out the food nuggets and treats stuffed inside. Using the KONG in this fashion helps direct your dog's natural desire to chew toward something that is acceptable to your dog and desirable to you. We much prefer that your dog chews on the KONG than the leg of your kitchen table or your favorite pair of shoes!
Suggestions for KONG stuffing include:
Remember to use any stuffing ingredient in moderation. Items such as peanut butter can be fattening. Also, some foods may not "agree" with your dog's stomach so be aware of potential stomach upsets. This is not usually a problem with the previously mentioned stuffing suggestions. Also, remember that it may be necessary to reduce the portion size of your dog's regular meal if you are using lots of food inside KONGs to keep your dog occupied and happy.
Some recipes may become messy as your dogs licks and chews out the contents of the stuffed KONG so be aware of leaving your dog in an area such as a crate, outside in the yard or on an easily cleaned floor while he or she enjoys the KONG. You may periodically need to place the KONG in your dishwasher to clean and sanitize the inside cavity.
**** Please make sure to use the appropriate sized KONG toy that is recommended for your pet's weight. The company makes guidelines to avoid injury. If a smaller sized KONG toy is offered to your dog, instead of the appropriate recommended size, then problems can arise due to ingestion of the toy or it can become a choking hazard. If either one of these situations arises, then please contact our office if it is during normal business hours, or the local emergency clinic (PETS at 717-295- 7387).