puppy_4A new puppy is a source of cheer and warmth everywhere. It is well-documented that the companionship of a puppy has positive benefits for people.

Even older dogs and cats seem to perk up when a pup is introduced into the household. Puppies give unqualified love, affection, and devotion.

The following are suggested as “essential” items for the new puppy:

  • Health records including dates of vaccinations and deworming.
  • High quality food
  • Food and water bowls that can be sanitized easily
  • Shipping crate for a bed
  • Shampoo, proper grooming tools
  • A collar, leash, and “Nyla-Bone” chew toys

 

The change of environment can contribute to many stress-related problems:

  • Hypoglycemia (low blood-sugar from a poor appetite or poor diet)
  • Dehydration (usually from not drinking enough water)
  • Poor socialization (4-14 weeks are the most formative for creating and maintaining good habits such as listening to commands, interacting appropriately with other dogs and people, being used to leashes, harnesses and collars)

puppy 1_1These physical problems are often brought on by unavoidable stress, and are similar to problems you might have if you were moving to a new area. Just like you, the puppy may not sleep or eat as regularly as it would in more familiar surroundings.

Some puppies ease through the transition to their new homes, while others may have a harder time. If stress-related problems are ignored, secondary problems can become serious, even life-threatening.

Call us for advice ANYTIME the puppy seems lethargic, or loses its appetite. The most important objective is to get the puppy to EAT. Small breeds are more susceptible to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), and may need additional feedings in small quantities. Some puppies require privacy, coaxing, or companionship to eat. Every puppy is different.

puppy_3The puppy’s diet should NEVER be changed rapidly. The puppy might not eat the strange new food, or if it does eat, develop diarrhea leading to dehydration and other complications.

Diet changes should be made over a 1-2 week period to prevent digestive upsets.

WATER IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT THAN FOOD IN THE PUPPY’S EXCITED FIRST FEW HOURS IN ITS NEW HOME.

To encourage the pup to drink and reduce the risk of low blood sugar, you might put some honey in its mouth or on a dish. (Too much honey, however, will depress the appetite.)  If the puppy does not eat after these methods have been tried, you might try:

Warming the food. Many foods are coated with an outside “flavor” layer that enhances its appeal when warmed. Most foods can be warmed in the microwave, oven, or by adding warm water or broth and soaking  the food for a few minutes. Notify the clinic if your puppy does not eat within 8-12 hours.

puppy_2Rest is very important to the puppy. Puppies generally sleep throughout the day, waking only to play for a short time, eat, and eliminate waste. Do not expect the puppy to run and play all day. A human baby does not play all day either. Treat your puppy just the same as if it was a newborn infant being brought home from the hospital, and you won’t go wrong.