First aid and first learning in puppies

  First aid and first learning in puppies

Have you recently adopted a puppy or are you planning to do so? The first days of your little animal in its brand new home are important and even decisive for its state of health and future behavior ...


A first consultation with the veterinarian is essential ...

One of the first reflexes of a new master is to make an immediate appointment with the veterinarian as soon as the adoption is finalized. The first visit to the veterinarian is indeed the opportunity to discuss many points with the owner such as vaccination protocols, deworming and the antiparasitic treatment to be put in place to best protect the health of the puppy.

While it is true that the puppy can be taken to the veterinarian as soon as he is adopted,
But the dog experts recommend that he be allowed to get used to his new environment for a few days so that the brand new master can observe his behavior. It is from these observations that the veterinarian can choose to focus on certain points to be examined in more detail during the clinical examination of the puppy and that the master can establish a list of questions to ask the health professional. canine.

These few days should also be used to observe the appearance of the puppy's stool. They are a good indicator of the general state of health of the animal and will make it possible to know if its diet is well adapted. Do not neglect them!

Puppy hygiene issues


1- A bath yes, but with certain precautions

When leaving the kennel, a puppy can have a rather strong odor that can make its owner want to give it a bath. It is quite possible to do this from the age of 2 months, but be careful that he does not catch a cold. To do this, the duration of the bath should not exceed 5 to 10 minutes and the water temperature should ideally be between 30 and 35 ° C. Use a hand shower with a low flow rate so that your first bath is not a traumatic experience. Do not use a shampoo formulated for humans or for infants but a shampoo specially adapted for the fragile skin of the puppy that you will take care to rinse well with clean water.

Be careful to avoid spraying foam or water in the eyes or ears of the small animal. When you get out of the bath, dry your puppy thoroughly with several towels then let its coat dry naturally if the ambient temperature allows it. If it is cold, use a hairdryer to dry its coat, being careful not to burn the animal's skin. To do this, set it to a moderate temperature, place your hand between the hot air stream and the puppy, and keep the device in motion while drying. Do not forget to warmly reward him at the end of the bath with a play session, ideal for relieving tension!

Do not give your dog more than one bath per month to avoid damaging his skin. Generally, two to three baths per year are more than sufficient for dogs. Between two baths, nothing prevents you from cleaning your coat with a damp washcloth.

2- Treat the puppy's eyes and ears

In most cases, the eyes do not require special care. However, some animals may show tearing or yellowish to brownish-red discharge. This is especially the case with dog breeds with drooping eyelids or short muzzles. If these secretions are benign, they should nevertheless be cleaned daily to prevent them from stagnating and causing complications. To avoid this, it is sufficient to clean the area around your pet's eyes daily with a sterile compress impregnated with physiological serum. Never use eye drops to clean your pet's eyes!

Healthy ears usually do not require internal cleaning, but they do need to be inspected regularly. The interior of the pavilion must be clean and pink, without traces of brown earwax or unpleasant odors. If the ear shows some traces of earwax, it is possible to clean it using an ear cleaning product suitable for dogs and a sterile compress. Instill a few drops of products in the ear canal then massage your dog's ear to loosen the dirt that has accumulated there. Then let your dog snort. Then you just need to wipe off what came out with the sterile pad. Never use a cotton swab!

3- Clean teeth ...

The puppies have baby teeth which should have all fallen out by around 7 months of age. However, it is possible to get them used to brush their teeth from an early age. Use a finger cot with soft bristles to do this and gently massage his teeth and gums. This will get him used to regular brushing of his adult teeth, which can then be done with a suitable toothbrush and dental paste specially formulated for dogs.

Potty training for the puppy

Among the questions of hygiene is also the acquisition of cleanliness in the puppy. The puppy should gradually learn to defecate outdoors, but will not be able to fully control his sphincters until he is 6 months old. It is therefore up to his master to be patient and follow these few practical tips:
  • Anticipate when your puppy will want to defecate. Very often, he will want it after eating, after a nap, or a game session. Preferably choose these times to take him out!
  • Go with him on all his outings, even in the garden, to warmly reward him when he defecates outside. Wait until he has finished well and then immediately after, give him a little treat and congratulate him with lots of hugs and positive exclamations. Don't be afraid of the ridiculous!
  • Introduce the “not seen, not taken” rule. Any pissing or pooping that has been done in your absence or out of sight should not be punished. The dog is an animal that lives in the present moment: he will not understand why he is scolded a posteriori. If, on the contrary, you catch him in the act, say a firm "NO" and lead him outside.
  • Always be on the initiative of hugs, caresses, and more generally of any contact. Push your dog away if he is too cuddly. It is certainly not easy but necessary!
  • Standardize your departures and returns from home. Do not say goodbye to your dog by stroking him before leaving and completely ignore him when he is celebrating you when you return until he has calmed down,
  • Get your dog used to being alone. Don't let him follow you around the house by denying him access to certain rooms. Send him to rest in his basket in a different room than you are in. Provide him with a comfortable basket, in a calm and relaxing place, where your dog will enjoy meeting.
  • In your absence, don't leave the whole house to him but reduce his space to one or two rooms in your home. Don't leave it alone for several hours at a time. Start with 5 minutes then increase the length of your absences gradually ...
  • Set up your puppy's eating nook somewhere quiet where he won't be disturbed while he eats. Take his food bowl out within 15 to 20 minutes of offering it, even if he hasn't eaten everything. Never give your puppy food when you are at the table even if he is asking and making his eyes soft ...
  • Place his bed in a quiet place without passage where he must not be able to monitor the "comings and goings" of family members. Make this corner cozy and comfortable for your pet so that he likes to go to rest there when he feels the need. Never disturb him when he is "in his sleep".
  • Always initiate contact with your dog (caresses, games, hugs, etc.)
  • If your puppy bites you during a play session or gets too excited, immediately stop playing and ignore him until he calms down on his own.
Contrary to popular belief that is hard-skinned, you should never put your dog's nose in its needs. There is nothing benevolent about this gesture. Worse yet, it can trick your dog into ingesting his feces to cover it up or only serve to make your little dog anxious.

Also, avoid potty training by using a potty mat or prompting your dog to defecate on a newspaper. These techniques will only complicate and delay the acquisition of cleanliness in your pet.


Teach your puppy to stand on its own

At birth and until its 4 months, the puppy attaches itself strongly to its mother. Then, the female dog will naturally push her puppy away so that it takes its autonomy. When adopting a puppy, usually at the age of 2 months, the mother has not yet performed the detachment. In the puppy, the attachment to the mother will therefore change into an attachment to a member of his new adopted family.

Although it is advisable, in the beginning, to strengthen this attachment to allow the puppy to explore his new family environment without fear and to begin his education, it will still be necessary to operate a gradual detachment thereafter to teach your puppy to be alone. This progressive detachment will make it possible to subsequently avoid the appearance of a disorder of hyper attachment and separation anxiety causing destruction, untimely barking in the absence of the master, filth, etc.

Gradually, set up this "detachment" by following these tips:

Make him discover the outside world ...

From twenty-one days after the birth of a puppy until its 3 months the period of socialization extends. It is during this period that the puppy's learning and habituation abilities are particularly important. It is, therefore, necessary to take the opportunity to make him discover as many things as possible: make him meet as many animals of all sizes and species as possible, as many different people as possible, confront him with as much noise as possible, show him as many places as possible. 'places…

All these stimuli will be "recorded" in a corner of his head and will prevent, as an adult, he does not feel fear or anxiety in the face of all these things discovered very early in his life. For the puppy to take in these experiences as something positive, however, they must not be frightening. If, for example, noise or an animal frightens him, allow him to take refuge in your legs but do not reassure him by stroking him and never force contact with the object of his fear. He should then incorporate this new experience as something positive for the rest of his life.

All of these new experiences can be taken during walks that the puppy needs for its balance and development. Take him to different places: in town, in the forest, in the countryside, by a lake, on the beach or in the mountains if you can… Do not limit his outings to simple hygienic outings but offer him at least a real walk once or twice a day.

Be careful, however, during his growth period, the puppy should not walk or run for a long time, which could expose him to joint problems in his adult life. You have to be all the more vigilant with dog breeds known to have boundless energy that needs to be channeled. This is particularly the case with working dogs such as the Australian Shepherd or the Border Collie, who do not frighten several hours of exercise! While they are growing, it will be better to be reasonable and offer them several walks of about 30 minutes during the day than a single long hike of 2 hours!

Make your puppy understand what his place is ...

As early as possible in your puppy's life, establish rules of life and set clear limits for him so that he does not turn into a little domestic tyrant.

Respecting these few simple rules will lay the foundations for a healthy and balanced relationship between the dog and the members of his new family:
  • Set up your puppy's eating nook somewhere quiet where he won't be disturbed while he eats. Take his food bowl out within 15 to 20 minutes of offering it, even if he hasn't eaten everything. Never give your puppy food when you are at the table even if he is asking and making his eyes soft ...
  • Place his bed in a quiet place without passage where he must not be able to monitor the "comings and goings" of family members. Make this corner cozy and comfortable for your pet so that he likes to go to rest there when he feels the need. Never disturb him when he is "in his sleep".
  • Always initiate contact with your dog (caresses, games, hugs, etc.)
  • If your puppy bites you during a play session or gets too excited, immediately stop playing and ignore him until he calms down on his own.
Remember: if you have not acquired certain basic education skills at an early age, your dog will be more likely to subsequently develop various behavioral disorders in adulthood. These behavioral disorders will then be much more difficult to "re-educate".

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