CROAKING TOAD PUPPY CARE
How lucky you are to have this new
furry little member of the family!
By now you have probably
studied a bit about the Shih Tzu breed.
Remember, that this little dog was bred for one
purpose .. to be a companion. Shih
Tzu are lap dogs and have a very strong need to be
Keep the puppy's first few
days quiet and calm. Let
him become accustomed to his new home and family
before he is expected to meet the neighborhood and all
the relatives. Give him
time to bond with you and learn that both you and his
new home are safe. Give
your puppy a chance to explore his new home .. always
supervised Your puppy
will be more ready to meet his world once he feels
secure with his new family and surroundings.
Be patient, gentle and always be
consistent. Don't expect
him to behave like a mature dog.
Puppies will be puppies.
Put the time and effort into potty
training. Shih Tzu, like
many toy breeds, can often seem a bit slow in this
department. At the
Croaking Toad we potty pad train our puppies before
they go to their new homes. This will is a big
help in house training. Be consistent. The answer is not
disciplining mistakes but rewarding success. Remember accidents are just
that -- your puppy just has not figured it out yet. Set him up to succeed. The fewer accidents he is
given the opportunity to have, the quicker this
process will go. Do not
jump the gun and let your puppy have too much freedom
Always be cautious when introducing the new puppy to other family pets or young children. Never leave your new puppy unsupervised around young children or other animals for several weeks. It is safest to have children sit on the ground while holding the puppy .. often puppies are wiggly and do not have a concept of falling. Use common sense and do not rush this process. Soon your puppy will have matured and everyone in the family, including the puppy, will learn how to safely interact with one another.
Sleep and rest are important for your puppy. Make sure he has his "own" place. This is a place he can be when he needs alone time. Children need to be taught to respect the puppy's need to have his "own" place. A crate makes a great place. It is always fun to have a new puppy to play with, but remember he is a baby and needs naps and quiet time. The first few days can be stressful for your new puppy. Keep him with you as much as possible. I suggest letting him sleep in his crate near your bed at night. Remember, he has never slept in a quiet dark room by himself before. If you choose to have him sleep by himself or need to leave him home on his own, give him a t-shirt to snuggle with that has your scent on it. Sometimes a radio playing softly will add comfort. A night light will remind him of home.
After the first few nights, you can move your puppy to wherever he will be expected to sleep. Expect some crying .. he is just a baby. Harsh words or loud noises will only create more anxiety in the puppy. He needs time to learn to sooth himself and sleep on his own. Every family has different expectations of where a dog is allowed to be and how he is expected to act. If your adult dog will not be allowed on the family couch, don't hold and play with your puppy on the couch. You cannot have two sets of rules: one for the cuddly puppy and one for the grown dog. This will only confuse him and frustrate you.
It is important to feed your dog a high quality puppy food. He has been eating Nutri Source Small and Medium Breed Puppy. If you decide to switch him to a different food, make the change very gradual , gradually adding more of the new food to the old. If you switch his food too quickly he will likely develop diarrhea as a consequence. Puppies need to eat frequently. The small size of a toy breed puppy does not allow for a lot of fat reserve and leaves him susceptible to hypoglycemia. Your puppy should be fed four times a day until he is 14 weeks old, three times a day until he is 6 months old, and twice a day after that. Your puppy can be switched to an adult formula food around 12 months. If you are unable to be home for this feeding schedule then allow the puppy to have free access to his food . Remember to keep fresh water available for your puppy at all times.
puppy is not interested in his food, after a period of
time, coax him into eating. Start
by softening his food with a little water. Some foods to try and
stimulate his appetite with are: a little boiled
chicken or hamburger mixed in his food, or a little
beef baby food or canned dog food. Once your puppy is eating well
begin decreasing the amount of goodies you are putting
in with his food. Keep in
mind they are little and do not eat large amounts per
meal. Soon he will be eating his dry kibble again.
It is important that you keep
your puppy's vaccinations and heartworm preventative
up to date. Your
veterinarian will advise you on the proper schedule
and needs for your dog. If
you share your yard with ticks and fleas or walk in
these areas, speak with your vet about getting on a
preventative for these unwanted little pests. It is also very important
that you do not take your puppy out in public until
his entire series of vaccinations are complete. Until he has had his final
booster he is susceptible to the many deadly diseases
that affect the dog world. Many
of these diseases are air born so even if you are
carrying your baby, he is not safe in public area's
where a sick dog may have been.
Here at the Croaking Toad, we have followed a very organized socialization program, which has helped prepare your puppy for his next steps. It will be your responsibility to teach him about his place in your home over the next months. The more effort you put into your new family member now, the greater your pay off will be for many enjoyable years to come. I also recommend you read and implement some of the methods of raising a puppy found in "How to Raise a Puppy You Can Live With" by Clarice Rutherford and David H. Neil.
am always available to answer questions if they
arise. Please do not
hesitate in contacting me. I
also love to receive pictures and emails about how
your new puppy is doing.
A list of supplies to get you started
*Puppy food ..
*Non-porous, non-tipping food and water bowl
*Crate .. If you get the wire type you can get one that will fit your adult Shih Tzu .. get a crate
that comes with a dividing panel so you can make it smaller while house training. Many of
the wire crates easily fold down flat and are easily carried by a handle.
*Lightweight collar and lightweight leash.
*Brushes and combs. Many Shih Tzu people like the slicker brush .. my dogs prefer to be
groomed with a comb. You will find what you like best.
*Nail clippers. It is a good idea to clip your dog's nails every few weeks. While still puppies you
can use people clippers until their nails get larger and harden.
*Deodorizing cleaning supplies, paper towels and puppy pads or newspaper.
*Some people really like using an
exercise pen. This can be
set up and used in a variety of ways.
It can be used to confine a pup to an area you
would like for him to use as a potty area. Once he is getting a bit
more trust worthy in his housebreaking, it can be used
as an area in your home that gives him more freedom to
play than his crate does but still keeps him from
wondering around and possibly getting himself into
puppy mischief. These
exercise pens or relatively inexpensive and easy to