6950-cavalier-king-charles-spaniel-puppyWhen you bring your Cavy puppy home for the first time, you can pretty much count on three things here are a few pointers that will help you to get on the right track with him/her!

1. The Vet

One of the first places your puppy should go with you is to get a checkup at the vet. Not only is this good just to make sure everything is good with your puppy’s health but you should also establish a trusted vet relationship where you can take your dog to in case it should need to go.

  1. Set up a vaccination plan with your vet. If your puppy has his first round of shots there may be other rounds needed.
  2. Discuss safe options for controlling parasites, both external and internal. We use natural methods of controlling fleas on our dogs and spray them with apple cider vinegar because many commercial flea medications are full of chemicals.
  3. Learn which signs of illness to watch for during your puppy’s first few months.
  4. Ask about why and when you should spay or neuter your dog.

2. Healthy Diet

We feed all of our dogs a healthy diet of raw meat from the day they are weaned from their mother’s milk. Your puppy’s body is growing in critical ways as all babies do so you’ll need to select a food that’s formulated especially for puppies as opposed to adult dogs.  We like to say that you will never see a dog grazing in a corn field for a reason, their diet should not consist of soy, grain or other fillers. What you feed your puppy is the utmost importance for growth and health.

Your puppy may be stressed when it first arrives and may have some loose stools, do not be alarmed. Simply give the puppy a spoonful of pumpkin every day to aid in natural, healthy digestion.

  • Age 1-6 months: 3-4 meals per day
  • Age 6+ months: 2-3 meals per day

3. Potty Training

Until your puppy is using the potty outdoors regularly you’ll want to keep her in an area of the home so that she can not have a mistake on your carpet or rugs. Popular choices are dog crates, kitchens, laundry rooms, just use a baby gate to make sure the puppy stays in the area and take her outside every couple hours to teach it how to use the potty outside. Make sure to give lots of positive reinforcement whenever your puppy manages to potty outside and, almost equally important, refrain from punishing your puppy when he/she has accidents indoors.

Here’s a list of common times to take your puppy outside to potty:

  1. In the morning.
  2. Before bedtime.
  3. After your puppy drinks a lot of water.
  4. After your puppy wakes up from a nap.
  5. During and after physical activity.

4. Pay Attention to Early Signs of Illness

Puppies are more susceptible to sudden bouts of illnesses that can be serious if not caught in the early stages. If you observe any alarming symptoms from your puppy you should not hesitate to take them to a vet or emergency animal hospital.

5. Obedience and Manners

Try teaching your puppy to obey commands such as sit, stay, down, and come will help keep your dog safe and under control in any potentially hazardous situations. Some puppy owners find that obedience classes are a great way to train both owner and dog, especially if you are a new dog-owner. Classes usually begin accepting puppies at age 4 to 6 months. You can find out more about classes in your area at your local pet store or veterinarian.

Tip: Positive reinforcement, such as small treats, pats and praise, have been proven to be vastly more effective than punishment.

Around 2 to 4 months of age most puppies begin to accept other animals, people, places, and experiences. Enjoy getting together with friends and other dogs taking it slowly at first until your puppy is comfortable being around others.

Find out more at the AKC Public Education website!

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