When you’re a new puppy owner, you fall in love with that little new furry friend of yours. You want to give them all the love and care they need, and can’t wait to take them out and show them off everywhere.
But wait! How old is your puppy? Have they completed all their initial vaccinations?
Take note of these very important tips for puppies below 4 months of age, who haven’t completed vaccines yet.
- Don’t bathe them. Never bathe your puppies until they are at least 4 months of age, AND have finished all their vaccines. They are very vulnerable to diseases and you need to wait until they can resist.
- Use safe alternatives for cleaning. If you feel they need cleaning, use baby talc powder, or dry shampoo until completion of vaccinations. If you feel they really need a scrub, then sponge bathe them or use a wet towel to clean off any dirt they might have.
- Keep them home. Don’t take them out in public gardens, or for walks yet! They will most probably catch a disease, and they are still too weak to resist. To keep them busy buy them chewy rubber toys.
- Train them early. It’s crucial at this age to start teaching them never to eat anything off the ground. By allowing them to, you are risking their lives. They can eat anything off the street, and it could poison them. Don’t be afraid to be very strict about this. You are doing them a favor. If puppies persist to eat off the ground, grab them by the back of their necks and use a firm tone (be firm, don’t yell), to show that this is not OK. When they actually follow your order, give them a treat to reward them.
- Several meals a day. Feed them three or four times a day. When you buy dry dog food, the instructions for intake by age and weight are listed at the back of the bag. Divide the recommended daily intake by 3 or 4 meals. Adding some home cooked or natural food would also be great. They love it! But be careful, no chicken bones and cooked bones especially when they are very young. They could be very sharp. It’s like feeding them glass.
- Potty train them. It’s crucial that you start the potty training or house training the earliest you can. Reward them when they do it in the right spot, and ignore them when they have an accident. Be sure to clean up the accident spot thoroughly, as they tend to sniff around and pee/poop there again. Read this article on house-training.
- Start basic obedience training. The earlier the better. At least the sit and come commands. Use positive reinforcement with treats. No yelling and punishing. They are still too young.
- Establish your dominance from day one. That cute little friend, if left untrained, will eventually turn into an uncontrollable nightmare. Read this article on showing your dog who’s boss.
- Get the essentials for your puppy. Check this article here on puppy essentials for the first time dog owner.