What to expect when you are expecting a puppy!

A puppy is coming! A puppy is coming! The excitement and just the roller coaster of emotions experienced when a puppy is coming to your home can be surreal. Those emotions can be also accompanied by anxiety, and self doubt.  Usually, that’s when my phone rings…”Ara, what do we do to be ready?”

PART 1

If you are already reading this far you should be proud of yourself ! Honestly, cheers to you for being an awesome pet parent. That is exactly what you need to start off. You need to want to know everything and anything about having a new fur baby take over your life. Yes, your puppy will change your life! My mornings start with picking up poop and my nights end with picking up poop. They do poop and not once a day either, so if the thought of having to clean up poop is making you gag then you should log on to here ——> www.amazon.com and get  yourself a fluffy puppy.

Where your puppy comes from matters. What your puppy was taught during the first 8-10 weeks of his life is so important, and can make the difference between an easy transition or weeks of regret AND sleepless nights.

Common topics are : Routine, Potty Training, Vaccinations, Do’s and Dont’s

Let’s talk about their safe space…we absolutely love our playpens! it’s like the post its of dog supplies…well at least to me it is…what a great thing to have! You can make their space as big as you want….NO PROBLEM! But keep your puppy confined specially when he is not being supervised. His area should be away from heavy traffic. We suggest you make 4 areas in their special space:

1. Feeding 2. Sleeping 3. Potty 4. Play 

Creating these  areas will make for an easy transition from our home to yours as they are already used to that set up here with us.  Every corner has a purpose.

 FEEDING

During the first day that your puppy is home leave food and water out throughout the day, you want to make sure that your Shih Tzu puppy is eating. He will be very curious about his new home and forget to eat, so always have 3/4 cup of food per day on his bowl and the water bottle full. Water is best distilled or filtered NEVER TAP WATER.  After that first 24 hours you can start on a schedule for your puppy. Feeding should remain at 3/4 cup per day. Split 3/4 cup of dry food  into equal servings 2-3 times a day . I have included a chart according to weight for feeding amount. You will also top the food with freeze dried raw food  DO NOT SWITCH THEIR FOOD! please wait to transition him to a new food for at least 9 weeks and do not feed any canned food. If your puppy is switched to a “cheaper” food or is fed anything other than what they are sent home with they will have loose stools. Specially if the transition is not done correctly.  A new puppy with the runs = total disaster

The only allowed treats are your NUVET tabs and single ingredient pawTree treats. If the puppy is under 5lbs it will be half a Nuvet wafer a day, you can break it into small treats. After your puppy has been home for about a week you can introduce treats by pawTree. These are single ingredient and our puppies love them!

Nature’s Logic Pork Cups
3-12lbs 2/3-2
12 lbs 2
11 lbs 1 3/4
10 lbs 1 1/2
8 lbs 1 1/4
6 lbs 1
4 lbs 3/4
2 lbs 1/2

 

SLEEPING

 For their sleeping area you can put their crate in their playpen that is also ok! No puppy pads in their crate. The only thing that you should have in their crate is toys and their bedding. NO FOOD, NO TREATS NO PUPPY PAD.  Remove food and water 2 hours before THEIR bedtime to avoid any accidents. If you do not want to crate your puppy that is fine too, he can sleep in his playpen.  You want to have some much needed playtime before bed, so your puppy can easily go to sleep. We use meditation or classical music and turn off all the lights after their last playtime ..this is their cue of “its bed time!” Some puppies sleep through the night, some may want to go potty at some point and will whine to be let out. If they are in their playpen there should be no whining since they have access to potty. If their crate is closed and there is whining in the middle of the night then let puppy out only to potty then back to crate. A great way to help your puppy settle is to put his crate on your nightstand and a blanket or crate cover.

If puppy starts whining as soon as he is left in the crate or playpen and has already been fed and gone potty he is testing his LIMITS! DO NOT TAKE THE PUPPY OUT AND INTO YOUR BED!!

POTTY

Patience . Patience. Repeat.

By the time your Shih Tzu puppy goes home he or she has been introduced to puppy pads since they can’t go outdoors just yet. He should remain indoors until all vaccinations have been administered. He will not be able to go potty outside until 14 days after his 4th booster. Until that date you must keep him inside to potty. You may be wondering ..”wait…what? where will he poop and pee?” well, there are different options available for potty areas. The only exception is if you have a patio, deck or balcony that can be dissinfected prior to the puppy going outside.You can use a playpen to enclose a potty area outside and add a potty tray, grass pad, etc.

THE RULE IS “4 PAWS OFF THE FLOOR” .There are many articles and videos to help along the way. We recommend reusable pads or grass pads while your puppy is transitioning. Start by lowering your expectations and then go to step 1 which is patience.  It is a process and your puppy will need you to show the way, but I promise a bit of consistency and patience will go a long ways. Let me know if you need some resources I will be glad to send them to you.

PLAY

I know that the thought of cuddling with your new Shih Tzu fur baby and getting endless kisses while you sip on your coffee in the morning may have been what you imagined when you first saw your puppy. I hate to be the one to tell you, but this is a bit far from what your reality will be, at least while your puppy is still young.  THEY HAVE A LOT OF ENERGY!  

You can incorporate training during playtime, they also need mental stimulation. A good training session every day before bed time will get your baby set for the night!

There are so many awesome toys that you can buy for self play as well … or a simple thing like putting some peanut butter on top of his nose…do it and make sure you have your camera ready for some funny videos and cute poses!

You can look at our SHOP for some great items that I love. I will be adding more items soon!

 Here is the link: The Shop – Divine Pups | Shih Tzu Breeder in Houston TX (yourdivinepup.com)

I think this is all we will cover on this PART 1…before it becomes a book . Those that know me, know that I can go on…and on..and on….

Until next time Divine Followers ! Thank you for reading, I hope this helps you in some way.

                                 – Ara

What to Expect When You are Expecting PART 2

So here we go! Part 2!! Here we will talk about some other important things regarding the transition of your puppy from our home to yours!

PART 2

You know the saying “It takes a village to raise a child”? well, that applies to puppies as well. I want to focus this space on  behavior training and grooming .

BEHAVIOR TRAINING 

It is so important that everyone in your family becomes involved in the raising of your new family member. He needs to learn that it is not one owner that he must respect, trust and listen to but the family as a unit becomes the “pack leader” for your fur baby. Dogs in their natural habitat are hard-wired to follow a pack leader. They are very receptive to your energy and if you turn into mush every time you look at those sweet puppy eyes you will soon have an adult that will terrorize your life. BAD BEHAVIORS are not something your puppy is born with, that is something that is developed as they sense your weakness and lack of leadership within their pack.

There is a lot to learn in regards to this specific topic and I will gladly share resources with you to help you be the best pack leader you can be for your new fur baby.

When puppies are born the sense that is best developed is their sense of smell, then sight and last their hearing. Incredible isn’t it?  They are actually born with their eyes closed and they do not open until they are about 14-21 days old. What does that mean in terms of training? I want you to understand that in order to get their attention and the way that things are processed in their world is completely different than ours. Yelling “NO FIDO” every time your puppy is doing something you do not want them doing does not mean anything in their world.  There are different types of training available

1. Positive Reinforcement

2. Science-Based

3.Clicker Training

4.Electronic Training

5.Mirror Training

6. Alpha Dog

7.Relationship Based

It is so important for you and your family to become familiar with these different types of training and what will work best for you. In my experience and my personal favorites is a mix of Positive Reinforcement and Science-Based. There are so many wonderful experts in this field that are great resources of information. YOU ARE NEVER ALONE!  In your area, join social media groups and ask around for dog trainers and interview them! Get all the answers that you need and see which is the best fit for your family. If you have never had a puppy before this is a great way to learn on methods that work specifically for you and your fur baby. Have a dog trainer handy because one thing is learning tricks and another is having a well behaved dog.

Because you have a DIVINE PUP you have lifetime unlimited access to BAXTER & BELLA online puppy school. I will send this information after you have placed a deposit on your puppy. Baxter & Bella have a group of service dog trainers that you will have access to 24/7. It is an amazing program. You can check them out here: https://baxterandbella.com

GROOMING

When you receive your puppy he will be fully groomed. Remember you can’t take him out until he has received all of his vaccinations and most groomers require a rabies vaccination as well. In terms of keeping your puppy clean just routine things to keep in mind: 

Do not bathe daily.They are not like humans and do not require daily baths. You can bathe your puppy every 10 days or longer. If you start bathing your puppy constantly you will irritate their skin and affect their coat. In between baths you can use wipes or dry shampoo.

Keep their bottoms trimmed. Yes…under their tails! You need to check this area and make sure it is trimmed, you can use some scissors and have someone hold puppy while you do a quick trim. This will avoid any stool from getting stuck and creating any “clogs” down there.

Keep their eyes clean. If you have a teary eyed puppy this is even more important! a wet cotton ball and some antibacterial soap will do to make sure that the “funky” smell does not come up. Sometimes what you smell is not their breath, but their eyes. So make sure to keep this area specifically clean. If you are not comfortable with trimming around their eyes…DON’T! You could hurt them in a second. Just keep it clean.

Keep their ears clean. There are over the counter ear wash products that you can use daily if needed. You want to avoid ear infections by keeping their ears clean!

You can look into the buy list tab on our site and I have posted some great grooming products to use. Always call me or text me before using a product if you are unsure. STAY AWAY FROM FLEA AND TICK SHAMPOO while they are still puppies. These are too harsh for them.

Get yourself a reputable groomer! Yes! most good groomers are BOOKED! and you need to get on their calendars. Ask around, get reviews, ask for pictures (breed specific) and get on their calendar. A cheap price does not mean a good service. We have heard way too many stories of terrible tragedies happening at the groomers. PLEASE DO YOUR HOMEWORK.  There are also a lot of mobile groomers who will come to your house and groom in their truck right outside and only focus their time on you puppy. I think this is a great service!

Do your homework and make the best choices of who will be part of the village that will help raise your fur baby. It is too important to not spend some time asking questions.

This is it for this PART 2 of this guide! I hope it is helpful and as always we are here for you every step of the way! Thank you Divine Followers…look forward to PART 3 and talking about puppy health and finding the right vet!

What to Expect When You are Expecting 

Finding a Vet

PART 3

I want to use this space to share some information in regards to the health and veterinary care after you take your puppy home. 
I can’t stress enough how important it is to choose a veterinarian that you trust and that you are comfortable with. After you take your puppy home every health decision is so important and will be completely yours to make. 
I am here to advise and guide you always, but ultimately it is your choice on what you will do and won’t do for your puppy. 

Who is out there ? 
In terms of veterinary practices I have found there to be 5 kinds. 
1. Private 
2. Box Store or Corporate 
3. Wellness 
4. Specialty 
5. Urgent Care Hospitals 

My recommendation is that you find a reputable smaller privately owned neighborhood clinic.

Here is why :
A corporate veterinary clinic is a practice that is owned and operated by a company. This is a different business model than traditional private practice, where a clinic is owned and operated by an individual veterinarian or a small group of veterinarians. A good example would be Banfield or Thrive. 

What are the cons of taking your fur baby here ? 

Transferability: Corporate clinics may have a large number of clinics across a wide geographic area. This can make it easy to transfer to a different region if a vet so desires.  So if you find a veterinarian you like he may not be there the following week, as transferring  between clinics is very easy to do. It is a concern because you want to build a relationship with your veterinarian as much as you would with your PCP. 

Good spot for new graduates: New vet school graduates are actively recruited by corporate chains, and corporate clinics can be a great place for them to gain experience while considering their options. Same thing as the previous concern is the relationship you will have with a new graduate who will likely move on to the next best job. In addition, it is important to find a highly experienced veterinarian as you would like to not be the guinea pig if and when something comes up during the life of your fur baby. 

Limited decision-making ability: Corporate vets must follow a variety of procedures and “best practices” relating to pricing and treatment options. They have less flexibility than a private practice vet would have on such matters. You want to have the best available care and not have price brackets or care restrictions when it comes to the health of your puppy. 

Potential overemphasis on financial success: A common criticism of corporate medicine is that the parent companies focus too much on the bottom line. While making a profit is certainly a goal of any clinic (whether corporate or private practice), corporate vets may feel pressure to up-sell clients to increase profit margins. This means that even though no veterinarian will care for your puppy for free, in such cases when profit margins outweigh the care of your fur baby many things may “come up” as necessary such as additional vaccinations or unnecessary surgeries just to meet the month’s quota. This is why I always explain what is needed and what is NOT.  You will receive a pamphlet with the health record of your puppy that will explain what is required on each visit.

I always tell my families when in doubt , do not feel pressured to do anything. I am only a phone call away. 

In regards to the other type of clinics that is not what you will need to find once you take your puppy home. You want to stay away from hospitals where highly contagious viruses are common and the price is astronomically higher. 

A wellness clinic though it is good to know of one close to you is best to use only for routine vaccinations as they are usually less expensive . They do not have any other services available so it is important to have it as an option just for very routine care whenever your veterinarian may not have appointments. 

A great resource to find a good vet is your neighborhood apps and social media platforms where locals can give their own referrals of private clinics. 

Until next time….be safe ! 

Ara 

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