Puppy wellness centre in Whitby ON

Puppy wellness centre in Whitby ON

Congratulations on your New Puppy!

Puppy wellness centre in Whitby ON Getting a new puppy is an exciting time for everybody in the family however it can be overwhelming for you and your new puppy as well. Here is some information to help you make the transition easier for everybody as well as help guide you in making educated decisions about your pet’s health care.

What to Expect the First Few Days

The changes may be tiring or stressful for your puppy. They are likely away from their mother and litter mates for the first time. As exciting as it may be to bring puppy home for the first time, keep in mind that it can be overwhelming for such a tiny creature to go through these changes. Although everybody may want to ‘hello’ to the new puppy right away, it is important to wait a few days before letting any children in the household play with the puppy. Create a quiet space with less traffic for your puppy, so they can get accustomed to their new environment. Introductions with other pets in the household should wait for another day.

Transitioning Food

If your puppy is going to be switching to a new brand of food, you will want to make the changes gradually as not to upset their delicate stomach. You can do this over the period of 10 days.

  • Day 1-3 – 25% new food mixed with 75% old food
  • Day 4-6 – 50% new food mixed with 50% old food
  • Day 7-9 – 75% new food mixed with 25% old food
  • Day 10 – your puppy should be on 100% of the new food..

If you notice any signs of gastric upset such as vomiting or diarrhea then call your veterinarian for advice. In some cases this can indicate that there is something else going on with your puppy.

We recommend Hills Science Diet, Royal Canine or Rayne prescription diets.
You follow an AAFCO recommendation when formulating these prescription diets for your growing puppy.

Your puppy should be on this food until 8-12 months of age or until they reach their adult size. Always look at your dog’s body condition to tell if their diet is adequate, not their weight. Ask your veterinarian for help if are unsure.

Crate Training

Through crate training, your puppy experiences safety, security, and aid in traveling and house training.When your puppy is tired or overwhelmed, they can find a crate to be a good place to go.

Their crate is like their ‘security blanket’ and it should be their own quiet place. The crate, when correctly and humanely used, has many advantages for both you and your dog:

You Can:

  • While nothing is soiled or destroyed, your dog is comfortably and safely home alone, giving you peace of mind.
  • Housebreak your dog more quickly by establishing a routine for outdoor elimination and to prevent ‘accidents’ at night or when left alone
  • Effectively confine your dog at times when he may be underfoot such as meals, family activities, guests, etc.
  • You and your dog travel without distracting or endangering the driver, and without your dog getting loose or lost.

Your Dog Can:

  • Enjoy the privacy and security of a ‘den’ of which they can retreat to when tired, stressed, or ill.
  • Avoid much of the fear/confusion/punishment caused by your reaction to problem behaviours
  • More easily learn to control their bowels and to associate elimination with the outdoors
  • Avoid the disappointment and solitude of being forced to isolate yourself from comfortable indoor surroundings.
  • Be conveniently included in family outtings instead of being left at home.

Puppy wellness centre in Whitby ON Crate Size
The dog needs enough space in the crate to stretch out flat on one side and sit up comfortably without hitting his head on the top. It is always better to use a crate a little too large rather than one a little too small. Measure the dog from the tip of the nose to the base (not tip) of the tail. Allow for growth by adding about 12 inches. With a partition of wire, wood, or masonite, you can make a too-large crate smaller. Remember that a crate too large for a young puppy defeats its purpose of providing security and promoting bowel control.

To ensure that a dog feels comfortable and not isolated or banished when using a crate, place it in, or as close as possible to, a “people” area such as the kitchen or family room. Put it back in a corner to enhance the feeling of security and privacy even further. The crate helps to satisfy the ‘den instinct’ inherited from their ancestors.

Puppy wellness centre in Whitby ON Training
A young puppy (8-16 weeks) should normally have no problem accepting a crate as his “own place.”He might complain at first not because of the crate, but rather as he learns to adjust to the controls of his new environment. Actually the crate will help him to adapt more easily and quickly to his new world.

Place the crate in a place where people congregate such as the kitchen. If possible it should be in a spot free from drafts and not too near a direct heat source. Use bedding that can be easily washed. Also, you might include some freshly worn unlaundered article of your clothing such as a tee shirt, old shirt, etc. Avoid putting newspaper in or under the crate, since its odor may encourage elimination. A puppy should not be fed in the crate and will only upset a bowl of water.

Make it clear to all family members that the crate is not a playhouse.The puppy should have a “special room,” where its rights are recognized and respected. You should, however, accustom the puppy from the start to letting you reach into the crate at any time so that he does not become overprotective of it.

Immediately establish a “crate routine” by placing the puppy in it at regular intervals during the day, including his own chosen nap times, and whenever you need to leave him alone for up to N hours. He needs a chew toy for distraction, and remove his collar and tags to prevent them from getting caught in an opening.

The puppy should be shown no attention while in the crate. Dogs tend to be much better psychologists than their owners–often training the owner, rather than the owner training the puppy. Any attention The puppy will believe that whining, crying, etc., are all that is required to get more attention when shown such behavior.

Last thing every night, take the puppy outside before putting it into the crate. Once he goes into the crate, he should stay there until first thing in the morning. Remove the puppy from the crate and take him to the chosen area for his bowel eliminations.

Always feed the puppy early enough to allow ample time for bowel elimination after eating before placing the puppy in the crate. This can be up to one hour, depending on the dog. Simply clock the time after eating until the bowel movement occurs to determine this time interval for your particular puppy.

Once you have fully housetrained the puppy, which typically takes about NUM weeks of using the cage, you can leave the door open or remove it to allow the puppy to come and go as it pleases. If the puppy becomes destructive during his growing phases, it is a simple matter again of confining him in the crate when he is not under your supervision.

Even if things do not go too smoothly at first-DON’T WEAKEN and DON’T WORRY! Be consistent, firm, and be very aware that you are doing your pet a real favor by preventing him from getting into trouble.

Some Rules

  • Do not leave your dog in his crate day and night.
  • Exercise and relieve your dog before putting him in his crate. It’s your responsibility to ensure your dog has the opportunity to relieve himself when he needs to.
  • Take your dog outside often at first. Puppies should go out at least every three hours. Adult dogs, if not housetrained, should go out every five to seven hours.
  • When he barks, do not let him out; you do not want him to link barking with being released from his crate. The puppy should not stay in a crate longer than he can control his bladder or bowels. If he is, he may eliminate in the crate.
  • Gradually give your dog more freedom outside the crate but only when he’s ready for it. If he goofs, start over again. When he’s out of his crate, always leave the door open so he can go there to rest.
  • If he wets only at night, crate him only at night. he
  • The crate must be very clean. Otherwise, you will teach your dog to be dirty. If he soils the crate, clean it thoroughly and clean the dog if necessary.
  • To prevent damage to your house by an anxious unattended dog, crate him when you go out and when you cannot monitor him.
  • Use the crate for “time outs” if your dog gets too exuberant or you begin to lose patience. But ensure that you make the crate a positive experience every time. Be neutral when you put your dog in the crate for a time out.
    • If the pup needs to eliminate for long periods, confine him to a larger area, such as a dog-proof room or pen, and provide paper for elimination.
  • During the daytime, once the puppy has relieved himself, a 2 month old puppy may have up to 3 hours control, a 3 month puppy up to 4 hours, and a 4 month old puppy up to 5 hours.
  • A crate is not an excuse to ignore your dog!

Is crate training practical for all dogs?
An occasional dog may not tolerate crate training, and may continue to show anxiety, or even eliminate when confined. These dogs may adapt better to other types of confinement such as a pen, dog run, small room, or barricaded area.

If you leave the dog alone for longer than it can control and it needs to eliminate, we should provide a much larger area for it to do so than a crate. Your dog should have a location to eliminate, away from food and bedding.

Continued anxiety, destruction or vocalization when placed in the crate may indicate separation anxiety or other behavioural issues and you should contact your veterinarian or a professional dog trainer.

Puppies are CHEWING machines!!!

The inherited tendency to investigate the surroundings is very strong in the young dog. Your success preventing chewing problems depends on how effectively you can channel your pup’s tendency toward acceptable chews, rather than unacceptable items. Between the ages of three and six months, your puppy will begin to teethe. Just like babies, puppies chew to relieve some of the discomfort associated with the eruption of the permanent teeth. Puppies also chew to explore their environment as a form of play. It makes little difference to a puppy whether he chews on a toy or on a pair of your favorite shoes. He needs your help and direction in chewing on what is appropriate and what is not.

The two distinct periods when excessive chewing is likely to occur are during the teething period at three months of age, and during the time when the permanent teeth become set in the jaw between 6-12 months. Regardless of these times, the young puppy will continually attempt to investigate objects with his mouth. It is at this age that he or she must be taught what is acceptable to chew and what is not!

A common mistake people make frequently is to provide chewable objects that, in texture, resemble valued objects. The puppy cannot distinguish between rawhide chews, an old shoe, and a good shoe! If he or she learns that chewing any time leather product is acceptable, then all leather products become fair game.

Another concern often overlooked concerns the pup’s ingestion of harmful objects. We periodically have to surgically remove needles, bones, and small toys from the stomach of puppies.

Follow These Tips to Help Train Your Pup Properly:

  • Always keep a close eye on your puppy unless you have confined him to a safe area. We highly suggest airline-shipping crates for confinement during the first 4-8 weeks. This also helps greatly with housetraining.
  • Purchase a chew toy. Never allow products that can be swallowed or chewed into splinters. We do not recommend rawhide chew toys, other than CET Enzymatic Chews which help keep the teeth clean.
  • When the pup begins to chew something he shouldn’t, don’t correct him with a raised voice, just remove the object. IMMEDIATELY offer him one of his chews, but do not force it into his mouth. Simply place it before him and praise.
  • After finishing the acceptable chew, he sprays the unacceptable item with rubbing alcohol and puts it into his mouth. Praise him when he spits it out. Repeat several times. ‘Bitter Apple’ spray can also be used. If he doesn’t spit it out, generously spray a cotton ball with the product and place it briefly in his mouth. Then follow with the unacceptable item. Give him some water to help clear the unpleasant taste.
  • Get into the habit of looking for trouble before it occurs.
  • If your pet chews or eats something, which you think could be potentially harmful, call the clinic for advice. There is a national hot line for antidotes for poisoning: 1 800-213-6680 or go to www.petpoisonhelpline.com

Housetraining is not only possible; it is also easy because of the natural instinct of dogs to relieve themselves away from their living quarters.

The use of a pet crate makes the whole process go more smoothly. A pet crate has the additional advantage of protecting your home from the potential destructive behavior of a curious puppy, as well as minimizing chances of the puppy injuring himself.

Feed your puppy 3-4 meals of a high quality commercial pet food daily:
Consistency in feeding times makes the times of elimination more predictable. Make the last feeding no later than 6 p.m. Removing water at 8 p.m. may be helpful for the first month or two..

Select one toilet area for your puppy:
Take your puppy to the area at times it is most likely to need to eliminate right after sleeping, soon after eating, etc. In the beginning, it is advisable to take the puppy out every 2 hours if possible. Always give the puppy the chance to go outside and eliminate before putting them back in the crate.Always take the puppy outside immediately after returning home before the excitement causes an accident. When you get to the area and your puppy begins to sniff around for the right spot, use a phrase such as “hurry up,” or “do your business.” Soon that phrase will result in elimination.

Praise your puppy immediately:
After he has eliminated in the right area. Even if you are doing everything right, accidents will happen.If you find your puppy in the middle of an unwanted behavior, startle him by clapping your hands and say “No!” Then, quickly take him to the designated toilet area.

If he then eliminates in the toilet area, praise him for doing a good job. If you find an accident, do not raise your voice, spank your puppy, or rub his nose in it. While you will certainly make him afraid, it won’t be because of the accident, but will only make it afraid of you.

Keep a record of elimination times:
Most all puppies will be “regular.” They will go at the same time every time after eating. Most puppies will eliminate within 5 minutes after eating. Once you have learned the specific time for your specific puppy, you will have a good idea at what time you should routinely take the puppy outside. This is particularly valuable to know during inclimate weather.

Use products that neutralize urine odor when cleaning up accidents:
We recommend avoiding products with ammonia because it is a natural component found in urine and the smell may actually attract the puppy to urinate in that location. We stock the products we feel are the best and can dispense them to you.

Remember, BE PATIENT:
Housetraining should be complete by 4-6 months of age. But it is still advisable to keep the pet in the crate when you are away from home for several months to prevent possible destructive behaviors.

Obedience Training:

When you train your puppy, you need to choose a method and ensure that your puppy understands what you expect from him. It is important to CONSISTENLY praise your puppy for doing the right thing.Positive reinforcement is a much more powerful and safer tool than punishment. Once you have communicated your expectations to your puppy and he misbehaves, you only need to give a mild reprimand. Then, show your puppy the correct behavior and praise him.

Ignoring or isolating the puppy after he misbehaves can also be useful. Improperly applied or excessive punishment often backfires. Many puppies fear their owners or may become aggressive in response because they do not understand the reason for punishment. Punishing them afterwards is ineffective.

Get your puppy used to a collar and leash right away. These are essential to protect the dog throughout its life. When you are outside, make sure to walk alongside your puppy, keeping the leash loose to prevent him from pulling. If he lags behind or runs ahead, gently give a few short jerks on the leash to guide him back to walking on a loose lead. Some dogs may do better with a harness or halti.

Getting your puppy to look at you and pay attention will make teaching any kind of command much more successful. Encourage your puppy to make eye contact with you by saying his name and holding a food tidbit close to your face when your puppy looks at you, praise him for maintaining eye contact. Now that he’s looking at you, he’s ready to listen to a command.

Take a food tidbit and hold it in front of your puppy’s nose in a closed fist. Pass your fist toward the back of your puppy’s head as you say “Sit!” As his head goes up and back to follow the treat, he usually will automatically sit. Repeat this exercise regularly until your pet learns to sit as soon as the command is issued.

To teach your puppy to stay, stand in front of him and ask him to “Sit.” When he does, praise him but don’t give him a treat. Instead, say “Stay” as you step back and give him an open hand signal. Then immediately give him the treat. Repeat the process, increasing distance you step back from your puppy. Go only one step at a time.

Start by giving him the “stay “ command. Then, as you say, “Down,” take a food treat in your fist, place it at his nose, and pass it down to the floor. Your puppy will follow the treat and lie down. After your puppy consistently goes into the “down” position, you can teach your puppy to stay in this position just as he learned for ‘sit’.

When your puppy will sit or lie down and stay while you take ten steps away, he is ready to begin the “Come” command. Give your puppy the “Sit” and “Stay” command. Take five steps back, whistle, say your dog’s name and “Come” in an excited tone of voice. You may want to open your arms or make some other welcoming gesture to encourage him to come. When he gets to you, praise him and give him a treat. Follow with a “Sit. ”Repeat the command (taking only five steps) ten times, then increase the distance. Never call a puppy to scold him or do anything that he won’t like (such as giving medication or a bath). Responding to the “Come” command should always be a positive experience for the puppy.

Socializing your puppy

What Is Socialization?
Socialization means learning to be part of society. When we talk about socializing puppies, it means helping them learn to be comfortable as a pet within human society—a society that includes many different types of people, environments, buildings, sights, noises, smells, animals and other dogs.

Most young animals, including dogs, naturally adapt to the everyday things they encounter in their environment until they reach a certain age. Once they reach that age, they naturally become more suspicious of unfamiliar experiences. Mother Nature is smart! This age-specific natural development lets a young puppy get comfortable with the everyday sights, sounds, people and animals that will be a part of his life. It ensures that he doesn’t spend his life jumping in fright at every blowing leaf or bird song. The later suspicion they develop in later puppyhood also ensures that he does react with a healthy dose of caution to new things that could truly be dangerous.

What Age Is Best for Puppy Socialization?
Puppies are most accepting of new experiences between 3 and 12 weeks old. After that age, they become much more cautious of anything they haven’t yet encountered. From about 12 to 18 weeks old the opportunity to easily socialize the puppy ends—and with each passing week it becomes harder to get the pup to accept and enjoy something that he’s initially wary of. After 18 weeks old, it’s extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible, to teach a dog to like something new, or help him become comfortable with something he finds frightening.

Why Is Puppy Socialization Important?
Well-socialized puppies usually develop into safer, more relaxed and enjoyable pet dogs. This is because they’re more comfortable in a wider variety of situations than poorly socialized dogs, so they’re less likely to behave fearfully or aggressively when faced with something new.

Poor socialization can cause dogs to react with fear or aggression towards unfamiliar people, dogs, and experiences. Well-socialized dogs have a more comfortable and secure living situation compared to dogs that find certain stimuli threatening, such as honking horns, cats, cyclists, veterinary examinations, crowds, and long stairwells.

Dogs that lead relaxed, peaceful, and happy lives tend to experience less environmental stress than dogs that are constantly on edge. Socialization isn’t an “all or nothing” project. You can socialize a puppy a bit, a lot, or a whole lot. The wider the range of experiences you expose him to, the better his chances are of being comfortable in a wide variety of situations as an adult.

Socializing a puppy: What you need to know
Socialization is a big project. It requires exposure to the types of people, animals, places, sounds and experiences that you expect your dog to be comfortable in later in life.

Depending on the lifestyle you have planned for your dog, this might include the sight and sound of trains, garbage trucks, schoolyards of screaming children, crowds, cats, livestock or crying infants. While it’s impossible to expose a young puppy to absolutely everything he will ever encounter in life, the more bases that you cover during the peak socialization period of 3 to 12 weeks, the more likely the puppy will be able to generalize from his prior experiences and find something reassuringly familiar in a new situation. It is essential for any pet dog to become accustomed to the common types of people, dogs, sights, sounds, and physical handling and grooming that will be a sure part of his daily life.

Do I Need to Do Anything Special When I Socialize My Puppy?
Yes! You need to make sure that the situation is not overwhelming for him, and that he becomes more comfortable—not more worried—each time you expose him to something. For instance, maybe you’ve planned a puppy party where a group of people will gather to help you socialize your puppy right at home.Some puppies may feel overwhelmed when they meet a bunch of strangers all at once. Even though your intentions are good, if your puppy is cowering in the corner at his own party, then he’s not learning anything good about strangers! The rule of thumb with puppy socialization is to keep a close eye on your puppy’s reaction to whatever you expose him to so that you can tone things down if your pup seems at all frightened. Always follow up a socialization experience with praise, petting, a fun game or a special treat.

What If My Puppy Seems Frightened During Socialization?
Even though 3 to 12 weeks old is a time when puppies are most comfortable with new experiences, they might sometimes find a new experience frightening.

Whenever this happens, it’s important to introduce your puppy to the scary situation much more gradually, and to make a big effort to do something your puppy loves during the situation or right afterwards.

For instance, if your puppy appears scared while sitting on your lap in a schoolyard teeming with children, then move farther from the commotion and give your pup a tasty treat whenever a frightening noise or movement occurs.

Another solution involves taking your dog to a quieter park with only a few children playing. Use praise and treats to convince him that it is a great place to be. Over the course of days or weeks during socialization sessions, gradually approach a schoolyard again once he has begun to enjoy the sights and sounds of active children.

Puppy Classes
Attending puppy kindergarten classes is a great way to help socialize a puppy. These classes emphasize off-leash play and play-fighting to assist puppies in socializing with each other. Puppy training and early socialization programs teach puppies to be gentle with their mouthing and biting. These programs help puppies get used to being handled by a variety of people.

Some classes even include exposure to odd sights and sounds using props, CDs of sounds, and theatrics with costumes to accustom the puppies to a wide range of life experiences. Puppy classes also teach some basic obedience skills, so on top of the socialization component, you’ll learn how to ask your pup to comply with your requests and behave according to your expectations.

Vaccinations and Disease Risk During Early Socialization
We don’t fully protect most young puppies against the diseases we vaccinate them for until they receive all of their puppy shots. This is mainly because the antibodies they get from their mother can interfere with the ability of the vaccine to have its full effect.

Even though puppies’ immune systems are still developing during their early months, if we wait until a puppy has all of his shots before socializing him, we miss our chance to do it. He’ll simply be too old. Taking some commonsense precautions while socializing your puppy can greatly reduce the risk of infection. However, the much larger risk is your puppy developing serious behavior problems with fear and aggression later in life.

Veterinarians who specialize in behavior recommend that owners actively socialize young puppies in environments like puppy classes to minimize the risk of illness.They state that:

“Puppy socialization classes offer a safe and organized means of socializing puppies. Each puppy should have up-to-date vaccinations and be disease and parasite free before entering the class.When possible, teach classes in spaces that you can easily clean and disinfect (such as indoor environments).Avoid visiting dog parks or other unsanitized places frequented by dogs with unknown vaccination or disease status.

The consensus among experts is that people must socialize young puppies before they complete their vaccinations due to the significant risk of giving them up or later euthanizing them for behavior problems. The recommendation is to socialize puppies as safely as possible by exposing the puppy to people, places and other animals while not taking unnecessary risks. The puppy raiser guarantees safe and intelligent socialization for their puppy by conducting a well-run indoor puppy class where they ensure all puppies have received at least one vaccination.

“In general, puppies can start puppy socialization classes as early as 7 to 8 weeks of age. Puppies should receive a minimum of one set of vac­cines at least 7 days prior to the first class and a first deworming. Teachers should keep students informed about vaccines throughout the class.

Safely socialize a not-fully-vaccinated puppy with other safe methods.

  • Drive to a busy mall and hang out with your pup on a mat at the entrance. Strangers will flock to you because they want to pet your puppy and they’ll willingly feed him the treats that you’ve brought with you.
  • Host a puppy party! Invite friends and family over, play some music, toss some streamers, and pass your pup around.
  • Bring your puppy to indoor Scouts meetings.Make sure I’m not frightening the children as they interact with me, and that they are being gentle.
  • Take your pup on car rides through different neighborhoods, drive-thrus, car washes, and out into the country where he’ll see and smell a variety of farm animals.
  • Arrange play sessions with other puppies and adult dogs who you know are healthy and friendly.
  • If your puppy is small enough, carry him around town and let strangers pet him and give him treats.

Download our Exposure Checklist for Socialization

Puppycare veterinary in Whitby ON / Puppy wellness centre in Whitby ON

Checklist for recording your puppy’s exposures:

  1. I record my puppy’s exposures using this checklist.
  2. I mark a check mark in the box for each item after exposing my puppy to it and record the age at which my puppy was introduced to each item.