Helpful Hints in Caring for Your New Puppy

You are now the proud owner of a very special Miniature Schnauzer puppy. To prevent stress, keep your new pup at home for a week or two. Just like a new baby, there is work to be done so your lifestyle isn't totally upset. You must remember, this is a baby who is going to be fully grown in just a few months, so you only have weeks to establish your ground rules. If you don't work daily with this puppy, you will have an ill-mannered, spoiled brat by the time he/she is six months old. You are the adult, the puppy is the child— you are the boss!

A playpen is a must. Don't lock the pup in a kitchen, bathroom or utility room while you are home. Keep it in a playpen in the room you're most often in, so it can watch what you are doing and not be getting into trouble behind your back. When you let the puppy out of the playpen, this is his/her time to be with you and your family. This is the time to play and interact and to learn the boundaries of your home. This is NOT the time for the puppy to go exploring on its own. You are buying a toddler without a diaper. Do not play with the puppy on carpeting if you do not want to clean up carpeting. Paper, books, kleenex, toilet paper and all reading material can become confetti in less than five minutes. See Housbreaking below.

An enclosed carrier is used to sleep in at night. It should not be used for punishment. This is a happy place. I even feed my dogs in their carriers and they look forward to being there. You may use a piddle pad on the bottom until the puppy is old enough to chew it up (8 weeks or older). At that time you must plan regular potty-out-of-doors times. A towel or old rug may be used and you may add a toy or stuffed animal and/or dog cookie in the cage, then place the puppy in at bedtime. If you place the kennel on a chair or table next to your bed so the pup can see you from the kennel he/she is less likely to cry. They simply want to be with you and know where you are. If the puppy begins to cry, clap your hands and firmly say "No!" If the puppy continues to cry, place a towel over the front of the cage so the puppy cannot see you, clap your hands and firmly say "No!" again. If the puppy keeps crying, take a shoe, book, ruler or any object that will make a loud noise and hit the top of the cage with it, and firmly say "No!" This loud noise and vibration will instill the word NO into your dog's memory. Usually this only has to be done a couple of times for the first few days, then when you clap your hands and say "No" the puppy settles down.

As of OCT 1 2018 I am using PRO PLAN PUPPY CHICKEN/RICE for your puppy or adult dog. This is not a grain free food. There is much contraversy considering grain free foods and heart disease in dogs. As with all fad diets in people, the dog food manufacturers thought grain free was the new way to go. Now they are re-thinking this as more dogs are showing signs of heart problems. No decision to change foods comes without thought and research. It is with the best interest of my dogs in mind that I have made this change. This kibble is a perfect size for toy dogs. The TOY or SMALL breed pro plan food is too small a kibble unless you have a T-CUP puppy. If you choose to use another brand of food just mix 2 cups of my food with 2 cups of the new food and when the mixture is gone just feed the new food. Feed______ 2 times a day, moistened with water, continue to increase the food amount slowly as the puppy grows. By six months, the puppy eats only once a day. Do not leave food down longer than 20 minutes. If your dog hasn't finished, just pick up the bowl and place it in the refrigerator until the next meal. Never leave food down all day for your puppy. You'll never be able to housebreak it and you'll have an overweight, picky eater. No one needs to be eating all day long. At 12 weeks to one year of age you may switch over to an adult dog food. I recommend ProPlan 26/16 Adult food. Puppies can eat all they want of the food you have measured out, at their mealtimes. But you must judge if they seem to be getting fat. Adult dogs only eat one cup of a high quality food per day. Do not feed a soft food or only canned food on a regular basis. If you do, you will have a dog with bad teeth, bad gums and bad breath. There are times when you may want to use canned food to encourage eating such as when your dog has been or is sick. Then when he/she is well you discontinue the canned food.

It is very common for toy breeds to have retained baby teeth. These may cause plaque and bacteria to build up. This is a major cause of health problems in these tiny babies. You need to keep the baby teeth pulled as they become loose and be sure they are removed by the time they reach 8 months of age. Then keep your precious baby on a good teeth cleaning schedule. Brushing their teeth daily can certainly be of great benefit. I have found that CLEAN TEETH GEL from Walmart is easy to use with or without a tooth brush. Please practice good dental care.

Rope toys, hard plastic chew toys, nyla bones, budda bones, edible bones, all natural treats, just to name a few, are good things to give your little one. DO NOT, however give your puppy twisted rawhide chews. Rawhide can gum up and pieces that are swallowed are not digestible. You could face an expensive surgery to remove it.

I have also added Kefir for my ADULT dogs on their food once a day to prevent digestive upsets or after antibiotics.. Kefir is a probiotic that is like a drinkable yogurt but is much stronger than yogurt. You can find it in the grocery store by the refrigerated coffee creamers. I only use the plain as dogs do not need added sugar in their diet. It is 1 tsp once a day for 20 lbs or less. My boxers get 1 TBL once a day.

Please, no water after 6 PM. You will discover the seventh wonder of the world— give them an ounce and they'll give you a quart. This means NO food or water after you have fed your puppy in the evening.

Once every 7 to 10 days. I like the Lambert Kay Premium Shampoo and Lambert Kay Fresh and Clean Creamed Rinse. I also like any of the Bio-Groom products or Miracle Coat Premium Pet Shampoo (this product is expensive but you dilute it so it will last a very long time.) Or any other brand of good shampoo/conditioner from Pet sMart or PetCo.

Upset Stomach:
Puppy will get into things that will upset its stomach. Also bathing, grooming and new situations can cause a loose stool. You may purchase canned pumpkin from the grocery store and give your pup 1tsp (for puppy) or 1tbl (for adult) each feeding, mixed into the food. The stools will firm up. You may also add plain boiled white rice alone or with the pumpkin to its food (one-half to three-fourths of a cup of rice) and stools will firm right up. If the stool is watery, squirt, bloody or mucous, take the puppy to the vet. It could be colitis, or coccidia and the pup needs to be vet checked. Make sure you have no poisonous plants that your puppy can graze on such as Poinsettia, Oleander, Elephant Ear, or any plant that produces a white milky substance when it is cut or when you snap a leaf off. Any of these can cause a puppy to become very ill, and if he/she has ingested enough, even death. Watch your puppy outside, he's very curious and can (and will) get into everything.

While you are at home take your pup out every hour on the hour for the first 4 days (daytime only). Don't talk to it until it has gone to the bathroom. Then love it, play with it, pet it and tell it how good it is. Also take puppy out the minute it wakes up day or night (if you are home and it's not 3 in the morning), after every meal, as soon as you get up in the morning, and last thing at night before bed.Do not wake up a sleeping puppy to take it out at night. However, if the puppy wakes you up, by all means, take it out. There is ONE unbreakable RULE: IF THE PUPPYS FEET ARE ON THE FLOOR IN YOUR HOUSE, YOUR EYES ARE ON THE DOG. (No Exceptions) Watch your puppy; it will be telling you it has to go by its actions. Most accidents in the house are people accidents, not puppy accidents. When a puppy goes to the door, or whimpers to go out, and you say "In a minute," and take it out 5 minutes later, you will have to clean YOUR accident up off the floor. Teach your puppy to ring a bell when it has to go out. You hang a cow bell(or other bell or wind chimes) on a ribbon down at the puppy's level and make the puppy ring the bell (use his front foot or nose) each time you go through the door to the outside. He will learn in very short order that the bell has to ring for him to go out. This will save you from guessing when he needs to go out and your friends will be amazed at how smart your puppy is.

Fly Swatter:
Use this instead of a rolled newspaper to swat the playpen, floor, or puppy's rear if you need to stop fighting, crying, bad behavior, if he is running towards the street, or if you catch him in the act of having an accident in the house.

Give lots of love and praise. This puppy really, really wants to make you proud of it and a little love goes a long way.

If you have any questions or need any help, please feel free to contact me. Have fun and best wishes!

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