I had never had a package delivered just for me, but suddenly there were two with my name on them! I did a few leaps of joy and a zoomie or two. I couldn’t wait to try out the new puppy food that I wouldn’t have to share.
The next morning I was fed outside so the adult dogs wouldn’t drool into my breakfast while my human, Jan, took pictures. But it took her so long to open the bag! She couldn’t pull the top apart and had to hunt for scissors. Then she droned on and on about the merits of the food I was about to eat and I ended up drooling into my own breakfast.
The kibble in my bowl was the new CANIDAE Grain Free Pure Foundations for Puppies formula, made with only 9 key ingredients and none of the stuff growing pups DON’T need, like fillers and artificial flavors. The food has fresh chicken, menhaden fish meal, lentils, peas, potatoes, dried whole egg, chicken fat, suncured alfalfa and flaxseed, plus natural flavor, vitamins, minerals and fermented probiotic mix, which is good for the gut. I have no idea why Jan smiles when she stresses the word “fermented,” but that’s evidently a very good thing.
When a new puppy comes home with you it’s all smiles, kisses and puppy breath. But once that little bundle of fur eliminates in your house, it’s easy to get upset. Many people, especially first-time puppy owners, stress over the housebreaking process. Luckily, you have Mother Nature and mother dog on your side. If you understand a few basics and remain consistent, house training your new puppy should be an easy task.
Do: Create a Den
Dogs love small spaces; they are natural den animals. Before you bring your puppy home, use a crate, a baby gate or a corral pen to create a den for him. This will be his safe place, and as the pup gets older he will likely go to the space as a way to self-sooth when he feels stress or discomfort. Introduce him to the area in a positive manner. Once the puppy fully grasps that this area is his den, he will naturally endeavor to keep his den clean.
A puppy learns to keep his den clean at an early age. Sure, when puppies are newborns they soil indiscriminately but the mother dog always cleans her pups so there is never a trace of elimination in their special space. They also observe their mother, and since she never eliminates in the den, the puppies learn the concept of keeping the den clean by imitating mom.
In their charm and soft innocence, puppies tug at every heartstring. It is a good thing they are so cute when their antics and exploring the world test our patience. With a puppy comes heartfelt love and moments of sheer exasperation, constant challenges and times of laughter, pride and amazement. Puppies are unfettered in their consumption and absorption of life. Once they worm their way into your heart with unerring love, they are there for good, a constant lifelong shadow to their loved human. Here is a poem I wrote in celebration of puppyhood.
Into your life they wiggle in
Cute as cherubs and naughty as jinns
Soft as down, and rough and tumble
Antics laughable, but small and humble
“Aw, she’s so cute!” onlookers say,
“Watch how she rolls and tumbles and plays.”
Loving licks that wet your face
Eyes like saucers when caught in disgrace
Time demanding and all insistent
Feed me now, and non-resistant
Mournful whimpers and pleading eyes
Soft warm cuddles and contented sighs
Like any baby, puppies are curious about the new world around them. They are very oral and want to test everything out that seems like it might be tasty. Chewing also feels good to a puppy and keeps them entertained. You can prevent some of the negative issues by starting off right and puppy proofing your home.
Puppies are drawn to everything that isn’t nailed down, and even to some things that are immovable, like edges of furniture for example. They learn what is edible (or not) by the process of elimination and by you training them. Not all dogs are as oral or prone to getting into trouble as others, but it is better to avoid the issues by removing or adjusting items that might tempt them. Puppies do outgrow the extreme oral stage eventually.
Besides the possible damage they can cause in your home, a puppy can also get hurt ingesting poisonous or dangerous things. They don’t know what is safe and what isn’t. They can chew everything apart with their razor sharp little teeth. The last thing you want is an emergency vet trip for illness, choking or injury caused by something that could have been prevented.
Look around each room to determine what needs to be moved, removed or protected. To really get an idea of what a dog sees, get down on your hands and knees in each room. From a human standing position, you may not see things that are in their visual field. It is sometimes surprising to view the world from the puppy point of view. Remember, they can also easily see under things and behind objects that we can’t. They get under and into everything.
Remove any plants that are poisonous for a dog. Even if a particular house plant is considered pet safe, a puppy might be tempted to go after it if it’s at floor level, because it moves with drafts, has dirt and looks enticing.
Puppies grow at a fast rate. The quick and ever changing development and growth they go through to reach their full adult size requires special nutrients, different feeding times and more attention than an adult dog needs. Feeding a puppy is much more manageable if you set up an eating schedule from the very beginning.
Puppies seem to be hungry all the time, but they can get used to eating at specific times during the day. The key is consistency. They are capable of learning and living with your routines. They will get used to a routine of their own as well.
Feeding a high quality, healthy dog food to a puppy helps keep them full. CANIDAE Life Stages dog food is formulated for the energy needs of all ages, with choices in wet or dry food.
Don’t leave food out all the time if you want your puppy on an eating schedule. It might seem like it would be easier, so they can eat whenever they feel like it, but they may eat too much at one time. If you’ve ever seen a ravenous puppy at feeding time, they often eat the food so quickly that it makes you wonder if they even bothered to chew it. They almost inhale their meals.
Breed is not the only thing you should consider when deciding to adopt a dog. The age of the dog you choose is also an important factor. You want a dog that fits your location, energy level, patience level and lifestyle. What things should be considered in the choice?
Puppies are adorable and seem like a wonderful choice, but they take constant supervision, consistent and regular training, and positive behavior reinforcement. They are not the right choice for everyone who is considering making a new fur baby part of their lives.
Take into consideration the fact that training is around the clock. Teaching a puppy to potty train, for instance, involves constant monitoring, reinforcement of good and bad behavior, and the almost certain possibility of accidents happening. Think of a puppy as a child without a diaper. They go when they need to, wherever they need to. Their control is not the same as an older, trained dog whose digestive functions have matured. Potty training a puppy may mean multiple night trips outside, even in the winter or rain. Like a human baby, you are at the beck and call of their needs, not yours.
Feeding is more of a challenge with a puppy. They are constantly ravenous. Their higher metabolisms burn through the energy their food provides more quickly than an older dog. They may require multiple smaller feedings each day. That means more attention to feeding schedules more often, every day. It takes time to adjust to a feeding schedule.
The personal opinions and/or use of trade, firm, corporation or brand names, in this blog is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. All opinions in this blog are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® Natural Pet Food Company.