Tag Archives: house training

The First Two Weeks: Warning Signs Your Dog Could Be Hypoglycemic

If your new puppy weighs four pounds or less, one important health condition to be aware of is Hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia, also called low blood sugar, can be triggered by stress, overexcitement, or missing a meal. While treatable, it is important to know what to look for and to act quickly if you see any of the signs of Hypoglycemia in your pup.

Occurring mostly in toy breeds between six and 16 weeks of age, the syndrome is triggered by stressors like travel, introductions to new or large numbers of people, too much play or attention, a change in environment, or simply the overall adjustment into a new home.

Symptoms include (but are not limited to) a decrease in energy, loss of appetite, listlessness, overly cold or hot body temperature, vomiting and diarrhea. Your puppy may show one or more of these symptoms if his blood sugar is dropping. Remember, your puppy’s blood sugar level is his main energy source, and if it gets too low, medical intervention may be necessary.

Luckily, there are easy ways to prevent hypoglycemic attacks and reoccurring attacks. For the first two weeks, it’s your crucial responsibility to make sure your puppy is eating regular, frequent meals throughout the day. Have dry food available at all times and feed him canned food at least two times a day.

A sugar supplement can also help prevent or decrease the severity of an already-occurring hypoglycemic attack. Nutri-Cal is a high-calorie flavored gel ideal for boosting your puppy’s blood sugar, especially if he is a finicky eater. For dogs eating properly, give 1.5 teaspoons of Nutri-Cal per 10 pounds of the dog’s body weight daily. For dogs not eating well, give one tablespoon of Nutri-Cal per 10 pounds of dog’s body weight daily. Most puppies will lick the supplement off your finger, but you may also put a drop directly on the puppy’s tongue or roof of mouth. You should never force your puppy to swallow pills or supplements, nor should you push the supplement too far back in the mouth.

Nutri-Cal can be purchased from your local pet store or online and should be part of your preparation tool kit prior to bringing puppy home. In the event you’re unable to get some in time, a fine temporary alternative is honey or Karo syrup in the interim. Adding Pedialyte to your dog’s water (one teaspoon of Pedialyte per pint of water) is also a good idea to prevent dehydration, which can worsen the symptoms of Hypoglycemia.

Should your puppy show the symptoms listed above or less common symptoms like weakness, foaming around the mouth, dry tacky gums, staggering gait, fatigue, tremors or muscular weakness, start the following at-home treatment right away: If puppy is awake and able to swallow, administer the Nutri-Cal. Once your puppy seems more alert, provide a small amount of water. Continue to administer Nutri-Cal and water every 30 minutes until your puppy becomes more alert and starts to move about. If there is no response within 30 minutes, bring your pup to an emergency vet clinic.

Lastly, to maintain a calm household and keep stress levels low, take appropriate precautions such as limiting your puppy’s playtime to controlled intervals, having a minimal amount of people in the home, not leaving the puppy alone and keeping your puppy crated or gated within a small space until they get used to their larger surroundings and/or are house-trained.

What to Expect at 8-12 Weeks of Age

Congratulations! Between 8-12 weeks, your puppy has arrived home and the intense bonding process between puppy and family has already begun.

You’ve entered a crucial learning period which will provide the foundation for your puppy’s mental and physical development. Newly away from his biological mommy and litter siblings, your puppy is experiencing a high level of curiosity in his new environment. Anything within reach will be investigated, and likely chewed as a result of that curiosity. In fact, you’ll notice your puppy “mouthing” a lot which is how he grows familiar with the world around him. Basic personality characteristics will begin to emerge but a lot of your puppy’s traits will form based on how he is treated and cared for by the family.

Your puppy is starting to take an active interest in human beings and will look to you for direction on how to behave. So, imagine your puppy as a sponge, ready to absorb all of the information you can provide. This is your opportunity to not only teach him new things, but also to set the tone and dynamics of the relationship. It’s important to socialize your dog with other people outside of the family as well as other vaccinated dogs. Basically, however you’d like your puppy to interact with the world, start introducing it now. So, if you plan to transport him regularly, start taking him for car rides. If you want to make him comfortable with loud noises, don’t be afraid to vacuum the house or run the blender.

thumbnail-puppy-developmentAs far as physical growth, you may have noticed your puppy is a bit rambunctious and messy – clumsily running around and emptying his bladder and bowels often. At this stage, you should be taking puppy out every two hours – remember, frequent trips outside mean less accidents and clean up for you!  As far as appearance goes, puppies are heart melting for a reason – enjoy those big eyes, soft features and sleepiness; and snuggle/hold him often – if your puppy is meant to grow up to be a large dog, you won’t have that opportunity for much longer!

In this vulnerable age, keeping your puppy safe is key. The natural immunity passed on from his mother is starting to wear off, and will soon be taken over by rounds of vaccinations. To avoid the dangers of your puppy contracting illness, specifically Parvo, do not allow your puppy around other non-vaccinated dogs. This means: Stay away from dog parks, and even walking down the street if it’s a highly foot-trafficked area. About a week after the final vaccinations (around 17 weeks-old), you’ll be able to take your pup everywhere – so just be patient!

Just like with a new baby, you may be worried about your puppy’s health before the first vet visit. Here are the symptoms to keep an eye out for which may require a phone call to your vet:

  • Diarrhea – if it lasts more than a day, is extremely watery or discolored
  • Vomiting – if it persists more than a day, or is extreme
  • Unwillingness to Eat or Drink – if puppy is not interested in food or water

Remember, use your best instincts – if something seems off, don’t hesitate and reach out to a professional.

Finally, there is no better time to start training than now. The earlier your puppy begins basic training, the faster he will learn. There are many different methods and philosophies to training your pup, but a steadfast rule for all is to remain calm, be patient and reward good behavior. Good luck!

Key House Training Principles to Implement Day One

Simply thinking about house training your puppy could have you feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Take a deep breath and don’t fear! As long as you stay committed and consistent in whichever method you choose, the process doesn’t have to be difficult. It can even be fun! Remember, the goal is to instill positive habits in your pet while simultaneously building a loving bond. Understand and expect there to be a lot of setbacks and “mistakes.” Do your best to curb your frustration (it can take up to 6 months to a year to get your puppy fully house trained), get back on the horse and try again. Following these core training principles as soon as puppy comes home will set a healthy foundation for the rest of your training.

  1. Confine Puppy to Defined Space

Whether you decide to crate train or keep your puppy in a gated area, limiting his space is important during this crucial learning stage – not just to save your valuables from getting ruined, but also to teach puppy that he needs to go outside to do his business. Until he develops his “den instinct” i.e., not wanting to go soil his own living space, he’ll need boundaries. Once he starts to understand and make progress, gradually give him more freedom around the house.

  1. Take Puppy Out Frequently

thumbnail-puppy-developmentYou should take your puppy outside first thing in the morning and then once every 30 minutes to an hour. You should also take him out after every meal, when he wakes from a nap and before he goes to sleep. When in doubt, take him out!

  1. Stay Attached at the Hip

Consider “puppy sitting” your full time job for the next several months. Spotting and acknowledging your puppy’s signs that he needs to go are key to the process. Whining, circling, sniffing or barking are all clear signs that he needs to be taken out right away. And make sure that once he’s out, you watch puppy do his business each time to ensure he’s making progress.

  1. Stick to a Feeding Schedule

Feed your puppy according to your veterinarian and breeder’s recommendations and take away the food in between meals to prevent accidents and get puppy used to eating at consistent times. Remember, what goes in regularly, will come out regularly! Leave the water though. Puppy needs to stay hydrated. Just monitor how much he drinks so you know when to take him out.

  1. X Marks the Spot

Take puppy to the same spot each time he eliminates. He will start to associate his scent with the spot and it will encourage him to go.

  1. Give Praise and Reward

When puppy eliminates outside, praise verbally and give him a treat. Choose a simple word like “outside” or a key phrase such as “Go potty!” and use it every time you take puppy out. Repetition and consistency are key. Puppy will soon start to associate the word with the act. A nice walk is another great reward.

  1. Discipline Correctly

Accidents are completely normal and punishing your puppy will only teach him to fear you. Puppies are not intellectually capable of associating anger with wrongdoing. If you catch puppy in the act, clap loudly to alert him it’s not acceptable. Then quickly take him outside by calling him or pulling him gently by the collar. If you find evidence after the act, don’t react angrily by yelling or rubbing the puppy’s nose in it.