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Pitter Patter Puppies
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What New Owners Need to Know
Homecoming

Here’s a list of some useful things you may wish to buy before your puppy comes home.
1.Wire Crate and Crate Pads
2.Donut Bed
3.Ceramic or Stainless Steel Food Bowl
4.Puppy Vitamins
5.Quality Puppy Food (We feed Diamond Natural Puppy)
6.Nail Clipper and Stypic Powder
7. Tear Free Puppy Shampoo and Conditioner
8.Wire Pin Brush
9.Comb
10.Small Squeaker Plush Toys
11.Collar or Harness Size with Snap Closures and a 6 ft. Leash
12.Chew Bones & Chew Toys
13.Canned 100% Pumpkin Puree (In case of Diarrhea)
14.Nutri-Stat or Nutri-Cal, a high calorie food supplement (In case of low blood sugar or stress)

After Homecoming

A well-fed puppy is a healthy puppy – neither overfed nor underfed!
At seven to eight weeks, your puppy will typically eat about 1/4 cup of food three times a day.  If possible, free feed your puppy (leave food out all the time so he/she can eat whenever they're hungry)
By 10 weeks, your puppy should be eating about 1/2- 1 cup of food twice a day. Keep your puppy on two meals a day, and keep this schedule throughout your dog’s life.
Most toy/small breed dogs are finished growing between 6-9 months.  Large breed dogs continue growing and require the higher protein diet provided by a high quality puppy food until they are 18-24 months old.  Don't short change your dogs growth by feeding adult dog food too soon.
As your puppy’s growth rate slows down, so will their food requirements.
If your puppy is too fat, give them smaller portions. If your puppy is losing weight, increase the amount of food. 

Health Care

A healthy puppy is content, alert and happy. Your puppy might need immediate medical attention if:
He or she vomits frequently, or for more than a day.
He or she doesn't eat for more than a day.
He or she passes soft stool with or without blood or mucus for more than two days, or has liquid diarrhea.
His or her temperature is less than 100 F or more than 102 F.
His or her gums are another color other than pink.
He or she drools excessively or coughs constantly.
He or she shows signs of nasal or eye discharge.
He or she gets tired easily.
He or she has fleas or ticks.
He or she limps for more than a day.
He or she suddenly starts showing a lack of interest in what is happening. 

In case of an emergency, call your veterinarian. If the doctor's office is not open, call the nearest emergency pet clinic. 

Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar) is a SERIOUS concern, especially for small breed dogs.  Hypoglycemia is a syndrome that occurs primarily in toy breeds between 6 and 12 weeks of age. A hypoglycemic attack is often precipitated by stress. The typical signs are listlessness, depression, staggering gait, muscular weakness, and tremors-especially of the face. Puppies with a severe drop in blood sugar develop seizures or become stuporous and go into a coma. Death can follow. This particular sequence of symptoms is not always seen. though. For example, some puppies exhibit only weakness or a wobbly gait. Occasionally a puppy who seemed just fine is found in coma.

Episodes of hypoglycemia often occur without warning-for example, when a puppy is stressed by shipping. Other common causes of acute hypoglycemia are missing a meal, chilling, becoming exhausted from too much play, or having an upset stomach. These events place an added strain on the energy reserves of the liver.

Prolonged or repeated hypoglycemic attacks in toy breed puppies can cause brain damage. Puppies with frequent attacks should undergo veterinary testing to rule out an underlying problem, such as liver shunt, infection, or an enzyme or hormone deficiency.

Treatment: The treatment of an acute attack is aimed at restoring the blood sugar. Begin immediately. If the puppy is awake and able to swallow, give corn syrup or sugar water by syringe, or rub corn syrup, honey, or glucose paste on the gums. You should see improvement in 30 minutes. If not, call your veterinarian.

If the pup is unconscious, do not give an oral solution because it will be inhaled. Rub corn syrup, honey, or glucose paste on the gums and proceed at once to your veterinarian. This puppy will require an intravenous dextrose solution and may need to be treated for brain swelling.

Oral glucose paste is sold at pharmacies. If you know your dog is subject to hypoglycemic attacks, keep this product on hand.

Prevention: Susceptible puppies should be fed at least four times a day. It is important to feed a high-carbohydrate, high-protein, high-fat diet. It is essential that the diet be high quality. Your veterinarian can recommend an appropriate premium food.

Treats are Doggie "Junk Food" and should be limited to no more than 5% of your puppies diet.  Owners of toy puppies should take precautions to see that they do not become excessively tired or chilled. Many (but not all) puppies outgrow this problem.



Grooming

Grooming is an important part of dog ownership. How much grooming your dog needs depends upon their breed and hair type. Remember to use the right grooming tools, and follow your vet’s instructions. A few dog grooming tips are provided below.
Hair Brushing – Dogs enjoy being brushed. It also helps to ensure a healthy coat. Minimum brushing needs will depend on hair type. Long-haired dogs will require daily brushing (using the right tools).  Maltese, Yorkies, and Morkies require daily brushing to keep their coats from matting.  It's a good bonding exercise to start as soon as possible so your dog looks forward to that special time with you each day.
Nail Trimming – Most dogs dislike having their paws handled and develop an aversion to nail trimming if they experience pain from it. Learn from a veterinary technician, vet or groomer how to trim your dog’s nails correctly. While most dogs need monthly nail trims, your dog’s nails may need trimming more or less often.
Bathing – Most dogs should be bathed monthly, although once a week is also not considered harmful. Always use soap-free dog shampoo or one recommended by your vet.  Especially with long haired breeds, avoid a rough towel dry technique, as this will make brushing/combing more difficult later.
Ear Care – Make sure that your dog’s ears remain clean and do not become a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. While many dogs require only routine ear cleaning during the monthly bath, others may suffer from chronic ear disease and require cleanings many times a day. Dogs with floppy ears or long hair are generally predisposed to ear problems because the ear canal does not receive adequate air exposure. Ear problems can also occur due to genetics or allergies. If your dog suffers from excessive debris or foul odor of the ears, your veterinarian may prescribe ear cleaners and medications.
Haircuts – Dogs with long and continuously growing hair like Maltese, Yorkies, and Morkies typically need a haircut every three to four weeks. 

We do offer dog grooming in our climate controlled Kennel by our AMAZING Groomer, fellow Homeschool Mom, & personal friend Helen Arnold.  She started her grooming career over 25 years ago in York, England where she had a shop.  After moving to Florida & starting a family, she decided to take her grooming mobile, and offers her grooming services in the Central Florida area.  If you would like more information, or to schedule an appointment,  you can contact us via email or phone call, or Helen directly on her cell:  (813)361-3840
This is on a case by case basis, so please contact us for more information about getting an appointment.

Training

Your puppy will naturally look to you for guidance and support, and you should consider training him or her in these areas:
House Training – Teach your puppy the house rules.  BE CONSISTANT! Being firm is NOT mean, and will lead to a happier life for your dog.  Dogs need to know what is expected of them, especially who's the boss/alpha.  If you're not the boss/alpha then they have no choice but to take that role.  
Potty Training – Let your puppy know the boundaries so that he or she won't soil the house.  Take them to the same spot every time, and they will quickly figure out that's what you do there.  DO NOT PLAY WITH THEM DURING POTTY TIME.  Play immediately after as a reward for getting their business taken care of.  This will ensure your puppy figures out quickly WHY your standing at the far corner of the yard, and gets it over with.  See more info on Potty training in our FAQ section.
Crate Training – Introduce your puppy to a crate and use it as a training tool.  Don't worry if Puppy whines at first, they will stop and eventually see their crate as a 'safe-haven' to call their own & will voluntarily seek it out for rest and relaxation.  
Behavior Training – Let your puppy know when he or she misbehaves, and correct that misbehavior.  Again BE CONSISTANT!  If you don't want him/her to do it- don't allow it.  Redirect their attention, immediately reprimand, & if necessary remove them from the situation.  Their crate shouldn't be a punishment, but it can be a place to force a "time out" and some calm reflection.  
Command Training – Teach your puppy basic commands like sit, stay and lie down, and let your puppy know how to adjust to a leash and follow simple leash commands. Come is probably the one MOST IMPORTANT & LIFE SAVING command you can teach your puppy, begin working on training your little one the importance of coming to you immediately whenever you call.  This could save their life!
Tricks – Teach your puppy simple tricks to perform.  Its fun, and keeps them engaged and looking to their "Alpha" for direction & interaction.  Bored dogs tend to get into more trouble, so keep 'um busy!

We recommend 'Don Sullivan's Secrets to Training the Perfect Dog' DVD training kit.  

REMEMBER... A well trained dog is a HAPPY & SAFE dog!