5 Things You Need to Remember When Getting a New Puppy
Our family just welcomed in a new member. Her name is Penny, and she's currently fits in the palm of my hand. We already have 2 other dogs, so my wife and I figured adding a third would be no big deal. We've raised dogs from puppies before, so this would be a piece of cake, right? It seems there are a few things we've forgotten about having a new puppy in the house, so I'm here to share what we are re-learning in my household.
It's been nearly a decade since we have welcomed a new puppy home. Somehow, the memory of the cuteness of a new puppy makes us forget that there is an adjustment period when you bring them to their new house. While a puppy is being introduced to its new home, it will get nervous, scared and lonely at night. And they will let you know. You have 2 choices: 1) Try to ignore it and hopefully the whining will go away after a few nights; or 2) Put the puppy in a safe room that is far, far, far, far, far away from where you sleep. Some people will let a puppy sleep with them until they quit whining, but I can't bring myself to consider this an option.
If you just had new carpet installed, a new puppy will break it in. You can pay incredible attention to your puppy, take it outside in 5 minute intervals, or cover the floor in newspaper. It doesn't matter. Your new puppy will have an accident, and you will have to clean it up. Sure, you can minimize the damage, but you cannot totally keep "It" from happening. Simply put, a new puppy is not for the obsessively clean.
When introducing a puppy into a house with children and other dogs, the puppy's behavior is the least of your worries. Small children have no concept of what hurts puppies. So they will likely think dragging puppy across the carpet, pulling its ears off, squeezing its eyes out or just plain trying to eat a puppy is funny. Beware. Any other dogs in the house may protest the arrival of the new pup, carrying on, staring at you as if to say "Is this some kind of joke?". I have learned not to force this friendship. It may be funny to watch them fight for a while, but I can't help but believe there could be permanent psychological damage to one or both dogs if you keep trying to make 2 dogs hug all the time. Eventually, the older dog will learn that this is not a joke, and it will have to share attention with the newer model.
Our puppy came home with us at 7 weeks. She had no front teeth, and we didn't have the correct puppy food right away, so we soaked a small plate of dog food in water to soften it, and gave that to her. Given the option, this strikes me as a much better temporary solution over feeding her human food or starvation.
The odds of a puppy having worms is pretty good, from what I understand. They are often identified as white specks in their backyard droppings. The good news is, worms are easy to treat, and you can get medicine at most pet or feed stores. Most treatments are powders that can mix with food, and I was told that it tastes good to the puppy (I'm going to take their word for it). A few days of treatments, and the worms should be gone within a couple weeks. You just have to keep checking the puppy's mess to be sure the worms are gone. And don't hesitate to take your puppy to a vet if anything seems out of the ordinary. Other puppy illnesses, like parvo, need professional attention as soon as possible.