Caring for your new puppy
Settling in: the first 2-3 weeks
- Confine to an ESCAPE –PROOF room, kennel or secure part of the yard for a few days until settled, or your new puppy may escape and become lost.
- Avoid over stimulation (exciting/rough play or rough petting).
- Once settled (eating well, looking contented, playing), allow your puppy to explore the house and yard, under supervision.
- Over the next 2-3 weeks return your new puppy to the Escape Proof area whenever you cannot supervise its activities.
- If your new puppy is to live outside, begin during the day, under supervision.
- Fresh water should always be available.
- Dry PUPPY chow should be fed two or four times a day. At 6 months old, reduce to twice a day. Once over a year old, some dogs will be content with one meal per day.
- A small amount of canned/moist dog food can also be fed & will help your new puppy settle in.
- Uneaten food should be thrown away & all bowls kept clean.
- Do not feed spicy food, bones or milk.
- Puppies will need to eliminate after waking, eating and exercise. Place your puppy in the designated area at these times.
- If kenneled at first, every 2 -3 hours tallow it out for toilet time.
- If kenneled at night, let it out just before kenneling and early in the morning.
- If your puppy has a “toilet accident”, do not scold it. Do not use ammonia-based disinfectants or bleach to clean up messes.
Rest and sleep
- Moving to a new home is unsettling and your new puppy will need time to adjust to the change.
- Provide a quiet, secluded area and do not disturb your puppy when it is asleep.
- Attention and play will help your new puppy to settle in, but avoid over stimulation (exciting/rough play or petting), as this may be unsettling and could lead to aggression or biting.
- Provide safe toys (tennis balls, squeaky puppy toys). Discourage hand or rough play.
- Undesirable behavior should be discouraged with a sharp and firm “NO!”
- Praise good behavior.
Grooming and daily care
- Most puppies will keep clean though fluffy coats will need brushing.
- If dirty, your puppy can be bathed with vet or store bought pet shampoo, or very mild human baby shampoo.
- Check daily for problems like runny eyes or nose, diarrhea, or vomiting.
- Consult a vet ASAP.
Vetinary care, fleas, worms
- Young T&TSPCA puppies are given 4 vaccinations (4 weeks apart) between 6 – 16 weeks, then given a yearly booster.
- Puppies older than 16 weeks but younger than 1 year, are given 2 vaccinations (4 weeks apart), then given a yearly booster.
- If your new puppy seems unwell (not eating, listless, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.), contact a vet ASAP.
- Treat for fleas and ticks monthly with approved pet products or consult your vet.
- Worm for tape worms every three months, best done by a vet.
- All T&TSPCA puppies and dogs are spayed/neutered before adoption.
Introduction to other houshold animals
- Avoid exposure to household DOGS until your puppy seems settled
- A gradual introduction is recommended.
- Ensure that the dogs are restrained (on a lead) at the first meeting and are reprimanded if they show any undesirable behavior.
- Supervise all interactions until the puppy is at least 4 months old or until you are confident that the dog/s will not be aggressive towards the puppy.
- Initially, ensure that your puppy always has an escape route away from your dog/s and a safe area where the dog/s cannot reach it.
- If you decide that the puppy is in danger and the situation cannot be resolved, please return the puppy to the T&TSPCA.
- Delay face-to-face introduction to household KITTENS/CATS for a week.
- If your puppy is large/over 4 moths old, restrain (on a lead) at the first meeting and reprimand any undesirable behavior.
- Supervise all time together until you are confident that your new puppy will not pose any danger towards your kitten/cat.
Introduction to children
- Children must be taught how to handle and interact with your new puppy (do not disturb while sleeping/eating, be gentle, no grabbing, pulling etc.) and how to know when your puppy has had enough attention and needs to be left alone.
- Initial interaction time must be limited and supervised.
- If startled, hurt or over stimulated through play or affection, puppies may scratch or bite, potentially harming children.
- Contact the T&TSPCA for advice if there are any problems with your new puppy (not settling well, toilet concerns, issues with household cats or dogs etc.). However, if your puppy is unwell, consult a vet.
- If you cannot keep your new puppy, please return it to the T&TSPCA.
- If you find an alternative home for your new puppy within the first year after adoption, notify the T&TSPCA so that the new owner can be contacted for a home check (see Adoption Agreement).