30 minute Puppy Consultation and FAQs

When Can I Take My Puppy Out Walking?

There is a lot of mis information about when and where it is safe to go walking with your puppy. The most important things to know are;
All puppies need to get out and about as soon as possible for short trips regardless of vaccination status. This is  part of their socialisation (socialisation is NOT meeting other dogs click here for more information on this vital part of puppy hood) HOWEVER this is VERY IMPORTANT, your vet will guide you as to whether they need to be carried up off the ground in  backpack,  of if they can walk on the ground and for how far and how long, and  finally on whether they are ready to meet other dogs or not yet.  It is essential to have your puppies vaccination records reviewed and your puppy examined before this can be accurately advised for each puppy.  It is not necessary to wait for the full vaccination course to be complete, as long as you have the guidance of your vet on where and how to exercise your pup safely. If you have an enclosed garden your puppy can and should explore it under supervision prior to vaccination. After you have got advice from your vet, make sure to keep trips short and sweet, both for your puppies legs and their brain, to avoid longterm damage to joints and negative overhwhelming experiences when tired.
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When Can I Bath My Puppy?

It is tempting to wash that pongy puppy smell from your pup as soon as you get them, however the advice is to bath your puppy and adult dog as little as possible. For young puppies that peculiar smell can be a comfort to them during their transition to their new home with you. If you must wash them, wait for three days settling in period. Unlike us, dogs only sweat from their paws, hence they need their thick layer of sebum all over their coat to be left intact and not washed away  with shampoo for good skin health.  What is more important for non shedding dogs (all poodle and bichon crossbreeds  aka little white/ orange fluffies)  is to book a puppy grooming session as soon as possible, this is part of their socialisation so that they will not be fearful of the professional grooming they will require (for health reasons rather than vanity) every 6 to 8 weeks for life. Dogs that are groomed this  regularly do not need any washing in between grooming.   Wash your dog only if they have a lot of dirt or mud on them, rinse with water only if you cam get away with it. If using shampoo make sure its good quality puppy shampoo and rinse all suds thoroughly to avoid casing skin irritation. Never use shampoo near ears or eyes. Also a puppies natural smell will reassure the puppy during his settling in to his new home.
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How Can I Stop My Puppy Crying At Night?

Puppies crying at night is very disruptive and distressing and can be a problem for neighbours as well depending on how close they are. Is there anything to be done? Yes plenty. Firstly being alone is something your puppy needs to learn to do. However they do not need to learn it all in one night. Some puppies will be deliberately housed alone in a crate at the breeders, to prepare them for their new home but many are not. The less socialisation your puppy has received prior to coming to you, the more they will struggle with being alone. Most puppies find this difficult, so do not feel like something is wrong, it is very common, however puppies should be helped rather than ignored and this can be done by:-

1)Putting a heavy blanket over the crate ( and leave the door open if your puppy has not been previously crate trained ensuring that the space they have to explore is puppy proofed)

2) Leave a night light on and a clock or radio on low, classical music and talk radio have shown to be most effective.

3) Use some calming products. We recommend and sell the pheromone product Adaptil , as very effective for helping puppies reduce stress while settling into their new house. It is sold at vets and pet shops, is very reasonably priced and gives  the puppy some help with the transition from their mother and siblings to their new home, so that their new owner has more confidence to let the puppy settle themselves while knowing they have done something to assist the distressing feelings of being alone for the first time. Adaptil diffuses the scent of a mother dogs pheromones into the air next to the puppy, which is very reassuring and familiar to them.  Dont worry humans cannot pick up the scent!

4) It is ok to bring the crate up to your bedroom, if this is acceptable to you.  Or have a second crate upstairs for night time, this crate can then be moved gradually further away from you each evening. We do not recommend to have your puppy on your bed or up on furniture such as the couch, for behavioural and safety reasons (injury from falls are common and it makes your puppy more anxious in most cases)

5) Slowly get your puppy used to being alone for short spells in the day time, start with 5 to 10 minutes (or less for very anxious puppies) and gradually stretch it out. See www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare for more information.

6) Set a routine: Get up in the night time at set times eg. 11pm 3pm 6am, and gradually stretch it out. If you are diligent by night 3 your puppy will be expecting you down at those times and this will mean they will settle until the allocated time. All animals have very powerful internal clocks. When you stretch out the time between night checks do so only after your pup is settled and then every 4th night or so add 15 minutes either side.

7) Make sure your puppy is getting enough of the right kind of attention during the day. Enough but not too much. For more information on this visit dogstrust.ie and wonderpaws.ie
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How do I Stop My Puppy Eating Everything?

With eating things there are three very important things to note:- 

  1. It is normal for puppies to chew things and eviscerate teddies etc. They need to do this for behavioural and developmental reasons (teething). 
  2. Supervision is key, when your pup is left alone it needs to be in a pup proof environment. For this reason we recommend crate training as it is the safest and most comfortable and secure once your pup is used to it. 
  3. If your pup has something in their mouth  DO NOT CHASE AFTER THEM. Your pup will always be quicker and it will trigger a swallow reflex, even for very large items. This is what they would do if they had grabbed a large bit of meat and another puppy was coming at them trying to take it from them. Instead you can train your puppy to the command “Drop It” with items that they do not really care about, dog toys and old balls etc,  and reward them with a tasty treat once they drop the item from their mouth. If you do this 2 to 3 times daily with non valuable items when your dog steals something more valuable they will be a lot more likely to drop it on command due to that training. This training can be started at 8 weeks of age , its quick and fun to do.
  4. Provide enough suitable toys for your dogs to chew on, avoid tennis balls, cooked bones (even those vacupacked available in pet shops and supermarkets) and deer antlers, teddy bears with hard eyes and noses, as these are dangerous causing wear and shattered teeth and blocked digestive tracts.   Supervise your puppy while chewing. Nothing is 100% safe.

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How Much Do I Feed My Puppy?

When you first get your puppy, you should be given certain information, such as vaccinations , flea and worming status, what situations and people the puppy has been exposed to and what they have not (socialisation), details of parentage, how many litters the parents have had etc.

Included in this should be the brand, type amount of dog food your puppy is on. Ideally, puppies that have solid poo should have their diet changed as little as possible. This means do not change brand or even flavour of food unless it is on veterinary advice. If your puppies poo is not solid for more than three poos in a row then book a veterinary appointment.

If you do not have this information to hand a good rule of thumb is to feed puppies 8 weeks of age three times daily, depending on the breed of puppy this can be reduced to twice daily from 4 -5 months onwards. Do not feed cooked bones, sugary biscuits or highly processed treats. Have a set menu of five things for your dog to eat , for example, kibble, standard treat, high value treat , a chew and one type of vegetable.

For Tailored Advice on Your Puppys dietary needs, book a visit with Your Local Vet
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How Can I Stop My Puppy Wetting & Pooing in the House?

Toilet training is a big part of new puppy ownership. Its important to know firstly that you can begin toilet training as soon as 7 weeks of age.

Regardless of vaccination status, your puppy can enter your garden for toileting, once it is an enclosed space, with no other dogs, (or  known, vaccinated dogs), however it is always best to check with your vet.

Other animals cats and wildlife represent a minimal risk.

Much as we do not like to think about it, most urban gardens will have rats, and this means that gardens are contaminated with rats urine, as such it is important to supervise your puppy and remove access to any pools or large puddles of water to avoid ingestion and risk of leptospirosis see puppy vaccinations for more on this.

It is also a good idea to walk around your garden and “puppy proof” it before starting with outdoor toilet training. Remove rat poison, slug pellets, and any other items your puppy may be interested in chewing or swallowing that will do them harm. As with all young creatures, constant supervision is the best way to prevent major mishaps.

We recommend the use of a crate for toilet training. For full details on crate and toilet training  click here.

The key points are : start early, bring the pup out often, never punish (mishaps are always your fault not the puppies!). Never force a puppy into the crate. Do not close the puppy in the crate until they are happily entering it voluntarily. Make sure the crate is only the size of the puppies bed, too big and they will soil in it.

Remember puppy training is process. It takes 3 to 8 weeks to toilet train fully, depending on the size and age of your puppy.
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How much time do I need for my new pup?

Think about your daily and weekly schedule, how will your puppy fit in this? Or more accurately how will you adapt your schedule to fit your puppy in?

An 8 week old puppy cannot be left unattended initially for more than two hours during the day and three hours at night time.

As well as socialisation and toilet training there is walking, veterinary check ups, grooming appointments, puppy training classes  to consider.

On average a new puppy at 8 weeks old will require 2- 3 hours daily, broken up over the day and night time. This will ease as the dog grows, especially if you put the time and effort in to begin with. You should then have a well rounded adult dog that can get away with 40 mins dedicated time.
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How much money do I need for my new pup?

The purchase or rescue fee will always be the cheapest part of having any pet, no matter how expensive your initial pet purchase is, lifetime maintenance will always be more! Set up fees will involve bowls, a bed, a crate, a lead, collar, id tag, toys, microchip change of owner fee, neutering fee, puppy training course and initial vaccinations.

This can add up to €600 to €800 on top of the adoption fee.

Ongoing costs include good quality food, annual boosters, flea and worm prevention treatments, pet insurance and grooming fees. Dog sitting/boarding fees may be required when you are away or have long days at work. Ongoing training is sometimes necessary beyond the initial training. Your dog may also need extra medications or supplements. All together these ongoing costs will be a minimum of €150 per month or €1800 per year, as a conservative estimate. The amount could easily be more depending on your dogs size and needs.

That figure does not include emergency treatments or medical conditions your pet may acquire as they age.

The good news is there are great veterinary treatments available to save your pet, should something unthinkable happen. The bad news is that these cannot be provided for without a significant cost. Emergency veterinary medical bills can easily run into thousands of euros within 24- 48 hours, for which insurance can be invaluable for peace of mind.

We also offer petcare plans which will spread the cost of non-emergency treatments and check-ups into manageable predictable amounts.

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Lets take the puppy parent quiz

  1. Are you willing to ensure that you or someone in your family will be around to look after your pup every two hours for the first two weeks in your house?
  2. Are you willing to invest time and energy in training your puppy both at home, in the vets and at puppy training sessions?
  3. Are you willing to set aside a minimum of €150 per month to cover your pets needs, with a contingency in place in case of emergencies?
  4. What will you do with your dog when you are going on holidays or away for a night or weekend?
  5. Are you prepared to learn how to train a happy healthy puppy and take advice from vets and dog trainers and behaviourist on how to do this?
  6. Do you have the physical strength and wellbeing as well as the financial wellbeing to care for your dog for the next 12 -18years?
  7. Do have the patience and energy required?
  8. Are you ready to deal with set backs such as your pup not getting on with children in the house, children developing allergies, your puppy having behavioural issues or developing a longterm illness.
  9. How will you deal with a change of circumstance, e.g having to move house or country for a job? Are you prepared to include your dog as a family member affecting your decisions on where you may rent or buy next and what type of job you may take?
  10. In your current schedule do you have the time and energy it requires to look after a puppy?

If you cannot answer any of the above questions or have answered no to any of them, you are not ready to be a puppy parent. Keep researching and thinking about the answers to the above until you are ready.

Answered yes! I am ready to be a dog parent. Congratulations! Here is some advice on  Which dog to get and where to get it.

See Also: How Kids Should Interact with Dogs and Keeping Your Baby safe Around Pets

As well as Socialisation for Puppies
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