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10 Tips to a Perfect Pup

Author // Susan Crawford Categories // General



In honor of National puppy day this month’s blog is all about puppies. We are also offering a FREE puppy packet valued at 80 dollars. Just come on over to the Fetching Frieda store and pick one up.

10 tips to a perfect pup

  1. The quest to raise the perfect puppy starts with the decision to get a puppy. First you need to make sure all family members are on the same page. Everyone needs to be in agreement that now is the right time to get a puppy. It is unfair to bring a puppy into a home unless all family members want it to be a part of the family and agree to work together to make the puppy a family priority.

  2. Second, you need to get all your supplies together before you bring your puppy home. The absolute necessities are a collar and leash, crate for training, food, treats, cleaning supplies, chew toys, and fun toys.

    Now you have found the puppy of your dreams. Your puppy euphoria however is short lived. Suddenly you are over whelmed by the responsibility of raising your new puppy to reach its full potential. Calm down and let’s start with the essentials. They are covered in steps 3 through 6 and consider them immediately upon acquiring your puppy.

  3. House training is third. There are many rights ways to housetrain a puppy. I like crate training for several reasons. It is easy for most families and the crate is a safe place for the puppy when no one is available to supervise it. Make the crate comfortable with a chew toy and be sure to put absorbent material in the bottom of the crate. Shredded newspapers work well and can be disposed of when soiled. Many people use old towels which can be laundered. Puppies, like children, train at their own pace. It is important to know that a puppy’s internal organs will not be mature enough to concentrate urine until they are at least 4 months old. Some pups will be 6 months old before they are truly house trained. When you get up in the morning, the first thing to do is, take the puppy outside to the area you have designated as the potty place. Tell him “go potty” or use a phrase of your choosing. This is the first step in getting your dog to potty on command. This will be a very useful skill for the life of your dog. After puppy does his business, be sure to praise lavishly. You should take the pup outside immediately, each time he comes out of the crate and directly after each meal. During playtime in the home, you should take the pup out about every 20 minutes. If you are diligent with this routine, there should be few if any accidents in the house. I believe it is better to praise them for doing something right rather than correct them for doing something wrong.

  4. Fourth is feeding. It is so important, I can’t emphasize it enough. There are a lot of food choices out there. How you decide will depend a lot on your personal preference and level of knowledge about dog food. Do not look at the pretty pictures on the bag of food, turn it around and look at the Guaranteed Analysis. The critical issues are that the food is AAFCO approved. If it is, it will say so on the package. Additionally, the food should be low in carbohydrates and have a low glycemic index. Now comes the hard part. How are you going to figure this out when there are no carbohydrate figures on the Guaranteed Analysis panel? You will have to add up all the percentages on the panel and subtract that figure from a hundred. The resulting figure will be your carbohydrate percentage.  For our purpose, of carb counting, you don’t need to include figures that are less than a tenth of a percent like those for zinc, vitamin E, Taurine and other nutritional supplements. Remember the cheaper the food, the higher the carb content will be. If you are planning to feed a dry dog food, chose one that is under 30% carbohydrate. To figure the glycemic index go online and access a glycemic index chart to check the rating for the ingredients in the food you are considering. Glucose is rated 100, potatoes are 98, white rice is 72, corn is 54, garbanzo beans are 36 and lentils are 29. In a dry food you would do better with lentils and garbanzo beans rather than potatoes. So, chose the carbohydrate wisely in your puppy’s food.  Canned or raw dog food can be lower in carbs because it doesn’t need to form a kibble shape. Make sure you rotate your protein sources giving your puppy exposure to a rich variety of foods. No, they don’t make it easy on you but the time and effort you put into this now will benefit your puppy for the rest of its life.

    For my puppies, I choose to wean them directly from nursing on mom to a raw diet. The diet I use is produced by Barfworld. It is AAFCO approved and low in carbohydrates. I believe this is the way nature intended your puppy to thrive.

  5. Fifth is vaccinating your puppy. It is very tempting to just let your veterinarian take charge of this and for some people that is a good course of action. I recommend that you educate yourself about vaccinations. You should know how they work, what is necessary and what is not. For your information, I recommend that you google for Dr. Jean Dodds who is with the University of Calif at Davis. Dr. Dodds is one of the finest veterinary scientists in immunology. You should read her reduced vaccination protocols. Dr. Ronald Schultz is with the University of Wisconsin at Madison and has done ground breaking work with Rabie vaccinations. Additionally, the American Animal Hospital Association has recommended vaccinating dogs not more than once in three years. You should read their findings. By availing yourself of the available information, you become a more knowledgeable partner working with your veterinarian for your puppy’s best health.

  6. I get so many questions about teething, it is sixth on my list. Your puppy will be teething when you bring him home at 8 weeks and this can continue up to 6 months of age. By then all of the adult teeth should be in. If your pup still has baby teeth hanging on, they should be removed. Ask your vet to take a look. Make sure your puppy has plenty of chew toys around at all times. If the pup is chewing on something inappropriate, remove the object and tell the pup no. Redirect your puppy to a better chewing choice.  An antler or Kong toy are good choices. Offer praise for chewing on the right item. At this stage, I never punish a puppy for chewing. I simply praise it for correct action and keep it away from any destructive situation.

  7. Seventh is leash training and safety. Commonly, I have people tell me that their puppy is already trained and that they don’t need a leash because the puppy will follow them. Young puppies will follow their mother or pack leader. This is not training. It is instinctive behavior of a puppy to stay close to the protection and safety of the pack. As the puppy becomes more mature and confident, it will want to explore more on its own. Like any kid, the pup will want to push their limits. This is when the puppy chases a squirrel into the street and is injured. That’s when I hear, “but he never did that before”. Play it safe, get a leash.

  8. Eighth is training and socializing with the outside world. A good place to start is an obedience class. Four months is a good age to begin. A good class should cover walking on leash at your side, sit, stand, down and come on command. You should train your dog rather than having a Trainer train the dog. This is good bonding experience. Why would you want your dog to bond with someone else? All family members should participate in training the dog to the best of their ability. The family should use the same vocabulary when training and interacting with the dog. Example; when you want the dog to come, all family members should use the command COME. It is confusing to the dog if one person uses COME HERE as the command while the others use COME.                             
  9. Exercise is essential for health and wellbeing of people and dogs. That is why I include it as ninth in my list. Make time for you and your dog to enjoy a walk in the park or other activity appropriate for the two of you. Learn from your dog and take time to smell the roses. You will both enjoy a more balanced and fulfilling life.

  10. Tenth is to subscribe to good sources of information so that you will continue to learn and be better educated to provide better for your puppy. I recommend the Whole Dog Journal to anyone who wants to get more from their relationship with their dog. Subscribe, you’ll be glad you did.

    This is not an exhaustive work on the subject. I will cover each of these topics more extensively in future blogs. I invite you to contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your questions and encourage your feedback.


About the Author

Susan Crawford

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