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The Visiting Vet recommends that you create a pet medicine cabinet and purchase environmental enrichment items before you bring your new pet home.
Your pet medicine cabinet should consist of:
1. A scale that measures in pounds and ounces so you can keep track of your puppy's weight. Weigh yourself while carrying your puppy and then subtract your weight without the puppy to calculate your puppy's weight.
2. Immodium AD (1 mg / 7.5 mL) - Use for diarrhea. Give the directed amount by mouth up to three times per day as needed. The directed amount is weight dependent so call us for help!
3. Liquid benadryl (12.5 mg / 5 mL) - Use for allergic reactions or itching. Give the directed amount (call us) up to three times per day as needed. This is also weight dependent.
4. Karo syrup (the clear kind) - Use in case he or she isn't eating or his or her sugar is low (you will see your pet is sluggish). Call us for the directed amount.
5. Pediatric Advil - Use this for pain. Call us for directions. This is not for everyday use, but to be used for emergency situations.
6. Pedialyte - To use when your pet is dehydrated. Call us for directions.
7. Thermometer - A normal temperature is between 101 - 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. It is suggested that you purchase two thermometers in case one becomes faulty in case of an emergency. Digital thermometers do not last forever!
Please call us for directions on these medications because the amount given depends on the pet's weight. Pet doses are not the same as the ones used for humans. These medications are only to be used in a critical situation and under the direction of the veterinarian. It is always recommended that the pet is examined by Dr. Snyder as soon as possible.
We recommend crate training for puppies!
Crate training is a valuable tool that is recommended for puppies of all shapes and sizes. A crate should be a safety zone, or a "den", if you will. The puppy should be crated while she eats, sleeps, and while you are not home. Crate training helps housebreak a puppy and also prevents them from chewing up items all over the house.
When picking out a crate, find one that allows enough room for a bowl, a toy and your pet to stand and stretch out comfortably. Do not choose a crate that is large enough for your dog to use the bathroom in one corner and eat in another corner (see the next paragraph). Many crates come with a divider so the crate can "grow" with your puppy". Also, beware of crates with sharp edges on the inside. These edges can cause harm to your pet.
Many people crate train their pet to aid in housebreaking. Just like a baby, a puppy has a very small bladder and cannot hold a lot of urine. This is why puppies frequently have accidents in the house. It is your responsibility to make every effort to take your pup out as often as possible and reward her when she goes to the bathroom in the appropriate area (the grass, wee wee pad, etc.). Dogs do not like to urinate or defecate where they eat and sleep so they will not want to go in their crate. This will promote bladder control. Over time, your pet will be able to hold their bladder for longer periods of time which will allow you to leave her in a crate for longer. Be sure to take your puppy out to her designated elimination area as soon as you take her out of the crate!
It is NEVER recommended to leave your pet in a crate longer than 6 hours (except at night). Remember to slowly increase the amount of time your pet stays in a crate. You can crate your puppy for short periods of time while you are home early on during crate training so she doesn't associate the crate with being alone and to work on slowly increasing crate time. It is important to allow time for the puppy to adapt to the crate. Your puppy may whimper while she is in the crate during the early stages of training. This behavior should be ignored unless the puppy is in serious distress. The puppy will learn to appreciate her personal crate space with time.
Some dogs take longer to learn bladder control and learn not to chew up household items. The average age is between 6-12 months of age. Once your puppy has achieved this level of training, it is up to the owner whether they want to continue to crate train. Some owners prefer to keep their pets in the crate while eating and sleeping, but let their pet roam the house when they are not home. Others only crate their pets while they are not home. It is up to you to decide what works best for you and your pet. Many dogs become so accustomed to their crate that they will go in willingly because it feels comfortable for them.
If you want more information on crate training, call our office or visit the ASPCA's website.
A list of environmental enrichment toys and supplies will be posted soon! Call us if you would like further information on environmental enrichment.