Introduction to the Home Environment
When your puppy first arrives home this is a very important time for you both as it is the commencement of a lifelong relationship. If this is your first experience raising a puppy prepare yourself for a most regarding and trying time. After your journey home, put your puppy out on the grass to relieve itself.
For more tips like the below, be sure to read our Preparation page.
PUPPY PROOFING YOUR HOME
Here are a few helpful tips to help keep your puppy out of harm’s way:
- Keep household cleaners and chemicals out of puppy’s reach
- Restrict access to plants that are dangerous
- Store breakable items out of the way
- Hide or cover electrical cords so they can’t be chewed
- Keep kids toys off the floor, some parts may be small enough for the puppy to swallow
- Pools or hot tubs need to be fenced off to have a protective cover over them.
PUPPY’S FIRST NIGHT
Your puppy is likely to suffer from mild separation anxiety for the first couple of nights away from its littermates. When you get your puppy home, try to engage him/her as much as possible so it can get used to its new surroundings. Put them in their sleeping quarters (arrange a small enclosed area) at regular intervals as well. When putting your puppy to bed, put some soft toys and a blanket in the enclosure for comfort, and a hot water bottle in the colder months. Do not leave if your puppy is howling or upset, wait until he or she is calm and relaxed. Leave a couple of biscuits or something to chew on to keep them occupied. You may call out in a stern voice ‘it’s all right’ so your puppy knows it hasn’t been abandoned. Expect the puppy to be awake before first light.
PUPPY DIET GUIDE
Our puppies are fed a premium diet. It is recommended to follow the below food guide for the first 6 months of your puppies life. Your puppy will leave our home on a diet consisting of:
- Ivory Coat Puppy Kibble (chicken)
- Beef or chicken pet mince (raw)
Your puppy will need to be fed twice daily. Suggested meal size from 8 weeks is 1 cup of kibble and 1 cup of mince well combined. This can be increased with age.
Alternative Food Options
- Cooked rice or pasta with vegetables occasionally
- Raw eggs and natural yoghurt are good for digestive balance and a shiny coat
- Bones are very good for your puppy while teething
- Raw chicken necks are a good alternative to minced beef from 12 weeks of age.
We advise staying away from processed and canned foods as much as possible as they are not recommended for optimum health. If you give your puppy a healthy diet when young, you will reap the benefits during maturity. A natural diet consisting of raw natural foods is best.
The Golden Retriever needs a moderate level of exercise as adults. This can include lead walking, free running, ball retrieving or swimming. You should aim for a minimum of 45 minutes exercise daily as adults and 15-30 minutes for puppies from 3-12 months.The retrieving instinct is strong and these dogs love to carry toys and other items and need an outlet for this instinctive behaviour. Owners should play retrieving games with their dogs, throwing a ball, or hiding their toys and encouraging them to hunt for them. They excel at activities such as Obedience and Flyball.
Golden Retriever’s do require basic grooming. Goldens are a double coated breed. They shed, but some basic maintenance will significantly reduce the amount of hair you find throughout the house. The Golden Retriever’s double coat is designed to protect them during any season. Throughout the winter, the undercoat grows to protect them from the cold. As the weather warms, the undercoat sheds as the Golden no longer needs it. Regular brushing with a quality bristle brush along with regular use of an undercoat rake will significantly reduce shedding, which will make you and your Golden very happy.
We strongly advise you to arrange to get your puppy desexed as there are number of health and behavioural benefits associated with sterilising.The optimum time for desexing is five to six months of age, when your puppy is approaching sexual maturity but before they come on heat. However, it is never too late to desex your dog. You may also receive a significant discount when registering your dog with your local council if he/she is sterilised. Ask your council for more information.
We strongly advise enrolling your puppy into puppy preschool from 12 weeks of age. This will assist you in using correct training techniques and provide a supportive environment with a new puppy. Puppies benefit from exploring new places, having new experiences and accepting new situations. This makes it the perfect time for introducing puppies to lots of people, other dogs and the big wide world in which it will live. Although the curriculum may vary from place to place, puppies typically learn to accept being handled, basic obedience, and how to interact and play nicely with other puppies. Owners generally learn about normal puppy behaviour, body language, proper nutrition and the importance of ongoing socialisation and training.
Why is Puppy Preschool Beneficial? Benefits for puppies include early socialisation with other puppies and people while the benefits to owners include expert advice and support during the early stages of dog ownership. There is no pressure to attend, some people find it beneficial to undertake the training on their own or confining it to the family environment. Either way training your puppy is a fun experience and if approached with the right attitude will lead to great reward.
Toilet Training your puppy or a dog takes time and patience and, just as with children, every puppy or dog is different and will learn at their own pace. To make the process of toilet training successful and as efficient as possible, you need to use reward-based positive reinforcement training. The first step is to give your dog plenty of opportunities to go outside. The second is to reward the dog every time (or as often as possible) they toilet in the place where you want the dog to go.
At 5 months of age, change to Adult dry food. Make sure the protein level is under 20%.
Bones are very good fibre for your puppy while teething.
Raw chicken necks are a good alternative to minced beef from 12 weeks of age.
Slow development of your puppy is best. If your puppy is slow to mature and not overweight during development, the chances of hip and elbow dysplasia are greatly reduced.
Avoid all food high in preservatives and colouring as these can cause skin irritations and other problems. Avoid high protein and high mineral foods (such as Lams, Hills Science Diet, Advance, Proplan or Royal Canine).
Stop soaking biscuits in milk at about 10 weeks old and replace with water.
If you give your puppy a healthy diet when young, you will reap the benefits during maturity!
Transitioning to a new environment can be quite stressful for a puppy. It is important to reduce stress as it can predispose your puppy to illness. There a few things you can do to help with this:
- Avoid major dietary changes
- Don’t overtire the puppy
- Let the puppy have undisturbed sleeping and rest periods
- Confine your puppy when it is by itself so it doesn’t get lost or into trouble
- Let your puppy have the company of people as much as possible
- Let your puppy explore your home
- Let your puppy get used to its family before introducing it to new people
- Provide your puppy with fresh water at all times
- Stick to the recommended puppy diet guide
- Always mix the mince and dried food together so all the meal gets eaten
- Put your puppy somewhere quiet so it can eat without distractions.
You may find that the stress of a new environment can lead to:
- Your puppy losing its appetite for the first week
- Your puppy being finicky around food for the first couple of days, and
- Your puppy having loose stool for the first few days.
- If your puppy has not eaten for the first 24 hours, please contact me.
If your puppy’s stool is very loose, feed him/her some cooked rice, chicken meat, and ½ teaspoon of corn flour. Do not feed dry food, canned food, or raw meat at this time. If motions continue to be very runny for more than 48 hours, a vet should be consulted.