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Puppy Needs

 What  do I need for my pet when I bring him home?

Our store offers most of the products listed below.  They are items WE use for OUR dogs, most of them daily, so your puppy is already used to them.  Many items I give with each puppy – food, toys, treats, harness, leash, etc, so that the transition to his new home is as stress free as possible.  Not every breeder does that, so, be sure you’re ready for that new puppy with items we offer in our store.  They have all received the 2 Dogs Long Dachshunds paws-up seal of approval.

FOOD – Your breeder should send a packet of food along with your puppy to ensure he will remain on the same food he has been eating to avoid tummy upset or loose stools.  Be sure to ask what brand of food has been fed, so you can buy more to have enough on hand.  If you plan to change your puppy to a different brand of food, do so slowly, by mixing what food he is currently on in with the new food.  Any sudden change in food can cause your puppy to develop loose stools and become easily dehydrated. 

FOOD & WATER  DISHES – Each dog should have their own food bowl.  While they can easily share water bowls, dog prefer not to share food, and it is a good idea to start right off with everyone having their own bowl when its time to eat.  This also enables you to keep an accurate accounting of how much each animal is eating.  Always ensure your animals have access to plenty of clean, fresh water. 

TOYS – Ask your breeder what kinds of toys are safe for your dog.  I do not like rubber toys because its too easy for dogs to chew them up, causing a possible choking source.  Toys that are fleecy and soft, with a squeaker are what we send home with our pups, and our dogs like their soft qualities, along with being able to easily grasp the and run with them.  We use smaller ones for little puppy mouths.  Balls are good for teaching fetch – be careful of tennis balls as they have that fuzzy outside that dogs can pull off and swallow.  Latex toys are nice, too, again, ensure they’re not chewing off corners and swallowing them.  Supervision is advised with all toys when you puppy is playing – it is far too easy for them to tear something apart and swallow parts of it. 

TREATS –  Small biscuits or cookies are great treats for puppies and adults.  Use as housetraining aids, but don’t go overboard with them.  Break them into small pieces so you’re only giving your puppy or adult a couple a day when totaled up.  Treats are a great reward; however, they shouldn’t be handed out randomly or in large amounts.  A couple treats per day are all small dogs really need.  You can supplement dog treats with baby carrots, salt-free green beans, or regular carrots cut into bite sized pieces.  Again, only a few a day or they will develop stomach upset.  Avoid the urge to give your dog(s) too many treats. 

CHEWS –  Dogs need to fulfill their desire to chew.  I take a wicker basket and toss in different chews for our house weenies.  Some are the large braided rawhides for aggressive chewers, stuffed hooves, smaller rawhides, carrot bones, Nylabone edible chews, and mint bones, to name a few.  They love to dig into the basket and take what they want – although I do watch to ensure they’re not hoarding – I know, hard to believe a dachshund would do that, but, it happens.  When the basket gets low, I go around & collect the partially chewed treats and put them back into the basket.  The kennel doxies always have several different chews in their pens to keep them occupied during the day.  Same thing with them, we collect all the chews before power washing the runs, handing them back out afterwards – everyone acts like its something brand new.

HARNESS AND LEASH – I don’t like collars – never have, never will.  We don’t use them here.  For the past 10 years, we have used the Hug-a-Dog harness exclusively.  They are the original makers of this harness, which has excellent safety features, and I’ve never had a dog escape from one.  Animal Wellness Magazine recently did a report on collars versus harnesses and found that walking ANY breed of dog with a collar can cause paralysis.  When our dogs see a harness come out, the barking begins – comfortable, with easy on, easy off Velcro closures, they are quick to put on and take off.  Well worth the price – I have no intention of risking my dogs’ health by using a copy-cat harness or a collar – what about you?

BED – Not everyone lets their dog(s) sleep with them (why, I don’t know – we always do) so invest in a comfortable animal crate.  Either hard sided, soft sided, or made of the heavy wire – there are some nice ones out there.  Never use it for punishment – make it a place that your dog feels comfortable and safe in – and you won’t have any problems.  Leave the door open on it in an area that your dog can find and get used to.  Line it with a soft, fluffy blanket, add some favorite toys, some treats and make it their little house.  If your puppy falls asleep during the day, gently place him in his crate and let him nap in there.  After a couple days of him napping with the door open, try closing it – but when he wakes and whimpers, take him right out to potty.  He will soon associate happy times with his crate.  Until your dog becomes trustworthy when you’re gone, its actually safer for everyone to keep your puppy confined in a crate.  Its also nice to have several little beds around the house for your dog to nap in.  We have some that look like little sofas, the bag-like dreamsacks made by Dachshund Delights, for burrowing, and a cot so the dog(s) can move from room to room to ensure they keep an eye on us.

RAMPS – Long bodied dogs need ramps.  It’s a fact of life for keeping them healthy.  Dachshunds love to jump, they love to run up and down stairs, they think they are superman.  They’re not.  Start them right off with ramps – up to the furniture, beds, to go outside.  If you have stairs, gate them.  Carry your dachshund up and down stairs – there is nothing worse for those long backs than stairs and jumping.  Think of all that body weight coming to rest when they jump.  Its no wonder they have so many disk problems.  They’re not going to change, so its up to you to protect them as soon as you bring them home.  They learn to go up and down a ramp in no time.  Always say – “use the ramp”, praising them when they do.  In times of excitement, its best to tell them to use the ramp before they forget and start to jump.  Back injuries are not only serious, they are most often fatal.  Protect your dogs from themselves. 

WASTE PICK-UP BAGS – I don’t know about you, but, when I’m taking a walk, or in a park, I don’t want to step in dog doo.  Nobody else does either.  There are so many nice little waste bag holders that clip right onto the leash to take with you when walking your dog.  Show owner responsibility – clean up after your dog!! 

HOME GROOMING SUPPLIES – If you have a long coated dog, they will need daily brushing.  There are many brushes on the market.  I prefer slicker brushes.  Short haired dogs also can use a brushing – there are special softer brushes just for them.  There are flea combs too if you live in an area that has fleas.  There are dematting tools, which are good to up on any mats that develop before they increase in size.  When dogs play, or even if your dog goes out in wet weather, mats quickly develop on ears, under the belly, on the hind legs and other areas.  Daily brushing makes short work of tangles and shedding.  If you start brushing your puppy lightly from the day you bring her home, your dog will look forward to this special time with you.  This is also a good time to check your puppy from head to toe – using your hands, run them over all parts of their body – are there any sore spots? Ticks? Lumps or bumps? Are the ears clean? Pads of their feet free of thorns or stickers?  A daily check of your puppy will let you know right away if anything is different so you can contact your vet.  While daily baths aren’t a necessity, there will be times when your dog rolls in something they think is really enticing, but to us is just plain smelly and gross.  Or, their hound nose has led them to the muddiest spot ever to dig for a critter just out of their reach.  In other words – they need a bath.  Tempted though you might be, NEVER use human shampoo or bath products on your animal.  Always use a shampoo made for dogs.  There is a difference between our skin and theirs, which is why they make many different types and fragrances of dog shampoo.  Buy them and use them.  Drying the dog with a fluffy towel is always nice for them and if they need a dryer, use your hair dryer set on low and keep it at least 12” away from their skin.  What doesn’t seem hot to us is to them.  Be sure your dog is completely dry before letting them outside so they don’t catch a cold or pneumonia.

NAIL TRIMMERS – It is extremely important to keep your dog’s nails trimmed.  Too many times I see people who simply do not cut the dogs’ nails, and the poor animal can barely walk because of it.  Long nails WILL ruin your dog’s feet.  Trim them yourself with one of the many types of cutters or grinders available, or take them to your vet or groomer and have it done.  Trimming your puppy’s nails from day one with a small clipper will get them used to it and taking a little bit off weekly, will keep from cutting the quick.  If you keep your dogs’ nails short, the quick stays short and you do not risk cutting into it.  Letting the nails grow because the dogs *don’t like having their nails trimmed* is the reason you get blood and cut into the quick when you finally do trim them.  This is a time to give those treats out!  Making nail cutting a happy experience will keep everyone from getting stressed when those clippers come out!

EARS, EYES, TEETH - Your puppy’s ears shouldn’t stink or be dirty inside.  If they are, he has mites or a yeast infection.  A vet visit is in store to clear that up.  Dogs with pendant ears like dachshunds can get dirt in them when they’re outside running and they can become moist for lack of air and become a good place for yeast to form.  Use ear wipes to clean out areas you can see, and put the ear powder down in their ears to keep them dry.  Some dogs get tear stains and there are wipes for their eyes too.  Teeth cleaning are a very important part of keeping your dog healthy.  When your puppy has lost his baby teeth and his adult teeth are in, its time to develop a routine for keeping them clean.  Research shows the importance of keeping tartar off your dog’s teeth and ensuring he doesn’t develop gingivitis or gum disease.  This is vital to adding years to your dog’s life.  Start with either a finger toothbrush with dog toothpaste or teeth wipes to get your dog used to your fingers in his mouth, and use plenty of praise for him standing still.  When your dog is comfortable with this, graduate to a toothbrush.  DO NOT use toothbrushes made for humans – not even children’s toothbrushes – they are NOT soft enough for a dog’s mouth. DO NOT use toothpaste made for humans; and do not use baking soda.  Use ONLY toothpaste and toothbrushes made for dogs.  Brushing your dogs’ teeth at least 3 times/week will not only keep them healthy but it will improve that “doggy breath” they can get from dirty teeth.  If tartar develops, have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned by your veterinarian once a year, or as needed. 

HANDLING PAWS – When you bring your puppy home, start handling their paws right away.  When they are on your lap, pick up their paw and rub it, doing this with each paw, so he gets used to you handling his paws and won’t have problems when you go to trim nails.  One of my customers makes a game of it.  She rubs the dog’s paws saying one foot, two foot, three foot, treat.  One foot, two foot, treat.  One foot, two foot, three foot, four foot, treat.  She will pick up the paws and get the puppy used to having his paw handled and rubbed by her by giving a treat as a reward.  If you make the experience a good one, you won’t have problems when it comes time to trim nails. 

PAW CARE - You should always inspect your pet's paws.  When its snowing outside, if you put down rock salt, always take care to wipe the paws with pet wipes, or mild soap and water.  Do the same thing if he has been in the mud, sand, grass, or you've come in from a walk.  There could be flecks of glass or other objects too small to notice that could work their way into a paw.  Also, some diseases are picked up from areas where infected dogs have been - Dog Parks continue to be popular, but, unfortunately, not everyone cares for their dogs as well as you do.  To be on the safe side, wipe his paws when he comes into the house.  For dry, cracked paws, use Bag Balm, or there are other products on the market to keep the paws soft and heal cracks.  In the heat of summer, sidewalks and asphalt get extremely hot, and while you're wearing shoes for protection, your pet isn't.  Don't walk in the heat of the day, and allow your dog to walk in the grass if you must be out in the heat. 
POOCHPADS – Let’s face it, housetraining isn’t easy – dachshunds are 10 times harder to train than a lot of other breeds.  It takes Patience, Persistence and Praise to housetrain a dog – and it can take up to a year to housetrain a dachshund.  You cannot and should not spank, rub noses in urine or feces, scream at, or punish your puppy at any time – especially when housetraining.  All you’re going to do is end up with a dog that runs and hides to do their business.  Your body language also speaks volumes – so calm down and take it slow.  Little dogs have to go out often – and if you’re not diligent about getting that puppy on a schedule – and that means if everybody in the house doesn’t pitch in, you’ll never get that dog housetrained.  Don’t expect your puppy to come up to you, tap you on the shoulder to tell you he has to go out.  Its not going to happen.  Use your head – what goes in comes out.  Its as simple as that.   Get the puppy on a schedule – when they are young, they need to go out at least every hour.  Give them time to go – don’t rush them out and back in the house, then wonder why they poop the floor.  You didn’t give them enough time to go.  What’s the first thing you do in the morning when you get up?  Head for the bathroom – right?  Then don’t set your puppy on the floor while you put your shoes, robe, whatever on and expect to see a dry spot under them.   Have yourself ready because that puppy has to go – NOW.  After they eat, figure 15-20 minutes later a bowel movement.  After a nap, take them out.  If they get a big drink of water – time to go out.  Playtime gets things stirred up – time to go out.  Before bed, take them out.  If they whimper or get fussy at night – they need to go out. 

We use washable poochpads in our house for backup.  I housetrained Stevie Ray (who will be 3 in Oct) with poochpads and it was by far the easiest housetraining ever.  He still will use the pads, and we still praise him when he does.  We keep one down in every bedroom, one in the living room, bathroom, and any other area that is a “hot spot” in the house.  Several of the adults followed his lead, and use them too.  I don’t mind – they are washable up to 300 times and believe me, the company means what they say.  I do dog wash daily and those pads are wonderful.  The puppies are drawn to them, so it’s a nice backup if you’re going to be gone a couple hours, or for older dogs who have accidents as they age, or for our wonderful smooth dachshunds who HATE to go outside in the snow and most doxies hate rain, no matter what coat they have – smooth, long or wire.  I’d much rather the dog use a pad than the carpet (even though we no longer have carpet in the house – we have tile floors).  Disposable pads are asking to be torn up and newspaper – well, same thing – it can easily become a toy to shred.  Give your puppy an option besides the carpet so you keep your temper and the puppy gets praise. 

TRAINING – Everyone loves a well behaved dog, but that doesn’t happen by waving a wand over them and chanting – it takes diligence and hard work.  Your breeder should have given you some pamphlets when you got your puppy that has information on feeding, caring for, and training your puppy.  If there is a puppy class near your home, it is a good idea to enroll your dog so you both can learn how to properly train your puppy.  There are also books and videos you can find at your local library or bookstores in your area.  There are many types of training – verbal, hand signals, clicker training, to name a few.  Your puppy wants to please you, and to do this, you must spend time with him, teaching him acceptable behavior.  Not only by going to class, but having a couple 15 minute training sessions at home everyday.  Work on one command at a time, and don’t get discouraged or expect too much right away.  Always make it fun and end on a happy note so your dog will look forward to the next session.  A loving tone and patience will get much more cooperation from your pet than a harsh tone and punishment.  Your puppy has lots of energy and the best thing you can do is funnel it in the right direction.  Playtimes is great, but, also spend some training time everyday.  I know dachshunds are very smart, and if they get bored, that’s when they can get destructive or start undesirable behavior.  People blame their dogs for many things, or give up on them and take them to the pound, when in fact, it’s the owner’s fault for not spending time with their pet, to properly train them on how to act.  Don’t get a dog and expect him to learn things on his own, or just tie him up in the backyard while you leave.  That’s asking for complaints from the neighbors.  Dogs bark for attention – it doesn’t matter if the attention turns out to be bad and they get scolded – they are getting noticed by their owner which is all they want.
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