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New Puppy FAQ

What you need to know about bringing home a new puppy.
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Q: What should I feed my new puppy, and why did he develop diarrhea right after I brought him home?

A: He has diarrhea because he’s stressed. You’ve changed his environment. He’s left his siblings and his mother. Stress affects an animal’s gastrointestinal system before it affects anything else. Generally, they get over this in the first week.

Also, any abrupt change in a puppy’s diet is going to cause the puppy some gastrointestinal upset. So try to find out what the breeder or adoption agency was feeding him and try to keep him on it. Or, if you have to change it, try to do so over a four- or five-day period by mixing the old food with the new food. If you change it quickly, you’ll have problems.

And feed your new puppy a puppy-based diet, which is generally higher in protein and helps aid in their growth and maturing.

 

Q: Is it OK to put a collar and tag on a small puppy? And why do I need to check the collar often?

A: Yes, it’s good to keep a collar and tag on your puppy for identification purposes in case it gets lost. But you have to check it almost daily because puppies grow so quickly that the collar can end up choking him if it’s not adjusted as he grows. We have had to surgically remove collars from a dog’s neck. People put a collar on a puppy and then forget to adjust it, and as the dog grows the collar doesn’t. And these aren’t just dogs that are outside tied to a tree. I’ve seen it happen to dogs that slept with their people every night. The owners just didn’t think to adjust the collar. It’s something people overlook.

A good rule of thumb is you should be able to fit your index and your middle finger under the collar pretty easily. It needs to be tight enough that it doesn’t slip off but lose enough that the puppy has room and isn’t choking. If you have a collar on your puppy, just be sure you check it regularly.

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Reviewed on July 08, 2009
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