Bringing Your Chihuahua Puppy HomeBe Prepared For This Exciting Time
Picking up your puppy is one of the most memorable events you can have in your life. You are adding a new members to your family – one that will be with you for the next 10 to 15 years! To help everyone prepare for that amazing day, we have an entire section on our site devoted to what to expect and how to handle bringing your new baby home.
When you arrive to pick up your puppy, be prepared to be here for at least 30 minutes. We like to make sure that our new puppy parents have all of the necessary information to help make the transition a success. These pick-up appointments last anywhere from 30 minutes to well over an hour – depending on the your questions. We will also go over all of the paperwork included in your puppy pack. Contracts, registration papers as well as literature we find to be very helpful when adding a new puppy into your family. We also send you home with over 20 pages of information for you to read about raising and training a puppy. Basically – you have homework!
Let me first say – Please take your puppy straight home and try your very best to keep them there until they have adjusted to their new surrounding. Ideally we like our puppies to go to their new homes on the weekend, allowing their new parents to spend at least a full day and night with them. Toy breeds can be easily stressed which can bring on many other issues, including hypoglycemia. If a tiny toy breed puppy is brought home and then placed alone in a crate, you may find a dead puppy.
Puppy Supplies You Will Need
One of the biggest mistakes I have seen new puppy parents make is going right to the nearest pet supply store to pick up supplies. The stress of going to their new home is already high – exposure to a very public place like a store is an entirely different level. 8 to 12 week old puppies haven’t received all of their boosters yet and exposure to diseases like Parvo and Distemper can be very dangerous. Please gather supplies BEFORE you pickup your puppy. Below is a list of items to gather before your scheduled puppy pick-up appointment:
Premium pet food to get your new puppy off to a good start. We prefer Merrick Classic Puppy Real Chicken with Brown Rice & Green Pea or Fromm Puppy Gold– Weaning them off the puppy food around 12 months old.
Small dog bed (you’ll want to be sure it’s machine washable in case your puppy has an accident)
Stainless steel, non-tip food and water bowls. (Plastic absorbs order and may break if chewed)
Making a Home Safe
To make your home safe for your new puppy, eliminate potential hazards around the house and pay attention to the following items:
- Keep breakable objects out of reach.
- Deny access to electrical cords by hiding or covering them.
- Safely store household chemicals.
- Keep the following house and garden plants out of reach: poinsettias, azaleas, rhododendrons, dumb cane, Japanese yew, oleander and English ivy among others.
- If you own a pool or hot tub, check the cover or the surrounding fence to be sure they’re in good condition.
Setting Up Their Spot
Our Puppy Kindergarten setup is what I suggest to all of our new puppy families. Until your puppy is house broken, it is recommended that you create a spot for your puppy that meets their needs as well as yours. Selecting that spot is the first step.
Finding the perfect spot depends on the layout of your home – Ideally, one with a tile or linoleum floor. This will allow easy cleanup of accidents (because there WILL be accidents). We have also used commercial floor mats and scraps of linoleum to place on the carpeting when a solid surface is not available.
The spot should also be somewhat close to your family’s “spot”. This will allow you to keep an eye and an ear on the puppy. Laundry rooms, larger bathrooms or a spot in the kitchen make perfect “puppy spots”.
Making It Safe
Using an Ex-Pen type of pen to contain them is the next step. Depending on the size of the spot, you may prefer to use two pens to expand their space. The pen will keep them safe from the potential dangers they could discover if left to roam your home freely. Placing their comfort needs within the pen allows the puppy to turn that spot into their den – with a yard!
Customizing Their Spot
To continue the pee-pad training that we provide while the puppies are with us, we suggest the following to help make the transition as successful as possible:
Crate – Place the crate on one end of the pen. Pups will prefer a doggy bed over a crate to sleep in, so we suggest that if you wish to continue the crate training, do not place a bed in the pen. You can then place the doggy bed in another part of your house – providing them an additional place to nap while under your watchful eye.
Food and Water – Until your puppy is at least 6 months old, we suggest that you free feed them. Limiting their food can most definitely bring on a bout of hypoglycemia. Place the dishes on the same side of the pen as their crate or bed.
Pee-Pad Tray and Pee-Pad – On the opposite side of the pen – away from their sleeping and eating section – place the pee-pad tray. Instinctively, they will not soil where they sleep. Making them walk to their potty spot is ideal – getting them accustom to “going somewhere” to relieve themselves.
I must say that pee-pads are not for everyone. They can get rather expensive (like diapers!!) and there are several different alternatives. Litter training, using newspaper as well as training them to relieve themselves outside. Until a puppy has received all of their shots, I suggest they remain indoors.
Also, NEVER let your puppy outside unsupervised. They can quickly become picked up by owls or hawks.
If you do go the pad route, I completely recommend the tray. This will keep puppies from chewing up or moving the pad around. These trays can also work with newspapers.
Toys and Everything Else – Place some toys in the pen to keep them occupied and entertained. Rope bones, small stuffed toys (without plastic pieces that can be chewed off) and solid plastic toys are the best for young and teething puppies. Puppy teething toys are PERFECT!!!!! Be sure to watch stuffed toys because inevitably, they will rip into the seams and essentially gut them. That’s just what puppies do!
All of our dogs and puppies are on a comprehensive vaccination and preventative medicine schedule.
We begin our preventative worming treatments at the age of 2 weeks using Fenbendazole. (Panacur) Our puppies continue receiving their worming treatments at 4, 6 and 8 weeks and then monthly until the time they leave us. Fecal exams are performed on all litters at their vet check to ensure that our puppies are worm free.
Our vaccination series begins at 6 weeks of age with a 4 way vaccine which provides protection from Hepatitis, Distemper, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza. Vaccinations continue at four week intervals, with the pups receiving the 5 way vaccine every four weeks until they leave us.
For older puppies, a rabies vaccination may also be given. A rabies vaccine is mandatory in order for a health certificate to be issued for puppies 16 weeks (4 months) of age or older.
Included in your Puppy Pack, you will receive your puppy’s health record, which lists every vaccine and worming treatment your puppy has received, along with dates and the puppy’s age when they were given.
Our Adult Dogs
Once our dogs have completed their puppy series, we maintain yearly rabies vaccinations done by our vet along with and 5 way vaccines. In addition, our dogs are given preventative treatment for heartworms, and a spot on preventative for fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes monthly, as well as quarterly worming treatments.
First Few Days At Home With Your Chihuahua Puppy
If you were caring for a human baby you would be feeding it every few hours, checking in on it throughout the day and the night, constantly changing it’s diaper and keeping their environment clean. Same thing goes for a new Chihuahua puppy. Treat them with patience, constant supervision and a gentle touch. The way you interact with your puppy at this age is critical to their socialization. Here are some tips for helping you make the adjust to life as a new puppy parent:
- Don’t bring home a puppy while you’re on a long vacation so you can spend a lot of time with them. Instead, acclimate them to your normal, daily routine.
- Supervise your puppy at all times and and interact with them regularly.
- Be alert for signs (sniffing and circling) that they have to go to the bathroom, then take them to their potty spot immediately.
- A young puppy has no bladder control and will need to urinate immediately after eating, drinking, sleeping or playing. At night, they will need to relieve themselves at least every three hours.
- Don’t punish an accident. Never push their nose in the waste or scold them. A puppy won’t understand, and may learn to go to the bathroom when you’re out of sight.
- Praise your puppy every time they goes to the bathroom in the appropriate place.
That First Night
We supply you with toys and a blanket that have mom’s or their littermates’ scent on them. Usually placing the blanket in the bed/crate with your puppy at home makes it feel secure enough to sleep without crying. You can also put a plastic bottle of very warm water securely sealed so that there is no leaking into a soft blanket or towel and allow the puppy to cuddle up to it at night. This simulates the body temperature of another puppy laying with your pup so it doesn’t feel abandoned.
If these suggestions do not resolve the cries, be warned – putting the puppy into bed with you should not be your next option. First, they cannot hold their bladders all night and will get up and potty at the foot of the bed. Second, they have no concept of height and could walk right off of the edge and hurt themselves very badly.
Your last resort would be to move the that pen you setup on the floor beside your bed. This will also allow them to eat in the middle of the night to sustain their needs. The crying spells should only last a night or two – you can then place the pen back to your desired, permanent location.
First Vet Visit
When taking your puppy to your vet’s office for their first exam, be sure to keep the puppy in a crate or in your lap. Do not let it down onto the floor or furniture and do not allow it to socialize with other animals that also may be in the office at the same time. Exposure to diseases like Parvo or Distemper can lead to death for your puppy.
Feeding Your Puppy
The Royal Canin Puppy 33 that we supply in your puppy kit should be fed for at least the first week as not to “stress” the puppy any more than necessary. We suggest that you to keep food and clean water for it 24 hours a day until it shows signs of being capable of going longer lengths of time without being fed. The smaller the puppy, the more times a day it has to be fed. You have to remember that because of the small stomachs, they have to eat much more often just to sustain themselves.
Don’t change the puppy’s diet or eating routine abruptly. Changing food adds to the stress of the move as well as reeking havoc on their digestive systems. Weaning them off of a certain type/brand of food is recommended only after the transition into your home is complete.
Any loss of appetite can result in hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar. It is very important that you monitor how much your puppy is eating during this transition time.
If your puppy will not eat their regular food, give them anything that they will eat – Canned dog food, canned chicken, hot dogs, baby food. Once they are accustomed to their new home, their appetite will pick up again and they’ll go back to eating their regular food.
If you cannot get him to eat at all, you’ll need to get some Kayro syrup. Just a dab rubbed onto their gums a few times a day to help keep their blood sugar up until they are eating again. In addition to the Karyo syrup, you should also keep the tube of Nutri-Cal that we included in your puppy pack handy. You can put some on your finger and scrape it off on the roof of their mouth to help keep their nutrients in.
Once you can confirm that your dog can sleep through the night or extended period of time without being fed, a regular puppy feeding schedule can be implemented.