Three White Puppies, and Notes on Getting Ready for your Pup

30 Apr
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Here is a not-very-good photo I took today with my cell phone, just after all the pups had breakfast! Madonna is trying to poop, and Elton is either yawning or about to try to bite Madonna! (Don't worry; he has no teeth!)

We have a number of thoughts and some useful links to share with you as you prepare for your new family member, who will be coming home with you in just a few weeks!

One of the first and most important things to think about is food. I’ve mentioned that we will send you home with a small bag of Royal Canin dog food in the appropriate formulation (“puppy up to one year of age”), because Royal Canin is what we will have been feeding them while they are with us, and is what our breeder recommended. However, we have fed our other dogs Science Diet for most of their lives, at the recommendation of our vet in Radnor. We like it because they seem to digest it well, as evidenced by their small, firm poops (a great boon for us city dwellers who have to pick it up! Speaking of which, I have finally found a brand of poop bag that is MADE IN AMERICA, from 100% recycled plastic, and have persuaded Monster Pets to stock them. Accent on Animals, on South St., is where I first found them. They are by Van Ness Plastics in Clifton, NJ – http://www.vannessplastic.com – and while they are not as convenient to carry as the kind that come on rolls and have their own dispensers, we find them easier to use. You just have to remember to grab a couple on your way out the door, or keep some in your coat pocket.)

Anyway, back to food: if you decide to switch your puppy from the Royal Canin to another brand, follow the directions in our New Puppy Guide, which will be in the packet we send home with you, to minimize digestive upsets. We also recommend that if you opt to feed your puppy canned food, you mix it with the dry, to aid in keeping stools on the firm side. Canned food is not necessary, unless your dog is a fussy eater (which Sadie is, but was not until she became pregnant and Got Spoiled!), but if it makes you and your puppy happy, go for it! And you will want to continue your puppy on the vitamins we will have been giving them:

http://www.nuvet.com/index.html

They must be ordered online to the best of my knowledge. We recommend the powder, which you can sprinkle on their food.

The other thing you should think about now is grooming. You will want to start your puppy early to get him accustomed to being groomed, because Labradoodles do need to be regularly clipped and brushed, and while you CAN do it yourself, it is VERY time-consuming and more difficult than you might think to get them looking really great. Get a good slicker brush – below is a link to the one our groomer recommends – and brush him every day. It will help distribute the oil from his skin to the ends of his hair and keep him shiny. It will also keep him comfortable and make him happy, because you will pay attention to him and tell him how nice he looks and Labradoodles love, love, love attention and praise!

http://www.chrissystems.com/grooming-tools/brushes-/pet-grooming-show-dog-and-cat-slicker-brushes-.aspx

Where you take him for his regular 6 – 8 week professional grooming – or whether you choose to use the wonderful in-home groomer we just discovered – is mostly a matter of taste and your comfort level at leaving your dog at the groomer. Most of those we’ve used in the city require you to drop the dog off in the morning and leave him for the better part of the day, something I was never comfortable with. Ask around; talk to other dog owners in your neighborhood – we found Helen (our groomer) through someone we met at the dog park whose dog we admired.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about crates/gates and then get to the fun part of puppy-ownership: toys!

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