We just brought home our 9 week old, estimated 3lb, maltipoo puppy “Waffles” a few nights ago and despite his cuteness, he can also be a huge troublemaker! This is my first dog, so I am quite the inexperienced dog owner. Not to fear, as Google has already been a huge help. Friends and coworkers have also given their two cents on best practices. I’ve also added in some of my observations with Waffles.
QUESTION 1: My puppy whimpered the entire first night. I woke up probably 4-5 times that night to calm him down! I didn’t want to wake the neighbors either! Because I didn’t want him wandering the entire house (since he isn’t potty trained), I limited his access to a small bathroom. What I can I do to calm down his whimpering?
ANSWER 1: To avoid whimpering at night, make sure your puppy gets plenty of exercise before sleeping. If possible, don’t let your puppy nap before his bedtime, as this will only fuel his nighttime energy. Additionally, providing him a place to sleep, similar to a den, turned out to work for the better. Since I didn’t have the opportunity to purchase a small crate yet, I cut out a hole in a large box for his home. The second night, after exercising him, I witness him (spying through a small crack in the pocket door) him walk into the box and rest.
QUESTION 2: My puppy is peeing and pooing all over the place! What can I do to control his bladder?
ANSWER 2: The puppy is only 9 weeks old, so he doesn’t have much bladder or bowel control yet. Most articles I read say training is most effective when the puppy is 12 weeks old. But that didn’t stop me from trying. When we brought our puppy home, the previous owner had already trained him to pee on newspaper (when confined to a small space). We confirmed this to be true. When the puppy was confined to his small space and we placed newspaper in a corner, he would be very good at finding the newspaper (assuming it’s not already wet). The problem is when his roaming space is too big, the puppy forgets or is unable to make his way back to the newspaper in time. When we let him roam free, we try to keep an eye on him. Once he is fully vaccinated and dewormed, I will begin to let him go outside and reward him with treats. Also, once he goes on a newspaper, we try to leave a bit of the newspaper behind so he can find his scent.
QUESTION 3: My puppy has got loose stool!
ANSWER 3: We got this answer from the helpful employees at PetCo. The problem was, the person we bought the dog from was unclear with what he was feeding him, so it kind of makes sense. Basically, the cause of loose stool occurs when smaller dogs have a change in diet causing an imbalance in the puppy’s stomach. To help reduce the chance of loose stool when changing foods, try to keep the same source of protein. That is if the original brand of food is chicken based, choose a new brand that is also chicken based. Additionally, don’t change the food over immediately. Ease in the change of the course of a week, starting with 75% original food, 25% new food for a couple of days, then 50% original food, 50% new food for a couple more days. Then 25% original food and 75% new food for a couple more days. And finally switching to 100% new food.
QUESTION 4: What kind of food should I feed my puppy? There are so many choices at the pet store!
ANSWER 4: This one is going to be of personal preference. But it may be worth it to do some research on the various brands. All dog foods are not equal! Take into account not only the quality of the food, but also how much it “costs per feeding”. I differentiate between “cost per feeding” and “cost per pound” because some of the lower quality foods that are also cheaper per pound require you to feed the dog more, making the price more expensive. The cheaper dog foods also contain more filler, which explains why you need to feed your dog more food. Also, the higher quality dog foods will tend to be in the front of the store while the lower quality foods will be towards the back of the store. All in all, do you own research, but I ended up going with the Blue Buffalo brand. And if you do change brands, remember the answer from Question 3.
The answers to the questions I faced were all based on my experience. if you've experienced something different or have other strategies, please let me know! I want to give my Waffles the best doggy life!