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Page created 8/17/2013. Page modified Wednesday, 4/8/2015 7:58 PM.
This page is new puppy notes and suggestions, which is link 2 from my Home page.

Important : Do not let the kids wake the puppy up to play with it. The puppy is just like human babies and needs their rest and naps. Be especially careful if you live around a lot of other kids to make sure the puppy has down time and is monitored by an adult when neighbor kids play with it.

In ALL weather but especially HOT weather the puppy should ALWAYS have shade available! ............Remember " THE SUN MOVES AND SO DOES THE SHADE " ........... Labs can take cold weather better than hot weather. I have had puppies born outside below freezing and they do ok, They need protection from the wind and rain. A good shade is 14" to 18" off the ground - 3 foot x 3 foot and heavy enough to not be moved by the wind, other animals, or any thing else and can be used for puppies or adult dogs. The adult dogs usually like to get on top where they can see better with a 360 degree view, underneath they still have full 360 degree view for security purposes. Wooden pallets with legs added and a tin or other waterproof top makes a good portable shade and this allows even the lightest breeze to drift thru over the puppy unobstructed. Dog houses can be hot even though the puppy is shaded.

In all weather and especially hot weather the puppy should always have water. I provide a shallow water container available for the puppies around 3 weeks of age. DO NOT use a deep bucket or pan - 3" deep sides maximum. In real hot weather for an outside puppy, the water container should be large enough for the puppy to lay in but not over 3 inched deep sides. Absolutely no 5 gallon buckets, kiddy pools, or similar that has high sides should be anywhere in the yard or house.

Keep all plastics away from the puppy, especially plastic spoons, forks, bags, toys, and anything they can swallow. It can and most certainly will cause internal bleeding if eaten or the puppy can not pass it requiring an expensive operation. Of all the puppies I have sold the only one that died was because it ate a plastic spoon and internally bled to death.

Keep empty cans, etc from puppies- They can get their head caught in them VERY VERY easily. For more protection, mash the top closed on all cans.

Be careful using chain link dog fences as the puppies head when it reaches a certain size can get caught in it. Usually when Labs are 6 weeks old their head is too big to go thru and they also have learned not to try to push there head thru the fence. I had one instance where I had to have help in getting a stuck head back thru the fence. See picture # 7720-375-T in Taka's litter of 11/6/12 about 4/5 of the way down on right. This puppy was not stuck but shows how it can happen. Always try to keep the puppy within EASY ear shot.

Do not have things like kiddy pools that the puppy can not get out of. I even try to place a stick or board in all my water containers so lizards, frogs, and other small individuals have a way to climb back out. Keep toilet lids down and do not have things the puppy can use as a ladder around the toilet.

Food: The puppies will start eating dry food and drinking water in the last part of the third week or the first part of the fourth week of age. I use PURINA PUPPY CHOW FOR LARGE DOGS to start the puppies on. The bag pictured is not for Large Dog Breeds but the store did not have it so I contacted Purina in October 2013 and they do still make it- You may have to ask or shop somewhere else for it. My adult dogs have adult food available 24/7 and still only eat when they are hungry. They do not gorge themselves. If your adult dogs eat too much you may be feeding them too good a dog food - you would do the same if you were given all the steak or shrimp you could eat. They will over eat on the puppy chow. The food I use for my adult dogs is: Crude Protein min 18%, Crude Fat min 7%, Crude Fiber max 7%, Max moisture 12% and it is available 24/7 from feeders in their cage and bowls on the back porch. It takes a lot of pressure off me not to have to come home to feed dogs. Caution some dogs suffer from lactose intolerance so be careful with dairy products around your puppies.

Flea control: I do not use chemical flea treatments on my puppies. I use 30ml of Dawn Ultra, Original scent, dishing washing detergent in a gallon of WARM rain water for a flea bath, see pictures below, - let stay on puppy or adult dog for around 5 minutes and then rinse off very good. The concentration can be greatly increased for bad flea problems but the more you use, the harder it is to wash off. I rinse the puppies with warm rain water. To rinse my adult dogs, I take them to the creek and throw a stick in, " job done ". Dawn is what animal rescue uses to clean birds after an oil spill and it leaves the puppy clean and shinny. In the concentration I use, Dawn will remove some small amount of oil from the skin and hair but is not a problem with any dogs I have ever had. I brush mineral oil into the coat if the coat looks dull or the skin looks dry for any reason. The following notes refer to puppies less than 10 weeks old, the younger they are the more important these notes are. " Do not ever " hold a puppy over any water as they can wiggle loose and fall into it, especially if it has soap on it from being given a flea bath. Hold them over the empty sink and gently pour warm water over them and have the sink drain open. Do not wash the soap off under the sink spigot or any other running water unless there are two people and the only job one of them is to keep water away from the puppies' nose and mouth. Try to use two people anytime when washing a puppy less than 10 weeks old, one person whose only job is to hold the head clear of the water, the other person can then handle the application of the Dawn and pour the warm rinse water from a drinking glass or other small container. If you dip the puppy to clean it, use two people with one having the only job of holding the puppy's head to prevent it from turning its head into the water. The puppies neck mussel is a lot stronger than you would think. The neck mussels are large and well exercised by pushing the other puppies out of the way to get to MaMa's feeding station. Even a newborn puppy can move their entire body with there neck mussels.


House Breaking: My puppies are mostly house broken by the time they are picked up, and they may have never been in a house. Even if they are born inside, they will spend the last several weeks outside, weather permitting. There eyes open at 2 weeks of age and it is another week before they seem to use there eyes much. Around week 3-4 when I open the pen to let them out most will move away from the pen for 5 to 20 feet and use the bathroom and it appears some have held it for a while. They do not like to mess up where they live. If your new puppy starts wandering around in your house away from you like they lost something, grab them and take outside. Works every time I tried it but you must watch the puppy. That is not usually a problem because it is hard to take your eyes off a pretty new lab puppy. Soooo... Your puppy will be partially house broke when you get it. Sometimes the stress of moving and loosing their litter mates and mama will upset them for a while though and accidents may happen.


You can very easily worm your puppy yourself - a scale and following the directions is all that is needed. Stores like Southern States or Tractor Supply usually have the medicine and some vets have reasonable prices in bulk. Certain worms like tape worm so far I have had to go to a vet to get medicine for them. I have found it much cheaper to administer the medicine myself even if you get it at a vet. Tape worm and Large Round worm can be seen in their poop. You can lower the cost of owning a dog by knowing what you want and telling the vet instead of the other way around.

Shots are also available from similar non vet services and you can give the shots yourself. The rabies shot must come from a vet and is the only shot my dogs get. In my 72 year life I have never lost a dog to anything those non rabies shots are proclaimed to protect for. My dogs do not go to dog parks or kennels so they are not exposed to most problems. The first rabies shot is given around 8-12 weeks I think and is good for 1 year. All following rabies shots in North Carolina are good for 3 years. If your vet will not give a your dog a 3 year shot they are ripping you off. In North Carolina, in the past, the state sponsors a week long rabies clinic during May where your dog can get the shot for $10 total and no office visit cost. This is a very good deal. I call ahead with what I want for each dog, load mine in the back of the truck for the trip to the vet, the vet comes out to the truck and shoots all per my requests. This year, 2014, there was a traveling vet that went on a published scheduled route around Cabarrus County and the local vets did not participate but the end results were the same. I took Taka, CoCo, and Baxter. the other two are not due till next year and I started to take all to get on the same schedule. I talked to a vet about getting a shot early to get on the same schedule and he told me I could give a rabies shot every week if I wanted to so my next trip I will vacinate all so I will only have to go every 3 years.


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Copyright Ted McCachren , August 2013, All rights reserved.