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10 questions about puppies

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10 questions about puppies

Puppies need a lot of looking after, love and attention. We have put together answers to some of the top questions you wanted to know about puppies. You may have more questions, so please contact us if you have any others.

How long do puppies sleep?

Just like human babies, puppies do get tired and can sleep at all hours of the day.

  • At night, you can expect your puppy to sleep for about six to ten hours and are unlikely to sleep through the night. By 16 weeks, they should start to sleep through the night
  • During the day, they are likely to sleep after a period of activity and then wake up and be ready to play again. If they are playing and fall asleep try not to move them but make sure they are as comfortable as possible
  • Is my puppy sleeping too much? If you feel your puppy is sleeping beyond 20 hours, sometimes the best thing to do is get reassurance and call your vet to find out why they are sleeping too much
  • Work with your puppy’s sleeping habits. Schedule the day and create a routine of set play times when they wake. Never wake a sleeping puppy, as a puppy needs to sleep and it is an important part of their learning process

When do puppies stop biting?

Of course it’s very natural for your puppy to bite and nip and this isn’t them being naughty or aggressive. It’s all part of learning and the exploratory stages a puppy goes through, just like us humans when we were babies. You can train your puppy to ensure this behaviour is not left to develop by rewarding them with healthy treats when they do the things you feel is good behaviour.

    How to stop puppies biting?

    • Never punish your puppy verbally or physically, as you may make them fearful of you and it will damage the relationship and bond you have worked so hard to already develop
    • Try to avoid rough games as this may encourage them to grab at you with their teeth. Instead, try throwing a ball or hiding their favourite toys and rewarding them when they find what is hidden.
    • Provide safe toys for your puppy to chew on, such as puppy teething toys like Puppy Kongs. This will also encourage them to chew on the toys rather than your hands!
    • Make sure your puppy is getting enough play time with you and on their own, as sometimes biting can lead to frustration at having too much energy
    • Consistency is key and if there are other people in your household, make sure they are following the same training

    How much should I feed my puppy?

    Puppies grow fast and they need a special diet to aid their physical development. If you need expert advice your vet can help you choose a commercial diet that is right for your puppy – you can ask them when your puppy needs a health check or vaccination. The Kennel Club is another great way of getting advice and sourcing the relevant information if you need help

    • Puppies should always have food specifically made for puppies – your vet can help to recommend the types of food they should and should not be eating
    • Larger dogs or breeds may need to stay on a particular type of diet longer as they grow more rapidly than other smaller breeds
    • You should feed your four meals a day until the age of 4 months
    • Reduce their food to three meals a day until they are 6 months old
    • Move to two meals a day and they can stay with this routine for the rest of their life

    Can I feed my puppy raw food?

    Our specialist vet nurses recommend to feed your pet with food that is specially designed for them. You should also get a recommendation from your vet too as they can advise on the best types of pet food – we understand there are many varieties out there!

    When can you take a puppy for a walk outside?

    It’s normal to feel both excited and nervous about taking your puppy on their very first walk. You need to make sure your puppy has been fully vaccinated before you take them outside.

    • Your vet can advise at what point your pet is safe to go outside and into public areas.
    • The time of the health check or vaccination depends on your vet practice but standard protocol is usually a week after their last vaccination in the primary course.

    How long should you walk a puppy?

    This question is asked a lot by pet owners, especially new owners. The amount of exercise a puppy needs will depend on the puppy, size and breed.

    • A general guide when exercising your puppy is to aim for five minutes for every month of their age, twice a day. For example, a 4 month old puppy would need 20 minutes of exercise, twice a day.
    • Before you start walking, you may need to get your puppy used to the lead first.
    • Start by taking your puppy on a short walk and keep an eye on how they are doing. After your first walk, you can slowly start to build up the distance you are travelling each time and monitor this over time.
    • Also consider the type of exercise as well as length. Exercise doesn’t have to be walking, it can also include playing with toys or training.
    • Always keep an eye on your puppy to watch for signs of tiredness as they can become tired very quickly. You may need to adjust the amount of exercise if it’s too much for them.
    • Larger breeds need just as much care when planning exercise as they can also grow rapidly and should not be over-exercised when they are puppies. If you are concerned you should always discuss this with your breeder and vet.

    How to stop a puppy barking?

    We understand it can be annoying for you and neighbours when a puppy or dog is constantly barking. Puppies bark for many reasons and they are usually trying to tell you something when they are barking.

    • The first step is to understand why they are barking. Don’t punish this behaviour physically or verbally, it’s their way of communicating. It can be their way of alerting you to danger, someone at the door, excitement or even encouraging you to play with them. They may need something – to go to the toilet or asking for food.
    • Be consistent with rules and your puppy will easily pick up on the rules.
    • Stay upbeat and positive when training and don’t yell at your puppy as it can make the barking worse.
    • Reward them with healthy treats for good behaviour and training that went well.
    • Exercise is important as it helps to stimulate and encourage a healthy lifestyle. Tired puppies from exercise are less likely to bark.
    • Obedience training is extremely useful and you can use treats as rewards. Only let your puppy have the treat when they are quiet and extend the time periods to develop the training.

    When can you bathe a puppy?

    If your puppy is younger than 7-8 weeks, you should not put them in the bath just yet. You can wipe them down with a warm cloth if they need a quick clean. If your puppy is over 8 weeks old make sure you are using puppy shampoo and rinse them well to ensure all of the shampoo has been removed from their skin and coat.

    Do I need pet insurance?

    We understand being a pet parent can be tough, especially when your pets become ill or get injured. It’s important to consider pet insurance even if you have a new puppy, as it can help provide peace of mind that your puppy is covered should they need to go to the vet. You can easily compare our insurance plans and get a quote through our website.

    Get a quote for your puppy

     

     

    By Melissa Pickburn

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