35 Ways to Make Your Puppy Happy
“It’s a dog’s life”, the saying goes, but you can make your little one’s
life even richer. Here are some ideas:
1. Plan playtime. Make a date with your puppy each and every day to help
socialize him. Race him to the park, or recite poetry. You choose. He
will bask in your undivided attention no matter what you do.
2. Take a road trip. He’ll love riding shotgun to the ice cream store,
the post office or to pick up bagels. Roll down the window so he gets a
bit of a breeze on the way there.
3. Cuddle up. Even if your spouse hates tearjerkers, we’re sure your
puppy will embrace them. He also won’t keep track of how many Kleenex
4. Hit the water. Nearly every breed of dog loves H2O, so prance through
puddles, leap into lakes or race through a river.
5. Give him a bath. After all that wading in the stinky pond down the
street, give him a nice bubble bath with specially formulated puppy
6. Beat the heat. Exercise with your pup in the early morning hours and
enjoy that sunrise you’ve missed the past few years.
7. Walk, walk, walk. To the grocery store. To the neighbor’s house. To
the elementary school to pick up your kids. You’ll be surprised what a
good time you’ll both have smelling fresh roses.
8. Do a dance. Your puppy loves your moves – no matter how lame they
are. Crank up Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy”, clip a leash on him, and
pretend you are at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
9. Teach him a new trick. Start with fetch and move right up to cleaning
the garage and doing taxes.
10. Tell him about your boss. Or your boyfriend. And everything in
between. Your puppy will gladly listen to your dish – and he promises
never to tell.
11. Snap his mug. You might not be William Wegman, but you’ll both have
a ball doing a photo shoot.
12. Check out your local breed club. You’ll learn more about your puppy
and meet new friends – for both of you.
13. Register with KUSA. You have put in a lot of work teaching your pup
to mind (and you’ve already practiced on the catwalk – see tip #8), so
go ahead and make things official.
14. Learn to speak Puppy. He is, after all, learning to speak English at
your behest. The least you can do is to take time to study his body
language so that you know how he’s feeling.
15. Bring a blankie. Make your vacation easier on him by leaving him
with a lovey when you kennel him.16. Let him sniff. Your life isn’t so
busy that you can’t let him take an extra-long whiff at the fire
hydrant. Such olfactory communication is essential for puppies learning
about the world.
17. Tag him. Millions of puppies are lost each year. Make sure isn’t one
of them by updating his charms religiously.
18. Get him fixed. Animals who’ve had The Operation lead longer,
healthier lives. Plus, you’ll be doing your part to curb overpopulation.
19. Let him chew. Yes, it can be a pain, but it is also developmentally
appropriate for puppies. Quit complaining and purchase high-quality
chews at pet specialty stores then let him have at it.
20. Skip the scraps. Feeding puppy’s table food might seem like a good
idea, but such morsels lead to obesity, intestinal problems, choking and
hyperactivity. Instead, feed him a perfectly balanced diet from a
well-known brand like Royal Canin. He’ll enjoy the taste and you’ll know
you’re giving him the right nutrients.21. Say so long to sweets. Even
though she’s part of your family. Fiona does not need her own Easter
basket. In fact, desserts like chocolate can seriously harm puppies. If
you must nestle something in that pink grass, bury bones or toys.
22. Feed to size. Pups have different nutritional needs based on their
projected weight as adults. Royal Canin tweaks its formulas to meet the
specific demands of small-, medium- and large-breed puppies so that you
don’t have to play dietician.
23. Don’t overfeed. Yes, its true that puppies burn twice the energy of
adult dogs, but that doesn’t mean they need twice the food. Feed “smart”
by giving your puppy a nutrient-dense meal that allows his body to make
the best use of calories eaten. (Yes, our formulas do that, too!)
24. Keep it fresh. Always dump the water in your pup’s bowl before each
meal is served (and between meals, if necessary), then scrub the dish.
Even one stray morsel of food can make the supply taste funny. Without
water, your puppy could get dehydrated quickly.
25. Brush-a, brush-a. Daily dental care can prevent gum disease, tooth
loss and doggie breath. It can even lengthen your dog’s life. (No, we
don’t know of a product like Colgate White-strips for dogs. Call us if
26. Get on your vet’s calendar. Ensure your puppy has regular check-ups.
This will afford his doc the opportunity to get a baseline on his
27. Take him in if he’s sick. It unfair to make a helpless puppy “wait
it out” if he’s ill. Besides, what you conclude is “nothing” could
actually turn out to be something. In which case, you will want to get a
28. Give him a “petacure”. Clip his claws regularly, or ask your vet to
do it for you. Keeping them too long can result in discomfort for
puppies (not to mention the havoc it’ll wreak on your hardwoods).
29. Give him an earful. Puppies are susceptive to several ear issues
including mites and infections. Ask his doc how to carefully swab his
ears, then do so regularly.
30. Banish fleas. Get your pup on a regular anti-flea regime as soon as
possible to avoid a case of the itchies.
31. Puppy-proof your home. Crawl around on your hands and knees to make
sure all electrical wires are beyond reach. Move breakables up high:
tuck treasures into closets until Pup can be trusted.
32. Post “In Case of Emergency” numbers. Tape important phone numbers
next to your land line including your vet’s information in case of
emergency. Include in the list any allergies your pup might have and the
names of medications he is taking.
33. Take time to train. An unmannered puppy can turn into a nightmarish
dog if you don’t invest energy in helping him learn to mind.
34. Be gentle. Never hit, threaten, frighten or force-train your puppy.
Such strategies might result in a change of behavior, but it won’t be
the kind you’re after. If you need a timeout from your pup, take one.
Remind yourself that you are the grown-up – you should act like one.
35. Enjoy your puppy. With all that goes into raising a pup, it is easy
to forget to simply be with him. After all, in a few short months,
you’ll be missing this phase – chewing and all.
All my puppies are starting on Royal Canin
Mother & Baby at around 3 ˝ weeks of age. At
6 weeks I slowly change them over to Royal
Canin Maxi Junior, so by the time they go to
their new owners, they are only on RC Maxi
Junior. I do not recommend to change their
diets for at least the first month. If you
should do so, please do it gradually over a
period of 7 days. A change of food can upset
their tummies. Please remember to always use
a good quality puppy food to ensure optimal
growth and development. Most brands
available from your vet are high in quality.
A puppy should have three meals a day until
6 months of age. Then you can give two meals
a day, for life.
Do not feed table scraps and left over food.
Do not give milk. It will upset their
Chocolates, unions and garlic is poison to
No human food or treats.
You may give a slice or two biltong without
fat. Be careful to not give to much, as the
spices is not good either.
You may give a “Marie biscuit” or two a day.
A tablespoon of grated cheese once a week
over the food is also fine.
Small meatballs (WITHOUT SPICES) is good
every second day.
Never leave uneaten food about.
Always ensure fresh drinking water is
NEVER EVER FEED FREELY!!! Self-feeders do
not work for Labradors!