Wednesday, 21 October, 2020


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Is it hard to take care of puppy?

Puppy is not easy to take care of especially if you don't have any experience. My first puppy is ShihTzu, that only live for about 5-6 days after reaching my house. The pet vet said he died because of virus infection that often happen to puppy that hasn't got enough vaccine shot.

This is my first puppy. A Shihtzu, and his name is Coby. Very quiet and lovable. 

He wagged his tail everytime he sees me, a very lovely dog. He likes to come and sleep near me everytime he is sleepy. So I always put one of my old clothes near me so he can sleep comfortably. I played some soft music everytime he is trying to sleep to let him get used to noise while sleeping. Puppies are really good at that. I read somewhere on the internet that salmon is very healthy for puppy because it is high in protein. Therefore, I purchase 2kg of salmon from a friend who is selling it. However, before the salmon arrives, he already pass away. :(

The problem I have with my Shihtzu is

1. Food

Small breed puppy has a small stomach, so if they skip or refuse to eat one meal, it will cause them danger. You have to make sure they have enough food to maintain their sugar level. In case they really don't eat at all, and you started to feel worry, put some glucose into their water so they can increase the sugar level in them. 

My suggestion is, when you put down their food and they refuse to eat, just put it there and let them eat anytime they want. After 1-2 hours, if the food still remains there, then only you clean it up. Few food that is safe for puppy to eat is chicken breast and egg. Puppy will eat chicken breast and egg more than the food you always feed them. Do not feed dry pet kibble to puppy yet because they still can't bite. You can soak pet kibble in water for a few minutes to half hour. 

When I put down the food for Coby, he won't eat at all, so I will leave it there for few hours, and eventually he will go eat bit by bit.

My another mistake is when he doesn't eat the soaked pet kibble, i changed it to wet food immediately without transitioning them slowly. Main reason I do this is because he started to not eat the pet kibble even if I leave it there for few hours, so I put down some wet food, which he ate immediately.

2. Water

There are too many guides on the internet regarding how you should feed water to your pet. I followed the one that give them limited amount of water with my Coby. He is quiet and won't bark or cry when he is hungry or thirsty. So it's hard to know what he wants. However, my personal suggestion is just leave the water there so the puppy can drink whenever they are thirsty. We human also don't want our water availability become limited right?

Before the puppy got 2nd vaccine shot, remember don't let them go out to park or anywhere that has other unvaccinated dog. It's better to not let him expose to human that comes in contact with unvaccinated dog too as the virus might transfer if the puppy start licking the person. 

After Coby, the Shihtzu pass away, I become really emotional and started to have trauma but I still really want a dog. So this time, when I go to look for puppy, I will ask a lot about the eating habit first, forgetting about their other health issue.

This time, I got a Papillon, the breed with butterfly ear. It's quite rare in my country according to a vet I met few weeks back.

When he reached my house, the first thing he did is sleeping, which worry me because that's what my previous puppy do before he pass away. I am so so so worried so I texted the seller and she said it's ok, puppy do sleep a lot.

I know that puppy sleep like 16-20 hours a day, but that still worries me. I guess it's trauma from losing the first puppy.

Feeding my Papillon is so much easier than the Shihtzu because he eat anything I feed him. He get super excited whenever I pour the food into his pet bowl. Everytime before I start preparing his food, I will use the word "Eat eat", then he will start jumping around and feeling excited because he knows it's time to eat.

After 6 weeks, he got so much bigger and that really shocked me. I thought he is a small breed type of dog but the rate of his growth still surprise me.

His face become sharp, a bit like fox face, and his ear is standing strong now. Sometimes the ear will flipped toward outside if he didn't sleep properly.

I had been training him with a few command and now he knows some of them like sit, down, pee pee (indicate him to go pee and will reward him with treats if he pee at the right place), eat eat (which indicate his meal time), Amen (after putting the bowl down, he can only eat after I said this word, or I will push him away), hide and seek (indicate that there are some hidden food and he will go sniffing around)

The problem I have with my Papillon

1. Too active

Papillon is not the type of dog that will sit quietly and let you rub his belly. They always want to play. However, there are rules of how much playtime you should spend with them. 1 months puppy = 5 minutes. So if your puppy is 6 months, you can play with him up to 30 minutes. You can do this twice a day if you have the time. For my Papillon, he will find his own entertainment when I am busy working on my desk. I leave all sorts of toys in his playhouse and he will just get one of them, bite them, or the most recent thing he likes to do now is chasing and trying to bite his own tail.

Papillon can run really fast, and they don't give up easily. If you leash them and chain them somewhere, they will thought it's is a game so they will try to bite off the chain. However, you have to be in their sight. 

They also don't like to be caged. They need freedom. My first 2 days are nightmare because I caged him when I am sleeping. He cried non stop at 3am so I had to wake up and play with him a bit. After he stopped crying, I went back to sleep. 2 hours later, he start crying again. I learned my lesson the first few days, so I let him roam free in living room when I am sleeping. 

2. Mange

This is quite unexpected but I notice something is wrong when he is scratching his body nonstop after reaching my house. I thought my house is dirty but I had cleaned up everything, vacuumed and mopped the floor before he came. When I search online why my Papillon keep scratching his body, some guide said it might be the puppy is bored. 

Until one day, I send the puppy for grooming, the groomer told me based on her observation of his ear, body and feet, it's definitely mange. So I send him to vet and the vet said it's mange. 

Here comes the funny part. The vet told me I need to make my puppy eat a medicine when I reach home. The reason the vet doesn't wanna feed the pill to the puppy in the clinic is because he worried the puppy might vomit on the way back, due to the journey in car.

When I got home, I keep thinking how to feed him. I thought maybe mix them up in some treats will be good. So I take out some treats from a container, then start handing them over. Before I handover the first treat from my left hand, then the Papillon start licking and eating from my right hand, which I hold the pill with. I open my palm and he ate the medicine, thinking it's a treat. He did hesitate for a while but he just swallow it whole.

I am worried he didn't swallow it properly, so I open his mouth and check, the medicine is gone....

I am like "WHAT? So easy?!" Then I continue feeding the treats and he is happy.

About few days later, I can see he scratch himself lesser and lesser. Now, his mange is almost all gone. 

3. Biting

He has enough toy to bite, so he doesn't bite my furniture. However, he will try to nibble human's hand when humans are playing with him. Sometimes the nibbling got too hard and it became biting. Just need to be careful and make him realise biting human is wrong. So everytime he bite me too hard, I will give him a middle power slap (not too powerful to injure him but not too soft to let him feel I am joking) and said "No Biting".

Now he bite lesser and lesser when playing and his nibbling become soft enough to a point I had no reason to slap him. It's just that, I will still feel a bit worried when he nibble my finger, because he can put my entire finger into his mouth. I have played tug a war with him, where he is strong enough to make me use some of my strength, so I know if he bite me with his full strength, my finger could be gone.

This post might be making you who wants to get pet to have second thought, but I also want to share that I feel really happy to have my puppy now. He is still a puppy, about 3.5 months old and he started to get used with my life now. So instead of you suiting your life with the puppy, the puppy should adjust his life to suit yours because you are his/her owner. Just remember to not ignore them too much because dog needs attention. They will start doing damage (biting off your furniture, biting human they see) if you don't give them enough attention.

Good luck :-D