Puppy Care

Basic Puppy Care

Proper puppy care, whether you DIY or leave it to a professional, is essential to your dogs health.  We want to be there cheering you on the day you take your new little fur-baby home.  In addition, we want to be there for you the rest of your dogs life too.  Equipping you with the proper tools in order to perform the basic care for your pup is our goal. We aim to give you the basics of Puppy Care 101 to make this an easy go to for help.  From grooming to socialization, we’ve got you covered.


The basic puppy care for your dog shouldn’t break the bank.  Maybe you can do some of the care tips yourself and save others for the professionals.  Giving you tips and tricks to do it yourself should enable you to at least give it a go.  If you feel it’s just not for you…next time make an appointment with someone who knows what their doing.

It’s our hope that you will at least try.  Not only does it save money, it creates a bond with you and your pet.  Sometimes the dog loves the special treatment and gets all excited when it’s that time of the month.  Brushing, for example, is a touch that dogs love.  Giving them a good brushing is giving them your time.  Undivided attention is a true act of love.

Should you wish to seek out professionals for all of the Puppy Care we listed, that’s perfectly fine too.  Some of us have busy lives and wish to just have it all taken care of for us.  Simply make sure the company or person you go to is a reputable person with good references. Good groomers, especially, are hard to find.  Ask friends or family for recommendations.  This is the best way to find great people who may be in your pets life for a long time.  Above all, enjoy your new pet!

Need Help with Puppy Care?

As I stated above, we’re always here for you!  If you ever need help with ear cleaning and you’re in the middle of it…give us a call.  I’ll do my best to walk you through it….or prescribe a glass of wine!  As I’m probably not in the same location as most of you, I can’t recommend professionals to do the basic puppy care but I can help find people for you.  Simply Contact me and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

Puppy Grooming Topics

What exactly does puppy grooming involve?  Puppy grooming is the process of bathing, brushing, and blow drying.  Just like people, dogs need regular bathing. But unlike people, dogs don’t need frequent bathing. Your dog’s breed and the environment in which it lives and plays will largely determine the optimum frequency of bathing.  Once a month is a good rule-of-thumb and experts recommend that you do not bathe your dog more than once a week.
Don’t use shampoo for humans on your dog when you give it a bath; use a shampoo that is formulated specifically for dogs.

The Step By Step Bathing Process

  1. Brush your puppy to remove any tangles or debris from the coat.
  2. Get your pet wet, avoiding the head.
  3. Apply a quarter size amount of shampoo, lathering up all over.
  4. Massage your puppy’s fur to distribute the shampoo.
  5. Leave on for the recommended length of time.
  6. Meanwhile use a face washer or sponge to wipe down the face (no need for shampoo).
  7. Rinse, making sure all the shampoo is out.
  8. Stand back and allow your pet to shake.
  9. Towel dry.
  10. Use a hairdryer on a low heat with a brush or take your pet for a walk in the sun to dry.

Brush, Brush and More Brushing

Most dogs love a good brush. Brushing also helps to prevent skin irritation by removing dead hair from your dog’s coat before it mats.  It also gives you control over where hair is shed – in the brush instead of all over your house!

You’ll need a comb and a slicker brush.

You can brush your dog as frequently as you feel is needed, but the longer your dog’s hair, the more frequently you’ll need to brush. Very longhaired dogs may need it daily, while shorthaired dogs may need it only monthly.

We hope you enjoy the time spent learning the essentials of puppy grooming.  Puppies and dogs alike love the extra TLC they get during this time together.  This quality time can become very important to your pet and doing the job yourself can save you a great deal of money over the lifetime of your dog.

This information is based off the basics of Puppy Grooming and may vary according to the breed you just adopted at Awesome Paws of Missouri. If you need specific breed puppy grooming information, please feel free to Contact us and we’ll be glad to send some information and videos your way!

Puppy Potty Training Essentials

Puppy Care isn’t just feeding and brushing.  It is the general catagory of everything involved in taking care and nurturing your puppy.  We understand the value of beginning puppy potty training at an early age. It is our desire that you and puppy have the very best start.   Getting puppy potty training started will make that much easier for all involved.

We have introduced your puppy to many kinds of substrates used in puppy potty training. Since we don’t know what you may use at your home, we tried to cover all bases.  Your puppy has been exposed to pine shavings, grass, newspaper and puppy pads. Depending on what type of “potty” area you’ll use for your puppy, they should be familiar with it!

Just like babies, puppies have no control of when or where they “potty”. Having a puppy urinate inside your house is not going to make you happy.  It also won’t do any good for your puppy when you get mad with him/her.

It’s important that you tackle this issue early on with your new pup and teach them some discipline. You may be surprised to hear this, but it’s true that a dog looks to you as a “pack leader”.  He learns right from wrong thus making your job of caring for them more pleasant.

It’s not difficult to correctly puppy potty train your little bundle, however keep in mind the process can take a couple months.

So how exactly do you start puppy potty training?

Restrict Puppy’s Freedom in the Home

You should restrict the area in which the puppy can move around. What this will do is limit the chance of the puppy going potty in a someplace they shouldn’t. Lay the potty paper in an area outside and then put a fence around so the puppy cannot roam elsewhere. It’s not supposed to be a jail so make it large enough so the puppy can run around and have fun. Of course, you can take the puppy inside at times.  You need to make it clear that the puppy potty training area is their home while training.

Wet the Puppy Potty Training Area

When setting up your potty area, you should place some of your pup’s urine on the paper.   Walk them to it so they can smell it and identify the scent.   This will give them the idea that the area is where they should be going potty.

One Potty, One Place

Many people who try to puppy potty train have problems and get frustrated.  Thus, they decide to set up multiple potty areas in hope that the puppy will use at least one of them. This is a bad idea as it will only confuse your puppy.  They won’t learn to use a potty effectively if there’s several to choose from.   You should only ever need one puppy potty training area.

It Takes Time for Puppy Potty Training

Younger pups need to go to potty every few hours.   Put a leash on them and take them to the potty area and give them 10 minutes to do their thing. If they don’t go, take the puppy back to its area and then try again in about 20 minutes. You shouldn’t play with the puppy until it uses the potty.   Once they do, you should reward them by playing with them, praising them or feeding them treats.

Reward Good Behavior

Whether you feed them or praise them, it’s essential that you reward your puppy for their good behavior. Rewarding a puppy will make them happier and teach them discipline.   A happier dog in the long run will to listen to you.   A good idea is to reward them every time they use the potty!  After all, puppy potty training is hard work for puppies too!

Mistakes Will Happen

Please remember not to get angry with your puppy if they urinate in the wrong area. At a young age they lack many skills that older dogs have. The best thing to do if your puppy urinates in a wrong place, is to simply say “no”.   Then walk them to their potty area again.

By following the above advice, your puppy will be on their way to being puppy potty trained.   You will also have a well-mannered and obedient dog because of it. However, make sure you give it time, it’s not something that most puppies can learn in a week or so.  If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to Contact us and we’ll do our best to help!

Essentials of Puppy Crate Training

Many people refuse to crate train or kennel train their dogs because they feel the confinement is cruel. However, a crate or kennel can give puppies/dogs a sense of security. puppy crate training, if done properly, is also a highly effective management system that can benefit owners greatly.  Like any training method, crating can be abused.   Using a crate for appropriate length of times is helpful with a variety of important goals.  Many include house training, preventing destructive behavior, and teaching a dog to relax.

A Safe Space

Puppy crate training comes in handy during everyday life for dogs who might need a break from a noisy household or a familiar place to rest. Crates help dogs learn to self soothe, or deal with their anxiety, during situations where they become distressed, like during July 4th fireworks, a thunderstorm, or construction.

Dogs can retreat to the safety of their crates when situations are too chaotic or scary. It also helps dogs confront new situations successfully, like the addition of a new baby or having company over.  Puppy crate training is actually a vital part of teaching your puppy critical Socialization skills.

Crates are great for house training. Dogs and puppies don’t like a soiled bed, so a properly sized crate is very useful to assist you in teaching him bladder and bowel control.

Make Puppy Crate Training a Positive Experience

The first and most important step in puppy crate training, is making it a positive experience. Try feeding them meals or treats in their crate so crate time feels like a reward. Never leave dogs in their crate all day. Limit crate time based on how long they spend in their crate daily, their age, and level of house training.

We begin the process to make it less stressful on everyone involved, puppy especially!  Puppies are encouraged to venture in and out of the crate daily and for 15 minute intervals we close the crate door, allowing them to happily chew on a treat.  Most pups hardly notice the closed door since their attention is turned towards their yummy reward. This allows them to have a positive experience while in the crate and helps them to get familiar with it.

Making the Adjustment

When it’s time for you to come pick up your new bundle and take them home, it can be a time of adjustment for everyone.  Your puppy is learning a whole new environment-your home.  He’ll be exposed to many sounds and smells that may be unfamiliar.

Retreating to his familiar crate to relax and feel secure may help ease the transition from breeder to you.  If he tends to spend more time in the crate at first, it’s completely understandable and please be patient with the little guy.  He’ll venture out and become one of the family in no time.  The crate will always provide a sense of security and safe zone for the puppy, even into his adult years.

DIY Puppy Ear Cleaning

Puppy ear cleaning is an essential part of your dog’s basic grooming routine. All dogs should have their ears cleaned routinely, but some dogs need a more frequent and thorough cleaning than others. This is especially true for dogs prone to ear infections. Fortunately, it’s easy to clean your dog’s ears at home. You just want to do it properly, so you don’t do any damage.

The best place to clean your dog’s ears is outside or in the bathroom. This is a great thing to do just before a monthly bath. Keep in mind that when the dog shakes its head, that ear debris and cleaner have to go somewhere, and that includes your walls and you, so beware. You may wish to place a towel under your dog to absorb and wetness. You may also want a towel to keep you dry.

Get the Essentials

Before puppy ear cleaning begins, inspect them.   This gives you an idea of how dirty they are and lets you check for excess hair. If your dog has a lot of hair coming from the ear canal, it may need to be plucked. This applies to some breeds with floppy ears. You can check out our grooming page to find out some simple grooming techniques.

puppy care

puppy care

You’ll just need a couple of items to get the job done; some clean cotton gauze squares and a vet approved ear wash solution such as this. First, begin by holding the ear flap up and squirting a few drops of ear cleaner on the inside of the flap near the ear opening. Next, gently place the tip of the bottle into the ear and give it a gentle squeeze.

Massage the Ear

Before the dog can shake its head, begin massaging the base of the ear (this is the bottom part near the jaw where cartilage can be felt). You should be able to hear a smacking sound in the ear. This is the cleaner sloshing around inside the ear.

By massaging, you are helping the cleanser fill the ridges in the canal and loosen ear debris. After massaging for a few seconds (more for very dirty ears) you can let go and allow your dog to shake. You might want to turn away or hold up a towel for this part.

Once your dog has a good shake (and he will), lightly moisten cotton gauze with ear cleaner. Use the cotton gauze with your finger to wipe out the ear canal. Put your finger in the ear canal as far as it will go without forcing it.

If the ear still seems dirty, repeat the process. Stop if your dog’s ear begins to get red or bleed or your dog seems to be in pain.

Move on to the other ear and repeat all the steps. Finish by wiping away any visible debris and drying your dog’s head off. Make sure to offer a treat reward and plenty of praise.

Puppy ear cleaning each month is a good habit to get into. Not only will they have “squeaky clean” ears, but it will allow you to always keep an eye out for any infections brewing in there that you may not have known about.

Beginning Puppy Socialization

Puppy socialization begins the day your puppy was born.  Interacting with mom and siblings is when it all starts.  Did you know that how well your dog gets along with other dogs and people tells a story?  It tells a story of how socialized your puppy is. Granted, behavior always comes from a combination of genetics and environment, so much will depend on your breeders job.

However, generally speaking, a combination of good genetics and proper puppy socialization is critical when it comes to raising a puppy. Growing into a well-adjusted adult dog and friendly toward strangers and other animals should be our goal.

What is Puppy Socialization?

There’s all sorts of definitions, but it’s a learning process where your puppy is exposed to all of the things he’s likely to encounter as an adult dog. It’s all done in a safe, positive, and non-threatening way.  Exposed to other animals, the clapping of hands, thunder and elevators.  Walking up and down stairs, vacuums, kids on bicycles, women in floppy hats, and so forth. Doing so helps puppy to develop the coping skills necessary to grow into a mentally sound and confident adult dog.

The puppy socialization process must be positive. Moreover, this point can’t be stressed enough. Negative experiences can permanently traumatize a puppy. Going to the park and allowing him to be bombarded by other animals or strange sights can scare a pup to death.

Likewise, weird noises and lots of screaming, noisy kids grabbing at him, is not a positive experience either.  Similarly, taking him to a puppy class and allowing him to be bullied by more dominant puppies is not a positive experience.  Granted, some puppies may not be affected, but the majority of them will suffer in the long run. Taking the time to properly socialize your puppy will go a long way.  They will develop a positive human-canine bond.

Where to Socialize Your Puppy?

Once your puppy comes to live with you, it’s your job to keep up the good work your breeder has started. It’s a small window of opportunity, so make the time count.

  • Let him walk and play on different surfaces.   Such as gravel, grass, vinyl and tile floors, concrete and other substrates.
  • Expose him to different sounds including the television, radio, doorbell, vacuum, phone ringing and thunderstorms.
  • Invite friends, grandchildren and neighborhood kids over for puppy kisses and supervised play.
  • Go for short walks in your neighborhood.
  • Wear different accessories around him – like hats and sunglasses.

We have a handy check list for you to read through and implement.  You may already be doing lots of these ideas but the goal is to socialize the puppy to as many as possible.

Puppy Socialization is a Process

Proper puppy socialization isn’t something that will happen overnight.  However, it’s a process that will develop your puppy into a well rounded adult dog.  Most people don’t want an aggressive or super shy dog that runs from everyone.  We desire a dog that has basic social skills and can behave themselves around friends and strangers.  This is the beginning steps to achieve that goal.  If we can be of any more help, please Contact us and we’ll do our best to help.

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