Puppy Routines for Elsa's Litter
Few comments about the current schedule for Elsa's puppies who start going home next weekend and information about feeding, vitamins, and training:
Generally they are waking up between 5:30-6:00 am and are let out of their indoor area, out the backdoors, and immediately outside to go potty. We use potty commands ("Go Potty" for #1 and "Go Poo Poo" for, well, #2). We don't play with them at this time and watch closely so that we can praise each one as they go to the potty ("Good Potty" and "Good Poo Poo"). Then it's play time! After about 15-30 minutes of play, we then feed them. You will start with a cup of food (we use TLC and more info at the bottom about TLC) 3x/day, but if they clear it, then increase to 1 1/4 cup. We add about a tsp each of 100% pumpkin and organic plain Greek yogurt mixed into their food and also mix in NuVet (more details below about NuVet). They don't tend to overeat at this stage and we mostly see people underfeeding than overfeeding at the early age.
Back to the schedule. Outside when they wake up first thing in the morning, potty, play, feed, make sure fresh water is available (since I'm on that topic, stagnant water will grow a biofilm of bacteria...feels slippery to the touch...need to use hot soapy water and scrub the water dishes and make sure food dishes are kept clean)....and then they will horse around for a little longer (we have them outside while its cool out until about 8-9 am but have lots of shade) and then they are ready for a morning snooze (tough life!). They will nap until any time in between 11-11:30 am and then as soon as they wake up they go immediately outside where we just repeat the same morning protocol at lunch. Usually lunch by noon give or take.
Afternoons are becoming too hot for much outdoor play time so quick potty breaks throughout the afternoon. Dinner 5-5:30 and outside evening play. When it's shady and cool we might stay outside with them for an hour to let them play and burn off some energy. They love playing in a kiddie pool outside.
Now this is the routine with a litter....here's a link that you can use for housebreaking when you bring home your puppy:
Another good puppy resource is Puppy Culture as well as The Art of Raising a Puppy revised editor by the Monks of New Skete.
We will take the puppies out one more time right before bed time (around 10:30-11 pm) to go potty. We try not to let them play too much as they will only get thirsty, and need water, and then you know the consequence of that early in the morning.
The puppies will likely need to go out about once a night (well wee hours of the morning) the first week around 2-3 am. Many don't wake up for this, a few do. But all will outgrow this stage fairly quickly and fortunately large fast growing puppies mature faster in this area. When taking the puppies out in the early morning hours just take outside quickly and tell them to go potty, and if they do a bit more low keyed good potty, and then right back inside into their crate. Only take out if they are up and crying and quick outside to potty and back in crate.
We also play a variety of sounds through out the day and recommend classical music or sound machine at night and during naps. We also keep a light weight blanket/sheet over crate to form den which they like and keep the house on the cooler side. If the puppy is panting inside the crate then remove the light weight blanket/sheet that covers the crate. They are eating TLC all life stages and we would recommend that or raw and would need to slowly transition.
Here's a link to TLC (we recommend the adult all-life stages food as they are a fast growing large breed that need chondroitin and glucosamine at therapeutic levels and you'll get this in the adult food, not the puppy food. BUT, if you already ordered the puppy food it's a-ok, just order the adult all-life stages food when you start getting low. No harm done).
If you feel really weird about giving puppies adult food then go with the puppy food but I would look at switching between 4-6 months at the latest...most vets will really hammer on using puppy food until 12 months of age....this is always really bad info for Bernedoodles diets.
Also we do add NuVet to their diet as puppies and recommend this as a part of their general health plan when they go home. The link above for food is also the link for NuVet. It's a holistic way to replace some required nutrients that are lost in kibble preparation and adds other Whole Foods that are critical for maintaining vitality and a strong immune system. The link above has a lot more information about this.
Lastly here's some quick shots of the puppies from this morning....with the morning dew they always get wet as they roll around and play...quick cleanup and dry and good to go!