Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Puppy Instructions
Caring for your new puppy
When parents find out they are having a new baby they make all sorts of preparations. You will need to make the same preparations for your new puppy, and think about the supplies you will need, the car ride home, puppy activities, feeding and health care.
Your puppy is going to need a room or at least a place he can call his own. You can use a baby gate and section off a laundry room, or another place you may have just for your puppy. If you have a door that goes outside from this area this would be an excellent place to install a doggy door (this is going to be your best way to potty train your puppy) but everyone can’t have access to these so there are other ways to potty train. Also if you have a glass sliding patio door there is a great doggy door that is made just for these doors. You don’t have to do anything to your door. Just look them up on line. Your puppy will need a crate – the one they really like is this black wire crate. You can get them at Walmart, Atwoods or most pet stores. They love this one because they can see out and be a part of the family. Never keep them in a travel crate that are used for transporting. They sale sheepskin pads to put in the bottom of these wire crates. They come in all different sizes but I would recommend getting at least a medium size as this will last them into adulthood.
Of course the puppy will need food and water bowls, toys to chew on and play with, a collar and leash, a bag of good quality dry puppy food, and plenty of training pads if your puppy is not potty trained when you get it. Put the pads down by the door that you will be taking the puppy out to potty from.. My puppies are almost always doggy door potty trained when you get them. They learn the doggy door by watching mom and at about 6 weeks they are starting to potty outside.
Another method of potty training that many of my customers use is the “bell”. You hang the bell from the doornob of the door you will take them out to potty from. Ring the bell for them and say the word “potty” and before you know it the puppy will paw the bell and ring it to let you know they need to go outside. Sometimes they just want to go outside to play and they will ring it. Very nice method to use. You can make your own bell with ribbon and numerous kinds of bells or you can purchase one like this on Ebay.
The Car Ride Home
The big day arrives and you are off to pick up your puppy from the breeder or maybe the airport if he/she was shipped. Try and keep this as stress free as possible. Some dogs get what we call motion sickness – this is usually from anxiety about the vibrations, sounds, and to a lesser degree, the movement. On this first trip home, we break a cardinal rule about traveling with pets. We do not put them in a crate for travelling but have someone other than the driver hold the puppy in their lap in a blanket or towel and just talk to them and try and distract them from the ride. Be sure and bring with you a collar and leash as the first thing you will need to do, especially if picking up from airport, is to let them potty. Try and take your puppy to a less populated grassy area where tons of dogs have not been as at this young age, the puppy has very little, if any, protection from common dog diseases, and these areas can easily be contaminated with the organisms causing these conditions.
Being with people the first day home
Leaving her mother and littermates will probably bring about some anxiety. However, this can be greatly diminished if you plan your schedules so that you will be home with the puppy the first 3 to 4 days. During this time keep the puppy involved with plenty of attention from children and other family members. When not with the puppy it will probably be sleeping. If the children are young spend these days teaching them how to handle puppies – explaining common sense rules on how and when they are allowed to handle the puppy. Young children, under the age of seven, should not be allowed to carry a young puppy around. They are very wiggly and can easily fall to the ground from a child’s arms. They will not be able to contain the puppy and a disaster could happen.
Getting a health check
One of the first things you need to do is take your puppy into a veterinarian for an initial puppy examination. My health contract with you states that you have 72 hrs. to do this. You will have your health record from me to take with you to the vet showing when and what shots have been given. Usually at least the first puppy shot has been given and sometimes the second one depending on at what age you get your puppy. We do NOT give our puppies Leptospirosis, which is found in many of the shots used by vets, because we have found some of our Cavaliers have had allergic reactions to this. When you go for your shots please ask the vet NOT to give a shot that includes the Leptospirosis. Your puppy has been wormed several times before you get it but it is not uncommon that when you take it to the vet he will tell you the puppy has worms or coccidia which are common puppy ailments. If this occurs he will give you worming or other medications to give the puppy. We do not remove declaws from our puppies. We used to do it but have since learned that it is not necessary and just an extra painful process to put a puppy through. Pay close attention to your puppy’s stool as this will help you maintain his/her health. The puppy should have a firm stool. A soft stool can sometimes mean that you puppy ate too much so you may try cutting back the next day and see if this improves. A stool with blood or mucus in it does mean you need to take the puppy to the vet to be examined. Take a stool sample with you – just get a small baggy and turn it inside out and scoop up the stool and then turn the bag right side out so you can then zip it up. Also be sure and ask your vet about getting your puppy on heart-worm prevention and flea & tick control. Some areas don’t have heart-worms but be sure and check as here in Oklahoma it is a big thing.
Feeding your puppy
We feed our puppies and dogs only a grain-free diet. We feed them A Taste of the Wild – it comes in different flavors and we use Bison. This is an all stage food which is fed to our puppies and adults. We feed our adults 1/2 cup twice a day. We feed our puppies 3 times a day. We just fill a bowl and let them go at it – they will only eat until they get full. Then pick up the bowl until the next feeding. Most dog foods lead you to believe that grain and fiber is good for your dog, but many ingredients found in dog food today contain wheat, corn and/or soy, which are proven to cause allergies.
We also prefer grain-free healthy treats like the one’s listed here. Make sure they have fresh water eveyday.
Grooming your Cavalier
Keeping your Cavalier shiny and beautiful isn’t difficult, but a little regular care goes a long way.
1. Cavaliers are really easy to take care of and do not require a lot of grooming. I like to bathe by Cavaliers about every 2-3 weeks even if they don’t look dirty. In the beginning the puppy coats are fairly short so just work at getting them used to the concept.
2. Basic grooming tools include a straight comb, a soft brush, a pin brush, a shedding tool and nail clippers. Again, not all of these may be necessary. Experiment with your cavalier over time to see what works best.
3. Even though they don’t need to be bathed that often you need to brush their ears often as if they get mats or tangles they are almost impossible to remove once wet.
4. I personally never have my cavalier’s coats professionally trimmed – NEVER-EVER! However I know owners who have them clipped, especially in the summertime. There is nothing wrong with that if you have a companion pet rather than a show dog, however, I believe that once clipped, your dog’s coat is more likely to grow back in thick and course. So if you want to keep their nice soft, silky coats they were born to have I suggest you never have them trimmed.
5. Nail Clipping – Again, get your puppy accustomed to having his nails clipped early in life. Lift one paw, and “pretend” to clip his nails. In the first few months, you’re only trying to teach your Cavalier puppy to allow you to hold his paw quietly. Later, when his nails actually do need clipping, you can buy nail clippers at your local pet store that do a good job. If your pet’s jumpy, then ask a friend to help hold him while you clip his nails. Clip only the white part; don’t get too close to “the quick” where you might knick a blood vessel. And don’t forget his dew claws!
6. Ear Cleaning – Cavaliers have long, floppy ears and tend to get more dirt and debris in their ears than other short-earred breeds. It’s a good idea to make ear cleaning part of your grooming ritual. Use a gentle ear cleaning solution ( I use HealthyPetNet’s Ear Care Formula) with a cotton ball to gently clean away dirt. Never use a q-tip or force anything too deep in your pet’s ears. Cavaliers are prone to getting ear infections so if you see your dog scratching at their ears or a foul smell you might have his ears checked by your vet.
7. Dental Hygiene – Your adult cavalier may have to have his teeth cleaned by a veterinarian. Oral hygiene has been linked to heart problems if not taken care of so be sure and look at your dog’s mouth at least monthy and check for tarter build-up. I have heard and recently started my dogs on cow-knuckle bones once a month and the chewing they do on these bones grinds away the tartar build-up naturally. I am hoping that the results will be clean teeth and not having to have their teeth cleaned that often. When the vet cleans their teeth they actually have to sedate the dog.
8. Spaying or Neutering – We recommend spaying or neutering a puppy between 9 – 12 months of age. At this time their growth hormones are usually finished. Puppies need their hormones during the growth period and early altering could change the size of your cavalier later in life. The growth plates usually close between 9 -12 months. If you neuter your male during this time he will not display the usual humping and marking that comes with males that have not been neutered.
I wish you much joy and happiness with your new Cavalier. I am always here to answer any questions that may come up. Feel free to email or call me anytime.