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Your Very First Puppy - Getting Settled In

So you've got your puppy - now it's time to introduce it to its new surroundings.

In this episode, Dr Chris Brown gives some advice on what to do once you have brought your puppy home. One consideration is whether you already have pets at home. It is important that you never leave your puppy unsupervised with other pets.

Toilet training is a big one. Some tips include:

- Choosing one spot in the garden for your puppy to do its business
- Put them out after meals and sleeps, as this is when they are most likely to need to go
- Be persistent with the routine, they won't always take to it straight away. Keep putting them in your chosen toilet area.

A huge challenge is those first few nights with the new puppy. Chose a secure location in your home to put them for the night, and make sure you resist going to see them if they cry. If you do, the puppy will believe that crying will always bring you to them. If you stick it out for a few days, they will start to settle down. And remember, where possible stick to your routines. The puppy needs to get used to being left alone.

Feeding your new puppy the right type and amount of food is also crucial. Speak to your vet about what they recommend, but generally four small meals per day is preferable. Don't worry that you are only feeding them dry food - there is no need to make their meals more exciting, like you would a human. They'll pretty much eat any food you put in front of them - so try to stick with the biscuits.

Cockatiel plucking her feathers

Hi! I hope you can help me with my cockatiel, I write from Spain and here they aren't that common so vets don't know much about treating them. I have a 5 years old female cockatiel and she is very affectionate, 2 years ago I had to spend a couple of months at a hospital and my parents during that time were either working or visiting me, so she felt lonely and started plucking her feathers. Even after I went back home she continued with this behaviour and hasn't stopped. I took her to different vets, they told me to give her small amounts of a syrup that was meant for calming itching and an antibiotic in case it was something producing an itching, but neither worked. I also tried a spray called "Pluck-no-more" with the same results. In case she was lonely we got her a mate, but it may be also female since they don't pay attention to each other at all. She rubs her cloaca on the perch often but the other tiel ignores it (the pet shop said it was male but they said the same with her and then she laid an egg...). The layer that covers the feather while growing (not sure of the name in English) doesn't grow normally, looks more like bland plastic than a hard cover like the ones on my other birds pin feathers (besides her, I have another cockatiel and a lovebird). Is as if the feathers on the plucking areas aren't growing correctly. The areas she plucks are under the wings, the part where wings join the body, and the body area that is covered by the wings while resting. While plucking she lets out small cries. The fluff covers these areas so by just looking at her isn't easy to tell, unless you watch her while preening. I let her play outside of the cage very often, but lately she can't fly well and I think it may be caused by the loss of these feathers. As I said, vets in this area are more specialized in cats and dogs and know little about parrots, so I hope you can advise me since these birds are native to Australia. Is there some kind of balm or spray I can apply on her skin to soothe it? Some medicine I can ask my local vet to use? I love her and it hurts seeing her in pain everytime she preens. Any advice would be much appreciated. Greetings from Spain!