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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.

Hip Surgery for rescued puppy

2 weeks ago whilst we were in Fiji we rescued an abandoned puppy that we estimate is about 3 months old. She was starving, filthy, covered in ticks and could barely stand or walk. We fed her, washed her, removed all ticks and just gave her love. We called her Pretzel as she was so skinny when we found her that all her bones were sticking out and her hip bones looked like a big twisted pretzel and her long skinny legs looked like Pretzel sticks. Our intention was to find her a home in Fiji but after a week or so she had gained weight, but we noticed that her left hip bone was still protruding and that when she walked we noticed that her left back foot turned out slightly. Also, when she ran she would use both back legs together and hop like a bunny. We took her to an animal shelter in Fiji called Animals Fiji and they examined her and advised that they thought it might be dislocated. They X-rayed her and then sedated her to try and manipulate the bone back into the socket. This was unsuccessful. The vet advised that it appeared that the end of the bone where the ball should be round was malformed either from a trauma/injury when young or by birth. He advised that he does not have the equipment in Fiji to treat her properly and that she would need surgery to correct the bone and to tighten the ligaments to her support her leg. We are exporting her to Australia on the 7th of March and are trying to raise some funds to assist us. We are hoping that you can assistance to find a Vet in Melbourne that could assist with the operation at a reasonable price.