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Your Very First Puppy - Home Tips & Training

So you're all settled in at home with the puppy; that's when the real fun begins.

In this episode, Dr Chris Brown explores the different behaviours that your new puppy might start showing. One of the major challenges you will have with your puppy is doing the toilet inside. One great piece of advice is putting dirt and grass on your puppy's inside indoor toilet box. They associate the smells with going to the toilet, and will eventually start only using the box. After a while you won't need to put the dirt and grass in there.

Socialisation is also very important, so once they are able to, it is a good idea to get them outside to encounter different people, animals (particularly other dogs) and situations. Make sure you do this after 13 weeks. Socialising at home is also really important, some tips include:

- Feed your pets separately to avoid competition at dinner time
- Give them their own space to live and sleep
- Ensure cats have space higher up (e.g. raised surfaces), as they will feel a lot more comfortable with a new dog around

Don't worry if there are little squabbles with the cat at the start, that's what breeds familiarity with your pets. Just try to keep it playful.

Looking out for poisonous plants in your outdoor areas is also vital. There are plenty of innocent looking plants that can cause serious for your puppy. There are over 80 plants that are poisonous to your pets, including:

1. Brunfelsia (Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow)
2. Tulips (bulb plants)
3. Cycads (Sago Palm)
4. Vitis (Grape Vine)
5. Nerium Oleander

Getting your puppy training on a reputable course is also great idea - ask your friends for some recommendations. You can enrole them in puppy school from about 12 weeks old. The average cost for 4 x 1 hour classes is about $150.

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.