FEEDING: It is best to feed your puppy the same food your breeder has been feeding them for at least the first two weeks after you bring your puppy home. If you want to change to a different brand or type of food, the change is best done gradually. Start by adding small amounts of the new food mixed in with what the puppy is used to eating, slowly increasing the amount of new food while decreasing the amount of the old. New puppies should be fed at least 3-4 times a day; for small breeds such as the Biewer or Yorkshire Terrier, I prefer to have food available to them at all times for the first 6-12 months of their life. Be sure if using dry kibble that it is not to large as bigger pieces can easily get lodged in their tiny throats causing choking hazards. Fresh water should also be available for your puppy at all times. Keep treats to a minimum; even a tiny treat for such small dogs is like a piece of cake to us and too many treats may cause them to not eat their puppy kibble which has the important vitamins & nutrients they need. Try very hard to deter from the habit of feeding your puppy/dog table scraps or human food; there are many that can make a puppy/dog sick and even cause death. Small breeds like the Biewer & Yorkie are prone to hypoglycemia, a low blood sugar most often caused by stress or not eating. Some signs are listlessness or shaking. If you think this may be happening give your puppy a tiny bit of honey & fresh water or use (Puppy) Nutri-Cal available at most pet stores.
NAPPING: Yes, taking naps is important for puppies! Be sure that your puppy has a warm bed/crate to sleep in. Staying warm is top priority for small puppies; a cold or chilled puppy can become very ill in a short period of time & high on the list of puppy deaths. If the puppy’s sleeping area is cool, a heating pad set on low placed underneath his bed can be helpful. Be sure to keep electrical cords well hidden from those sharp puppy teeth that love to chew!
BATHING: I normally bathe my dogs every two weeks, more often depending on the weather outside and/or how dirty they get. Any good dog shampoo and conditioner will work. Be sure to rinse, and rinse again to get all of the shampoo out of the dogs hair; soap left in the coat can cause irritation & scratching. Once the puppy is clean and towel dried, brush and comb through their hair removing all tangles and mats. A blow dryer can be used to dry their coat on the lowest heat setting and also, hold the dryer about 6 inches or more away from the puppy’s body. The heat from the dryer can very easily burn a dog’s skin. Waving the dryer back and forth will help deter that problem as well as using the “cool burst” feature now & then if your dryer has it.
GROOMING: Daily brushing is recommended to maintain the coat & keep it mat free, as well as help to keep it clean longer. Wash & comb the mucus from the corner of your dog’s eyes daily; if it is allowed to sit at the corner of the eye for too long, it can irritate the skin & cause hair loss in that area. Take special care to keep the hair around the puppy’s anus clean. With the longer coats it is fairly common for feces to become matted in the hair; keep the hair in this area short will help prevent this problem. The hair on the bottoms of their feet will need periodic trimming to keep them from slip-sliding across bare floors. To keep a puppy’s ears standing erect, the top 1/3 should be kept shaved to prevent them from becoming heavy with hair causing them to droop. The toe nails also need regular trimming; at this young age a large human nail clipper works well; a dog nail clipper will be needed as the puppy’s nails get thicker. Dogs & puppies also need daily brushing of their teeth. Use ONLY toothpaste made for dogs. Small dogs are prone to dental issues so it is very important to keep them clean & have them checked by your vet regularly. By 6-8 months of age most puppy teeth are gone & replaced with their adult teeth. There are however, times when some baby teeth are stubborn & won’t fall out on their own. If your puppy does have any retained puppy teeth your vet may recommend (as I do) to have them removed at the same time the spay/neuter surgery is done.
EXERCISE: Puppies & adult dogs need exercise. As well as chasing balls, toys, & friendly games of tug of war, walks with your puppy will be great exercise & fun for them as well. I highly recommend that you use a comfortable harness rather than a regular collar for this breed because the strain from pulling on a leashed collar can cause damage to a small dogs trachea. I firmly believe a harness is a MUST for these small dogs.
SAFTEY: All puppies are very inquisitive by nature. They want to see, touch, taste, and play with just about anything they see. While teething they will also chew just about anything they can get their mouths on. Keep all items of value, and more importantly items of danger to your puppy up and out of their reach. Also take great care about places your puppy can get up on and don’t be fooled into thinking that they are unable to jump or climb onto something. You would be surprised!! But very often once they get up…………it is much too high for them to jump safely off of and/or they could easily slip and fall from. Be very careful with your tiny puppy/dog around other dogs bigger than they are and also around very young children. These terriers are little dogs with a great big dog attitude and often show no fear of dogs bigger than they are. Even during friendly play, a bigger dog can easily hurt such a small one without meaning to. Very young children often think of small puppies as toys (which of course they are not), but like toys these small dogs are very breakable. For the sake of your puppy, please keep them under your close supervision at all times. When you are unable to be with them, keep them in the safe confinement of a crate suitable for a dog of their size or an exercise pen like the ones I use.