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Puppy Proofing Your Home 

If you thought cats were curious, wait until you see a Golden Retriever puppy in action! They love to explore and to put just about everything in their mouth. Here are a few tips for preparing your home for your curious puppy. 

If you have purchased your puppy from us and your question isn’t in our list, please contact us directly as we are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Clicking on a tip below will open and close an answer.

  • Beware of long drops
    Keep pup off balconies, long stairways and high decks where they could slip through openings and fall. Puppies are clumsy and don't yet have full control over their bodies so when learning stairs control their access with baby gates and teach them to go down them calmly.
  • Remove dangerous objects
    Get down on the ground and look for any dangling electric cords, loose nails, plastic bags or other objects that will be in puppy's reach. Unplug, remove or cover any electrical cords and electrical outlets when you are not using them. PVC pipe fitted over cords that cannot be removed will protect them from sharp teeth and will protect your puppy from electrocution.
  • Keep your personal belongings safe
    Shoes, purses, laundry, children’s toys, mail, money and everything else that has your scent on it will be a strong magnet to your puppy. I once had a dog that was notorious for taking money out of my purse! Apparently I am a slow learner.
  • Keep your counter tops clear and food out of reach.
    Puppies have great noses! If they smell something enticing they are going to jump up to investigate. If you get into the habit of ensuring food is safely stored when they are small they will not have rehearsed behaviours of counter surfing when they are big enough to reach. They only need to be self rewarded once to keep them optimistic enough to keep trying!
  • Hide sharp objects
    Keep buttons, string, sewing needles, pins and other sharp objects out of reach. Many Golden puppies are rock eaters and stick chewers, watch for that "look" that tells on them when they have something hidden in their mouth.
  • Check your plants
    Some plants in and around your home can be harmful or even fatal to your puppy. Learn about indoor and outdoor plants that are harmful to dogs. Many pet insurance plans include 24/7 access to the Pet Poison Helpline. Alternately you can consult your veterinarian to find out which plants are harmful to dogs.
  • Create a safe place
    Confine your puppy to a crate or x pen when you can not fully supervise them. Using positive reinforcement your puppy can learn to love their crates and will give you peace of mind that your puppy is safe when you are sleeping, showering or taking care of family business. Teach them to stay on a mat or designated area until released when you are working in the kitchen. Drop a treat to them now and again will reinforce this behaviour so that it is rock solid.
  • Keep poisonous items out of reach
    Place all household cleaners, insecticides, fertilizers, insect poisons, rat poisons, medicine and other items in cabinets or on high shelves. If you must use rat poison do not buy the new type of rat poison that is currently on the market as there is no antidote. Antifreeze is the number one poison that kills a large number of dogs annually due to the sweet taste that they can’t resist. It takes a very small amount to kill a large dog in a very painful manner.
  • Put the toilet lid down
    Puppies like toilet bowl water. Not only is it filled with bacteria, toilet cleaner could harm them if swallowed.
  • How Do I Update The Database? Is There A Cost?
    Every micro-chipped registered with the CKC is also automatically enrolled in the CANADACHIP Recovery Database which includes lifetime protection and free information updates. Along with updating your contact information with the CANADACHIP Recovery Database it is a good idea to also keep me, as your breeder updated with any new address and phone number changes as a secondary emergency contact. Information changes can be made by calling the CANADACHIP Recovery Line: Call 1-800-396-1896 or by completing the change of information form
  • How Does the System Work?
    When a lost animal appears in a shelter, humane society, or veterinary clinic, it will be scanned for a microchip. If one is present, a specific alpha-numeric code will be displayed. With that code number in hand, a call will be made to the recovery database using the toll free numbers provided below. That code number can be traced to the where the chip was purchased from (CKC) , the person who implanted the chip (me) and to the pet owner listed in the database files (you). It is important to keep your name, address and phone number up to date with the database. If this information is not current, then if lost, your pet cannot find its way back home to you CANADACHIP Recovery Line: Call 1-800-396-1896
  • Is CANADACHIP the Only Recovery Service in Canada?
    There are a number of recovery services operating in Canada, including CANADACHIP. Each service is committed to the primary role of reuniting a lost pet with its owner. Thus, there is mutual cooperation between the databases which ensures that a caller is directed to the appropriate database.
  • Can a Microchip Move Once its Implanted?
    Early versions of the microchip had a tendency to 'migrate' after implantation. Today's manufacturers have developed microchips with anti-migrating properties that have dramatically reduced this potential. When scanning any pet for a microchip their whole body should be checked if one is not immediately found between the shoulder blades.
  • What is a Microchip?
    A microchip is a very small capsule about the size of a piece of long grain rice that contains a computer chip which stores a unique alphanumeric code specific to your puppy. It is a permanent way to identify your puppy for CKC registration purposes and for entry into the Canadachip Recovery Database for lost and found dogs.
  • What Database Is My Puppy Registered With?
    Every micro-chipped puppy registered with the CKC is automatically enrolled in the CANADACHIP Recovery Database which also offers lifetime protection and free information updates. It is important to keep your name, address and phone number up to date with the database. If this information is not current, then if lost, your pet cannot find its way back home to you. To make updates contact CANADACHIP Recovery Line: 1-800-396-1896
  • Are Microchips Safe?
    Microchips are produced of biologically inert materials, and individually sterilized and packaged. They do not cause a tissue reaction and have been found to be extremely safe both in the short and the long term.
  • How Do I Know What My Puppies Microchip Number Is?
    The microchip number is listed on all your paperwork that I provided to you when you picked up your puppy. Once the puppy has been fully registered with the Canadian Kennel Club it will be recorded on the registration certificate issued to you. Please put this certificate in a safe place. It is an important document much like a birth certificate.
  • What is the Lifespan of a Microchip?
    The microchip itself contains no internal battery but is powered by energy it receives from the scanner or reader. As such they enjoy an exceptionally long lifespan that far exceeds the life of your puppy.
  • Why Do You Microchip Your Puppies?
    In order to register your puppy with the Canadian Kennel Club they must first be permanently identified by either a microchip or tattoo. Microchips provide a permanent, means of animal identification that will not fade or be lost over time as can occur with a tattoo or ID tag. Owner information associated with the microchip can be accessed immediately through the CanadaChip Recovery Database . This ensures the quick and accurate identification of a lost dog, avoiding the delays and sometimes misinterpretations found with other forms of pet ID. It is also a pet recovery system that knows no geographical boundary and is applicable throughout North America.
  • How do I Know If I Need To Make Changes To My Puppy's Microchip Contact Information?
    Once the puppy has been fully registered with the Canadian Kennel Club and you have received the registration certificate, go to the CKC Canadachip Recovery Database page and inserted the microchip number in the search field. Your information can then be checked to see if any changes need to be made.
  • How is a Microchip Placed Within My Puppy?
    The microchip is injected under the skin and into the connective tissue of your puppy between the should blades with a hypodermic needle. It is no different than having your pet vaccinated, the process is quick, simple and causes minimal discomfort.
  • HELP! Why does my puppy have very little appetite?
    There are many reasons why a puppy's appetite will not be up to par in the first week of being separated from their first family and introduced to their new home. Some of those reasons might be; Stress from travel Stress due to the change from my home to yours. No competition from littermates which stimulate them to eat. Leaving food down all the time rather than feeding on a schedule. Feeding too much so no appetite for the next meal New owners being too anxious so tempts the puppy with other food causing pickiness and/or a negative association and food aversion. An initial lack of appetite due to any of the above reason should not be a to great of a concern as your puppies appetite should return to normal within the week. Some things you may wish to try to resolve this are; Giving time to settle Slightly reducing the amount fed per meal or increasing the time between meals Adding warm water to lightly moisten the kibble Change up the feeding method to increase interest - kongs, kibble scatter, snuffle mat, training We do not recommend trying to temp the puppy with more enticing food at this time. Remember, you may contact me at any time with any questions or concerns.
  • When can I stop feeding several meals a day?
    Puppies 3– 6 months: Following the Eukanuba feeding guidelines and using your puppies body condition as an indicator, the amount of food being fed should gradually be increased as the puppy grows however the total daily amount being fed should be divided into 2 meals instead of 3. Puppies 3– 6 months: If around 6 months of age your dog indicates that he only needs one meal per day, then switch to one meal per day. A dog can be moved to one meal per day a) when he tells you he is ready, or b) after he has finished a period of rapid growth (usually around 16 months of age ), or c) never and kept on 2 meals for life. At any age it is still important to feed on a schedule. Do not free feed or leave the food down all day. It is also still important that you continue to monitor his weight closely
  • HELP! Why is my puppy throwing up green liquid bile in the morning?
    This is rather common in young puppies. It is generally a result of going through the night and waking up in the morning on an empty stomach. Feeding the puppy a dog biscuit or a very small meal of kibble before bed should sort this out.
  • Should I add water to my puppies food?
    I have found each puppy has a personal preference however at this age a good rule of thumb is to moisten 2 meals to soften and feed one meal plain hard kibble. This will give him something to chew when teething but will also give his tender mouth and jaw a rest. Only use warm water, not hot water to soften as high heat will decrease the nutrient value.
  • HELP! Why has my puppy stopped eating?
    Many pet owners think their puppy needs more food than he really does and forget to factor in the training treats the also receive throughout the day. If your puppy is eating but not finishing all the food in the bowl try feeding less at each meal or increasing the duration between each meal. If you are currently feeding every 6 hours between meals go to every 7 hours or cut out the midday meal entirely. The main reason dogs go off their food; Stress. No competition from littermates which stimulate them to eat. Boring! Dogs are scavengers, they like their food to have challenge/movement. Leaving food down all the time rather than on a schedule. Eating expectations are too high resulting in putting too much food down and too often. Giving too many treats and chews People being too anxious so tempts the puppy with other food causing pickiness and or negative association and food aversion. Dental issues, teething, abscess, cracked tooth, etc Food has gone off/rancid. Trapped odors on the feeding bowl from biofilm or cleaning products. Wrong bowl type/size for the dog. Grass eating!!! Heat/humidity/air pressure. Illness. If everything else is fine; temperature, activity level, bowel movements etc. then it is likely a temporary issue that can be resolved with some detective work at home to pinpoint the problem . If with the lack of appetite you see soft stools then you can still assume it may be stress related. If you observe a decrease in activity level along with diarrhea, mucus fill stools or bloody stools then that is an indication of a possible parasite or virus so a consultation with a veterinarian would be a good idea.
  • Can I just leave food down for the puppy all day?
    We strongly suggest that you do not free feed or leave the food down all day! This does not promote healthy eating habits, leads to excessive weight gain and unsupervised eating at this age is a choking hazarded. Generally puppies will have a bowel movement shortly before or shortly after every full meal so feeding on a set schedule will help to regulate your puppy on to a predictable schedule making housetraining routines predictable, easier and faster.
  • How much food should I feed my puppy?
    For each of the 3 meals I recommend that you start with ¾ of a cup of food. If you find your puppy is leaving food or finishing it all quickly increase or decrease the food slightly as needed for the first few days. Your puppy's food portions should gradually start to increase over the next few weeks as your puppy grows but above all you must monitor your puppy’s weight on an on-going bases. When your puppy is about 3 months old you will change your feeding schedule to divide the food into 2 meals per day instead of 3 however you will still be increasing the amount fed as needed. A too thin puppy is not getting the nutrients he needs to grow properly and a too fat puppy has an increased risk for joint problems, heart problems, cruciate ligament ruptures and diabetes.
  • Should I give people food to my puppy? Will this lead to begging?
    Yes you should ! Whole foods that are good for you are generally good for your dog if given in moderation to ensure proper nutritional balance. Begging is not a food issue, it is a training issue. If you have the expectation that your dog should not beg it will not matter what the food is. Cooked Meat and Offal, make great training treats and are healthy for your dog/puppy. Just be sure to give in moderation, no more then 10% of the total daily food intake to avoid excessive weight gain, digestive upset and to maintain his foods nutritional balance. Cheese is also a great treat for dogs but do not overfeed. Sardines is an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids. Two cans of sardines usually contains 4 to 5 sardines each which could be divided up through the week to equal out to one sardine a day. Whole baby carrots are good for a dog’s teeth however dogs cannot readily digest the good fibre and vitamin A/ beta carotene in them unless it is broken down first by pureeing or cooking. Pureed leafy green vegetables such as spinach are a great wholesome additive. Peanut Butter is a favourite treat of many dogs, not only is it a good source of protein, but it also contains heart healthy fats, vitamin B, niacin, and vitamin E. Stuff peanut butter mixed with part of the puppy/dogs daily kibble into a Kong to keep your dog busy for hours once or twice a week. Yogurt with active bacteria can act as a Probiotic and are good for your dog’s digestive system however it is high in both calcium and protein so do not fed more then once a week. Make sure to only choose yogurts that do not contain artificial sweeteners or added sugars. Cooked Eggs are a source of easily digestible riboflavin and selenium and protein making them a healthy snack if fed no more then once a week. Raw eggs can be dangerous to your puppy! Apple slices help to clean residue off a dog’s teeth, which helps to freshen her breath. Apples are a good source of fiber as well as vitamin A and C. Oatmeal when fed as needed it can help keep the GI tract moving and can aid with digestive issues.
  • Should I feed my puppy before bed?
    Yes but not a full meal. When puppies are fed on a regular schedule their body will regulate itself to having a bowel movement around the same time, usually around a hour or two before or after meals. You want to use this timing to your advantage so it is wise to give the puppy a plenty of time to do his business before having to settle for the night. We do not want the puppy going through the night then waking up on an empty stomach either and we do want bedtime routines to be a pleasant experience so giving the puppy a dry biscuit or a kibble scatter in his crate just before lights out is always beneficial.
  • Should I restrict access to water before bed?
    Water should be available at all times for your puppy except when crated. Restricting water can lead to bladder infections and dehydration. Making sure the puppy has emptied their bladder and had a drink before bed will actually help the puppy sleep through the night instead of waking up thirsty. Puppy bladders are small and immature, only time and healthy growth will result in the puppy sleeping through the night.
  • How often do I feed my puppy when I bring him/her home?
    Your puppy has been eating Pro Plan Chicken and Rice Puppy food (regular) 3 times a day plus a hard treat or small kibble scatter prior to bed. My schedule has been 7am, 1pm and 7pm but you may need to adjust this to your own family’s routines as long as it still meets the nutritional needs of your puppy
  • Is there foods that are not safe for puppies or dogs in general?
    Do not ever feed jerky treats or rawhide, not only are they extremely unhealthy but they can cause a serious impaction that could require surgery. Raw eggs, foods with onion, garlic or artificial sweeteners, macadamia nuts, grapes or raisins, chocolate, coffee or alcoholic beverages are also not safe for dogs. Xylitol is particularly dangerous to dogs and a small amount could cause collapse, seizures and liver failure. It can be found in found in gum, soft drinks, oral health products for dogs etc.
  • When I bring my puppy home will I receive all this information in writing?
    Since covid we have decided to go paperless so we suggest you download and print out a copy of the Puppy Feeding instructions below before you bring your puppy home .
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