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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In the pet service I'm working on I think we're going to have a "new dog consult" for customers who sign up after getting new dogs or puppies. This will involve speaking to the people, giving advice and answering some questions on basic dog care. I want to give some individual and breed specific advice, but also not give too much info on training because we want to pitch that as a service they can purchase as well. But since there's certain things we want people to remember for sure I made a list to leave with the people.

This is for some clients that have a Shih Tzu puppy I took care of all of last week. Judging by some things I've seen with the puppy and the supplies they have I think they're novice pet owners or that she's even their first dog. If there's anything that should be in a different category or that I should include/edit let me know! I just want this to be good. :) Thanks.

Nutrition:
A puppy should eat 3 times a day until about 6 months old.



Puppies have different nutritional needs than adult dogs, so up until 6-9 months your puppy should be eating a food formulated specifically for puppies or for dogs at “all life stages”.



For your puppy I would recommend ¼ of kibble for breakfast lunch and dinner. If you decide to add canned food as well, I would make it 1/8 of a cup of kibble and ½ a tablespoon of canned.



Grooming:
As a non-shedding breed your puppy must be brushed at least 2-3 times a week to avoid tangles and matts, and will require a haircut every 6-8 weeks. Her nails should be clipped roughly every month.


I would recommend your puppy’s back legs and the space under her tail be kept short to avoid messes from her going to the bathroom.


In order to get your puppy accustomed to being groomed and handled, gently touch her with a brush and handle her feet while feeding her special treats or a favorite chew toy. This will help her associate grooming with good things.



Behavior and Training:
If there is a behavior you don’t like, don’t allow it at all. Allowing any undesirable behavior “once in a while” will almost guarantee it will not stop.


Make sure you take your puppy to the paper or outside after vigorous play sessions, when she wakes from naps, and within 10-20 minutes of her eating meals.



When you see her pee or poop in the proper spot say “Yes” and give her a treat as well as lots of praise.



Once you feel comfortable after your puppy has her shots is important to socialize her to different people, dogs and places. Introduce her to people of all ages, genders, races, and abilities as well as wearing different sorts of clothes. This will avoid fear of unfamiliar situations or people. We at *business* also provide opportunities for healthy dog-dog socialization to help your puppy become a well-adjusted adult.



Other:
I would recommend a buckle or snap collar, body harness, and 4-6 foot nylon or leather leash. Retractable leashes are popular but they often teach poor leash manners and can be dangerous for people and their dogs.


I recommend you microchip your puppy. Microchips are small chips inserted into the dog's back and can help your dog be identified and returned to you in the event she is lost or stolen, even if she is not wearing a collar or ID tags.



Breed Specific Tips:
As a brachycephalic or “brachy” dog with a flat nose, Shih Tzus are prone to get overheated more quickly than other breeds. If you see your dog panting heavily after vigorous exercise or outside on a hot day, make sure you bring her into a cool room with cold water to drink or an ice cube to lick.


Due to the construct of their skulls and large eyes Shih Tzus have runny eyes that create “tear stains”, which are build-up of tears and discharge on the dog’s face. To keep this clean and free of infection your puppy’s face should be wiped gently with a soft wet cloth on a daily basis.



Shih Tzus are prone to eye diseases and infections. It’s important to take your puppy to the vet if you notice red or swollen eyes, pawing or rubbing at her eyes frequently, or her eyelashes are growing towards eyes. A preventative approach and giving her bits of carrots as treats can help promote good eye health.



Fun Fact-Shih Tzus are more closely related to the wolf than most purebred dogs!
 

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I think you will get a little flak from the raw feeders, but feeding is your recommendation.
I 100% think that a written guide is a great idea. People have books and the internet, but it is surprising how often (because the puppy is new and they are overwhelmed) people just don't use the resources available. So having a little booklet from you will be a lifesaver. :thumbsup:

Just a thought: for the poop word I use 'potty' a word that is otherwise rarely used in my vocabulary. I say 'yes' frequently, and a little pup might wonder what is going on when I say 'yes' into the cell phone while talking to one of my sons :p if that is the designated poop word.
 

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I like the idea of consults. I think my only suggestion is for the more broader and generalized stuff, make a pamphlet or hand out and go through it talk about with the owners so you or they don't forget anything and its all in one place. You can also use it as a way to list a few good resources for them to look into if they choose (example, books, trainers, videos). For the breed specific I think in person would be better since you can really make a breed specific pamphlet for every breed, well you could but it would take a very very long time lol.
You could also make a hand out type thing on specifics like nutrition, grooming ect.
I do agree with luccile, maybe make words like pee or poop more user friendly so to speak, something like as mentioned potty or "go to the bathroom"
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I like the idea of consults. I think my only suggestion is for the more broader and generalized stuff
Well the point was that it would be individualized to each person's dog, so it feels like we're catering it to just them, as opposed to them getting general information in a book or online. If it was really general info then I don't think they would feel like it was worth paying for. Also depending on how we'll do it after this first one I might get to know the dog before giving the consult so I'll be writing up things I know they specifically need info on. And I have a really strong knowledge of most breeds and can easily whip up a few breed specific tips when it happens.
 

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Ohhh ok, I must have understood what you were going for wrong. I hope the idea/concept works out for you :)
 

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We just got a Shih Tzu puppy and we got a ton of info on hypoglycemia including the symptoms, treatment and prevention (and a tube of Nutrical)

Just thought I would mention that for your smaller "clients" :)

PS I love that wolf fact!
 

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I would be careful on the food quantiles recommendations because it's so variable based on the pets size, activity, and kcal of the food. You could however look up the RER calculations and provide those to the owners and what their pets current Kcal/ day requirement is.

Also as KateBren said looking up some specific and common health issues for the different breeds is great.

On the grooming there's a bit of information that is incorrect and with the coated breeds it's important to differentiate between keeping the dog in coat or clipping it down. I'd be more then happy to type out some proper drop coat grooming advice when I get home from work if you would like it.
 

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Very cool idea! Educating new pet parents is important, i'm sure there are a lot of people out there that would benefit from basic (yet somewhat specific) information to help them along their way.

The part about waiting until the puppies are fully vaccinated isn't something I would personally say, but that's just me. Not that it isn't a safe route, I simply don't agree with that general statement. But then again, so many people take their puppy to "dangerous" areas and do not realize it. With that in mind I would at least throw in, "Or find a safe, healthy play group through a trainer or behaviorist to start your puppy's socialization early!"

My other concern is about the nutrition aspect of it, and every dog has very different needs. If the owners are set on feeding a kibble I would think about giving them a list of brands to avoid (ex: Ol Roy, Iams, Pedigree, Purina, etc) and brands that are good quality (ex: Orijen, Acana, Fromm). Be sure to bring up allergy possibilities and the signs to look for, oddly enough a lot of people don't even realize their pets are allergic to things.
 
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