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Puppy Care & Shopping Tips


Your new baby will need to be kept on the same food as I feed here for a while.
You can slowly switch the baby over to a different food safely, if you gradually change it, taking about one week to do so.
But, I do suggest you do the following:
The dry food that I feed here is: Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach and Skin.
I feed this food because it is primarily Salmon.
And has some Probiotics included.
Since I have had the westies on this food, I have to say their coats are even more amazingly gorgeous, thick and nicely textured.
I also supplement with "Bio-Coat" a wonderful Bitoin supplement and I always give extra probiotics, such as "Ben Bac" or "Probios"
Plus, I include stomach enzymes.
The Enzymes and Ben Bac keep the good bacteria in the stomach, allowing so much more of the nutrtion to be utilized.
And also keeping the intestines clean, and in doing that, it keeps toxins out.
Allergies and infections can't grow effectivly when the toxins are not present.
 Stay away from beef, wheat, soy, brewers yeast and corn.
If you are unable to shop anywhere except in a grocery store, I recommend Purina ONE lamb and rice.
And now even better, they have Purina ONE Sensitive Systems (which is the same as the ProPlan Salmon)
As far as a RAW diet or a Barf diet, my own thoughts are:  I would rather see a semi raw diet and no offense to dedicated raw feeders.  But, I have never seen a coat fed on raw that can compare to a kibble or raw and kibble fed dog.  Also the color seems to darken and stain with the raw.
I think it is very difficult to be sure a raw diet has all it needs and this is my own thoughts....

when you bring your baby home, use bottled water, gradually changing over to your water and again taking about a week to do so.
You can have wonderful water in your home, but it is still different than what the baby is used to having.
Taking a week to change water and feed, prevents awful messes and a baby with an upset tummy!

prevent your baby chewing precious things of yours,
by supplying him or her with plenty of their own goodies.
I have baskets full of toys and chews in almost every spot of the ranch.
There are natural cookies, fun toys, balls that you can hide goodies in, and I still like the good old rawhide.
With the rawhide, I usually buy large rawhide bones, and as they chew, be sure and cut off any straggly pieces, we don't want baby to swallow any pieces, just have fun chewing and teething.

When you go baby shopping:
You will need a crate that will last and fit, when your baby is grown.
This is called a 200 or 300 series.
You will want a nice soft snugly pad or blanket.
2 dishes for water, and crocks works great!
If you are shipping you will need two dishes (please don't forget)
I like a stuffed soft animal as a friend for shipping and chew toys.
If you do not have an enclosed area for your baby and wish you did, look up the exercise pens, they are great!  I use them alot at the dog shows, they fold up easily and set up into a 4x4 foot play area.

When shipping by air, we use Northwest VIP, Delta Pet First or Alaskan/Horizon Air.
I generally will ship to neighboring states, if the baby is flying alone.  
However NorthWest Air, is where you find the best longer distance flights, with the least amount of stops and flying time.

If the baby has very far to go, I prefer that you fly in yourself and take the baby back in the cabin with you.
This eliminates all the worry and gives you time to bond with your new baby.

Puppy proof your home!
We lost a baby after she went to her new home, due to chewing on an electrical cord.
It was a family get together and while no one was looking, it happened.
The baby could have been saved, if the people would have noticed what had happened and took her to the Vet right away.  However waiting until morning proved fatal.
Keep your little baby off of the beds and furniture while unattended.
We also lost a baby after she went to her new home, because of falling off of the bed on to her neck.
They just stepped away for a second and that is too long.

Puppy proof your yard also!
Remember a determined little terrier can do amazing things!
They were designed for digging, they do it seldom if they are not left alone for long periods of time.
However a bored and lonely baby can get away from you so fast,  and you will be heartbroken.
Many babies are stolen, lost, hurt by other large animals or hit by a car.
Think Ahead

Upset Tummies

Babies are very similar to little vacuum's :o)
Upset tummies can happen and when they do, go to a white rice diet with a little chicken broth for a day or two. Pepto Bismo is great, every four hours.
1/4 tsp. for a baby.
If you see an awful watery diarrhea, vomiting, call your VET immediately.
You could be facing Parvo, Corona or Coccidia.

As mentioned in the policy page, your baby will have all of the vaccines he or she needs for their age, before leaving the ranch.
However, they will probably need from one to two more.
Fort Dodge Duramune, Proguard, Vanguard Plus
are the ones that I use, they are the best and the best in the order written.
I will send you a health record with instructions on what else your puppy needs.
There have been 4 babies die because of this, I tell everyone about it and many are talked into a rabies vaccine by their Vet.
terriers do not tolerate them and many have been in seizures within minutes after getting the vaccine.
LYME vaccines do not do well either.
KENNEL COUGH only to be given in nasal form.
only to be given after 16 weeks of age.

Your baby will also be up to date on their wormings.
Strongid given every 2 weeks until they reach one month old, then every three weeks.
At 2 months old, I will worm again with Panacure, for three days in a row and once again 2 weeks after. I will have a fecal done at this time. (Which is a test from the Vet to make sure there are no worms in your baby.)
All Puppies are born with worms. And the Mother can be completely clear of worms, but babies will still be born with them.
You should worm your puppy at 4 months old and have a fecal done to make sure they are clear of worms.
If your puppy has any worms, after the worming, you will see dead worms in the stool.  Don't be alarmed, this is a good thing :o)

One of the best ways I know for a new baby to sleep is:  Put the baby in a crate with lots of toys and a chew.  Set the crate by your bed, where you can reach in with your fingers if they start to cry.
Remember, it is loud here and they feel more comfortable with a radio playing softly or there are several toys you can buy, that have music and some with heartbeats.

When you have to go somewhere without baby, or you are busy, or just need a housebreaking break.....
Put the baby in their crate for some downtime, they need a break too.
Babies still sleep so much, at a young age and they need their rest.
Include the chews and toys and they are safe and learn that is their very own little hideaway.


I have found it best to think of your new furbaby as a small toddler.
They are in the house with you and then they are taken outside to go to the bathroom and that is the furthest thing from their mind.  It can be frustrating and this does require lots of patience :o)
But, as a toddler reacts, so does the puppy.
They go outside into a whole new world!  It's exciting and adventurous!  Going to the bathroom is the Very Last Thing on their mind.
They forget all about it and want to play and explore.
Take a lunch or a good long book with you, the outside world needs to become ordinary, as the inside of your house has become.  When it becomes not quite so exciting, they will settle down and start realizing going to the bathroom outside is a good thing and mom and dad are so happy!
If they do eliminate themselves in the house, be sure and take it outside to a spot you are preferring they go to.  Even if it's a puppy pad, take it out or a paper towel you cleaned up a wet spot with.
Keep in mind, if you don't spend enough time outside and bring them in to soon, the excitement will leave as they are brought in and that is when they remember " oh, I have to go to the bathroom"
My husband used to tease me and say, "hurry and bring the puppies inside, they probably are out there squirming and  have to go to the bathroom!"
Rewards seem to hurry the whole learning experience also.

I do not have allergy problems in my babies, but many do and I receive so many e-mails from worried westie parents.
However there are many things that can become an itchy problem.
Green grass is fun to roll on!  And pick up those tiny little bugs that bite!
Flea bites are horrible!  And many are allergic to them, which makes it so much worse.
Many times it is the food, something is a little to rich for them, protein to high or the food may contain to much of one ingredient.  
Remember about never pulling moisture from the coat, be careful when you buy your shampoos and careful with your treats also.
If you have an adult westie with serious itching problems, drop me an e-mail and I will share my knowledge of these problems with you. And try to direct you to a person who can help you, if I can't.

I will update this page frequently with new tips . (last update 02/02/2007
Have a wonderful day!
If you are getting a baby from me, please sign this page, assuring me that you have read all of it's contents.
Then send it along with your Policies & Requirements Page.
Thank you!
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The Robins Ranch
Fernwood, Idaho

208 245 5433



westie spoken fluently here