Southern Charm Mini Aussies/Mini American Shepherds of Georgia
Karla and Chelsea Benjamin
Karla 770-241-1485 Chelsea 770-633-4119
10am to 9pm Daily for phone calls.
You may also friend me on Facebook at Karla Zimmerman Benjamin

Odds and Ends

The Ride Home: The ride home hopefully should go smooth and the puppy will sleep most of the way. Please do NOT place the puppy in a carrier on the way home. The puppy will be very scared and will need to be comforted by you during the rides they go on during their early stages of life. You want them to enjoy the rides and they will feel safe and secure being in your arms. If the puppy can see out the windows of the car when they are awake, they tend to not get sick in the car. The car seat and harness are a great transition once the puppy is big enough to sit alone in the vehicle. Make sure you always keep old towels and paper towels in the car while your puppy is getting comfortable riding in the car.

No Visits To Infected Areas: Follow this until your puppy is six months of age! Whether it be the ride home from our home, or to go for visits to the vet, pet stores, the trainer, or travel, you must take as many precautions as you can to make sure your puppy does not contract viruses or bacteria that could be prevented. If you must stop on the way home for the puppy to potty, do not stop at any location you know other dogs have pottied. No rest areas, McDonald’s, gas stations, or locations right off an exit. Find an area that is either remote or one where you are certain only humans have been. 
When taking your puppy to the vet for visits, carry your puppy inside and do not place the puppy on the floor. Take a towel from home and place it on the exam table before you place your puppy on the table. Do not wear shoes to the vet that you will then wear inside your home when you return. Take hand sanitizer in the car with you and use this as soon as you return to the car. I do this every time I go to the vet’s office to this day even knowing my vet takes every precaution to avoid contamination also. Doing this could save your dog’s life! 

Potty Time: There is a very good article in your puppy packet concerning potty training of your new puppy. If you are very diligent with letting the puppy outside to potty, the less likely this is going to be an ongoing issue with your puppy and you. Every TWO hours during the day the puppy must be taken outside, and you will need to be patient during this time. They must find the exact spot to go! I use even hours all day long, so it is not hard to remember when the puppy was let out the last time. Do not play with the puppy until he/she goes potty. Do not use potty pads anywhere on the inside of your home. This will confuse the puppy that it is indeed ok to potty in the house. Make sure if you cannot keep your eyes on the puppy that they are either in a crate or x-pen. Make sure the entire floor of crate or pen is covered in blankets. They normally do not potty where they sleep unless they haven’t been outside to go recently.
Feeding: Your puppy has not been fed today. When you get home, I would try to potty them before going in the house. Play for about 30 minutes and then place puppy in crate with food and water and let puppy alone for 30 mins. to eat. You can do this starting tomorrow morning 3X a day for 3-4 days then you may go to 2X a day. Please always feed your puppy at least a cup of kibble at each feeding. As soon as your puppy/dog is eating all the kibble left in the bowl, it is time to increase the amount you are feeding them. This is for life! 
When your puppy is nine months old, you will then switch the puppy to adult Merrick as they are now done growing and need the nutrients in the adult food and less of the fat that is in the puppy food.
When your puppy goes through a lull in their growth spurt, this is NOT the time to think your puppy doesn’t enjoy the Merrick anymore and switch kibble. You can continue to feed as you always have, and they will eventually go back to eating as normal. Also, we add quite a lot of “human” food to our dog’s kibble and it has kept them very happy and healthy! We use eggs, boiled chicken, real shredded cheddar cheese, Success Rice, salmon, hamburgers, sweet potatoes, raw and cooked carrots, pumpkin (great source of fiber) and green beans. We also use vanilla yogurt once a week on all the dog’s food to help them keep good intestinal function.

Grooming and Washing: Aussies do not need to be bathed often unless they are extremely dirty. If your dog is dirty and wet, the best thing to do if possible is to leave them on a porch or other safe place and let them dry. They will dry and the dirt will fall off. I would recommend a weekly good combing with spray of Mat-Magic before and after the grooming to keep those pesky knots at bay. The only tool I ever use on my dogs is a good comb. If you are using an outside groomer, please use an independent groomer with great reviews. You may tell them to “sanitize” cut your dog but please make sure you tell them to never trim the hair on your dog. This coat protects them in summer as well as winter and can harm them if it is cut back. Feet and ears are the only other hair that needs to be trimmed on your Aussie. NuVet also makes their toenails grow very quickly so regular nail trims are very important for your dog.

Puppy Classes: Puppy classes are something I highly recommend you investing in with your Aussie. They are very smart and very manipulating little babies, and this will give you the very best start with training your puppy from ground up. It is also a very safe socialization period for your young puppy that will indeed help them to be very socialized adults as well. If you need help finding a good puppy class in your area, please let me know.

Going To The Vet: Going to the vet for the first time can sometimes be overwhelming. Even if you have had a vet you love and trust, please be very careful to follow the medical sheet and your MDR1 and vaccine schedule to the letter. We have lost two puppies now, one for over vaccinating the puppy and the other due to the vet not following the recommended heartworm and tick medicine for the puppy. Do not be intimidated by any canine health professional. It is your responsibility to care for your Aussie and to keep them safe. Following the recommendations we have given you will ensure your puppy/dog will remain healthy during your vaccine schedule. You may always call us if your vet would like to give your puppy something that is not recommended by us.

Sleeping At Night: Your puppy will of course sleep better at night, in the crate, if they are getting adequate exercise during the day. The last potty break should be immediately before bedtime. Your puppy may wake you 1-2 times in the middle of the night to potty by crying or stirring in their kennel. Make sure your crate is placed where you will be able to hear the puppy cry. Take the puppy outside to potty, give praise, and immediately go back to kennel and bed. If your puppy wakes you more than 2X at night, please call me so we can adjust water schedule. If your puppy is crying in the crate for long periods of time, take time during the day to put the puppy in the crate with a bully stick for shorter periods of time, as you shower or make dinner, so the puppy does not always associate being in the crate with long periods of confinement. Your puppy should not go months with still needing night time potty breaks, so please call me if this does continue.

Keep your MDR1 list in all your vehicles!

Make your first aid tote! You will use it!

Order the Spectogard. It will save you many trips to the vet for that $19.99!

Make sure you keep puppy/dog on heartworm and NuVet for life!

Call me any time you have an issue!

It is NEVER the puppy/dog’s fault! Ever!