Dealing with a puppy that is upset can be a most frustrating experience. If only he or she could talk! That would certainly make it a lot easier to deal with an unhappy puppy.
Fortunately, there are a few tricks that have proven to be helpful when dealing with puppies in situations that cause distress. The following list offers a few suggestions:
1. The first night in your home can be an unnerving experience for your puppy. When it comes time to for him or her to go to sleep, try wrapping a windup alarm clock in an old towel. Put the bundle in the crate or on the puppy’s bed. The ticking resembles mom’s heartbeat and offers comfort to the puppy.
2. Another way to soothe the new puppy is to wrap a hot water bottle in a towel. The bottle becomes a warm source the puppy can cuddle up to and it reminds him or her of mom.
3. Puppies who are nervous can benefit from your reassurance. Pick them up and gently rock them as you might do with an infant child. Talk to them in a soothing tone while rocking them.
4. Puppies can get simple reassurance from just being held against your chest. The sound of your heartbeat and the warmth of your body is a comfort to the distressed or nervous puppy.
5. Believe it or not, soft “elevator” or classical music can go a long way in soothing a nervous puppy. Keep the volume low so that the music becomes a soothing background noise. If it is too loud, all you will accomplish is to add more distress to an already unhappy puppy.
6. Puppies who have trouble eliminating feces can benefit from a little help from you. Mother dogs use their tongue to put a gentle pressure on their stomachs to get them to relieve themselves. No, you don’t have to use your tongue! Wet a washcloth with warm water. Gently rub the puppy’s belly with the warm cloth being sure to concentrate on applying a downward motion starting near the chest and going towards the butt.
7. Teething can certainly take a toll on puppies. There are several things you can do to help relieve the gum pain. Try freezing or refrigerating the puppy’s favorite toy and give it to him or her when showing signs of gum discomfort. Another option is to give the puppy ice cubes to chew on. The cold is a good pain reliever and the chewing helps relieve the pressure of teeth trying to break through the gums. There are special teething toys available in pet stores that work in a manner similar to those used for infants who are cutting teeth.
The one thing you don’t want to do is yell at a puppy that is already stressed and nervous. The situation can go from bad to worse in a heartbeat if you continue to scare the little ball of fur.