I had hoped to have far more posts under The Zuzu Chronicles with details about how we handle feeding, grooming, crating, etc. However, the first few months were far busier with actually DOING all of that stuff in addition to my busy work schedule.
By the time Zuzu reached the five month milestone, I hoped to have more time to catch up on some of those details. In this post, I will discuss the handling, grooming, etc. type issues briefly.
Handling is critical for puppies. We want puppies to hopefully love handling of all sorts! Some are much more receptive to this than others. Zuzu was one of the “others” from the get-go. We work on it regularly, though not as often as I would like. For lunch one day, for example, I spent the entire lunch working on handling/touching her. I would first tell her what I was going to do. I am going to touch your foot. Then I would gently touch her foot. If she tolerated it well and didn’t move away or try to nip at me, I would feed her a bit of her lunch. Then I would say, “I am going to touch your ear.” Again, if she tolerated it, I would reward her with some of her lunch.
We did another nail trim. While Romeo will lie still while I trim his nails, Zuzu is not there yet. For her, I have my husband help out for now. We first guide her into my preferred position (lying flat on her side) for nail trims, and then Ed starts feeding treats for her holding position and remaining relatively calm. Eventually, she will do as Romeo does and hold position while I trim nails without the constant stream of treats.
Brushing teeth is another task that we are getting on a regular schedule. Though daily would be ideal, we just aren’t going to get it done daily right now. So we opt for once a week, same as our nail trims. In the early stages, just getting her used to the brush in her mouth with minimal actual brushing is fine. As she gets more accustomed to it, we will be doing more actual brushing.
These are some of the things we worked to build into Zuzu’s regular routine. This will make it easier not just for our grooming/husbandry activities with her but they should also help when she goes to the vet.