Ask Dani, our LMU Vet Student

Our daughter Danielle has begun vet school at Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, TN.  Through her journey she is learning all kinds of important tidbits that she will pass on to help all of us keep our dogs happy and healthy.  Lucky for her she has 2 vet-in-training White Golden Retriever companions to help her study and keep her on track!
Vets in Training White Golden Retrievers
Vet student

New Puppy Checklist

Here is a checklist of things to buy before you bring your new English Cream Golden Retriever Puppies home

  • Crate: White Golden Retrievers are den animals, so having a safe place to rest will be very comforting. Put a blanket or bed inside to increase comfort. Buy a size-appropriate crate, crates should be large enough for the adult dog to stand, sit and stretch out. (Ideally for a puppy, you start with a smaller crate, or block off one end, so he can't use one end for sleeping and the other for eliminating.) A key principle is to teach you don't mess where you sleep and eat
  • ID Tag: One of the most important things you can get for your White Golden Retriever Puppy is an ID tag with your number on it or a chip.
  • Collar or Easy Walk Harness: Your puppy will need to go on walks so buy a collar he can’t slip out of. 
  • leash
  • Water and Food Dishes
  • Dog beds: Especially if you are not allowing your dogs on the furniture, provide a couple of comfortable beds in the main rooms of the house so they can relax with the family.
  • High-Quality Food: Look for a high quality food with healthy ingredients. It is a good idea to bring home the pet food that your new puppy had been eating to make the transition to a new home as easy as possible.
  • Treats: When you start training, you’ll need treats. Again, the higher quality the better.  Beware or treats from China, they have been known to include ingredients that are like poison to dogs.
  • Poop bags: You’ll need them for walks.  Be a responsible pet owner. 
  • Chew toys:  Eliminates chewing on household items, also a bored dog can become a dog that likes to bark.



Your First Weeks Home

When you bring home a new English Cream Golden Retriever puppy, there will need to be some time for adjustment. In this first week you can lay the foundation for a long and happy life together and make the transition as easy as possible for everyone involved.

In addition, your house should be completely puppy-proof. So now all you have to think about in your puppy’s first week are the following handy hints to make the experience as stress-free as possible for up both.

  • Make time for your puppy

The best time to bring your new puppy home is at the beginning of a weekend. If possible, take a few days holiday as well to really give you time to acquaint your puppy with its new home.

Agree on a name ahead of time and make sure everyone uses it all the time when talking to your puppy. This will help him recognize his name and avoid confusion.

  • Make sure others understand your puppy's needs

Once in his new home, your puppy will take time to adjust to strange new surroundings and people. Children can become especially excited, so explain to them that their new friend needs time out for naps, and show them how to play nicely.

  • Be a leader

Simple things like always walking through doors ahead of your puppy and eating in his presence before you feed him make you look like a ‘pack leader’. This will make it easier for your puppy to accept that you (and your family) are in charge.

  • Puppy feeding tips

It is a good idea to bring home the pet food that your new puppy had been eating to make the transition to a new home as easy as possible. If you do plan to switch foods, you can minimize digestive upsets by having enough of the old food available to make the change a gradual one. Always put the food in the same spot to establish a routine. If your puppy doesn't seem to be eating, try moistening the food with water to make it easier to eat. 

  • Be fair

Never hit your puppy, and never scold it for something he did a while ago. Your puppy will have no idea what the problem is and will think you are angry for no reason. Instead, encouraging the behavior you do want and discouraging the ones you don’t want is a far more productive approach. 

  • Get out with your puppy

Begin socializing your puppy as soon as your vet gives the OK. Take him out and gradually introduce him to new people and other puppies in controlled, safe settings. It is one of the most important things you can do for him. It teaches him to be a good citizen and gives him confidence and social skills.

  • Make introductions to existing pets

If you have other pets, be sure to introduce your new puppy to them in a controlled situations. If the resident pet is a puppy, let them get to know each other on neutral ground where neither will feel the need to defend territory. Give each pet its own food dish and give all pets attention to avoid competition.

  • Take your puppy to the vet

No matter how much you trust your breeder, always take your puppy to your vet as soon as possible.  Take with you any health information you may have received when you picked up your puppy.

  • Dos and don’ts
    1. Don’t bring home a new puppy during busy times such as birthdays and holidays. The noise and confusion may frighten him and family members are generally too busy with the festivities to devote adequate time to help the puppy become comfortable in his new home.
    2. Do make sure your entire family knows how to act, and agree on commands and rules. Complete cooperation from all family members is needed, as when a pet receives mixed signals, it can become confused and not know what to do.
    3. Above all, do have fun – puppies of all ages love a good time! And when a puppy is having fun, it’s a fair bet you will be, too.

Calming Music

Birth and after is a very stressful and painful time for our White Golden Retriever girls so to keep them as relaxed and calm as possible we play dog music to them.  A study by the ASPCA shows that some classical music with low octaves and simple harmonies soothes a dog's heart rate and reduces barking.  We have tried this with our dogs and puppies and it is amazing how well it works.  We continue with the music when we do anything that is a change in their normal routine.  

The music we use is from  Do not blare the music to out noise your dog but play it on a low volume to sooth your dog.  I recommend that you play this to your puppy until it is settled in your home, during stressful times, when you are going to be away to reduce the separation anxiety, during thunderstorms, or in your car on the way to the vets.  You will be surprised at how well it work.  As a final note - if your puppy is barking there may be a good reason for it, puppies are like children and bark when they are hungry, thirsty, bored or need a bathroom break so make sure they are comfortable before trying to sooth them with music.

Feeding your new puppy

Since weening our White Golden Retriever puppies, we have raised them on Royal Canin Puppy food. We choose Royal Canin dog food because of the massive research that goes into their dog food recipes and the quality controls used by their company.  It is also made in the USA.  (no, I am not affiliated with Royal Canin, just love their food!)  You do have to be careful to feed only the amounts listed on the package, you do not want to make your puppies fat.

At 8 months of age it is time to change the puppy food to one that has a little less protein  We use Royal Canin Adult food.  This is to slow down the growth of the puppy.  It has been proven that if a puppy grows too fast  it does not have enough time for the development of good bone density and can contribute to hip dysplasia.

 From the time our puppies are weaned we feed them NuVet vitamins. We feel that this gives them an extra boost.  If you continue giving them NuVet vitamins (NuVet keeps records for you) or any comparable vitamins (you must keep records) we will increase our health guarantee to 2 years.

The following is how we feed our pups:

3 times per day  until 12 weeks old

At 12 weeks old drop 1 feeding (2 feedings per day) but increase amount of food.

At 1 year old we continue feeding twice a day, increasing their food as they grow.      

Pups should be well bodied ( but not fat) and not too thin.      

We will be sending enough food home with your puppy for a few days.  If you decide not to use Royal Canin, then mix a little of your food of choice with the food we provide until all of the provided food is gone.  When puppies change their diet (type of dog food) they can get diarrhea.   If this happens mix a little rice with their food for a few days.  

PLEASE stay away from Grain Based Diets and also  dog food companies with exotic ingredients in their food, they can cause heart disease in English Golden Retrievers!!!

At this time a March 5, 2019 there is findings that a raw diet may also be dangerous to dogs.  I will keep you informed as more studies come out.

Use these guidelines to choose a dog food: Selecting the Best Food for your Dog

A few tips    

No table scraps      

Stick to one brand of dog food, continually changing brands is hard on your puppies digestion.