We have given a description in an earlier entry of what occurs in your puppy’s first 8 weeks of life.
This section focuses on your puppy’s daily routine that he or she has grown accustomed to starting at about 6 weeks of age until he or she is in your care. Knowing what your puppy is familiar with will help make for a smoother transition to his or her new home, and will help you be more aware of your puppy’s needs at this stage in their development. Though some days are different than others, this is a typical day-in-the-life of your Frenchie puppy. Young puppies still require plenty of sleep and they are growing so fast that they should eat three times a day to supply their fuel needs.
7:00 am – 7:30 am: They are ready to get up when they hear us up and around (which is usually around 7am). At this time we feed them their breakfast, fill their water bowl with fresh water, make sure their bedding is clean, and thoroughly clean and disinfect their custom built play pen/kennel. We keep their bedding on one side of the Kennel, place their water dish in the middle, and put a pee pad on the opposite end. This is how we start paper training them at a very early age (3-4 wks), and they take to it almost immediately. It is a puppy’s natural instinct to not want to soil their bedding, so they instinctively use the potty on the pee pad. It is important to clean up their messes as soon as possible so they don’t accidently step on it and track it onto their bedding. See question “What is the best way to potty train / kennel train my Frenchie puppy?” for information on a great product we were recently made aware of (Potty Training Puppy Apartment). This system is an improvement on our custom made puppy kennels and should be great for potty training your puppy. Your puppy should take to this system very well since it is the same basic concept they are used to at our house. They soon become accustomed to going potty on the pee pad. In our home, even when they are in a large area running around our main room, they are generally good to find the pee pad to relieve themselves.
7:30 am – 9:30 am: They usually have a bowel movement 20 or so min after they eat. Once they have gone potty, we let them have playtime. They are free to run around our large family room, which works good for us because this is where we spend most of our time while we are home. The floor is all tiled and there is a door to the entrance of the room so they are not able to freely roam carpeted areas of the house that are off limits to them at this age. We socialize them and let them run around and play until they are all tuckered out (generally for a couple of hours or more). If they need to go potty during this playtime, we find they are very good to go on their pads. Although they are still very young and accidents are going to happen at this age.
9:30 am – 12:00 am: By now they have exerted all of their energy and they are pooped (no pun intended)! They usually take at least a two hour nap in their playpen/kennel. Note: your puppy most likely came from a litter with several siblings. When they sleep, they love to snuggle with each other. It can be a big adjustment when they go to their new home and don’t have anyone to snuggle with and to keep them warm. We recommend getting a stuffed animal for him/her to sleep with and to snuggle with. One of our customers told us she found a warm water bottle (found it at Target behind the Pharmacy counter) and the warmth of the water bottle (follow instructions on use) kept her baby comforted all night. Another option may be a warm rice bag. Of course, it doesn’t take them long to adjust – if you have a cry baby just know it will soon get better and in a few days they should be fine.
12:00 pm -12:30 pm: This is around the time they wake up and we feed them lunch.
We make sure they have plenty of water and that their playpen is clean.
12:30 pm – 2:30 pm: Once they have gone potty after lunch we let them run around our family room again to burn up their excess energy. We have various soft toys, chew toys, squeaky toys, etc. for them to play with. We also snuggle with them on the couch and give them human contact and affection. They are very socialized from all of the attention.
2:30 pm – 5:30 pm: They are still babies and require a lot of sleep throughout the day. After we put them back in their playpen/kennel they are usually fast asleep for at least another two or three hours. If they don’t sleep as long, we let them run around again to stretch their legs before dinner.
5:30 pm – 6:00 pm: We usually feed them dinner at this time (we try not to feed any later than 7pm) so that it decreases the need to go potty in the midde of the night. We make sure they still have plenty of fresh water in their bowl.
6:00 pm – 8:00 pm: After they have gone potty we let them get out their last bit of energy for the day and we give them lots of love, attention, and affection.
8:00 pm – 9:00 pm/10:00 pm: We usually all snuggle with a pup while watching t.v. before we put them to bed for the night.
9:00 pm – 10:00 pm: BED TIME!!! We turn off the lights (leaving a night light burning), give them a kiss goodnight, and they go right to sleep.
Around 12:00 am: We do a quick check on them when we get up to take care of other business. We change their pee pad if it is soiled and let them continue to sleep. They have slept through the night since they were about 4 weeks old.
***Of course, this is just a sample schedule of what we do. You will have to find what works for you and your family’s schedule. As they get older their needs will change and you will have to adjust their schedule accordingly.