Dog Fleas – How To Protect Your Dog

Dog fleas can cause a variety of health problems. Dog fleas problem that begin in puppy-hood continue for the duration of their lives and become an on going battle.

Throughout spring and summer, dog fleas are at their peak activity level.  For every one you see there are thousands you don’t see in the environment.

Protection From Dog Fleas

You will need to be vigilant for the next several months to keep ahead of these parasites.  There are a variety of products available to protect your pets and their environment from dog fleas.
Some dogs may be very sensitive to dog fleas and a few bites may cause tremendous itching and scratching.  Other pups may have a lot of the parasites and seem largely immune dog fleas bites. Dog fleas feed on your puppy’s blood.  A common problem is anemia, in which they are actually feeding on enough of your puppy’s blood to cause a deficit.

If your puppy is anemic, he is sick.  His body is not getting enough nutrients and oxygen.  He will have pale gums and mucus membranes.  He will be much more susceptible to viruses and disease because his immune system is further compromised.

Dog Fleas are the number one cause of allergies in dogs.  It can take several years of constant flea infestations for a dog to develop a strong sensitivity to fleas. Then the rest of their lives will be spent battling the effects.  An allergy builds over time.  This year he is bitten, develops the sensitivity. Then next year the dog fleas bite compound and become a full blown allergy.

Veterinary dermatology laboratories can do special testing and develop specific immuno-therapy serums to treat your dog for his allergies, but this can be costly and time consuming.  It is the best way to treat a truly allergic dog however, as the alternative is steroids which cause severe problems of their own.

If you only need to have a cortisone or steroid injection once a season you are probably not doing too much harm, but if it takes several to keep him comfortable through the summer then you might want to research other options such as allergy testing and treatment.

Dog Fleas Are Also Vector For Tapeworm

Dog fleas are also the vector for the tapeworm, a segmented flat worm.  As a dog chews on his flea ridden skin, he will invariably swallow them.  The flea, who has already been infected with tapeworm larva by feeding on an infected animal. Then they will find its way to the dog’s digestive tract.  The tapeworm larva which lives in the flea will emerge and infect the dog’s intestine. It will become lodged, and begin to live off of your dog.

You may occasionally see segments in your dog’s stool, but if you don’t that isn’t proof that he is clear of them.  You need a fecal analysis for that.   The dog can reinfect himself by swallowing the tapeworm segments as they are full of new eggs looking for a host.  If you have more than one dog they will pass them around.

How To Control Your Dog Fleas

If you have pets that come in the house at all, the fleas are in your house.  They live quite comfortably in carpet and bedding.  Fleas are photosensitive, which mean they run from the light.  If you are treating the inside of your house yourself, try VetKem or Adams products from your veterinarian.  Be sure to treat the edges of the room and under couches and beds.  They love to hide in dark places.  Wash all bedding, remove the pets from the area and treat the carpet.

A flea will live on the dog for a day or two for a blood meal. Then jumps off to lay eggs and reproduce for the next week or so.  This means for every one you see on your friend. There are thousands more in the environment waiting to jump on and feed.  The yard needs to be treated as well, either professionally or by a veterinary recommended yard and kennel spray.

Even if the dog doesn’t go out much, you have animals who pass through and leave all kinds of things behind.  Stray cats, skunks, opossums, squirrels, and raccoons are some of the frequent visitors to most yards.  You can’t control the whole neighborhood so you must keep the puppy himself protected as well.

Never use flea collars.  They are hugely ineffective and can be very toxic.  It is a common site to see a puppy covered with fleas except right around the collar.  Not very helpful.  Collars can become too tight as the pup grows and are toxic to the puppy.  Once a month topical medications, such as Frontline Plus For Dogs, Advantage Flea Control, Revolution, and Sentinel are some of the top products available.  Some of them require blood tests be done before you start using them if they include a heart worm preventative.

About The Author
This article was written by Laura Anderson, a veterinary technician with more than 15 years experience in the veterinary field. The views and statements expressed in this article, and all other articles found on Puppy’s Place, do not under any circumstance, constitute veterinary advice. Always seek professional veterinary care for your pet.

 

How Much To Feed Your Puppy

Knowing how much to feed your puppy can seem like a challenge. There are so many brands of food and so many varieties available.  One thing to keep in mind when you feed your puppy that no matter which you choose.  New food should be introduced slowly along with whatever the puppy is used to eating.  When you feed your puppy, start mixing in a small amount of what you would like her to eat. Then over the next week or two increase your choice of food while decreasing the other food until you have made a complete transition.  While she is young, it is best to offer a combination of canned and dry food to encourage her to eat when it is meal time.  Very young puppies will probably have some trouble with the dry food unless it is softened a little with canned food.

Puppy teeth were not meant to do real hard work when it comes to eating.  Make sure what you feed your puppy is easy to eat.  You can always phase out the canned food as she grows if you want to.  You will help her system adjust to the new food and probably avoid problems with an upset digestive tract.  If you switch too suddenly when you feed your puppy you may encourage vomiting and diarrhea.

The better quality dog food will be available at pet stores.  Try to avoid the grocery store aisle.  In order to sell foods at cheap prices the grocery varieties have limited nutritional value.  There are many sources of animal protein that can look good on a label but are not very digestible.  Innova, Nature’s Recipe, and Nutra Max are some popular high quality foods.  There is some debate over the quality of Iams and Science Diet in recent years. Many dogs seem to develop sensitivity to their ingredients.

If you like the idea of a raw food diet but just can’t get around the idea of handling or feed this way, Innova’s EVO is as close as you can get and still buy it in a can or bag.  Excellent food to feed your puppy.  Whichever brand you decide on, remember it is best to pick a flavor and stick to it.  When you feed your puppy do not change her diet regularly as it may upset her system.

No matter what brand or flavor you choose, make sure it is for growing puppies.  Puppies need more now than they will when they are grown.  What you feed your puppy her will influence her immune system and her proper growth.  Make sure it is a good quality.  Compare labels but remember, percentages of ingredient mean less than the quality of the ingredients.

The B.A.R.F. diet is popular for a variety of reasons.  It stands for Biologically Appropriate Raw Food.  It is raw food that is presumed to be more appropriate for animals that are by nature meant to be carnivorous hunters.  It is said to be more easily digested and better suited to a dog’s health and well being.

Guide To How Much To Feed Your Puppy

Your puppy is probably the best guide for this. There are usually guides on the bags of food but they tend to be generous.  Keep in mind it is in the company’s best interest to encourage you to feed your puppy liberally in order to sell more food.  The best guide you can follow is her lead.  Offer her roughly what the bag indicates for her weight.  Watch her.  She should have as much as she wants in about 10-15 minutes each feed.

If she eats all you gave her in a couple of minutes, give her more inside that time table.  If she leaves any, throw it away and give her a little less next feed.  If she is just a gulper, you may have to feed her less, but more often.  Puppies can get into trouble if they gorge themselves by eating too much at one time.  Don’t free feed.  Don’t leave food down all the time.  There are several potential problems with it.

1. If she starts to get sick, the first thing to go will be her appetite.  That will be hard to notice if you are used to seeing food in her dish at all times.

2. Food will attract ants, stray cats, squirrels, and other animals to your yard, all of which can create a variety of problems for your puppy.  Many other animals carry puppy viruses that you don’t want him exposed to.

3. Food spoils.  Even dry food turns rancid and can make her sick if she eats it when it has turned.

How Often To Feed Your Puppy

Puppies that are very young, 6 to 12 weeks old, should be fed about four times a day.  Puppies 13 weeks to six months should still eat three times a day and it is quite safe to feed your puppy  twice a day for the rest of their lives.  Smaller meals are easier to digest and will balance their system well.

LARGE AND GIANT BREEDS
If you have a large breed puppy look for varieties made specifically for them.  They have different needs than do small or medium breeds.  Adding calcium or other nutrients is NOT a good idea.  Let the manufacturers with the staff of veterinarians do the guess work in the proper balance of nutrition and vitamins and minerals.  Some breeds go through bone growth too fast with added supplements and this can cause severe problems with the tendons and ligaments as they don’t grow as fast.

TOY OR TINY BREEDS
If you have a tiny breed like a Chihuahua, Maltese, Poodle, or any toy breed, you should be very careful to make sure they are fed frequently.  Four or more feedings a day may be necessary when they are very young.  Tiny breeds do not have good food reserves and can become hypoglycemic very quickly.  This condition can lead to coma and death if not treated immediately.  If you have a tiny breed it is advisable to keep Karo syrup on hand in case of hypoglycemic attacks which may look like listlessness, malaise, or exhaustion.

Jars of lamb baby food are also good to keep on hand in the case of a picky or sickly eater, but only while you are nursing them to their regular diet.  If you notice symptoms like these rub a small amount of Karo syrup on her gums.  If she perks up a bit, try to get her to take her regular food, or baby food if she won’t eat regularly yet.  If she doesn’t perk up, get her to the vet right away.

About The Author
This article was written by Laura Anderson, a veterinary technician with more than 15 years experience in the veterinary field. The views and statements expressed in this article, and all other articles found on Puppy’s Place, do not under any circumstance, constitute veterinary advice. Always seek professional veterinary care for your pet.

 

Spaying Your Female Puppy -To Protect Her

Spaying your female puppy is very important.  If you have a female puppy romping around your home. Then, one of the very important parts of her puppy care will be to have her spayed. Spaying your female puppy is necessary.

When Is the Time For Spaying Your Female Puppy

You need to schedule an appointment for spaying your female puppy before her first heat cycle. The surgery should usually be done before six months of age. Several tragic things can happen to dogs who are not spayed. Quite often she will develop mammary cancer in her mid to later life. Spaying your female puppy has a near zero chance of this disease if she is spayed before her first heat. This increases to just under 10% chance after her first cycle. If you wait spaying your female puppy to after her second heat her chance  increase to about 25% .

It is never too late for spaying your female puppy . Even if she has already gone through a cycle or more.  Spaying your female puppy is the best way to protect her longevity. A dog will come into heat about every six to eight months. Some may vary on either side of that estimate slightly. Her vulva and her nipples will swell. Also, she will have some degree of bloody vaginal discharge.

She will stay in heat for three weeks. She will be able to conceive for about 10 days. During this time she will discharge blood.   She will stain whatever she sits on. She will need to urinate more frequently.  Therefore , she will be need to be outside more often. She will exude an odor to attract a mate. Also, she will probably try to get out and find one.  She will not have to go to the trouble. As a male dog will go to any length to get to a bitch in heat. Often scaling six foot fences and cinder block walls. Eventually her organs will shrink to their pre-estrous size the first time or two she goes through heat. As her  tissue ages she will develop permanently enlarged mammary glands and vulva. This all can be avoided by spaying your female puppy.

An older unspayed female dog is easy to spot. They never looks as healthy as one who was spayed early on. A dog’s cycle becomes more irregular as she ages but it never stops completely. Dogs do not reach what we know as menopause. As the cycle becomes more irregular it will become more difficult to detect if something is wrong. Spaying your female puppy eliminates all of this.

Mammary cancer is very common in female dogs who are not spayed. Ovarian cancer and cysts also occur in dogs and like in people are very hard to detect. The outward symptoms don’t occur until the growth inside has caused a lot of damage. Uterine cancer can also occur with the same problem of not being noticed until it is often too late.  Again ,spaying your female puppy eliminates all of this.

The course of treatment for any of these forms of cancer will begin with the dog undergoing an ovariohysterectomy. Both the uterus and ovaries are removed to stop the hormones from causing proliferation of the cancer. This surgery is similar to what would have originally been called a ‘spay’.  Now, at this stage  is much more complicated to perform.  While the end result is the removal of the same organs. It is no longer the simple everyday occurring surgery that it would have been early on. Any obvious tumors and affected lymph glands will be removed and sent in to the laboratory for analysis.

Pyometra is even more common than cancer in unspayed dogs. It is more of a question of when it will happen, not if. Pyometra is an infection of the uterus usually occurring about four to six weeks after her heat cycle.

Bacteria that is introduced to the uterus during estrous is more likely to cause an infection. This is due to the lower immune response that the uterus has during this time. The immunity of the uterus is lower to allow the eggs to implant if she should become pregnant. If the bacteria causes an infection, her uterus will fill with pus and she will become toxic. She will likely stop eating, drink excessively, become lethargic, and have a foul vaginal discharge.

This infection will most likely prove to be fatal if it is let go for very long. It is very important to recognize these symptoms early if she is to be saved. An ‘open’ pyometra means there will be a lot of drainage from the vulva, this also can mean that the uterus is less turgid, less fragile. A ‘closed’ pyometra will show less outward discharge of pus. This indicates that the uterus is likely more full, more tense, and much more fragile. At this state, the dogs only chance is surgery. This is no longer what we think of as a spay. This is now a major surgery, very involved and very critical. The success of the surgery hinges on many factors. Her own strength and will, and the toxicity of her system. Her survival will be uncertain for sometime. This could all be prevented by spaying your female puppy before any heat cycles.

Follow up care will remain critical following any of these procedures. It often involves lengthy hospital stays, IV fluids and antibiotics to flush away the toxicity. Sedation so healing can occur, confinement, bandage changes and careful handling to avoid rupturing any sutures, inside or out. The first week is extremely critical as she is healing. Spaying your dog eliminates all of this. Of course major health issues aside. There are simply too many puppies now. If you have ever been to a shelter you already know there are many more dogs than people who want them.

Accidental litters of puppies should be avoided. Thousands of healthy happy dogs are euthanized every year because there are not enough homes in which to place them. No one wants them. We really don’t need to add to that population. Spaying your female puppy helps ensure that those puppies in the shelters find homes. Instead of having new litters to dilute the homes available. Spaying your female puppy will protect her health in the long run.

There really is no option when it comes to female dogs. There is absolutely no benefit to leaving her unaltered. There is a great deal of harm that may come to her if you don’t do it.

Spaying Your Female Puppy Is A Common Procedure

 Spaying your female puppy is obviously a very common procedure. It is done everyday in most practices. There is always some risk with anesthesia. Generally there is very little to worry about. When you arrange to have your dog spayed talk to your vet about your concerns. Discuss the risks and procedure  with your veterinarian before the surgery so you are better prepared. Spaying your female puppy follows basically the same course no matter where you go. The puppy should have her food withheld for eight to twelve hours before the surgery. Anesthesia can cause nausea and vomiting. This can be very dangerous in a sedated dog. They can inhale or aspirate the vomit, causing obstruction or leading to pneumonia.

The puppy will often have a catheter placed in her leg for access to the vein for medications, and pre-anesthetics. You may notice a small patch of hair shaved away where the catheter was placed. Once she is sedated, she will have a breathing tube placed down her throat which will be administering a mixture of anesthetic gas and oxygen. These are monitored closely while she is asleep.

During the surgery both the uterus and ovaries are removed. The surgery time varies depending on the puppy’s age.  Whether she was in heat at the time of the surgery. Even her breed will make a little difference to how quick the surgery goes. Deep chested dogs like Boxers and Dobermans are a little more difficult as their bone structure tends to hide things well.

Dogs that are overweight are more difficult . The excess of fatty tissues surrounding the organs is the reason. Generally the surgery will probably take about 20 minutes or so. After the surgery the dog will wake up within a few minutes. She will remain groggy for several hours. She will probably be given an antibiotic and anti-pain shot and kept for observation until the next day. It is very important that she stay quiet and confined for the first 24 hours. Once she goes home, she will need to stay confined inside. She also needs to  be kept as quiet as possible. No stairs, no running or playing, and no walks for about a week. You will want to feed her a bit lightly.  Offer water regularly but not continually the first day so she doesn’t over do it. She will be thirsty, but monitor her intake in case of vomiting.

She will return to the vet in ten to fourteen days.  For the suture removal and evaluation to return to her normal routine. Spaying your puppy is one of the very best things you can do for her quality of life, both now and down the road. Protect her from the things you can. There is enough over which you will have no control.

Spaying Your Female Puppy The Temporary Exception

Not spaying your female puppy are the ones who will compete for championship show titles. If you plan to show your dog, she must remain intact. If this is your path, you have already purchased your puppy from a breeder with a champion blood line.  You have undoubtedly been briefed in the necessary steps about how her career will flourish.  When you will breed her, for how long, and when you will be spaying your female puppy.

About The Author
This article was written by Laura Anderson, a veterinary technician with more than 15 years experience in the veterinary field. The views and statements expressed in this article, and all other articles found on Puppy’s Place, do not under any circumstance, constitute veterinary advice. Always seek professional veterinary care for your pet.

 

Benefits Of Neutering Your Male Puppy

Neutering your male puppy is an important part of his first year of veterinary care.  There are several very good reasons for neutering your male puppy.  The problems that generally arise from intact males are either behavioral or medical.

Neutering Your Male Puppy Will Help To Prevent Marking

Male dogs who are not neutered will mark their territory with urine. This indicates to any passer by that they should keep moving on by.  They will mark anything.  You will undoubtedly find anything , the roses in the garden  Your arm chairs and drapes in the living room drenched in urine on a regular basis.  No amount of scolding will counter act what nature tells them to do.  For that you have to head it off at the source.  Neutering your male puppy will help eliminate these tendencies.

Male dogs will be quite apt to escape yards and wander especially if they smell a female in heat close by.  An intact male dog feels the urge to make his way around the neighborhood. Looking for mates to prove himself able against rival opponents.

Less Visits to the Vets After Neutering Your Male Puppy

Intact males are much more likely to end up in the vet’s office to get patched up after a brawl.  Those are the lucky ones.  The unlucky ones are often hit by cars, maimed or killed. The enthusiasm with which they venture often blinds them to anything else around them, including the cars racing by.

Other Benefits Of Neutering Your Male Puppy

Another benefit of neutering your male puppy is because they are excellent diggers and climbers.  A dog who is determined can often find a way over six foot fences and walls.  Walls and fences can offer just enough entertainment until the prize can be found.  Neutering your male puppy will help to eliminate these tendencies.

Intact male dogs are quite a bit more aggressive and unpredictable. Also, they are less apt to be open to obedience training.  They don’t focus well and are easily distracted.  They seem to have too many other things to think about.   Too many sights, smells, and sounds call much more loudly to him than you can. Neutering your male puppy is the answer so that you both will be happier.

He will be cleaner, calmer, more obedient, and an all around better companion to have.  A neutered dog will be no less likely to protect what he thinks is his.  Indeed his property, his people will be his main focus and he will protect them. This is one of the many benefits of neutering your male puppy.

Besides behavioral concerns, there are some very real medical issues to weigh as well.  Male dogs who are not neutered run a much greater risk of testicular cancer, prostate cancer or enlargement, perianal tumors, and hernias.

Another benefit of neutering your male puppy is to prevent Cancer occurring in the testicles, because he will have been castrated.  Perianal tumors, those which grow around the dog’s anus, are dramatically less likely to occur in a neutered male dog.

The risk of prostate cancer and enlargement is likely to occur in 80% of dogs who are not neutered .  Testosterone fuels the development of all of these dangerous conditions. It is easily remedied by the removal of the testicles.  In a dog that has a retained testicle, it is even more highly recommended that they be neutered.  There is a significant increase in the risk of testicular cancer.

Unless you have championed your dog in the show ring. He is a stud dog who throws champions of his own. Unless he is the epitome of his breed and shows no hereditary defects, he should be neutered.  There are far too many dogs who suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia, eye defects, certain types of cancer, and unsound dispositions. Too many dogs are destroyed every year because there are not enough homes for them.

 When a dog is neutered the testicles are removed.  This removes the organ which may become involved with cancer in later life.  It eliminates the ability to reproduce. Most importantly it stops the production of testosterone.  The hormone which fuels the health risks and the behavioral problems.

A vasectomy is not performed on dogs because it does not achieve the desired effect.  While it does keep the dog from reproducing, like with men. It does not alter the behavior or reduce the health risks because the hormones are still quite present.

 Neutering your male puppy is responsible, it is kind, and it is necessary.  Your friend’s time with you is short enough. Without  neutering, you increase his chance of a life threatening disease or accident because of a drive he can’t control.  His time with you will be much more enjoyable for both of you.

About The Author
This article was written by Laura Anderson, a veterinary technician with more than 15 years experience in the veterinary field. The views and statements expressed in this article, and all other articles found on Puppy’s Place, do not under any circumstance, constitute veterinary advice. Always seek professional veterinary care for your pet.

 

How To Choose A New Puppy

Learn how to choose a new puppy that will be right for your and your family.  A lot of thought and planning should go into planning such a life changing decision. When you choose a new puppy, it is an addition to your family.

Decision to Choose A New Puppy

When you choose a new puppy, a lot has to be taken into account.  How big will the dog get. How much exercise will it need. What are your budget constraints. What kind of temperament does it seem to have?  What known medical problems does the breed tend to have?  Is your yard safe?  Finally are you home enough? All these are important things to consider when you choose a new puppy.

 There are some other very serious issues to consider before you choose a new puppy.  Are you looking for a dog to hunt with, run with, or hike with?  Is your family very active or is a lower energy breed better for your lifestyle.  Do you have a yard or an apartment?  Do you have children?

All of these things should be considered when you choose a new puppy.  Before deciding on a breed, it is often a good idea to go to local dog shows if you are considering a pure bred dog.  You can usually find dog breeders, owners, and handlers to talk to about any breeds that might catch your eye.   The American Kennel Club (the AKC) has directories of breeders and is a good place to start if you are just beginning.

Choose A New Puppy From A Shelter

If you are looking to choose a new puppy from a shelter,  before you adopt spend some time with the puppy at the shelter first.  Introduce it to all members of your family and make sure he is comfortable with everyone. Think, when you choose a new puppy as  a family affair.  You all have to learn the ropes anytime a member joins the family.

Avoiding skittish or unhealthy puppies.  Ask permission first so as not to startle the breeder or the shelter assistant, but make a loud noise, like dropping a metal dish.  Things happen in life that will be surprising.  What you will expect to see is the puppy recoil and cower, what you want to see next is the puppy relax and come over to you as soon as you talk gently and console it.  If you get down and call it lovingly, it should recover and come see you.  If it doesn’t, move on to the next puppy.  It isn’t a good sign.

puppy

Don’t ever pick the ‘runt’ because you feel sorry for it.  It is usually a bad and costly idea.  Often when a puppy doesn’t grow well, you will find it has less to do with just being smaller and shoved aside than it has to do with a genetic problem of some sort.  This is more true of pure bred dogs simply because the genetics of mixed breeds will vary in size, shape, and color more naturally.  Someone will be the right home for that puppy.  If you just have to have it, make sure you are set up for any additional problems that might come along with being frail or skittish.  Be sure to have your puppy examined within a few days of your purchase. Also, require a written puppy guarantee of some kind.

Others Things To Know Before You Choose A New Puppy

It can be simple, but there should be an agreement that you can return the puppy within a week or two if there should be any congenital defects observed by your vet, or if the puppy should come down with a virus in the first 7-14 days.  You may choose to keep him no matter what, but if you are not financially able to take on any extended burden, be sure you have a safety net.

It is crucial that your pick a breed that matches your family’s lifestyle. So many have strong attributes but may have some reason they won’t work for your family.  Many might be too big, have too much coat, require specific and significant amounts of grooming, or require too much exercise.  If you want to run with your dog, don’t get a basset hound. Even a boxer is not the best choice for a runner.  They have a very poor air exchange and overheat easily.  A condition which is due to their skull structure and can cause serious and potentially life threatening heat stroke concerns.

One thing to keep in mind if you are looking for a pure bred dog is to always purchase it from a breeder, not a pet store.  Pet stores are notorious for purchasing puppies from ‘puppy mills’ and ‘backyard breeders’.  This is not a good way to ensure you will receive any kind of quality in your dog.  You will often pay more for your puppy and be assured of no quality of breed.  The dog may have tremendous medical and health related problems and have an uncertain temperament.

If you choose to breed your own dog, would you sell the pups to the local pet store as soon as they could eat?  Of course not!  Although after six or eight weeks you may be sorely tempted.  You would want to make sure the pups were going to loving and safe homes.  You might even want to keep in touch.

The only pure bred puppies who end up in pet stores are the ones who no one cares where they end up because no one is putting any heart or care into what they are producing.  It’s just about the bottom line.

A breeder will usually not be any more expensive than a pet store.  Unless of course you intend to find a show quality dog, in which case the rules change a bit.  However, having said that, be wary of any breeder that says all the pups are show quality. It is highly improbable to produce an entire litter of show quality pups.

About The Author
This article was written by Laura Anderson, a veterinary technician with more than 15 years experience in the veterinary field. The views and statements expressed in this article, and all other articles found on Puppy’s Place, do not under any circumstance, constitute veterinary advice. Always seek professional veterinary care for your pet.

 

Choosing Safe Toys For Your Puppy

Safe Toys For Your Puppy

Choosing safe toys for your puppy is very important. There are right and wrong toys.  The first thing to know is always avoid rubber toys.  They are easy to pop, shred and swallow.  This can be both harmful and costly.  When rubber makes it to the stomach and intestine, it swells and can easily block the digestive tract. This causes an obstruction which requires surgery and hospitalization for toxicity due to the inability to void.  Rubber toys are always made to look clever.  Only give them to your puppy  with supervision. Otherwise, they should be avoided.

Plush squeaky dog toys are fun, but not harmless.  They are soft and fun to mouth, they squeak which is quite delightful if you are a dog, or a kid!  However, the stuffing can become a dangerous obstruction if ingested.  Same for the squeaky part inside the toy, and even the thread that holds the toy together.  If the toy becomes damaged, it is best to immediately dispose of the toy.  Plush toys are best for gentle dogs who are not adapt to destroy toys.  Plush toys are generally not good investments for puppies.

Choose Safe Toys For Your Puppy

Puppies love to chew. There are good things to chew, and bad things to chew.  Provide safe toys for your puppy, otherwise they make chew on the legs of your furniture eg: piano leg.  Rawhide is not a good idea. They love it, but it usually ends up getting eaten. It can upset or even block their digestive system.  Even if it passes, it will probably cause gas and diarrhea.  Playing ball is one of the safe toys for your puppy. Choose balls that are not so big that they run over your puppy. Nor should they be small enough to be a choking hazard.  Dogs frequently inhale or swallow balls that are too small.  This is hazardous to their health, and your pocket book.  A word of warning, however, once the ball is broken, that is, once you can ‘pop’ it in your hand by squeezing it, throw it away.  It just became a hazard.  A broken ball can now easily be pulled apart and swallowed.  Time to choose other safe toys for your puppy.

Make Your Own Safe Toys For Your Puppy

Socks with knots tied in them make excellent tug-o-war toys. They are one of the safe toys for your puppy with supervision.  If you tie knots in the socks and keep them in their special toy box or basket. Then,they will quickly learn between what is yours and what is theirs.  Don’t allow your puppy to chew on socks as they too can be swallowed and cause a blockage.

If you don’t want to encourage your puppy to find socks to play with, heavy rip proof rubber pull toys are available and are probably easier to grasp – for you, that is.  You should offer other safe toys for your puppy. Some that are different shapes, and sizes.  Some that make different noises. The more your puppy has to do that is acceptable, the less trouble they will tend to get into . Make sure safe toys for your puppy are everywhere to avoid  getting ‘bored’ and finding something ‘to do’!

About The Author
This article was written by Laura Anderson, a veterinary technician with more than 15 years experience in the veterinary field. The views and statements expressed in this article, and all other articles found on Puppy’s Place, do not under any circumstance, constitute veterinary advice. Always seek professional veterinary care for your pet.

 

Benefits Of Crate Training Your Puppy

Crate training your puppy has many benefits, but the biggest by far is how much easier it makes house training.

Crate training your puppy works with their natural instincts. A dog is, by nature, a den animal. He will feel comforted and safe in his crate. He  will not want to soil where he sleeps. This is your golden ticket to crate training your puppy.

Start The First Night Crate Training Your Puppy

The first few nights of crate training your puppy, expect him to cry and howl for you to let him out. He wants to be with you. This is natural, as is your desire to let him out. Restrain yourself.  He needs to learn from the very beginning where his place is to be. If you allow him to run the house now, be prepared for the mess that will cover your floors by morning, and for many mornings to come. Crate training your puppy is by far the most effective and fastest way to housebreak training your puppy. After the initial break-in period, his crate will be a favorite place for him to be. Once he knows it is a warm, safe place, you will often find him putting himself to bed when he is tired.

 Some Basic Rules Of Thumb To Get Started Crate Training Your puppy

** Part of crate training your puppy is that he should be in his crate if you can’t be right with him. If you need to do something or be somewhere the puppy can’t go, then put him safely in his crate.

**Make sure that crate training your puppy  is always a pleasant place to be. Give him a favorite toy or an old t-shirt that smells familiar to him. (Unless he is apt to destroy and eat them – then minimize what goes in with him)

**Never scold him when you put him in. If he has had an accident, scold him and put him outside, not in his crate.

**Feed him in the crate so he associates the crate with good things.

**Once he goes in at night, do not revisit him, he will settle down….eventually.

** This is hard but part of crate training your puppy.

 Why Crate Training Your Puppy Works For Housebreaking

The reason that crate training your puppy  works so well is that it encourages the puppy to “hold it”.  The puppy does not really want to mess where he sleeps. Make no mistake, he will soil his bed so make sure everything that goes in is washable. The difference is that he really doesn’t want to go there. He will tend to wait as long as he can. He will start to build control over his body this way.

Finding the right sized crate is vital in crate training your puppy. It is important to mention that if the crate is too big then you are defeating it’s purpose. If he can mess far enough away from where he wants to curl up, he won’t mind going there a bit. The crate area should be plenty big for him, but not so big he has no exposure to his indiscretions. This is all part of good crate training your puppy.

To encourage success, make sure you take your puppy training out to the yard as late as possible before you go to bed, and plan to get up with the sun to take him out again early in the morning.

In time, he will be able to hold it longer, but when he is very young you can’t expect him to go more than a few hours. He will have to go immediately on waking up.  Don’t even call him to the door, just pick him up and take him out.  You will eliminate many accidents this way.

He will have to go again about five minutes after he eats.  Make sure you are ready to take him out quickly and spend time out there with him until he figures out why he is out there.

Feed your puppy often and offer water frequently. You are creating opportunity to praise!  Just be on your toes and try to have him in a place where he should go.  The more success he has the faster he will catch on.

When he goes where he should, praise him, praise him, praise him!   Do a little dance, cheer, whatever it takes to show him you are delighted with what he did in that spot.

Conversely, fold your arms, scold, and scowl at him when he picks a spot indoors.  Show him his mistake and tell him “No”, “Outside” and take him out where you want him to go.

If you have no yard and actually want him to pick a specific area of your home for him to go on newspapers or training pads, the same rules apply except that will be your final destination and you may say something like “Paper” instead.

You need to be consistent with your training for this issue and all others. The more consistent you are the faster progress you will make.

If you can spend a solid 3 or 4 days at this you will probably be able to training your puppy in a week or so. His age will be a variable however.  Very young puppies simply don’t have the control over their body that they will by 10 or 12 weeks.

Once you start crate training your puppy it should not take more than a week until he really understands that it is a good place. You can take his crate, or his crate pad at least, any time you take him somewhere, with you.  He will feel right at home no matter where he is.  Dog crates create a safe place to hide during thunderstorms and windstorms.  You will have a safe place to put him if you have construction going on.  He will have a safe place to be when fireworks are going off.

If there is any doubt as to the surrounding circumstances when you are away, you can put him in his crate and know without a doubt, he will be fine.  He will be there when you get home, and your home will be intact.

About The Author
This article was written by Laura Anderson, a veterinary technician with more than 15 years experience in the veterinary field. The views and statements expressed in this article, and all other articles found on Puppy’s Place, do not under any circumstance, constitute veterinary advice. Always seek professional veterinary care for your pet.

 

Veterinary Care, Raising A Healthy Puppy

Critical Part Of Raising Your Puppy Is Veterinary Care

Veterinary care will be a critical part of your dog’s well being throughout their life.  It is important to get your puppy used to seeing the vet regularly.  You should try to make it a positive experience for him. Veterinary care should be a pleasant trip. Also, he should get plenty of praise from both you and your veterinarian.  He will be visiting frequently in the beginning and only yearly or as needed after that.  The better experience he has now with veterinary care, the easier he will be able to handle it at future appointments.  It isn’t good to have a dog, big or small, that is hard to handle at the veterinarian’s office.

Schedule A Puppy Exam For Veterinary Care

One of the first things that you should do for Veterinary care is schedule a puppy exam to ensure that your puppy is healthy. Also, to make sure he does not have any congenital problems or deformities, such as a cleft palate or hernias.  The veterinary will look for juvenile cataracts, hernias, heart murmurs, retained testicles. Also, problems with their bite, deformities of any kind, and evidence of malnutrition and parasites.  At six weeks old your puppy will need to start it’s series of vaccines. They will begin developing immunity to the many deadly viruses it can come it contact with.

Shots To Protect Your Puppy Are Part Of Good Veterinary Care

Canine parvovirus and distemper are horrible viruses. They are widespread, often fatal or permanently debilitating. They are easy to prevent through a complete puppy vaccination series.  Lyme disease is becoming more of a problem in many areas.  Contrary to popular belief, rabies is still found everywhere.  Bordetella, though not deadly. It is quite uncomfortable. Also, it involves a chronic long lasting cough that is aggravating to your dog.

Puppy veterinary care is the proper way to to raise a healthy puppy  If done incorrectly the vaccines will offer little or no effect, rendering a puppy largely unprotected.  Puppy Veterinary care should follow a particular schedule.  This is  especially important to know if you have chosen to do the vaccines yourself.  It is more advisable to seek veterinary care in the first year of your puppy’s life.

Intestinal parasites are present in more than 98% of all puppies.  It is a good practice to make deworming  part of his scheduled veterinary visits starting at six weeks old.  Worms cause malnutrition because they interfere with the digestive system.  They live off of what your puppy needs for his own growth and development.  Be warned, just because you don’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there.

Common Findings With Veterinary Care

Other common findings in puppies are coccidia and giardia.  They are microscopic organisms common in puppies which can cause chronic diarrhea.  These can also be found in a fecal sample exam. Veterinary care is fairly common to find these organisms even in puppies who come from good breeders and clean environments. If your puppy is diagnosed with these, it is not necessarily a reflection of poor conditions.

Suggestions Veterinary Care Will Have On Raising A Healthy Puppy

If you did not purchase your puppy with the intent to champion her in the show ring. Then you will schedule your puppy’s spay appointment when she is no more than six months old.  You want to catch her before she comes in heat.  Research indicates that female dogs who were spayed before they went through a heat cycle had lower risk of mammary cancer in later life.  Female dogs who are not fixed run high risk of many serious health issues including uterine, ovarian, and mammary cancers. Also, uterine infection called pyometra where the uterus fills with pus. All of which are often fatal in later life simply because they can not be recognized early enough.

Neutering your dog does not make him lazy.  It will encourage him to be more receptive to training. Also, he will be less likely to mark your house and furniture with urine. He will not feel the need to spring from the property at any opportunity.   This could  limit his life span or at least the time he spends with you.  Male dogs also run a health risk of prostate and testicular cancer in later life if they are left intact.

If you adopted your puppy you already saw the cages full of evidence of the need to spay and neuter your puppy.  Too many puppies go homeless and are euthanized every year.  Be responsible.  Spay, neuter your puppy with the help of proper veterinary care to raise a healthy puppy.

Simple Blood Test For Heart Worm With Veterinary Care

Heartworm is a parasite that you never see. Still, it is becoming more and more of a problem everywhere.  It is spread by mosquitoes.  The larva travel through the blood stream. The worms mature and then reside in the heart.  They are extremely difficult to kill. They can leave permanent damage to the dog’s heart even if the medications are successful.  If left untreated they will kill the dog as the heart is unable to function properly.  A simple blood test should be done to make sure your puppy isn’t infected before putting him on monthly preventatives.  These medications can be fatal if he is treated while he actually has a heart worm.

Other Frustrations For Your Puppy Veterinary Care Can Help

Probably one of the most common frustrations among dogs and their owners is fleas.  Some dogs are bothered greatly while others seem largely unaware and unperturbed.   Fleas are something to protect your puppy against.  Fleas carry tapeworms. They can cause infestations of these intestinal parasites which effect your dogs health and well being.

Fleas can cause anemia and skin disease. They are the number one cause of allergies among dogs.  Fleas can live just about anywhere. They do just as well inside as out.  Thanks to recent advancements in veterinary care products, they are easier to control than they once were.

Ticks are also something to avoid.  They are the vector for Lyme disease. A disease that effects the joints, causing arthritis and degeneration of the joints. There are many varieties of ticks ranging in size, shape, and color. They love brushy areas that animals frequent. Then they drop onto the animals coat and make their way to the skin.  Their saliva has a bit of a sedative and an anticoagulant to it. This way the animal is not bothered by it’s presence.  This allows the tick to stay imbedded and feed.  Ticks can also cause local infections of the skin as the dog’s body responds to the foreign body lodged under the skin.  There are very good medications to prevent these unwelcome companions.

 

Puppy Feeding Schedule

A Great Feeding Schedule for Puppies

 We will give you first a short explanation of the best puppy feeding schedule, then, a more detailed explanation. The main thing to remember about a puppy feeding schedule is that they need three measured meals every day, preferably at the same times. The best time for the first of those meals is around seven am. Noon is a great time for lunch. Then, five pm to eat dinner. This may sound a little early for dinner, but it gives your puppy plenty of time to digest their food before going to bed.

Making a puppy feeding schedule

Puppy Feeding Schedule

What you should be Feeding Puppies

Proper nutrition is vitally important to the overall health of your puppy. The best recommendation here is that you avoid feeding puppies cheap dog food. Cheap dog food contains a lot fillers and sugars instead of an adequate supply of the proper nutrients that they need. Also, those lower quality foods can cause constipation and diarrhea. Since you are also trying to house train your puppy, those are two things which you will certainly wish to avoid. Once your puppy is a little older,  between fourteen and eighteen weeks, then the puppy feeding schedule can be reduce to two meals a day.

How much you should be Feeding Puppies

A good puppy feeding schedule is important to not feed them too much. Some breeds always seem to be hungry, so it easy to feed them too much.  This in turn can lead to obesity.  This could lead to further health problems later for your puppy. If you are in doubt as to the proper quantities of food for your puppy feeding schedule for your particular breed, the worst thing you can possibly do is just guess. It is far better to ask your veterinarian.  Or maybe ask another owner of the same breed. Try to keep in mind that because cheaper foods are less nutritious, your dog may attempt to eat more of them in order to compensate. For more information on how to feed your puppy, read this article.

When Your Puppy Doesn’t Seem to Want to Eat

Sometimes, on a puppy feeding schedule your puppy may not want to eat.  This problem is rarer than the danger of over feeding, but it does happen.  A simple trick you might try is to have your puppy feeding schedule where your puppy eats in their crate. That way, they won’t feel threatened or distracted when trying to eat. It is important to have your children aware that the puppy feeding schedule is a time to leave the dog alone when they are eating. If the dog feels as though the children are trying to steal its food (even if they aren’t), then it may bite them.

Some Other Advice for Your Puppy Feeding Schedule

When planning your puppy feeding schedule you need to consider your own availability to take them outside to use the bathroom. You will want to do so about fifteen minutes after they eat. This gives time to be ready, but you should also be prepared for the fact that later on, they may need to eliminate again. You are going to have to have some patience with your puppy feeding schedule.  As with most other things relative to pet ownership, the long term rewards are more than worth the extra effort which is initially required.

In Summary

In short, you are going to need to exercise some of your own common sense when planning a puppy feeding schedule, but with a little patience it will be fun for the whole family.

 

Risks Of Buying Dog Medications Over The Counter

Buying dog medications over the counter can have real risks for your dog.  It is best NEVER to buy products such as flea and tick medications or deworming medications at pet stores, discount stores or grocery stores.  There are enough pharmacies available now to allow for competitive marketing for Frontline and Advantage at reasonable prices.

Risks Of Dog Medications Over The Counter

Program is still available but not nearly as effective as it’s successors.   Sentinel and Revolution are good products that also incorporate heart worm prevention into their monthly dosing.  However, it is critical that you have your dog tested for heart worms before administering these types of medications.  If you treat a dog with a heart worm preventative and he has already been infected you can easily kill him.

Dog medications over the counter have dangers that include toxicity to the body and organ failure.  The cheap products we have all seen for years in the pet aisle at the drug store can be extremely toxic – to the dog, not the parasite.  These harmful chemicals are absorbed through the animals skin and can cause multi-system failure due to toxicity.

Dog medications over the counter like flea, tick collars and topicals seem to be some of the favorite products to purchase.  DON’T EVER use them!  They are terribly ineffective and quite toxic.  You often see puppies with fleas that are avoiding a small area around the dog’s neck. This is not solving the problem or even controlling it well.  However, you do see a lot of allergic reactions to the collars. Oral dewormers are also best left to the professionals. It is always the best idea to follow your veterinarians advice toward the best products available for fleas, tick and dewormers.

Oral medications for intestinal parasites are toxic by nature as well.  They are meant to kill the worm without harming the puppy.  The cheap dog medications over the counter varieties are unpredictable. Also, they not well researched and quite toxic.  Don’t ever use them.

About The Author
This article was written by Laura Anderson, a veterinary technician with more than 15 years experience in the veterinary field. The views and statements expressed in this article, and all other articles found on Puppy’s Place, do not under any circumstance, constitute veterinary advice. Always seek professional veterinary care for your pet.