Puppy Health Care – Quick Guide to Best Practices

  • Bringing up your puppy is very similar to bringing up a baby. Except, as my mom would say, a baby eventually grows up and learns to take care of itself as an adult.

    I don?t mean to scare you ? just want to put things into perspective for you ? your puppy relies on you from the day you bring him home. It need you to feed it, to groom it, play with it, and love it. You are also responcible for your puppy?s health care over its lifetime ? you need to make sure he feels and looks good, and to make sure you know when things are not right.

    Your puppy health care responsibilities involves things like taking him for his regular checkups at the vet. Or making sure he takes his worming tabs, flea pills. Taking him for his vaccinations on time. And making sure he?s clean, fed, warm and safe.

    I know ? it is basic ? but you?d be surprise what people miss when they are not informed about the things they should look out for. So, to avoid health complications and diseases later on, here are some of the best puppy health care practices to follow:

    1. His Food.

    Dogs are not picky eaters, but that does not mean that you?re free to feed them anything you want. For one, they are not built the same way we are. If you feed them table scraps, your dog might develop intestinal parasites later on.

    Also, their body reacts differently from ours; for example, if you unknowingly feed chocolate to your puppy, STOP IT! It poses a lot of danger, because chocolate contain Theo bromine, a chemical which can be toxic for dogs.

    Another mistake that pet owners make is to overfeed their dog. Sure, chubby and plump dogs are adorable, but I sure hope you are not compromising their health because of pure aesthetic reasons. Overweight dogs are susceptible to a lot of illnesses and joint problems. Dogs cannot handle large amounts of food and they don?t know when to stop eating; it?s recommendable to feed your dog once or twice (at the most) a day in small portions ? if you?re unsure ask your vet or look on the packet of the particular dog food you buy ? they usually have recommendations.

    2. His Vaccinations.

    When you first take you r puppy to the vet he will be able to give a specific schedule and choice you have for your puppy?s vaccinations. There are some vaccinations that are compulsory, but there are those that are entierely your choice ? your vet will help you decide what suits you best.

    Here are some of the available vaccinations for more serious diseases, but make sure you ask your vet for more specific advice for basic vaccinations for your puppy?s health care needs.

    Distemper vaccination ? canine distemper is a very deadly viral dog disease. Some pet owners usually find out too late. Unfortunately, there?s no cure for it so prevention is still your best weapon. Parvovirus vaccination ? young pups are usually afflicted by this disease. It?s a highly communicable disease so in order to protect your dog, and other dogs in your neighborhood as well, have your dog vaccinated for parvovirus. Adenovirus vaccination ? Dogs contract hepatitis due to canine adenovirus. Your dog should get adenovirus shots to prevent him from getting this disease.

    A word of warning: Be aware of what some of the signs are for an allergic reaction to vaccinations. If your dog becomes sluggish or develops hives, or has difficulty breathing, take him to the vet immediately! Now obviously your vet is highly trained, but things happen ? and it?s better that you?re prepared on the odd chance that they do.

    3. His Grooming.

    Coat, teeth, ears and nails ? these comprise an important aspect of grooming and of your puppy?s health care. Your puppy will not only look healthy, but it will FEEL healthy too.

    Coat ? If he has a long or medium length coat brush it every day to avoid hair tangling and matting. For short coats ? once every 3-4 days will do. Ears ? Clean his ears with moist cotton balls twice a month at least. If you don?t clean your dog?s ears, it could lead to an ear infection ? it?s not pleasant for your pooch, and it will cost you to take him to the vet. Teeth ? Unlike humans, dogs don?t need their teeth cleaned every day ? thank goodness; about twice a week will do. But like humans, your dog can develop cavities if you don?t brush his teeth regularly, so make it an appointment with you doggy friend. Nails ? Don?t let your dog?s nails grow too long to prevent him from accidentally scratching you or any family members.

    4. Spaying and Neutering.

    If you do not plan to breed your own dogs, it?s recommended you consider spaying or neutering your puppy as soon as it is ready. It?s not possible to watch over your dog 24/7; so as a responsible pet owner, try to do something about the continually growing population of dogs. Your vet will be able to advise you on your options.

    5. His Status Quo.

    This simply means that you should get to know your puppy?s usual disposition. This is very important because only if you know him, you?ll be able to spot if something?s wrong very early ? and the earlier you tackle a health problem, the more chance you have of curing it and saving yourself and your loved pooch grief.

    6. His Safety.

    We all love to think nothing will ever go wrong ? and I sure hope it never does with you and your pup. But reality sometimes hits us unexpectedly ? so that?s why I always advise my friends to take up even the most basic of pet insurances for their dog. Make sure it covers the things you feel you won?t be able to afford in an emergency, the rest you can pay for as and when you need to ? this way insurance doesn?t have to be expensive.

    Remember, a healthy dog makes a happy dog. If you follow these dog care practices, your dog would enjoy a longer and more stress-free life.

    Anita Watson is passionate dog owner with years of experience in helping people raise and train their dogs, using real methods that work fast. She owns and maintains RaiseALovingDog.com, an indispencible resource on puppy health care.

    Article Source: ArticlesBase.com

    The Development of your Puppy

    The progression of a puppy in the first ten weeks is very important. Just like a human baby, a puppy needs lots of love and care. There are many factors which can hinder a puppy’s physical & mental growth.

    The First Two Weeks

    A puppy is born blind and deaf, and for the first two weeks of his life, he doesn’t do a lot except sleep (around 90 percent of the time) and eat. While he can’t hear or see, he can feel and smell, and the combination enables him to find the all-important nipples on his mother. The mother dispenses milk that contains antibodies that help the pup survive for six to ten weeks. Propelling the pup to his mother are very undeveloped and weak legs. The puny legs also allow the puppy to huddle together with his siblings. The legs develop somewhat while the puppies are asleep because they twitch, something called “activated sleep.”

    The puppy is nurtured by his mother, of course, which includes his mom licking his belly, which stimulates the little creature to defecate and urinate.

    Depending on how the mother feels, human beings may or may not be allowed to pick up and nurture the puppies every day. When this occurs, it helps man and dog bond more easily.

    The Third Week

    During this week, the puppy’s other senses start to operate. He can detect light and dark, as well as movement, and will respond to large or sudden sounds. He will start to interact with his brothers and sisters, and he starts developing social skills by this interaction, i.e., feeling them with his paws and snout.

    He learns to crawl, and his tail begins to wag. He can also venture from his mother to urinate on his own. In some cases, puppies, though not weaned, can be fed liquid food suggested by a veterinarian.

    The Fourth and Fifth Weeks

    During this period, the puppy’s muscular development increases to the point where he can walk, run, and pounce on his littermates. It is a period of endless exploration, and the puppy’s interaction with his siblings teaches him a lot, including when he’s biting too hard – which elicits a tough response from a littermate – and where he belongs in the aristocracy of the pack – he will alternately sleep at the bottom and top of the puppy pile.

    If the puppy is misbehaving, Mom occasionally may get involved by growling at him. This discipline sharpens the puppy’s sense of right and wrong, which can make training easier. The human training process becomes so much harder if the puppy is not disciplined by his mother, like dogs that are orphaned.

    The puppy is likely to stop suckling during this time as his teeth develop. Mom will chew, swallow and bring up food for her puppy to eat, which he is able to do in the fourth week.

    The fourth week is usually the time when fear is developed: Most of a puppy’s fears are picked up by instinct from his mother, and will include growing scared of his owner if he is treated badly.

    The latter portion of this time is when the puppy starts to become socialized with the human family, becoming more aware of the sights and sounds in the house, as well as interacting more with individual members.

    The Sixth and Seventh Weeks

    This is a time of wonder and curiosity for the young pup, but he is also very sensitive to emotional harm. His emotions will be revealed; he’ll start barking to get attention, whining to show fear, and whimpering if hurt. Take care not to scare or upset him in any way. It’s best that the dog be allowed to relate one on one with a human being, allowing trust to start to build. It is also a time of great fan. He should be given a supply of toys, because he will be very rambunctious and needs them to interact. If he goes too far when playing, his mother will put him in his place. When the puppies are weaned, have their own teeth, and can eat by themselves, the mother dog assumes the role of alpha or pack leader. The mother will show her puppies – using toys – when it’s appropriate to bite.

    Puppies will also attack each other to establish dominance and to determine who the alpha is.

    The Eighth Week

    During the eighth week, the puppy will start to develop bathroom habits. He will use his own place to go, and it won’t be near where he eats. He will look for a place to relieve himself by sniffing about. The eighth week is also a crucial time in socialization – this is the time when fears can be established. You should take care to make sure that all the puppy’s experiences are positive ones, or he may carry around the fear for life. For this reason it is preferable to wait until after the eighth week to take a puppy to his new home. For example, if the puppy gets carsick, he may be afraid of cars, and it will take a lot of training and desensitization to get him to enjoy riding in one.

    The Tenth Week

    Now the puppies stop battling each other – the alpha and omega in the litter have been established. This is the best time to get a sense of a puppy’s personality. Any fear the puppy might have experienced in a strange place stops – he is ready to find a new home.

    Is your dog’s health important to you? Read more great articles from Rex Lanigan at his great website.

    Article Source: ArticlesBase.com

    Puppy Care – Steps to Keep Your Dog Healthy

    It’s a very exciting day when you first pick up your puppy. It seems obvious that you’ll have to feed her, and give her lots of love – but what else is involved in keeping your puppy healthy? A lot. That’s the simple answer. So lets start from the beginning.

    You should never take a puppy away from her mother too early – anything much under 8 weeks is really not giving a dog a best chance in life. Sometimes the puppies in pet shops come from their mothers at six weeks – and in that case they won’t have the full immunity given by the mother’s milk.

    You should always take your puppy to the vet for a checkup when you first purchase her. You need to have her ears checked, and her nose should be wet and not runny. Her eyes should be clear. Assuming all of that is good, then your vet may explain the two main issues with your pup – vaccinations and flea control.

    Depending on where you live, and the laws in your state, the vaccinations required will differ, but sometimes your puppy will need a series of vaccinations and won’t be ready to be fully socialized until 12 weeks old. Do not take your puppy to play with adult dogs if you are not sure the adult dog has been vaccinatied.

    Once your puppy has been vaccinated then you need to make an annual trip to the vet to keep the vaccination up to date. Many boading kennels won’t take dogs unless this is the case, so if you plan on having a holiday away from your pets at any stage, it will be vital to keep the vaccinations current.

    Flea and tick control, and the control of heartworm will all depend on the weather of the state you live in. It’s hard to give accurate advice to every puppy owner but asking any dog owner in your local dog park will probably be your best bet. You’ll need to know how often they use products that kill or prevent fleas from living on your puppy.

    Some dogs will also have allergies – to grass, or to flea bites so you will need to see if your dog scratches too often, or is chewing at parts of her fur. If you start to see bald patches then you may need your vet to do allergy testing. In this case flea control is probably even more important.

    If you can have a dog groomer teach you how to care for your dog too. You need to know how to keep the coat healthy, the nails trimmed and the ears of your puppy clean too. Feeding good quality dog food is vital for a healthy life.

    There are a few other things you shouldn’t forget as well – never letting your puppy near traffic, having a fully fenced in yard, and even consider microchiping – if it’s not legally required it’s a great way to make sure your beloved pet will always be returned to you if she gets lost

    Learn more at http://www.snooppooch.com – the web’s newest dog lover’s community

    Article Source: ArticlesBase.com