Puppy Health Care – Quick Guide to Best Practices

February 17, 2010 by  
Filed under Puppy Care

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

A Guide to the Whys and Hows of Puppy Socializing

February 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Puppy Behavior

The importance of socializing a puppy can never be over-emphasised, but what exactly does it mean? And how does one go about it? This article will explain to you what socialization is and how to put it into practice to ensure your dog has few, if any behavioural problems later in life and is able to interact well with dogs and other species.

Socialization is the process whereby a puppy learns to recognise and interact with other individuals of its own species, with people of different ages, races and genders, and with other animals that she is likely to come into contact with, such as cats and horses. The dog will learn the skills necessary to communicate with and interpret the other animals’ intentions, thus avoiding unnecessary hostilities. The dog will also learn to cope with stress and will suffer less as an adult in stressful situations. When talking of socialization, we often include habituation, that is, getting a puppy used to different places, sights and sounds so that she becomes confident in new situations and gets used to as many different stimuli as possible.

There are certain periods in a puppy’s development that are more important than others. The most sensitive socialization period begins at around 3 weeks of age and begins to reduce by 12 weeks. Peak sensitivity is between 6 and 8 weeks of age. It is important to remember that many young dogs need continual social interaction to maintain their socialization and failure to do so will mean that they regress or become fearful again. The 6-8 month period is another sensitive time for socialization and owners and trainers can use this window to further habituate and socialize their puppy to different surroundings, people and animals.

So, now we know why and when socialization should be carried out, we must look at how to undertake this. It is recommended that your puppy be introduced to new stimuli and other people and pets in a systematic and controlled way. Remember that these formative experiences will shape the behaviour of your pet for the rest of her life, so the idea is that they should be pleasurable and fun. They may well also be challenging, but if done in the right way, the puppy will learn that there is no threat and that she is safe to explore and meet new friends and situations without being fearful. This ensures the best chance of her developing a sound temperament and capacity to cope in all circumstances.

Early socialization is, of course, in the hands of the breeder and if they are conscientious and responsible they will ensure that the puppies are handled frequently, as well being exposed to normal household stimuli such as the television, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, doorbell etc. Puppies who are raised in a quiet kennel or room will have trouble adapting to a normal family environment.

So once the puppy is at home with you, it is your job to continue carefully introducing her to different people, animals and stimuli. It is however important to introduce the puppy to new people, places, objects and situations only when you can completely control the experience. A frightening experience will be detrimental – avoid unfriendly dogs and adults and children who do not understand how to be kind and gentle with animals. Invite friends to your house soon after you bring your puppy home to teach her that guests are friendly and welcome in her new home. Give your friends treats to give to the puppy so she is rewarded. Introduce her to one or two other friendly, healthy, fully-vaccinated dogs – she can join in with bigger groups once she has all her shots and has learned some dog social skills and has over-come any fear. Always be ready to intervene if your puppy is scared, threatened or being bullied by another dog.

When socializing your puppy, you must evaluate your lifestyle and environment and assess what situations are lacking. For instance, if you live in the country, take your puppy to town and gradually and carefully let her become accustomed to crowds of people, noise and traffic. If, however, you live in a town and these things are no problem, take your puppy to the countryside so she can see and smell farm animals and become accustomed to them too. Make sure your dog meets some cats who are dog-friendly. Don’t let her chase them as this will start a life-long habit that will be difficult to change. If your household has no children, introduce your puppy to some children who can regularly play gently with her. Always supervise them to ensure the children are gentle and that your dog is responding well and not becoming nervous or aggressive.

Remember always to protect your puppy’s health, before she is fully vaccinated. Don’t put her down on the ground where there may be dog urine or faeces, and don’t let her interact with other dogs that may carry disease. You can still socialize your puppy by carrying her into different situations and taking her in the car, allowing her to see many different things in a safe environment and she will get used to trips in the car at the same time. Use treats and praise to reinforce good behaviour. Do not comfort your puppy if she is fearful as this can be interpreted as praise for the wrong behaviour. Simply change the situation (i.e. ask an approaching person to step back or pick up your puppy to get her out of a difficult situation) until she feels safe and secure once more.

All interaction with your puppy at this age involves consistently rewarding desirable behaviour which will increase the likelihood the dog will repeat this behaviour. It will also help to prevent the development of undesirable behaviour.

Another helpful step would be to enroll in puppy socialization and training class. This provides a great opportunity for puppies to socialize with other dogs, for puppies to learn obedience training in a playful environment with plenty of distractions and also for owners to learn training and communication techniques.

For tips on hairless chihuahua and deer head chihuahua, visit the Types Of Chihuahua website.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com

A Guide to Puppy Insurance

February 12, 2010 by  
Filed under Puppy Care

Puppies, just like human beings, are prone to illnesses and injuries. Because of this, it is vital that pet owners do everything that they can in order to keep their pets healthy over the years. While getting your puppy plenty of exercise and buying it high quality food can go a long way in protecting your puppy’s health, things can still happen that will force you to take your puppy to the veterinarian.

In these cases, it is very important that you have puppy health insurance because veterinarian bills can add up very quickly. Many people in Great Britain are unaware of how much a hospital visit can cost for a human being because the healthcare system takes care of these costs. The cost of a veterinarian visit might not be as high, but it is still significant, especially if you have to make multiple visits per year.

Puppy insurance will make sure that your puppy is covered all year around, so that you will not have to shell out the money if your puppy gets sick. Since certain injuries can cost you thousands of pounds, it is vital that you get this insurance to save you the money. While there are many exclusions found in these policies, such as spaying and neutering, grooming, pre-existing conditions, and parasites, most surgeries, and office visits generally are covered. You can also receive coverage on antibiotics, x-rays, and any possible hospital stays for your puppy.

This insurance is important because many people are forced to put their puppies down every year for conditions that are curable. The reason that these individuals choose to euthanise their pets is down to simple finance, they cannot afford the procedure that would potentially save its life. In other cases, puppies are forced to live their lives in pain because their owner cannot afford a procedure, which is just as sad.

The good news is that this is preventable through some nicely priced puppy insurance. You would not want to be left deciding on how important your puppy truly is to you when faced with a multiple thousand-pound vet bill, so make sure that you look into puppy insurance. You will not regret your decision to purchase one of these affordable plans because, unlike other types of insurance, it is almost guaranteed that you will use it.

The amount that your puppy insurance will costs depends on which company that you go through and how healthy your puppy currently is. Your puppy’s insurance will probably be less than that of an older dog because your puppy will be less likely to have any pre-existing conditions because of its age. The most common policies include a yearly exam, micro-chipping, deworming, and one major surgery. Many puppy policies also include the puppy’s vaccinations because that is very important during the first few months of the dog’s life. If you truly want your puppy to have the best of everything in life and to be taken care of in case the unforeseen occurs, then you will want to invest in some puppy insurance as soon as possible.

Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who writes for a number of UK businesses. For Puppy Insurance, he recommends Healthy Pets, a specialist pet insurer.

Article Source: ArticlesBase.com