When you're thinking of becoming a new puppy parent, there's a lot to consider. We try to anticipate questions you might have and provide the answers here. If you need additional information shoot us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Choosing your new furry family member is a big decision!
Sharing your life with a furry family member is a long-term commitment.
Dogs can live for about 15 years with some luck and proper care. You want a dog whose personality and disposition blends with your lifestyle as well as a healthy animal who'll be your companion for years to come. Choosing wisely will ensure not only your happiness, but your puppy's as well. Your family should be involved in selecting the puppy since you all will be living together.
There are several factors to consider before bringing your new puppy home.
Purchase - Consider purchasing an animal from a reputable breeder, as opposed to a pet store. Pet stores are often associated with puppy mills and practices such as over breeding of female dogs and crowded, unsanitary conditions. To find a trusted breeder in your region, ask people you know who have used breeders and find out their experiences. Also consider inquiring with your local humane society, animal rescue, or veterinarian regarding area breeders.
Financial commitment - You will need to provide shelter, food, vaccinations/medications, and emergency medical care. Dog supplies including food, toys, leashes, collars, and grooming supplies are expenses that you have to be able to afford. Expenses vary depending on the breed you decide to make part of your family.
Breed - Think about the breed of dog you are considering. Depending on the breed, several health, temperament, and dietary characteristics can be expected. Call a local veterinarian (or get on line) and ask their thoughts regarding the breed, particularly any problems that could be associated with it. If possible, spend some time with adult dogs from that specific breed, whether at an obedience school for dogs or at a regional dog show. Ask questions of any breeders of the breed and get to know the history of the dog type.
Size - Remember that a cute puppy will become an adult in no time at all. You need to find out the adult size of the breed and decide if you have adequate space in your home to raise it. The breed's size will also determine how much food and medication the dog will need.
Health - When looking for a puppy, do not simply go for the cutest one in the batch. There are a lot of cute puppies. It is vital to make observations regarding the puppy's health, such as looking for eyes that are bright, clean ears, wet noses, and clean skin without any parasites, sores or dandruff issues. A responsible breeder should have information regarding the puppy's pedigree and any health problems the parents might have experienced.
Environment - If you are thinking about purchasing a puppy from a breeder, make sure to beforehand observe the environment in which the puppy was bred and born. Look for an atmosphere that is tidy and neat. Dirty environments for young puppies are sometimes linked to birth disorders.
Time requirements - New puppies require training and innovative ideas for your home interaction. The puppy needs to feel comfortable and loved in its’ new home. The American Kennel Club website provides many aspects for your consideration. You need to have time to play with your puppy so that it does not get bored. Socializing sets the tone for better interaction between people and other animals.
Activity level - How will your new pet adjust to its surroundings? Does the dog require a lot of attention or will it be it content to be alone for a while? Is the dog friendly toward new people? You want to make sure that your dog's personality is a good fit for you.
Grooming - Some breeds require more grooming than others. In general, long haired dogs shed more and require more frequent grooming than short haired breeds. Do you have the time available to groom the dog yourself or will you need to take it to a groomer? Will you be able to afford the visits to the dog groomer?
Responsibility - This means keeping up with required vaccinations, spaying or neutering the dog, and ensuring that your puppy has everything it needs to enjoy a healthy, happy life. When you decide to get a puppy, you're welcoming a new member into your family.
How to Potty Train Your Puppy by Lisa Petersen, AKC 2013
House training, house breaking, or potty training, no matter what you call it, helping your new puppy learn not to mess inside its home and crate are essential goals for all new owners.
Want the quickest success? Get a crate! A crate is the best tool to assist in potty training your new puppy. In addition to having the right tools, establishing a time line to follow will make potty training as routine as clockwork.
PUPPY POTTY TRAINING TIMELINE
Wake Up! Each day begins the same for you and your puppy. When the alarm clock goes off, get up and get your puppy out of the crate and outside to do her business. Don’t stop to make coffee, check emails or potty yourself.
Keeping the crate in or near your bedroom lets you hear a whimper or a whine if she needs to go out during the night before the morning.
When she is still little, you may be able to get her out of the crate and pick her up and carry her outside. This will prevent her from stopping and peeing on the floor on the way to the door. This is also helpful for the puppy that is not completely collar and leash broken.
Establish this routine early in the puppy’s life, as it will last for the lifetime of the dog.
After Meals- Another morning ritual will be breakfast. After you take her out to go potty, she will be ready for her first meal of the day. Try to keep this scheduled at the same time each day. This will aid in her regular elimination and you can set your watch to potty time. After the meal wait 5 to 30 minutes to take puppy outside after they eat. The younger the puppy the sooner you should take them out after a meal to potty. As the puppy grows older they will gain bladder control and learn to hold it longer each day. Most puppies eat 3 to 4 meals a day when they are growing. So following this wait period after each meal will be key. Most puppies will have to poop after meals. Also watch when they drink large amounts of water. If your puppy drinks a big bowl of water, treat this just like a meal, and take her out to potty soon afterwards.
After Playtime and Naps- There are a few other times that puppy will need to go potty beyond first thing in the morning and after each meal. These are naps and playtime. Naps are mini versions of the getting up in the morning routine. Make sure that when your puppy is sleeping either in her crate or out on the floor while you are watching TV at night, that the moment she wakes up take her outside. After playtime is another time puppy needs to go out and potty. The stimulation of the digestive tract brought on by playtime will also give her the urge to want to have a potty break. Other clues that puppy needs to go out, and these can be very random, include sniffing the floor or carpet, wandering around the house, especially in rooms far away from the family, and whimpering. If you see any of these signs, take her out immediately!
Praise for Potty- Once you have established the routine of taking puppy out after sleeping, eating, and playing it’s time to focus on what to do once you are outside. Find a spot that will become the “potty spot” and always, take her to the same spot. As you approach her spot, give her a voice command or signal, to “Go potty” or “Do your business” then wait for the results. Praise lavishly for results! Say “Good Girl!” and then give her a yummy treat. Do this every time you are outside (or if indoors using puppy pads or dog litter boxes) and soon enough the puppy will understand that doing her business as a result of your prompting to her spot will bring her lots of love and treats. Remember if there are accidents indoors, do not punish your puppy, simply clean up the mess and ignore the puppy. If you catch her in the act, say “Go outside” and pick her up to finish her business outside. Many owners have great results by also placing a bell on the door handle where they always ago out to do potty. Puppies can be taught to ring the bell each time they want to go out. Again, ring the bell as you exit and praise the puppy once it starts to ring the bell on its own.
Leaving Home and Last Call- When you have to leave home for several hours and your puppy needs to stay in a crate during the day, remember to plan ahead. Use the month plus one rule. Take the age of your puppy in months, add one and that is the maximum number of hours that your puppy should be able to comfortably hold it between potty breaks. A 3-month-old puppy plus one equals 4 hours that she should be able to stay in her crate without a mess. Just like when you wake up in the morning, don’t forget that the last thing you should do before you go to bed for the night is take your puppy out for a walk and it’s last potty break before bedtime.
By scheduling meals, walks, playtime and other activities in a daily routine, you and your puppy will be on your way to success in potty training.
Dogs can be messy! Baths & clean up are a regular part of life. by Mara Bovsun, AKC 2013
Bath time is an essential part of pet care, and being able to bathe more regularly will help to improve your pet's health.
It doesn't have to be a wrestling match to get your dog into the bath. If you are nervous about it, your dog will sense that and react.
Start small- Straddle your puppy over your arm and hold their head while lathering and in particular, rinsing. Starting as a puppy is the best time to get you and your dog into a comfortable bathing routine.
You're going to get wet!- Make sure you are wearing old clothes when bathing your dog. Even with the calmest animal, it's likely that you will still get a little wet.
Lead your dog- Try placing a lead on your dog and firmly guide him to the bathtub. A larger dog may be a two person job! Once in the bath, most dogs won't move too much so long as you try to keep a firm hand on the back of their neck as much as possible. This will also help prevent them from shaking suds all over you!
Temperature control- Dogs are sensitive to extreme temperatures. Have the water running at a lukewarm temperature, and don't have the pressure up too high. Try to keep the water away from the dog's face.
Finish with the face- Wash the face with a damp cloth after you have soaped and rinsed the body, and gently scoop water onto the head. It is best to use a dog or puppy shampoo, as all of the ingredients in human shampoo can irritate your dog's skin. You must also ensure that you rinse your dog until the water runs clear, excess lather can cause him to itch. Don't chase that flea all over the place... apply shampoo with a q-tip to kill that pest!
No matter how well you groom your dog, sometimes he will get fleas, ticks, or irritated skin that must be taken care of by the vet. For accident, illness, or wellness protection, PetPartners, the exclusive pet insurance provider of the AKC®, offers a range of insurance plans which can be quoted online within seconds by visiting www.akcpethealthcare.com or by calling 1-866-725-2747.
Cleaning up dog messes
With some planning and know-how, we can learn to live with the less tidy aspects of our canine companions.
Slobber- For drool on glass, a traditional home recipe calls for white or apple cider vinegar, water, and elbow grease. Other recipes add rubbing alcohol and a couple of drops of scented essential oils, such as lavender. Some companies have developed products specifically for this problem. Bissell, for example, has the “Drool Cleaner”, which features a canister filled with cleaning solution, a squeegee, and a brush. For walls, wood, and countertops that have been surfed and slimed, many dog owners swear by the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
Runs in the City- Scooping poop isn’t so easy when your Tibetan Mastiff has frequent diarrhea. Try Dispoz-A-Scoop. These scoopers feature a bag held on a rigid wire frame, with a cardboard handle that closes like a guillotine once the mess is tucked inside. For serious cases, slip a newspaper under the dog as soon as he strikes the telltale pose. Then toss a few paper towels over the mess, fold the papers, and transfer the bundle to the plastic bag.
And in the Home- After cleaning up the solids, sprinkle baking soda over the spot, wait for it to dry, then vacuum it up the next day.
Puddles- There are several products that contain enzymes or combinations of enzymes and bacteria to combat urine stains. The more popular ones are Nature’s Miracle and Simple Solution. First blot, don’t rub, away any excess before applying the solution. Be patient—it may take several hours to days to work.
Skunk- For many years, tomato juice was the deodorizer of choice, but it doesn’t really work very well. Instead, try a combo of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish washing liquid. The mixture must be used immediately, because it is unstable. If you cap it and attempt to store it, the container may explode.
Gum Balls and Tar Heels- Sticky substances, such as tar and chewing gum, can be effectively removed with vegetable oil or peanut butter. One fancier suggests baby oil works as well. Mild dish washing liquid is also recommended, but always be careful to keep the soap out of eyes and ears.
Floor Exercises-The Scooba is a small round robot that will wash hard floor with just a touch of the button. It can be used with a cleaning solution designed for the Scooba, plain water, or a combination of vinegar and plain water. Or try a Roomba for carpets to help keep dog hair and pet dander collection to a minimum.
Fresh Blood- With any luck, you won’t be dealing with blood stains too often or on an ongoing basis. But, should you have to, the best way to tackle fresh blood on fabric is to soak the item and the stain in cold water. Some people also recommend treating the stain with hydrogen peroxide or a mixture of dish washing liquid and cold water.
Ancient Stains- As a rule, get it while it’s fresh. Dried urine stains can be particularly tricky, since you may be able to smell them but not see them. To find these hidden stink spots, try Stink-Finder, an ultraviolet light designed to make urine stains glow. Bio-Pro Research, LLC, offers its mini urine finder, a small flashlight, along with its Urine Off enzymatic/bacterial product.
When Decorating, Think Dog- Keeping canines in mind when designing or decorating your home can make it easier to maintain a pleasant environment, no matter what your dog digs up, throws up, or tracks in.
Can you feed your dog people food? Yes and no. by Amy Flowers, DVM
Sometimes you can give your dog human food as a special treat.
As long as portions are limited, and the foods are cooked, pure, and not fatty or heavily seasoned.
Some people food that's okay for your dog:
Bread and Pretzels- Bite-sized bits of whole wheat bread are good for her gut health. But skip raw dough to avoid serious stomach problems. If your dog is in a New York state of mind, give her a street treat -- some pieces of unsalted pretzel. The salted ones can make her extra thirsty, and too much can cause big problems.
Doggie Kong Delights- Use toys like a Kong to get your dog to work for his food. You fill the toy with food and let the dog lick it out. It's a boredom buster and healthy treat in one. Try these: Scramble an egg and add grated bell pepper, tomato chunks, and a sprinkle of cheese. Serve warm.
Spoon cooked oatmeal into a Kong. Layer on canned or cooked pumpkin puree and cottage cheese or plain yogurt. Crush a bit of low-fat graham cracker on top. Serve warm or frozen.
Foods to Help the Meds Go Down- Some dogs resist taking pills, especially if they’re big or smell bad. To make one go down easier, hide it in a soft, tasty treat -- like a chunk of cheese. Make pill time game time if she likes to play catch. Toss her a few pieces of cheese, one after another, with the pill in one. She may swallow it without even knowing it was there. Marshmallows, peanut butter, ground beef, and chicken are other good hiding places. If none of these works, it's OK to use a slice of hot dog.
Fresh Fruits- Slices of apples, oranges, bananas, and watermelon make tasty treats for your dog. Be sure to remove any seeds first, though. Seeds, stems, and leaves can cause serious problems.
Give a Dog a Bone?- It's better to stick to chew toys. Chicken and turkey bones aren't safe for dogs, because they can splinter into sharp pieces easily. But what about big lamb or beef bones? Experts say even those aren't a good idea. Bits of raw meat on bones can have disease-causing germs. Even with cooked bones, splinters or large pieces of bone can break off. Both can seriously damage your dog's digestive tract.
Holiday Foods to Share and Skip- Too much holiday food is a recipe for doggie distress. But you can give your chow hound a taste of holidays. He'll be plenty thankful for tidbits like well-cooked turkey, green beans, and cooked sweet potato in his regular chow. Skip table scraps. They may contain foods he shouldn't have like milk, onions, or garlic.
Meat- What dog's nose doesn't go on alert when there's meat around? Chicken, turkey, lean ground beef, and chuck steak or roast are animal-based proteins, which help dogs grow up strong. A few rules apply: Always cook meat well. Never serve it raw or undercooked. Avoid fatty cuts, including bacon. Cut meat -- and any human food -- into easy-to-chew chunks. Ground meat is fine, too. Old, moldy, or spoiled meats are not OK. Most dogs are fine eating lean cuts of meat that have been thoroughly cooked. Be sure to remove all visible fat -- including the skin on poultry. Also be sure that there are no bones in the meat before you give it to your dog.
Pasta and Rice- Disney's "Lady and the Tramp" canoodled over a plate of spaghetti and meatballs. Your pooch can have pasta once in a while, too. Just make sure it's plain and cooked. Brown rice is a healthy whole grain your dog may gobble up. Mix some into her regular dog food to liven up her meal. Make human food a treat for your dog -- no more than 5% to 10% of her diet. The rest should be dog food, which supplies the nutrients she needs. Dogs may enjoy plain white rice or pasta after it's cooked. And, a serving of plain white rice with some boiled chicken can sometimes provide welcome relief from gastrointestinal upset.
Sweet Treats- Except for grapes and raisins, most fruits are OK for your pup. Try slices of fresh banana or apple (without the seeds), chunks of cantaloupe or watermelon, blueberries, or orange sections. Homemade sweet potato jerky can also satisfy a sweet tooth: Scrub and skin sweet potatoes and slice them into 1/2-inch strips. Put the strips on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake at 225 F for 3 to 4 hours -- or longer for crunchier treats.
Treats for Dog-Day Afternoons- To cool off a hot dog on a sultry day, give her pet pops. Make them with any food she likes, like veggies or applesauce. Freeze the pops in an ice cube tray -- no sticks, of course. Or whip up some peanut butter pops: Mix 1 cup of peanut butter (unsalted is best) with half a mashed, ripe banana or a little water. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheets lined with wax paper and freeze.
Vegetables- Vegetables give your pup vitamins, fiber, and some canine crunch. Try these raw veggies grated or finely chopped: carrot, cucumber slices, zucchini, lettuce, bell peppers, corn (cut off the cob), and celery. Frozen green beans are great for teething. Even a plain baked potato is OK. Be sure, though, not to let your dog eat any raw potatoes or any potato plants it might have access to in your garden. Or steam these favorites: green beans, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, and hard winter squash. Don’t give any vegetable or other human food that seems to cause stomach trouble.
Dangerous foods for dogs
Who can resist those big eyes and cute doggie grin? Can a little reward from the table really hurt your dog? Well, that depends on what it is and what's in it. A chip with guacamole can cause your dog some real problems. In fact, there's a lot of "people food" your dog should never eat. And, it's not just because of weight.
Some foods are downright dangerous for dogs -- and some of these common foods may surprise you.
Alcohol- Beer, liquor, wine, foods containing alcohol -- none of it's good for your dog. That's because alcohol has the same effect on a dog's liver and brain that it has on humans. But it takes far less to do its damage. Just a little can cause vomiting, diarrhea, central nervous system depression, problems with coordination, difficulty breathing, coma, even death. And the smaller the dog, the greater the effect.
Avocado- No matter how good you think the guacamole is, you shouldn't give it to your dog. Avocados contain a substance called persin. It's harmless for humans who aren't allergic. But large amounts might be toxic to dogs. If you happen to be growing avocados at home, keep your dog away from the plants. Persin is in the leaves, seed, and bark, as well as in the fruit.
Candy and Gum- Candy, gum, toothpaste, baked goods, and some diet foods are sweetened with xylitol. Xylitol can cause an increase in the insulin circulating through your dog's body. That can cause your dog's blood sugar to drop and can also cause liver failure. Initial symptoms include vomiting, lethargy, and loss of coordination. Eventually, the dog may have seizures. Liver failure can occur within just a few days.
Chocolate- Most people know that chocolate is bad for dogs. The toxic agent in chocolate is theobromine. It's in all kinds of chocolate, even white chocolate. The most dangerous kinds, though, are dark chocolate, chocolate mulch, and unsweetened baking chocolate. Eating chocolate, even just licking the icing bowl, can cause a dog to vomit, have diarrhea, and be excessively thirsty. It can also cause abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures, and death.
Coffee, Tea, and Other Caffeine- Caffeine in large enough quantities can be fatal for a dog. And, there is no antidote. Symptoms of caffeine poisoning include restlessness, rapid breathing, heart palpitations, muscle tremors, fits, and bleeding. In addition to tea and coffee - including beans and grounds -- caffeine can be found in cocoa, chocolate, colas, and stimulant drinks such as Red Bull. It's also in some cold medicines and pain killers.
Fat Trimmings and Bones- Table scraps often contain meat fat that a human didn't eat and bones. Both are dangerous for dogs. Fat trimmed from meat, both cooked and uncooked, can cause pancreatitis in dogs. And, although it seems natural to give a dog a bone, a dog can choke on it. Bones can also splinter and cause an obstruction or lacerations of your dog's digestive system. It's best to just forget about the doggie bag.
Grapes and Raisins- Grapes and raisins have often been used as treats for dogs. But it's not a good idea. Although it isn't clear why, grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. And just a small amount can make a dog ill. Repeated vomiting is an early sign. Within a day, the dog will become lethargic and depressed. The best prevention is to keep grapes and raisins off counters and other places your dog can reach.
If Your Dog Eats What It Shouldn't- Dogs explore with their mouth. And, no matter how cautious you are, it's possible your dog can find and swallow what it shouldn't. It's a smart idea to always keep the numbers of your local vet, the closest emergency clinic, and the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center -- (888) 426-4435 -- where you know you can find them in an emergency. And, if you think your dog has consumed something that's toxic, call for emergency help at once.
Kitchen Pantry: No Dogs Allowed- Many other items commonly found on kitchen shelves can harm your dog. For instance, baking powder and baking soda are both highly toxic. So are nutmeg and other spices. Keeping food items high enough to be out of your dog's reach and keeping pantry doors closed will help protect your dog from serious food-related illness.
Macadamia Nuts- Dogs should not eat macadamia nuts or foods containing macadamia nuts because they can be fatal. As few as six raw or roasted macadamia nuts can make a dog ill. Symptoms of poisoning include muscle tremors, weakness or paralysis of the hindquarters, vomiting, elevated body temperature, and rapid heart rate. Eating chocolate with the nuts will make symptoms worse, possibly leading to death.
Milk and Other Dairy Products- On a hot day, it may be tempting to share your ice cream cone with your dog. But if your dog could, it would thank you for not doing so. Milk and milk-based products can cause diarrhea and other digestive upset, as well as set up food allergies (which often manifest as itchiness).
Onions and Garlic- Onions and garlic in all forms -- powdered, raw, cooked, or dehydrated -- can destroy a dog's red blood cells, leading to anemia. That can happen even with the onion powder found in some baby food. An occasional small dose is probably OK. But just eating a large quantity once or eating smaller amounts regularly can cause poisoning. Symptoms of anemia include weakness, vomiting, little interest in food, dullness, and breathlessness.
Persimmons, Peaches, and Plums- The problem with these fruits is the seeds or pits. The seeds from persimmons can cause inflammation of the small intestine in dogs. They can also cause intestinal obstruction. Obstruction is also a possibility if a dog eats the pit from a peach or plum. Plus, peach and plum pits contain cyanide, which is poisonous to both humans and dogs. The difference is humans know not to eat them. Dogs don't.
Raw Eggs- There are two problems with giving your dog raw eggs. The first is the possibility of food poisoning from bacteria like Salmonella or E.coli. The second is that an enzyme in raw eggs interferes with the absorption of a particular B vitamin. This can cause skin problems as well as problems with your dog's coat if raw eggs are fed for a long time.
Raw Meat and Fish- Raw meat and raw fish, like raw eggs, can contain bacteria that causes food poisoning. In addition, certain kinds of fish such as salmon, trout, shad, or sturgeon can contain a parasite that causes "fish disease" or "salmon poisoning disease." If not treated, the disease can be fatal within two weeks. The first signs of illness are vomiting, fever, and big lymph nodes. Thoroughly cooking the fish will kill the parasite and protect your dog.
Salt- It's not a good idea to share salty foods like chips or pretzels with your dog. Eating too much salt can cause excessive thirst and urination and lead to sodium ion poisoning. Symptoms of too much salt include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, and seizures. It may even cause death.
Sugary Foods and Drinks- Too much sugar can do the same thing to dogs that it does to humans. It can lead to obesity, dental problems, and possibly the onset of diabetes.
Yeast Dough- Before it's baked, bread dough needs to rise. And, that's exactly what it would do in your dog's stomach if your dog ate it. As it swells inside, the dough can stretch the dog's abdomen and cause severe pain. In addition, when the yeast ferments the dough to make it rise, it produces alcohol that can lead to alcohol poisoning.
Your Medicine- Reaction to a drug commonly prescribed for humans is the most common cause of poisoning in dogs. Just as you would do for your children, keep all medicines out of your dog's reach. And, never give your dog any over-the-counter medicine unless told to do so by your vet. Ingredients such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen are common in pain relievers and cold medicine. And, they can be deadly for your dog.
Doggy diarrhea... what you need to know.
Every dog will have a bout of the runs sometime in his life. Here are some ways people deal with it.
If you have a dog, chances are good that one day you will find yourself cleaning up an unimaginably disgusting, stinky mess, and wondering how this ever came out of your lovely fuzzy angel. Diarrhea is among the most frequently cited reasons for a trip to the vet. It is a symptom of many different conditions, some serious, others nothing to worry about. “Dietary indiscretion, ” what some people refer to as “garbage gut, ” is probably the most common cause. On the other side of the spectrum, some of the worst diseases you will face as a dog owner—including some cancers, poisoning, bacterial infections, intestinal parasites, allergies, or autoimmune conditions—will list diarrhea as a symptom.
How can an average dog owner distinguish between not-so-serious cases and ones that require a trip to the vet? Here are some basic guidelines:
Duration- Many cases will resolve on their own in a day or two, but if the problem continues for a week or more, it’s time for vet’s advice.
Age of the dog- It can lead to dehydration and a depletion of nutrients, which can be devastating for the very young or the elderly.
Other symptoms- Many dogs will be their own happy, bouncy selves during a bout of the runs. If they seem lethargic or feverish, have no appetite, or show such signs of distress as pain or vomiting, seek professional help.
Appearance- Visible blood or dark tarry color suggests internal bleeding.
A great many cases are mild, however, and, with your vet’s advice, may be treated without a trip to the office. They may respond to a regimen of very basic treatments, including:
Fasts - Withholding food for 12 to 24 hours, and providing water in small amounts frequently, can clear the cause of the upset and allow the gastrointestinal tract to settle. Be sure that your dog is healthy enough to endure a short fast.
Cures from the Cupboard- After a fast, food is usually introduced slowly and many people start with binders, which have the power to ease the symptoms. Some tried and true methods include:
Rice water - Boil high-quality rice in a lot of water, separate out the grains, and offer the dog the creamy white soup that’s left. A splash of broth or a bit baby food will make it more palatable for dogs who will refuse to drink it straight.
Pumpkin - Canned pumpkin (plain, not prepared pie filling) has the odd distinction of being effective for diarrhea and constipation.
Yogurt - Has beneficial bacteria, can help in dogs who can tolerate milk and milk products. Is also helpful if you're dog is taking antibiotics.
Herbs - Such as fennel, have gut-soothing properties.
Specially-formulated dog foods - Some manufacturers offer foods that can sooth stomach problems. If your dog seems to have diarrhea often, and your vet has determined it is nothing seriously, they will likely recommend switching to a specialized formula or mixing it with your regular dog food to ease tummy issues.
Over-the-counter medications - Such as KaoPectate or Children's Pepto Bismol tablets, may also be effective. Methods that work for one dog may not help another, so it might take a little experimentation to get the right formula. It might also be helpful to write down what works and what doesn’t so you’ll know what to do the next time you find yourself with a mess.
Gastrointestinal (GI) issues in dogs are not unusual. Since there are many common causes, being able to recognize sudden changes in your pets’ digestion can help you and your veterinarian provide the best care. Be familiar with your pet’s daily routine so that you can help determine whether your dog or cat is experiencing an upset stomach or a more serious issue.
Learn about managing digestive issues and how a therapeutic diet based in scientific research can help. Visitsciencehappens.royalcanin.com to learn more.
*AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB - September 25, 2015
Your pet should have a special bed of their own, even if they get to sleep with you!
It is important for your pet to have a place that is just theirs. A pet bed creates a sense of security and a place for your pet to go when they are tired or stressed. Locate a comfortable place in your home, and keep the bed in the same location so your pet learns that he or she has a special resting spot. Most pets prefer to sleep somewhere comfy and soft that provides cushioning and insulation instead of on the cold, hard floor.
An added benefit, especially if you have a family member with allergies, is that the bed will help keep fur, pet dander, and dirt off your bed or furniture.
So which bed is right for your pet? Some factors can help you determine what will work best:
Sleeping style - Some pets like to sleep curled up in a cozy ball, but others like to sprawl out. Observing your pet's sleeping style will help you determine the right bed for him or her. Does your pet like the security of leaning against something? Or does your pet like to have enough room to stretch? These are important questions to consider before choosing a pet bed for your pet.
Pet type, size, and activity level - Big dogs will need a larger, sturdier bed with a thick, more durable cover than a smaller dog would need. Older pets would benefit from heated pads or orthopedic beds for relief from arthritis.
Style and budget - Beds come in a wide range of styles, colors, materials and prices... so there is something for every taste and budget.
When shopping for a bed for a puppy, consider something they can grow into to maximize years of use.
Once you determine your pet's sleeping preferences, you can decide which pet bed will best suit your furry family member. There are many types to choose from:
Orthopedic Pet Beds - This is a great fit if your older pet is experiencing joint pain or arthritis. An orthopedic pet bed provides extra cushioning for bones, helping to soothe painful pressure points. The large size of an orthopedic pet bed is great for pets that like to sprawl out while sleeping. The mattress type of bed is recommended for large dogs.
Donut (Bolster) Beds - If your pet likes to curl up or sleep with his or her head resting on a pillow, a donut or bolster bed is good choice. This style usually has a cushioned bottom and a raised side. It is cozy for smaller pets since the round shape of the pet bed helps retain body heat.
Pillow or Cushion Beds - Basically a large pillow or cushion, it comes in many sizes and is a great choice for pets that like to stretch out while sleeping.
Heated Pet Beds - Heated beds are recommended for older pets that may have joint pain or stiffness. The gentle heat soothes and reduces stiffness, keeping your pet warm and cozy while sleeping. Consider a using a heated pet bed if you live in a colder climate. Some are even specifically made for outdoor use.
Pet Cots - Consider a pet cot if your pet likes to rest outdoors. Pet cots protect your pet from the rough ground, especially asphalt that may get too hot in the summer or too cold in the fall or winter. Many pet cots are made of a waterproof fabric which helps make cleaning easier. Plus, the sturdy frame makes it ideal for larger dogs.
Behaviors: Understanding your dog. Excerpts from Amy Flowers, DVM
If you're new to dogs, there will be a lot to learn about how your furry family member behaves.
Our dogs rely on us for nearly everything, even when they are no longer a puppy. It is important to remember that dogs are pack animals, and you will be the leader of the pack. Food, water, shelter, comfort, and toileting will all be directly controlled by you. With a set routine, and plenty of mental and physical exercise (different for every breed), you can set a good foundation for your pup.
Some things that make you ponder and think, "Why does my dog do that?", and some tips on how to correct or prevent learned behaviors that can be troublesome.
Barking all the Time- Some dogs bark at things most dogs ignore. Some bark when they're frustrated. Don't yell at your dog when she barks. That may make it worse. Obedience training can help fix frustration barking. If your dog learns to sit before doing something fun like going for a walk, she learns to control her impulses. If your dog is outside all day, changing that may help compulsive barking. But you may need to work with a vet or a trainer.
Barking at the Door- To cut the barking, teach your dog a new habit. Pick a spot within sight of the door. Then teach him to lie down, and stay when you say, "Go to your spot." That will help your dog stay calm and give him something to do while he waits to be greeted. Have a friend with a treat come to the door, but only open it when your dog’s quiet. Do this enough and he’ll learn to be quiet to get the treat.
Begging- You can prevent this by never giving your dog food from the table. If you don't give him table scraps, he won't learn to beg. You can take him out of the room while you eat or put him in his crate. Or teach him to go to a special spot while you eat.
Biting- Any dog can bite if she feels threatened or nervous. But socializing a dog early teaches her to feel relaxed around people. Gradually expose her to different settings so she will feel safe. Spend lots of time with her so she learns to trust people. Always watch for signs that your dog is uncomfortable and then do what you can to make her feel better. Be especially careful around kids and food.
Chewing- Dogs, especially puppies, explore the world with their mouth. They like to chew because it calms them. But it's destructive and could lead to them eating things that they shouldn't -- like socks that could block their intestines. Break this habit right away. Give your dog chew toys, and give them to him when he chews things he shouldn't.
Crotch Sniffing- Dogs like to sniff each other’s bottoms, but it's different when they nose up to someone's crotch! It's not bad manners, according to your dog. Dogs can get a lot of information about other dogs by sniffing around down there. They probably get the same info by sniffing people, too. If your dog’s nosiness bothers you -- or the people they sniff! -- Obedience training may help.
Digging- Dogs like to dig, and you'll need to train them to get them to stop. You need to catch your dog in the act to stop digging. Say "no" and distract him with a toy. Scolding him after he's already dug a hole doesn't work -- this is all about being consistent when they're digging, not afterward. Tip: Give him a sandbox where he can dig. Then bury some favorite toys and watch him have fun digging them out.
Dreaming- Your dog is curled up in bed, eyes shut and paws twitching. Every now and then, he whines. He's probably dreaming. If you could see a dog’s brainwaves during sleep, they seem to have REM cycles. REM or rapid eye movement is the stage of sleep when people usually dream. So what do dogs dream about? That’s one secret our four-legged friends get to keep.
Drooling- If your dog salivates when you’re grilling steaks, that’s normal. But drooling too much, or for no good reason, could be a sign of a health problem. If your dog drools a lot and starts having behavioral problems, such as chewing or hiding, it also could be a sign of anxiety. Consult your vet.
Eating Grass- Your lawn may not look yummy to you, but your dog has other ideas. Dogs aren't just meat eaters. Sometimes they like a little greenery, too. Eating grass, sticks, and even dirt is normal -- as long as they don't do it a lot. If your dog binges on grass, it could mean stomach problems. Grass outside can have a lot of bad stuff on it, like pestisides, so you should keep your dog from grazing too much. If your dog eats a lot of dirt, it could be a medical problem (like anemia). Call your vet to check. If they vet determines there's nothing wrong, and your dog really loves grass, they may recommend getting some wheat grass, or other human grade edible grass, to give to your dog as a treat or with food.
Eating Excrement- It’s surprisingly normal for dogs to eat poop. Long ago, before dogs were domesticated, they were scavengers. They ate whatever they could find. Their digestive systems work well, so they can get some nutrients out of it. Most people don’t want kisses from potty-mouthed dogs. If you catch your pooch in the act, offer a tastier food. You can also mention it to your vet for more advice.
Glow-in-the-Dark Eyes- Dog eyes naturally glow in the dark, because they're different from human eyes. Dogs have a layer of eye tissue which reflects light back through the retina. This is one reason dogs have better night vision than people do.
Herding- Some dogs will try to herd anything -- cats, ducks, even kids. They were bred to herd. They naturally want to move things around or collect things because it's what their genes are telling them to do. Even though herding can be normal, it still can be a problem. With training, dogs can learn to herd only when you want them to.
Humping- Watching your dog get personal with the new sofa may make you cringe, but it’s normal. For many dogs, humping feels good or relieves stress. It's more commonly done by male dogs, but females do it too, sometimes. It's OK to look the other way in most cases. But if they're humping people, they may be trying to show dominance. Call them off so they don't bother anyone, and talk to a trainer or vet for behavior tips.
Noise Phobia- Some dogs are afraid of noises like thunderstorms or sirens. Seek professional help for those noise phobias. You can help your dog learn to relax by doing fun activities with her while listening to recordings of the noises that scare her. Talk to your vet for advice.
Not Coming When Called- Always praise your dog when she comes to you, whether called or not. That way she learns that coming to you is good. If she doesn't come, don't chase her. Call her again while moving away. If she still doesn't come, tell her to sit, and go get her. Running from her may make her come after you! Say "come" or "here." She may not understand what you want if you just call her name.
Paw Licking- Dogs lick their paws to groom themselves. That's normal, as long as they don't overdo it. When dogs lick their paws too much, it's often because of an infection or skin allergy. Sometimes, it's a habit. Talk to your vet to find out the cause and how to treat it.
Pulling on the Leash- Help your dog learn to walk calmly beside you. Never let him pull. Or else he'll learn pulling sometimes pays off. Keep the leash short but loose. Stop whenever you feel it go tight. He'll stop to see why you aren't moving. When he comes back, reward him and keep walking. After a few days, your dog will learn that pulling gets him nowhere.
Rolling in Garbage- If you see a decaying animal or a pile of garbage, you step around it. Your dog, though, wants to roll in it. The grosser the smell, the better it is to your dog. One theory is that dogs like to cover their own scent with icky odors to make it easier to surprise prey. You probably can’t change that, so try to spot smelly things first and steer your dog clear.
Scooting- It’s common for dogs to scoot or drag their bottoms across the ground after doing their business -- especially if their stool is loose. But if a dog scoots a lot all day, see your vet. Scooting can mean impacted anal glands, which you should get your vet to treat.
Separation Anxiety- If your dog gets upset when you leave, teach him that you'll always come back. At first, leave him alone for just 5 or 10 minutes. Stay away a little longer each time. Give him a chew toy and leave on the radio or TV. Be calm when you go and return so he knows that being alone is OK. Crate-training your dog can prevent separation anxiety. However, it can be trickier to crate train an anxious older dog. Ask your vet for advice.
Tail-Chasing- When puppies chase their tails, it's like babies grabbing their toes. It's a way to explore their bodies. It's not usually a problem unless dogs do it all the time. See if you can distract your pup. If he would rather chase his tail than eat or go for a walk, it's a problem. You may need to talk to your vet about training or medication.
Whining for Attention- Does your dog whine? If you pet her, look at her, or do anything except ignore her, you teach her that whining works. To stop it, turn your back when she whines, fold your arms and look away, or leave the room. Pet and play with her when she's not whining.
When you're a new puppy parent, all the training can be overwhelming.
Here are the top 4 tips for helping your four-legged friend learn to trust you and learn what is expected:
1. HOUSE TRAINING YOUR DOG
Did you know that house training is one of the best ways to keep you and your dog happy and content for years to come? House training may take some effort, but it's well worth the trouble. Not having to worry about your pet ruining your floors and furniture while you are away helps establish a healthy bond with your pet. Using a crate is the most effective way to stop your dog from "going" in your Crates help with housetraining because most pets don't like having icky waste in their den; thereby, teaching control until it's time to go outside.
House training tips - Use a crate. Reward your dog for going outside and not in the house. Create a routine for outside time. Take puppies out frequently. Always take your dog out the moment you come home. Remember that accidents are inevitable.
2. TEACHING YOUR DOG TO SIT
The sit command is a very simple command to teach, and is beneficial in many situations. Teaching your dog to sit can help you teach him or her to sit next to the dinner table, which will help reduce "begging". The sit command also allows your dog to sit still while putting on a collar or a leash.
Teaching the sit command - Always teach your dog in a comfortable area away from any distraction. While standing in front of your dog, say "sit" and then guide your dog into a seated position with a treat that is right in front of his or her nose. Once your dog hits the floor, say "Yes!" and give him or her the treat. Repeat this many times by getting your dog to rise up and sit again. After a few times, try taking your hand away and then the treats. Once your pet can follow the "sit" cue, try using it before he or she is meeting new people. Always say sit before the individuals approach you so your dog isn't inclined to jump on guests. Great tools for teaching the sit command are healthy treats as rewards.
3. TEACHING YOUR DOG TO STAY
Just like the command "sit", the command stay can help your dog stay out of trouble. Stay helps your dog stay in a certain spot as opposed to running out the front door. It also teaches your dog to stay on the sidewalk while traffic passes by.
Teaching the stay command - Put a leash on your dog and make him or her sit. Say the word "stay" and use a hand motion like the open palm hand towards your pet. Start walking backward and keep your hand in the same position and keep a hold of your dog's leash to ensure he or she doesn't run away. Each time your dog gets up, return to the starting position and repeat steps 2-3. Once your dog has "stayed" an acceptable amount of time praise him or her with a toy and or a treat. As your dog gets better with the stay command, try dropping the leash and using a cue word like "okay" to tell your dog he or she can get up.
4. TEACHING YOUR DOG TO WALK ON A LEASH
Having your dog walk on a leash properly is important not only for your dog, but for you as well. Stopping your dog from pulling reduces stress on your dog's spine and stops him or her from pulling you into dangerous situations like oncoming traffic. It also allows you to take a controlled leisurely walk with your dog, which helps strengthen your bond.
Teaching your dog to walk on a leash - Put a leash on your dog and do not allow any slack. Keep your dog at your left side. Start walking at a quick pace so your dog doesn't get bored or smell something enticing. Keep treats with you and stop every 5 minutes and reward your dog for not pulling. If your dog starts to pull, stop and make your pet sit and say "NO". Return to walking and after not pulling, give your pet a treat. Practice daily until you are able to reduce your grip on the leash. Until your dog learns to walk on a leash without pulling you, all walks should be a training session. Also, you will be giving your dog treats often, so make sure that the treats are small and healthy.