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Joint Issues

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Is your pet becoming less active, less playful, or desiring shorter walks? The following symptoms could be early signs of OCD, Arthritis or Hip Dysplasia.

  • Moving more slowly
  • Difficulty getting up
  • Weight shift to another leg
  • Personality change
  • Reluctant to walk, jump or play
  • Refuses using stairs or the car
  • Change in appetite
  • Change in behavior
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Lagging behind
  • Yelping when touched
  • Limping
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Archive for the ‘Puppy Facts’ Category

Potty Training a Puppy

Monday, August 24th, 2015


Potty training a puppy or housebreaking a puppy can be an easy task if you know how to do it properly. It can be easy, but also requires a lot of patience, constant monitoring of the puppy, and dedication to getting the job done while remaining loving and supportive of your new puppy.

Puppies don’t have complete control of their bladder until they reach at least 6 months of age. The more time you can spend with your new puppy, the faster your puppy will be housebroken.

Here are some things to consider when you start potty training a puppy:

Most puppies will let you know when they need to go. Obviously they can’t talk and are not mature enough to understand that they need to give you a “distinctive signal” when it’s time to take care of business, but if you pay close attention to your puppy you’ll learn to recognize the warning signs.

When you see your puppy repeatedly making the signs it uses when it has to go outside, act fast and immediately take your puppy to wherever you’ve chosen as the place to “do it.” When your puppy does eliminate itself, praise it and reward it with a doggy treat. The puppy will then learn to expect praise and a treat when it eliminates outside at its “toilet”.

When you’re not available to supervise your puppy, you can limit it to a specific area of your house by installing childproof “gates” to keep it confined to that area.

Try to keep your new puppy on a regular bathroom schedule. Take the puppy outside as soon as it awakens every morning and do the same every night before putting it down to bed.

Most puppies, since they still have small bladders, will have to relieve themselves about 15-20 minutes after eating and drinking water. Puppies will usually have to go potty immediately after playing or walking for exercise, and almost always after waking up from a nap. If you set a routine schedule for exercise, walks, and mealtimes, the potty training will become embedded in the puppy’s brain, and as each day passes, your potty training job becomes easier.

If your puppy doesn’t relieve itself within 10 minutes or so after going to its designated “potty spot”, take the puppy back in the house and watch it closely for 10 to 15 minutes. When you feel it’s ready to go, then take it to the “potty spot” again. Your puppy should take care of its business the second time around.

Potty training a puppy doesn’t mean you’ll never have to clean up its mess inside your house. Should this happen, immediately pick up the puppy and take it to its designated spot. Never punish your puppy for going potty in your house, and never, never yell or rub its nose in the soiled spot, or the puppy will be afraid of going potty whenever you’re around.

What To Expect When Your Dog Is Ready To Start Whelping

Monday, March 30th, 2015


There are some signs you can watch for that indicate your dog is finally ready to start whelping and present you with her gift of beautiful little puppies.

When your female dog is ready to whelp (give birth) she will show some of the whelping signs listed below – and may even show all of them. If you are not experienced in watching over and helping your dog give birth you should call your vet. Too long a delay getting help from a vet when needed could endanger your dog and its puppies to be born.

The first stage of whelping can easily be overlooked. It takes place within 24 hours following the female’s temperature drop. The dog’s temperature will drop to 98° Fahrenheit (your dog’s normal temperature is 99 Fahrenheit, 100F, or 101° Fahrenheit). As soon as the dog’s temperature starts to drop below 99 Fahrenheit and continues to drop every hour or two, there will be a period of about 12 to 24 hours before the puppies start being born. When her temperature hits 98 Fahrenheit or 97.9 Fahrenheit you have about 2 to 12 hours before whelping begins.

It’s important to know that normal body temperature for animals is usually higher than a human’s temperature. The normal rectal temperature of a dog will be between 99.5 Fahrenheit and 102.5 Fahrenheit. The normal temperature of a puppy when it’s born is 96 – 97°F. A dogs temperature gradually increases as it begins to grow until it reaches 100° Fahrenheit when it’s four weeks old.

The mother dog may appear to be more restless than usual and will stretch out on her side frequently, trying to get comfortable. She may look for a quiet place like a closet or under a bed.

Her eyes will dilate, and she may seem to be staring at you and probably won’t want you out of her sight. She may vomit, have a bowel movement, or urinate frequently due to the intense pressure from the puppies getting ready to be born.She may also release some mucus.

As the mother dog begins her next stage of labor she may go to her whelping box, or your couch (or wherever she has chosen to have her puppies). She might have some mild contractions and vomit, poop, and urinate more. She also might start shivering and panting and licking her vulva.

The last stage of labor begins when her water sacs break and she starts shivering and panting. At that point her contractions will become stronger and will come closer together than they did before. She will probably be vomiting, grunting and pushing her puppies out. The normal time for her to be pushing out a puppy that’s in the birth canal will be from two to ten minutes. Keep careful watch for any puppy that is only halfway out and seems to be stuck. It must be pulled out or it will drown if pushing by the mother doesn’t expel the puppy within a few minutes.

Puppies getting stuck in the birth canal are very common. The best way to get a puppy completely out of the mother’s birth canal is to use a feeding tube and a syringe. Insert the syringe past the puppy and push in some K-Y lubricating gel. One common misconception people have if they have never watched or helped a female dog give birth is that doing this will kill the puppy. Remember – you cannot kill a puppy that is dead, so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain if you are aggressive when trying to save a stuck puppy. If you do not try to help, it will certainly die.

You need to be observant during the waiting period so you can notice if there is a green discharge coming from the mother’s birth canal. When this happens before the puppies are born, it indicates an early separation of the placentas. You will need to call your vet immediately.Sometimes two puppies will try and come out at the same time but this is physically impossible. It could be a medical emergency or as happens sometimes, the puppies will manage to just fix themselves.

Watching and helping your female dog when she needs your assistance during her whelping ordeal is a beautiful experience and women who have given birth know that using the word “ordeal” can be a very accurate description of the birthing process.

Housebreaking a Dog

Monday, February 16th, 2015


Housebreaking a dog, especially an adult dog, is not as difficult or intimidating as it may seem. You would probably assume that an adult dog would already have been housebroken, but if it has been adopted from a shelter and had not been housetrained before, the burden is on you.

House breaking an adult dog requires a lot of patience and heaps of praise whenever the dog learns where it’s okay to go and where it’s not. For the first few weeks after bringing your adult dog home, assume that it isn’t house trained and start housetraining it as if you were teaching a new puppy.

Dogs usually want to go outside to do their duty when you wake in the morning and again before you go to bed at night. Walk your dog before you leave for work in the morning and again at night after you get home. Try to keep mealtimes consistent and this will help your dog understand when it needs to head for the door.

The use of treats and lots of praise motivates dogs while they’re being trained. In the early stages of the training, your dog will be listening to the sounds and words you use, as well as any movement of your hands or arms. Lavish praise upon your dog whenever it goes to the bathroom outside or whatever location you’ve chosen. Try to praise your dog when it is going to the bathroom so it begins to associate your praise with an action.

Positive training with appreciation and love always works much better than punishments and vocal disapproval.
If your dog has already dirtied your house, you’ll need to watch it at all times in order to understand the cues it gives when it needs to eliminate. The dog may start circling or sniffing loudly if it needs to go outside, so if you see these signs, immediately head for the door. Watchful supervision will accelerate your adult dog’s training and reduce further problems of household soiling.

If you are going out or are too busy to deal with your dog, it’s a good idea to confine it to a small area with enough room to sit, stretch out and turn around in. You can use a sufficiently large dog crate or childproof gates to section off a room the dog will be comfortable in. The lack of space will discourage most dogs from making a mess of their immediate area.

Housebreaking a dog is never easy, but once you see the results of your efforts it can be very satisfying. An adult dog can learn quickly and once it has bonded with you, it will prove to be an ideal companion.

Best Dog Breeds For Children

Monday, January 12th, 2015


When choosing a pet dog for the entire family to enjoy it’s helpful to know the best dog breeds for children.
Some dogs are considered to be safe for families with children, especially smaller children. Other dogs are not recommended for children because their breed is known for being too aggressive towards humans and other dogs.

An ideal family dog you can count on to be friendly to children should be smart with a medium energy level. Very large dogs and breeds who are always active and boisterous are not recommended for families with toddlers.

Large, active dogs can easily overrun a small toddler or play rough without realizing their behavior is wrong. If possible, look for an adult dog that has been trained to play with children. Puppies are cute and small but require a lot of training before being allowed to play with small children.

Some of the best breeds for children include:
Golden Retriever
If ever a breed was affectionate to a fault, it’s the Golden Retriever. They are people dogs, pure and simple. If you’ve owned one like I have, there’s never any doubt that you’re the center of its universe. Golden owners and their dogs perfected the mutual admiration society.

They can sometimes be intimidating to small children because they greet everyone with lots of enthusiasm. Smaller children may not be too pleased about getting their faces licked all the time by this friendly breed of dog.

Labrador Retriever
Labradors are also larger dogs, similar in size to a Golden Retriever. The breed is known to be intelligent and friendly making them very suitable for families with children in spite of their larger size.

Labradors have a high energy level that is ideal for families with older children, but they are quite adaptable to a family with toddlers also. The Labrador breed is very affectionate and protective of the entire family.

English Bulldog
The English Bulldog is a medium sized dog that is ideal for families with children. These Bulldogs are very easy to train and are docile and playful around children. They are intelligent and affectionate pets.

Boxers
Boxers are a friendly dog breed that’s always happy to be around children. They aren’t aggressive with children of any age. Boxers require a good amount of exercise so it’s more suitable for families with older children or teenagers.

Collie
Collies are attentive and friendly dogs for children of any age. They are easy dogs to train and are able to adapt to a household with many children. The Collie has a medium energy level and doesn’t require too much exercise.

Bichon Frise
The Bichon Frise is a small sized dog that makes a great companion for children and the whole family. Bichons don’t require a lot of exercise and behave well around babies and toddlers.

Weimaraners
Weimaraners are smaller in size with great personalities and get along well with children. This breed is friendly and usually not aggressive when playing with children.

Beagle
Beagles are gentle and affectionate dogs and a very safe breed for families with children. Beagles can be stubborn little rascals but when trained properly they are faithful companions.

English Settler
Like a Labrador, English Settlers are affectionate pets and ideal for children of any age, despite their larger size. Settlers easily adapt to indoor life and don’t require as much exercise as other large dogs.

The English settler has a cheerful personality and makes a great play companion for children of any age.

German Shepherd
German Shepherds are large dogs but can be easily trained and they make great companions for children. This breed is known for its loyalty and playfulness.

No matter which dog breed you choose for your children, your kids must also be trained to play with their new pet appropriately. Any breed of dog can become aggressive if mistreated or if it feels threatened.

Puppy Teething Tips

Monday, November 3rd, 2014


When a puppy is teething, it’s easy to think it’s just displaying temporary bad behavior when it nips and chews on things – like your fingers for instance. Behaviors like this are simply signs that your puppy is teething. Luckily, by using a few simple techniques you’ll be able to manage the offending behavior.

Puppies stay in the teething stage until they are about six or seven months old, and during that period of time you’ll need to learn how to manage your puppy’s behavior and teach it what is appropriate and acceptable behavior. Unfortunately, if you don’t control the puppy’s unwanted behavior properly, it may imprint that behavior on its brain as being the thing to do, and when it is a fully grown adult you’ll still be dealing with the same bad behavior.

Signs your Puppy Is Teething
* Excessive drooling – this is usually a messy behavior; a drooling puppy will leave wet spots on its bed or any area where it lies down to rest for long periods. Puppies generally have grown their baby teeth by the time they are eight weeks of age. After that time they will begin losing their baby teeth, replacing them with their adult teeth starting around seven months of age. Unless you have one of the breeds known for excessive drooling their entire lifetime, the drooling should end after the adult teeth have begun pushing through the gums.

* Chewing – the most obvious sign that a puppy is teething is when it begins to chew on all sorts of things inside and outside your house. A puppy, regardless of size, will chew on your shoes, your kitchen cabinets, its own or the children’s toys, a stick it finds in the yard, and unfortunately, your furniture too. When a puppy chews on items like this it is teething and simply trying to alleviate the pain associated with its rapidly developing baby teeth.

* Missing teeth – this is common and is no cause for alarm. The same thing happens in human toddlers – the baby tooth has worked itself loose and has been pushed up through the gums in order to make way for the adult tooth pushing through the gum.

* Bleeding or swollen gums – this uncomfortable sign of teething can be managed with gentle, careful massaging of the gums for approximately ten minutes, twice a day. Use a damp cloth that has been soaked and placed in the freezer for at least an hour or more.

To keep your puppy occupied and away from the things you don’t want it to chew on, make sure you have plenty of toys on hand for it to chew on. Plastic toys are better than wooden ones because you don’t want your puppy biting off and swallowing slivers of wood. The puppy’s toys should be rotated every couple of weeks to keep it interested so it doesn’t become bored with the same old toys. You can also buy a few feet of rope and let the puppy chew on it as much as it wants to.

Keeping your puppy’s toys in a special box or container will help your puppy understand and identify which toys are his.

The most important thing you can do during the teething period is to be patient. Even adult dogs will sometimes chew on your shoe or play hide the sock, so don’t be too tough on a puppy who doesn’t yet know better.

With your help and guidance, puppy teething will turn a rascally puppy into a well-behaved adult dog and you’ll no longer have to worry about your furniture or shoes being chewed to smithereens.

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