OUCH! Puppy nibbles and bites hurt!
Why puppies bite while playing
(Pet Health Network Posted December 27, 2011 in Dog Behavior
Puppies, like human babies, have sharp little teeth. If you’re unlucky enough to be your puppy’s teething toy, those teeth might remind you of Jaws! When your puppy’s biting becomes focused on the human version of the teething ring, it’s time to “nip” her behavior in the bud by teaching him or her the right way to use her new chompers. Understanding why your puppy is biting is the first step toward correcting a behavior that could not only become persistent but could be a potential hazard to others, as well.
“Play-biting” is when your puppy uses her mouth to initiate and sustain play. She may grab onto clothing, or your body, to try and interest you in a game of chase or tag, and then continue by chasing you and tagging you with a little bite! When it’s clear that your puppy is biting playfully, it’s important to redirect her away from this unfavorable behavior toward an acceptable way to play.
Things to do to redirect her attention include:
Val's Diva Do's Bow Placement
Val's Diva Do's Puppy Bow Training
This is an X-ray of a 2 week old puppy.
Look at how far the bones have to grow before they become a proper bony joint! This is why you should never let puppies jump, walk up/down stairs, over exercise or over train. Doing to much impact activity at a young age will cause serious issues later in life, or even at a young age as hip dysplasia and other orthopaedic conditions are rising in puppies!
Remember the puppy rule for every month increase activity by 5 minuets! For example an 8 week old puppy only needs 10 minuets physical activity a day - a 6 month old only needs 30 minuets a day of physical activity!!
*physical activity includes - going for a walk, training, playing fetch, running, playing with other dogs etc.
Enjoy your new puppy but remember you wouldn't make a 6 month old baby run a mile a day so don't make your puppy either!
from Lauren Murray
The Pet Salon
Puppy’s First Groom
Grooming for a puppy is an absolute must! If your pet needs to be groomed professionally, the best time to start is after they have had all their puppy shots. This is typically around 12 weeks of age. Setup An Appointment
It is never too early to start preparing your puppy for his or her first grooming session. When spending time together on the couch gently brush your puppy. Get your puppy familiar with being touched everywhere. Pick up their feet and gently play with their toes. The more your puppy is familiar with being touched the easier the first groom will go.
Many people wait until the puppy is over 6 months for their first groom. However, the sooner you familiarize them with being groomed, the happier your puppy will be. I associate the puppy’s first grooming experience with that of a child’s first dentist appointment. If it scares them, they will fear and dread it for the rest of their lives. However, if they are CORRECTLY introduced at a young age, it can be both a positive and rewarding experience.
Love and patience are the keys to years of successful grooming. Conduct frequent short sessions with patience, LOTS of verbal praise and treats.
Touch your new puppy’s feet and rub your fingers between its toes a couple times a day. This will make nail clipping easier. I promise, your groomer and your vet, will love you for this. It is a natural instinct for dogs to pull their feet back when being touched. This is a great way to get them used to it when very young. Most pets are fine with being groomed and only stress out during the nail trimming process. This can be avoided by taking the time to help train them to enjoy it.
Show your puppy his brush & comb. Let them sniff and play with it for a few seconds. Brush their coat a few times, then reward your puppy with a small treat and verbal praise. Do the same with the comb. Each day increase the number of brush and comb strokes. After the first week, you should be able to do the brushing AND combing in a short period of time.
Play with your puppies ears, by touching them on the inside & outside. Afterwards, reward them with lots of praise and a small treat. This is important because it will make it easier when groomers need to remove the hair from their ears.
How to Potty-Train a Puppy: 5 Puddle-Proof Tips to Follow
(GINA SPADAFORI - Vetstreet)
Until puppies are born house-trained, you'll have to start putting your potty training plan to work as soon as the little one comes into your home. Successful house-training requires setting up a potty schedule, limiting a puppy's roaming options to areas you can supervise, showing your pup the area you want him to use and praising him for going there.
Even with a positive approach, people make mistakes that delay the process. Here are a few key rules to remember:
1. Limit Your Puppy's Wanderings
Use pens and baby gates to keep your pup where you can keep an eye on him. That way, if you see him start to make a mistake, you can whisk him outside and praise him for finishing the job in a pre-selected spot. When you can't supervise, your puppy should be in a crate.
2. Understand Your Puppy's Physical Limitations
Little puppies have limited storage capability and need to be taken out frequently. A general guideline: A puppy can hold it as long as his age in months. Thus, a four-month-old puppy is good for up to four hours, at the outside limit.
3. Remember That Puppies Function Like People
Puppies need to relieve themselves after they wake up, after they eat or drink and after playing. Make sure to take your puppy out at these times. Offer food and water at scheduled intervals to help predict when your pup will need a trip outside.
4. Clean Up Mistakes Thoroughly
A puppy can still smell even what you can't see, and smells invite repeat business. Keep commercial products on hand that use enzyme action to break down the smell. White vinegar also does a great job of neutralizing the odor of urine. Don't use an ammonia-based product, though: To a pet, ammonia smells like one of the components in urine.
5. Be Patient and Consistent
While some puppies seem to house-train themselves, others are slower to learn. If you don't seem to be making progress, ask your veterinarian for a referral to a trainer or behaviorist who can help.
Housebreaking is at the top of the list of priorities when you have a new puppy in the house!
If you're a first time puppy owner, or it's been a while since you had a young puppy, you're probably going to be surprised by how many times your pup needs to 'go'.
And when the urge strikes, you'll also soon find out that he has no qualms about 'going' just about anywhere.....
That includes (but is not limited to!) under the table, on the Persian rug, behind the sofa (or even ON the sofa if he can climb up there), in the bedroom/kitchen/study.... as you can see, I really do mean anywhere.
Your puppy has no idea that this isn't the way we humans do things, and is totally oblivious to the fact that we think this behavior is unacceptable.
So, it's up to you to help him learn where you expect him to pee/poop as quickly as possible, with love, patience and understanding.
Start Out The Right Way!
The good news is that if you follow my simple, step-by-step guide guide, you'll be able to avoid the majority of 'puddles and piles' and both you and your puppy will be happier!
But don't expect to housebreak your puppy in 5 days, or 7, or 10.... those kinds of expectations are unrealistic and no matter what anyone promises you, it is extremely unlikely that your puppy is going to be housebroken within a week or two.
Of course there are always exceptions, and your little one may be a really quick learner, but it's best to expect the whole process to be ongoing for some weeks to come.
Your pup learns through repetition and by linking cause-and-effect.... when you help him make the right connections (by anticipating his needs and showing him what you expect), he quickly gets into the right habits - ones that he'll follow for lifetime.
BUT, if he's allowed to build up bad habits (such as peeing on the living room floor) it will make life much more difficult than if he gets into the habit of feeling the grass in the backyard on his paws before he lets loose!
Puppy potty training begins the minute you bring your 'baby' home, so being prepared beforehand is always recommended. Here's a look at what you need to get started....
First of all you'll need the following:
Once you've got all that together you're ready to start potty training your puppy. If you follow these steps and are patient and consistent, you'll have a well-trained pup sooner than you think....
This is because most owners have this as their final aim anyway, and if you teach a pup to pee/poop indoors it simply makes the whole process much more confusing, and frustrating, for everyone.
But of course, sometimes there are good reasons for having to potty train a puppy to pee/poop indoors, or on a balcony or porch.
If you're trying to potty train a puppy and you live in a high rise apartment building for example, or if you're disabled or have mobility issues, or if your pup is a very small breed and the weather is extremely bad etc. etc......
In these situations you have a couple of options - pee pee pads, a doggie litter box or an 'indoor doggie toilet'. The pee pee pads are probably the cheapest option in the short term (but they're still not cheap, especially if you plan to have your pup 'go' indoors 90 or 100% of the time)
However, puppy training pads do have drawbacks that make them my least favorite choice personally, although many other dog owners swear by them! A lot of puppies see them as toys, and often prefer to drag them around and chew them up rather than pee on them!
You can find reviews of, and information on, many popular brands of puppy training pads here - Best Puppy Training Pads.
A doggie litter box may work better than the pee pads, but some pups prefer to play in the litter (or eat it!).
The third choice is an indoor doggie toilet which is more durable than the pee pads, and not as messy as the litter box. Several of them have 'fake turf' for the pups to use which helps them when you want to transition over to peeing on REAL grass later on.
The initial outlay is a bit more than the first two options, but when you're trying to potty train a puppy you need all the edge you can get!
Cleaning Up Housebreaking Accidents
When you're trying to potty train a puppy there are always going to be occasional accidents - no matter how careful you are or how smart your puppy is!
Whenever this happens you need to clean it up immediately using a special cleaner/deodorizer such as Nature's Miracle Stain & Odor Remover to remove every trace of urine/feces.
Puppies are attracted back to the same areas by their own smell and ordinary household cleaners simply won't do the job of removing all the lingering odor. Although YOU may not smell it, your puppy will, so always use a product that's been specifically designed for the purpose.
Although there are a whole host of dog urine cleaning products on the market today, some are better than others.
You can find a full list of the ones that I personally recommend on my Dog Urine Cleaning Products page.
- See more at: http://www.the-puppy-dog-place.com/potty-train-a-puppy.html#sthash.oXmpOFcY.dpuf
How to Potty Train a Dog to Go in One Spot
(Amy Bender. About.com)
Dogs can make a mess of your yard when they relieve themselves anywhere they want. To prevent this problem, it's helpful to teach them to relieve themselves only in one specific spot. Here's how to do it:
Choose a Spot
Choose a spot outside of the high traffic areas of your yard. The spot you designate should be appropriate for the size of your dog. A small area might be fine for a toy or small breed dog, but larger breeds are going to need more space.
Sometimes dogs choose their own spot. Does your dog often return to one spot frequently to relieve himself? If so, if possible, make this his toilet area.
Keep Area Clean
It's important to keep your dog's toilet area clean. You can leave one pile in the area during training to let your dog know that's the right spot, but make sure not to leave any more than that. If the area gets too soiled, your dog may look to relieve himself somewhere else.
Train the Dog to Go on Command
One of the easiest ways to train a dog to go only in one spot is to train him to relieve himself on command. Take the dog to the spot you want him to use, and give the command. Keep him in that spot until he relieves himself, and then reward him. Only reward him when he goes in that particular spot.
Confine Your Dog to One SpotJust as you don't allow a dog who isn't housebroken to have free run of the house, a dog not trained to go in one spot shouldn't have free run of your yard. The best way to keep your dog from relieving himself outside of the area you choose is to keep him on a leash. Stand in the spot you've chosen, and wait until he relieves himself. Don't let him explore other areas of the yard until he goes.
Reward Good Behavior
If your dog relieves himself in the right spot, give him a reward. As soon as he goes, praise him and let him off leash to have some playtime in the yard. If he doesn't relieve himself, take him back inside, and try again later. Don't allow him the run of the yard if he has not relieved himself yet.
Keep an Eye on the Dog's Body Language
During the times you allow your dog playtime, make sure to supervise him. Keep an eye on hisbody language. Most dogs give a sign that they're about to relieve themselves. They pace or spin or sniff. If you notice your dog engaging in any of these behaviors outside of his designated potty area, interrupt him and bring him to the right spot.
Dealing with Accidents
If your dog manages to go outside of the spot you choose, be sure to clean it up quickly. Scoop poop or rinse urine with a hose. Don't punish the dog by scolding or hitting. Instead, ignore the behavior and immediately take him inside. Your dog will quickly learn that relieving himself in the right spot means he gets playtime, while relieving himself anywhere else brings playtime to an end.
Housebreaking - crate
Crate Training (HumaneSociety.org)
"Private room with a view. Ideal for traveling dogs or for those who just want a secure, quiet place to hang out at home."
That's how your dog might describe his crate. It's his own personal den where he can find comfort and solitude while you know he's safe and secure—and not shredding your house while you're out running errands.
Crate training uses a dog's natural instincts as a den animal. A wild dog's den is his home, a place to sleep, hide from danger, and raise a family. The crate becomes your dog's den, an ideal spot to snooze or take refuge during a thunderstorm.
A crate isn't a magical solution. If not used correctly, a dog can feel trapped and frustrated.
Several types of crates are available:
Your dog's crate should be just large enough for him to stand up and turn around in. If your dog is still growing, choose a crate size that will accommodate his adult size. Block off the excess crate space so your dog can't eliminate at one end and retreat to the other. Your local animal shelter may rent out crates. By renting, you can trade up to the appropriate size for your puppy until he’s reached his adult size, when you can invest in a permanent crate.
The crate training process
Crate training can take days or weeks, depending on your dog's age, temperament and past experiences. It's important to keep two things in mind while crate training:
Place the crate in an area of your house where the family spends a lot of time, such as the family room. Put a soft blanket or towel in the crate. Take the door off and let the dog explore the crate at his leisure. Some dogs will be naturally curious and start sleeping in the crate right away. If yours isn't one of them:
After introducing your dog to the crate, begin feeding him his regular meals near the crate. This will create a pleasant association with the crate.
After your dog is eating his regular meals in the crate with no sign of fear or anxiety, you can confine him there for short time periods while you're home.
After your dog can spend about 30 minutes in the crate without becoming anxious or afraid, you can begin leaving him crated for short periods when you leave the house.
Step 4, Part B: Crate your dog at night
Put your dog in the crate using your regular command and a treat. Initially, it may be a good idea to put the crate in your bedroom or nearby in a hallway, especially if you have a puppy. Puppies often need to go outside to eliminate during the night, and you'll want to be able to hear your puppy when he whines to be let outside.
Older dogs, too, should initially be kept nearby so they don't associate the crate with social isolation.
Once your dog is sleeping comfortably through the night with his crate near you, you can begin to gradually move it to the location you prefer, although time spent with your dog—even sleep time—is a chance to strengthen the bond between you and your pet.
Whining. If your dog whines or cries while in the crate at night, it may be difficult to decide whether he's whining to be let out of the crate, or whether he needs to be let outside to eliminate. If you've followed the training procedures outlined above, then your dog hasn't been rewarded for whining in the past by being released from his crate. If that is the case, try to ignore the whining. If your dog is just testing you, he'll probably stop whining soon. Yelling at him or pounding on the crate will only make things worse.
If the whining continues after you've ignored him for several minutes, use the phrase he associates with going outside to eliminate. If he responds and becomes excited, take him outside. This should be a trip with a purpose, not play time. If you're convinced that your dog doesn't need to eliminate, the best response is to ignore him until he stops whining. Don't give in; if you do, you'll teach your dog to whine loud and long to get what he wants. If you've progressed gradually through the training steps and haven't done too much too fast, you'll be less likely to encounter this problem. If the problem becomes unmanageable, you may need to start the crate training process over again.
Separation Anxiety. Attempting to use the crate as a remedy for separation anxiety won't solve the problem. A crate may prevent your dog from being destructive, but he may injure himself in an attempt to escape from the crate. Separation anxiety problems can only be resolved with counter-conditioning and desensitization procedures. You may want to consult a professional animal-behavior specialist for help.
Puppy Milestones: 4 Things You Need to Know
(Dr. Jack Stephens - Pets Best)
By Dr. Eva Evans, a veterinarian and writer for the Pets Best Pet Insurance Agency, offering pet health insurance for puppies and dogs.
In honor of National Puppy Day, here are some fun facts about puppies. Do you have a new puppy at home? Do you know the important milestones of puppy development? Find them out below!
1. When do puppies lose their baby teeth?
Puppies begin losing their baby teeth around 12-16 weeks of age. The first teeth that fall out are the incisors (the tiny little teeth at the front of the mouth). Around age 4-6 months, puppies will lose their canine teeth which are those sharp little fang teeth. Puppies lose their molars last, usually around 5-7 months of age. The age at which your puppy will lose its baby teeth depends on the breed and size of the dog.
2. When will my puppy be house trained?
As soon as you get your new puppy you can begin the process of house training and teaching the puppy to go potty outside. However, if you don’t provide enough trips outdoors, your puppy may not be able to hold it for very long! As a rule of thumb, you can expect your puppy to hold its bladder for 1 hour for every month of its age. That means that a 5 month old puppy cannot be expected to hold his bladder for more than 5 hours. Your best bet for minimizing accidents is to take your puppy outside to potty right after he wakes up from a nap and right after eating and playing. Once puppies reach 6 months and older, they have full control over their bladders and they can start to sharpen their housetraining skills into perfection as adults. Keep in mind that even older puppies and adult dogs can still have accidents in the house sometimes!
3. When will my puppy lose his baby fur?
There’s nothing as soft as puppy fur. This fluffy baby coat is typically shed around 6 months of age. However, the breed, time of year and exposure to light all affect the hair growth cycle. Some breeds will take even longer to shed their puppy coat and replace it with an adult coat. Keep your puppy well groomed and brushed to minimize shedding in the house.
4. When will my puppy mellow out?
This depends on the puppy! Smaller breeds reach maturity faster than larger breeds. Usually dogs reach maturity between 6 months and 1.5 years of age. For example, your 1 year old Chihuahua might be completely mellow, but a 1 year old Great Dane might still act like a puppy. Often, dogs will still have excess energy as young adults for a few years after puppyhood. Breed is another factor in determining when an individual will mellow. Some breeds are mellower than others naturally, and some breeds are highly active. The point at which your puppy will stop acting like a puppy really depends on the breed and the individual. Some of us are always young at heart!
Miscellaneous Basic Puppy Tips
Immediately have an ID tag made for your puppy in case he wanders from home. Some people prefer to microchip.
A collar should be introduced as soon as possible. You should be able to fit two fingers under the collar when it's on. Check the fit often because puppies grow quickly.
Be sure your Dalmatian's shots are always up to date and that hehas a county or city license.
Spay or neuter your puppy at about six months of age. In addition to being foolproof birth control, spaying and neutering have health benefits.
Be sure your dog is on heartworm preventive year round
Have your dog's nails trimmed at least every other week.
Learn to brush your dog's teeth and do so several times a week.
Feeding dishes: Stainless steel is easiest to keep clean and doesn't break. Remember to clean your dog's feeding dishes daily to prevent bacteria from collecting
Take the time to housebreak your puppy correctly. Buy a crate for housebreaking and for providing your Dalmatian with a place it feels safe in when you are not able to supervise it.
Always provide proper safety your puppy by providing a securely fenced yard. Never allow your dog to run at large in the neighborhood.
Always walk your puppy on lead.
Socialize your new puppy with a variety of people of all ages, sizes, and ethnic backgrounds.
Socialize your new puppy with a variety of other dogs.
Make your Dalmatian a part of the family.
Carefully supervise young children when they are playing with the puppy. Rough handling can damage a puppy physically and mentally.
Do not play games like tug-of-war that encourage growling or nipping.
Never allow your dog to eliminate on someone else's property.
Read some books on puppy training.
Never leave your dog out at night.
Pick up dog droppings in your yard frequently.
10 Tips About Your New PuppySimple Advice for New Dog Owners
Help your puppy become a social butterfly
What you need to know about socializing puppies
(Posted April 26, 2012 in Dog Behavior
puppy behavior, socializing, dog parks, house training)
are just as important for your canine pal as they are for each of us. A well-mannered, well-adjusted dog who can adapt to a variety of situations with new people and other pets will be a happier dog and a better companion for you.
What is a well-socialized dog?
Dogs that are comfortable meeting and being around a variety of people of all ages, other dogs, and even other types of pets – especially cats – are considered well socialized. Being relaxed and receptive to new people and pets isn’t something that comes naturally to every dog, any more than it does to every person. Some dogs are extroverts and others are timid. Some dogs are naturally comfortable with people, but take a bit more time getting used to another dog or cat.
Why is socializing a dog important?
If you socialize your dog in a variety of situations, especially those situations in which you often find yourself (households with lots of children or pets, dog parks with your other dogs, a busy city street, etc.), you’ll know how he or she is going to react and feel confident that your dog is going to be comfortable and well behaved in any situation.
If you’re not focusing on social skills from an early age, you’re basically always putting your dog into new and surprising situations. This can lead to fear, insecurity, and the negative behaviors that come with those emotions.
The Social Puppy Top 4
1. Start early. As your veterinarian gives you the go-ahead, make routine “social engagements” part of his life. These can be as simple as meeting neighbors or other neighborhood pets as you take walks. You can also find local playgroups or doggie daycare facilities (in the case of a puppy, be sure they have classes specializing in younger dogs– you don’t want a little tyke to be thrown in with the big dogs right away). Dog parks can also be a good possibility, but these require a bit more thought and research and aren’t a place for very young dogs; see our article on dog parks for more information. Also, always make sure that your dog is up to date on vaccines and preventatives that protect against parasites such as fleas and intestinal worms.
2. Mix it up. Make sure that you introduce your dog to a variety of situations. A dog who only meets puppies might not be at all comfortable the first time they bump into an adult. Even spending time only with dogs of a particular gender, breed, or size can limit your dog’s comfort with future introductions to different dogs. If you think about it, the same applies to people. A dog that’s totally comfortable with adults can be completely freaked out by the well-intentioned toddler who comes running his way. Children have a very different kind of energy than adults and many dogs are very sensitive to that. It’s worth some extra attention with your dog.
3. Be part of the social experience and pay attention to your dog’s reactions. Don’t just introduce your dog to his new human or animals friends and let him figure things out on his own, especially when he’s young or new to your household. Stay with your pet, observe his comfort level, and assess whether he’s happy, nervous, anxious, fearful, or crabby. If he’s having a positive reaction, provide lots of praise and encouragement. If he’s not as comfortable, make introductions to these situations brief, still provide encouragement when he engages positively and remove him from the situation if he exhibits a negative or fearful behavior using a verbal correction if necessary (no, don’t jump, down, etc.).
4. Accept your dog’s preferences and limitations. Some dogs are never going to love kids; however, every dog should be well mannered around kids. In this case, you want to understand that your dog is never going to be the dog who is in the back yard playing with your nieces and nephews, but he or she can be the dog who’ll be calm and trustworthy around kids, even if it requires some extra effort and training. Likewise, not every dog will want to play with other dogs. But you want to know that you can comfortably walk your dog on the street and he’ll be calm when passing another dog during your strolls. Sometimes, you might need help from a professional trainer to get your dog comfortable in these situations. Talk to your veterinarian and they can give you tons of tips and tricks.
The important thing to remember is that you want your dog’s world to be a happy and comfortable place. That doesn’t mean his or her life is free from anxiety any more than ours is. It does mean you can help your dog be prepared for a variety of situations, be confident regardless of what comes his or her way, and simply know when your dog is going to be the social butterfly and when your dog will be the wallflower!
Vet - new puppy
5 Tips Before Taking New Pets to Vet
Quick Insight from a Veterarian
Jennifer Hawkins, DVMCongratulations on acquiring your new pet family member! Whether you have owned many pets or this is a first for you, this is an exciting time. It won’t be long before you get to know your pet’s normal behaviors and quirks. But, first, you must take care of your pet’s healthcare needs.
Here are five things to know before taking your new pet to the vet for the first time.
1. Don’t Delay
Even though your new kitty or pup may appear perfectly healthy, you should have him examined as soon as possible after you bring him home.
Your veterinarian may be able to detect medical issues that aren’t readily apparent at first such as a subtle skin condition or a congenital heart murmur.
Also, you’ll want to develop a relationship with a veterinarian, if you haven’t already. This way when you have a pet illness or emergency you can more swiftly to receive care.
Extra tip: For everyone’s safety, be sure you have your dog on a leash or your cat in a pet carrier when you arrive at the vet.
2. Have Reasonable Expectations
Surprisingly, I’ve met a lot of new pet owners who have the misconception that their new pet doesn’t need any booster vaccines, viral tests or deworming because someone told them that the pet “has had everything.”
Puppies and kittens need vaccinations and dewormings at regular intervals up to a certain age (this age may vary per locale). If their vaccine history is unknown, they may need more frequent boosters initially to ensure immune protection against certain viruses.
Also, heartworm tests and oral preventives, as well as feline viral tests for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus and Feline Leukemia, are important to have early on.
It’s important that pet owners—even experienced ones—know that protocols and paradigms are forever changing in the veterinary field as new information arises and thus the standard of care may have changed. Rather than make assumptions about your pet’s well being, it’s always best to schedule that new pet exam right away.
Extra tip: Remember, your new pet exam is also your opportunity to ask the veterinarian many questions about potty training, obedience and introduction to other pets and family members.
3. Spaying or Neutering
Some people think that a dog must go into heat or reach a certain age before being spayed or neutered. We now know that dogs that are spayed before their first heat have a 90% less chance of developing mammary cancer. Cats that are neutered early have minimal chances of developing urine marking behaviors.
Many new discoveries as to the long-term effects of spaying and neutering have recently been published. There are many things to consider when determining the best time to spay or neuter a cat or dog, including the breed. Talk to your veterinarian about what is best for your new pet, including any concerns you may have.
4. Fleas, Ticks, Heartworm and Intestinal Worms
New products and information are always developing in regard to parasites.
For example, heartworm disease (caused by a parasite that develops in the heart and is transmitted by mosquito) has become more prevalent in some areas where it was previously rarely seen. The same is true for other parasites; fleas are now being seen in areas where they didn’t previously exist, such as Denver, Colo.
Extra tip: Did you know that animals can carry intestinal parasites that people can acquire? Children are most prone to getting these parasites as they aren’t terribly discriminating as to what goes in their little mouths. Be prepared to discuss parasite control during your new pet visit to your veterinarian. Your veterinarian can help you choose the right product to prevent infestations based on the area in which you live and your pet’s lifestyle.
5. Pet Insurance
Even though I am a veterinarian, I have pet insurance for my pet as there are services that I can’t always provide and they come with associated costs.
I recommend getting pet insurance BEFORE ever bringing the pet in for an exam. In my experience, owners with pet insurance are able to make decisions based on expected prognosis rather than cost when they know that some or all of the veterinary care is covered.
Once a medical condition is entered in the file, however, it may become a “pre-existing condition.” I can’t tell you how many times someone has brought a sick pet to me and, after discussing the diagnostic tests and treatment plan, they say, “Do you think I should get that pet insurance now?” Just as you want to have health insurance for yourself prior to needing medical care, the same is true for your pet!
How Far and How Long Should You Walk Your Puppy?
(Kathryn E. Darden, Yahoo! Contributor Network)
Information on What Kinds of Exercise Are Not Appropriate for Your Growing Puppy
There is nothing cuter than a little puppy exploring the world, jumping at butterflies, grasshoppers and grass, racing around the yard and tripping over its feet. Exercise is important for puppies, but when should you you start walking a puppy on a leash and how much distance should you plan to cover with your little fur friend?
There is some debate among vets and dog experts as to how far a puppy should walk on a leash and how long the walk should be. Cesar Millan of Cesar's Way says, "My feeling is that as long as you are careful and attentive to your puppy, the puppy is the best one to tell you what is too much exercise."
However, many experts, including my own vet, recommend the 5 minute-rule: walk the puppy five minuets for each month of age, so at 3 months old, a puppy should walk on a leash for 15 minutes and at 6 months, they can walk for 1/2 hour. The reason many vets recommend the 5-minute-rule is walking a puppy on a leash is considered "forced exercise." The repetition of walking steadily, especially on asphalt and concrete, can cause permanent damage to the puppy's growing skeleton.
Depending slightly on the breed, a puppy's skeleton doesn't fully mature, and the growth plates do not fuse until the puppy is 18 months old or older. The growth plates, which are part of the bone structure, typically fuse during the puppy's tenth month, but after that the skeleton continues changing as the bones adapt to the various kinds of stress put on them. The skeleton is not fully formed and bones are not hardened until 18 months or later.
Before the growth plates close, too much exercise can jar and loosen little joints, and cause stress to the skeleton, which can cause permanent damage including elbow and hip dysplasia, joint problems, and growth abnormalities in the cartilage that can cause pain and lameness.
While bones and joints can be damaged by overly strenuous exercise including too much walking during the puppy's first 18 months, the resulting problems may not show up until later in the dog's life. Climbing up and down stairs is equally bad for little puppy legs.