Puppy Proofing Your Home

PUPPY PROOFPuppy Proofing

By Admin

How to puppy proof your house?  Puppy proofing your home is an important task that should be done before your bring your new puppy home. Be sure you look for potential dangers that can harm your puppy.   A puppy’s curiosity can get him into trouble.  You should create a safe zone inside your home or yard for times when your puppy will be left alone.  A baby gate or exercise pen can be used to secure his area.  You should fill his area with toys, treats, and chew bones to keep him busy and safe while you are gone.  Remember that new puppies will chew and swallow almost anything.  Always make sure that stuff toys have no removable eyes or parts that the puppy can get chocked on.

Here is a list of indoor hazards in the home:

  • garbabe
  • plastic bags
  • electrical cords
  • animal bones
  • plastic wraps,
  • coins
  • jewelry
  • remote control

People food such as grapes, chocolate, raisins, and gum can be foods poisonous to dogs.  Gum has xylitol an artificial sweetner that is highly toxic to dogs.  Chemicals such as household cleaners and bleach are also poison for dogs.  Keep your vitamins and medications in high places such as cabinets.  Extension cords and telephone cords should be kept out of reach.  Houseplants can be poisonous to puppies.  You can get a list of poisonous plants to dogs from the ASPCA.

Outdoor hazards include:

  • broken fences
  • antifreeze
  • azaleas
  • rhododendron
  • oleander
  • calla lilies
  • hydrangea
  • fertilizer
  • swimming pool
  • deck
  • insecticides

You can purchase videos and books about puppies and on pet care.  You want to make sure your home is as safe as possible for your puppy.

Dog Hypothermia

Dog Hypothermia

By Admin

Hypothermia in dogs is a severe lowering of your dogs temperature.  Prolonged exposure to cold results in a drop in body temperature.  It is most likely to happen when a dog is wet.  It is seen in dogs with short hair or toy breeds.  Hypothermia occurs in newborn puppies.  It can occur after a long anesthetic or shock can cause it.  Prolonged chilling burns up the available energy and predisposes to low blood sugar.  Dog hypothermia is a potentially serious condition that occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can replace it.  A normal canine temperature ranges from 100 t o 102.5 degrees.  A low body temp of less than 97 degrees rectal is a sign of trouble.

Canine hypothermia can be classified as either primary or secondary.  In the primary stage it results from prolonged exposure to cold.  The secondary stage is caused by an external condition such as trauma or illness.

Symptoms of hypothermia include:

  • violent shivering
  • listlessness
  • muscle stiffness
  • low body temperature
  • apathy
  • coma

If the dog is not removed from the cold and warmed, the organs will begin to fail.  Hypothermia is classified as mild, moderate or severe, based on the body’s temperature.

Puppies and senior dogs are more susceptible.  Thin dogs that are very lean with little insulation of body fat are at higher risk.

Frostbite in dogs is rare, but your dog’s ear tips, tail and scrotum may be frozen on very cold days.

Treatment of hypothermia includes rewarming, which involved removing the dog from the cold and placing it in a warm place.  Moderate and severe cases require medical attention to actively warm the dog.  This may include, warm air blowers, warm water pads, warm oxygen cage and warm IV fluids.

To prevent hypothermia, never leave a dog outside in the cold.  Dogs should have the opportunity to come inside to warm themselves if they choose to.


Dog Anal Gland Infection

Anal Gland infection in dogsDog Anal Gland Infection

by Admin

What are anal glands?  There are two anal glands in dogs which are located on each side of the anus.  They are like a skunk’s scent glands.  The fluid has a strong pungent odor.  How to express dog glands?  You can find the opening of the anal sacs by pressing down on the skin of the lower part of the anus.  If you apply pressure directly below the openings, fluid can be expressed.  A dog anal gland infection is common in small breed dogs.  The sacs are normally expressed when your pet exercises vigorously or moves its bowels.  An impaction or infection in a dog can occur, if the secretions in the anal sacs are not emptied by exercise or defecation.  You may notice your dog licking the anus area and scooting along the ground.  Symptoms of anal infection in dogs include an anus that is swollen, red and painful.  If the abscess ruptures, pus or blood tinged fluid may drain from the opening. The anal area can develop irritation from diarrhea, since the fluid is acidic and can scald the anus.

Canine anal gland disorders are caused by eating a high fiber and carbohydrate diet.  Feeding a meat based diet created a harder stool and can eliminate the problem.

Regular exercise is very important since dogs express the anal sac while running.

Frequent expressing of the sacs by your vet will lessen the chances of anal infections or abscesses developing.  Flea control will prevent tapeworms.

Senior dogs or dogs over eight years of age commonly develop slow growing nodules around the anal area called perianal adenomas.  Sometimes they can ulcerate and look red, but are rarely malignant. The secretions are liquid and brownish.  Sometimes they are thick, yellow or creamy looking.   Perianal adenomas are best treated by surgery.

Radiation therapy is an alternative method and is successful.  Hormone therapy is not a very successful treatment.  The nodule will get larger when the therapy is stopped.  A biopsy should be done to confirm that the mass is benign.  Castration seems to reduce the recurrence rate and to restrict new nodule growth.

It is not necessary to express the dog glands, unless there is a medical reason to do so.  Dogs that have recurrent anal gland infections need to have their glands removed.

Good Puppy Nutrition

Good Puppy nutritionPuppy Nutrition

By Admin

What to feed a puppy?  A good nutrition program is important especially during the first year of the puppies life.  Finding a good puppy nutrition program is not always an easy task.    A new puppy will grow fast and will need a balanced diet to support the rapid growth.  All puppies have special nutrition needs during their growth phase.  They need about 35% more protein for building strong bones and muscle tissue.  You should buy foods that are labeled puppy or growth until 90% of skeletal growth is completed.  They burn tons of energy and have small stomachs.  A young puppy’s diet should provide it with all the nutrients he needs to grow and remain active.

When choosing a puppy food, select one with the AAFCO seal of approval.   The Association of American Food Control Officials is responsible for quality assurance for pet foods and animal nutrition.  Kibble should be preserved naturally vitamin C or E.  You should not buy more animal food than you can feed in one month.  Store kibble in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight and temperature fluctuations.

During the first six months of life, puppies require several small meals throughout the day.  Feeding frequent meals ensure blood glucose levels remain active and provide a steady supply of energy.

Calcium and phosphorus are primary components of bone and teeth.  The correct amount and balance of these minerals are required to promote proper musculoskeletal development.  A deficiency or excess level of calcium and phosphorus are dangerous.  A deficiency can lead to weak bones and fractures.  An excess can cause developmental orthopedic disease in large breed puppies.  An adult good dog food contains too much calcium and phosphorus.  Small or medium sized dogs can have a food labeled for all life stages, but not for large and giant breeds.

Protein are critical for providing energy and building enzymes, hormones, hemoglobin, and strong bodies.  Young animals need it for growth and maintenance.  Protein builds muscle.  If a puppy doesn’t get enough, it’s tissues and organs won’t develop properly.  Dogs need more protein than people do.  Protein can be found in fish, meat, eggs and soybeans.  The higher the quality of protein, the less the dogs needs.

All life stages pet foods should not be fed to your large breed puppy during the first six months. It contains too much calcium and phosphorus for large breeds and can cause serious orthopedic problems down the road.  Feed a good food for pets formulated for large breed puppies.  They must grow at a slow, steady rate.  You should read the canine nutrition label on the bag of dog food.  It will list all ingredients in the food.

Benefits of healthy eating give your puppy the gift of future health and proper growth.  The nutrition a puppy receives provides the building blocks of the adult dog he will become.  Providing your new puppy with the right tools to build a strong and healthy body will serve him well throughout his years of adulthood.