Walk down the dog food aisle of any large pet-supply store, or peruse the shelves at a boutique pet-food shop, and you can quickly become overwhelmed. This is especially true for puppy owners, and probably even more so for first-time puppy owners. When did it get so complicated? Back in the day, dog food options were far more limited, and even responsible dog owners didn't worry too much about what went into their dog's dish.
The process may now be somewhat more involved, but that's a good thing. Higher quality ingredients with better sourcing and specialized diet formulas lead to overall better health for our puppies. And every bit as important as what to feed your puppy is having an understanding of his special nutritional needs.Feeding Your Puppy: A First-Year Timeline
- 6–12 weeks: Growing pups should be fed puppy food, a diet specially formulated to meet the nutritional needs for normal development. Feeding adult food will rob your puppy of important nutrients. Four feedings a day are usually adequate to meet nutritional demands.
- 3–6 months: Sometime during this period, decrease feelings from four to three a day. A pup should be losing her potbelly and pudginess by 12 weeks. If she is still roly-poly at this age, continue to feed puppy-size portions until body type matures.
- 6–12 months: Begin feeding twice daily. Spaying or neutering lowers energy requirements slightly; after the procedure, switch from nutrient-rich puppy food to adult maintenance food. Small breeds can make the switch at 7 to 9 months
- After age 1: Most owners feed adult dogs two half-portions a day.
Just as you may get a bout of diarrhea the day prior to an interview or an important exam, your puppy may get diarrhea with bloody stools when stressed. Typically, the course of events is quite obvious. Your puppy may get when he or she moves to a different place or just moments before entering the show ring boarding etc. In this case, the cause of the diarrhea is quite obvious, it's episodic and clearly linked to the unusual event. The proving factor is that bloody diarrhea happens exclusively during the stressful event and not typically in the absence of it.
Fortunately, the bloody stool episode is often short-lived and resolves within 24 to 48 hours, However, if it lasts longer than that and the puppy starts acting lethargic and refuses to eat, a vet should be seen. Keep in mind that even though you may assume it's just stress, at times the colitis may be caused by another health problem that needs to be addressed. In some cases, an underlying health condition may flare up when the puppy is stressed. For instance, when a puppy is stressed conditions such as coccidiosis, pancreatitis and inflammatory bowel disease may raise their ugly head.
When a puppy is stressed he or she can develop coccidiosis and even though we test your puppy prior to shipping does not mean that your new puppy can not develop this keep in mind this is caused by stress and a puppy leaving me going to their new home is a stressful few days.
House training your puppy is about consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement. The goal is to instill good habits and build a loving bond with your pet.When to Begin House Training Puppy
Experts recommend that you begin house training your puppy when he is between 12 weeks and 16 weeks old. At that point, he has enough control of his bladder and bowel movements to learn to hold it.
If your puppy is older than 12 weeks when you bring him home and he’s been eliminating in a cage (and possibly eating his waste), house training may take longer. You will have to reshape the dog’s behavior -- with encouragement and reward.Steps for Housetraining Your Puppy
Experts recommend confining the puppy to a defined space, whether that means in a crate, in a room, or on a leash. As your puppy learns that he needs to go outside to do his business, you can gradually give him more freedom to roam about the house.
When you start to house train, follow these steps:
- Keep the puppy on a regular feeding schedule and take away his food between meals.
- Take puppy out to eliminate first thing in the morning and then once every 30 minutes to an hour. Also, always take him outside after meals or when he wakes from a nap. Make sure he goes out the last thing at night and before he’s left alone.
- Take puppy to the same spot each time to do his business. His scent will prompt him to go.
- Stay with him outside, at least until he’s house trained.
- When your puppy eliminates outside, praise him or give him a treat. A walk around the neighborhood is a nice reward.
Most common clinical signs of hypoglycemia are drowsiness, shivering, collapsing, disorientation, seizures, listlessness, depression, muscle weakness and tremors. Lee Weston, author of the article about Hypoglycemia (Pomeranian Club of Canada) says that "the entire sequence of clinical signs is not always seen, so close observation of your pet and knowing when your dog is going into a distressed state can mean the difference between life and death of your dog. Immediate treatment by you and or a veterinarian is imperative, as recurrence of, or prolonged attacks, can cause permanent damage to the brain."
YOU SHOULD HAVE ON HAND BEFORE YOUR PUPPY COMES HOME
All dogs tear, but if your puppy is tearing a lot check for the following: hairs around the eye poking the eye, something in the environment causing the tears (dust, carpet fibers…), teething (puppies often tear a lot when they are teething, 4-12 weeks and around 4-6 months of age. If the puppy continues to have tear stains or red paws from licking you may want to try an additive. Add ¼ teaspoon vinegar to 2 cups fresh water (low mineral content water is best). This eliminates the bacterium that causes the red staining by changing the PH of your dog’s tears and saliva. It works well for light colored puppies and adults. There are lots of products on the market, but I have found this to be the most effective and the cost is negligible. You will need to continue this treatment to keep the red staining from reappearing. Results can be seen on the new fur growth within 2 weeks.