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Pet Care Guide

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What Every Dog Owner Must Know

Young Pup

Newborn pups love to sleep. They sleep the most during the first 2 weeks of their lives. Pups are born blind and do not have a fully grown sense of hearing, yet they are able to able to of feel, smell and taste. Their vision and hearing starts to grow by their 2nd or 3rd week. By the 30 day mark, your pup is barking, howling and growling in the most adorable manner.

Here are some good tips on making your home a safe haven for your new puppy. Get everything ready for your puppy before you bring him home. First, make a nice bed for him. An old box or basket raised off the floor away from drafts makes an adequate bed for a puppy. Do not spend too much at this stage on an expensive bed he is likely to chew. The inside of the bed should be lined with an old blanket so he can snuggle into something soft and warm. Put the bed (or crate/kennel) in a spot that is relatively quiet so your puppy can sleep undisturbed whenever it is tired. Many people find that a quiet corner of the kitchen or family room is ideal. You may want to partition off an area around his bed for a few days to create a little den where it can feel secure and be out of harm's way. Your puppy should have his own food and water dishes. These should be designed so he can eat and drink comfortably without getting his nose and ears wet. Have a supply of food ready for his arrival. Find out from the breeder what the puppy is used to eating. It is best to maintain the same diet for a few days. All puppies like to chew. This is normal behavior, and it helps with the teething process. Give your puppy some toys of his own to chew to deter him from chewing your possessions. Toys do not need to be elaborate, but make sure they are non-toxic, large enough that they cannot be swallowed, and relatively indestructible. Objects that are swallowed may become stuck in the throat, stomach or intestines, and can be a serious threat to your pups life. Although you will not be able to take your new puppy for walks with other dogs until he has completed his course of vaccinations, you will need a suitable collar and leash for him. The collar should be soft and well fitting. For the first few days, he will need to wear it only for short periods when you are there to supervise. It must not be too tight, since this is uncomfortable for the puppy, but neither should it be too loose, as it may catch on a protruding object. You may want to consider a collar with a quick-release feature. Check his collar daily and loosen it as his neck increases in size. Do not buy a choke chain for a young puppy. If used incorrectly, it could cause irreparable damage to his neck. You also need to buy a brush and comb - the type depends on the hair type of the breed. Ask the breeder to show you how to groom your puppy properly and to recommend some suitable grooming equipment. Finally, make sure you have the name and address of a good veterinarian. Ask your breeder While your puppy is small, keep everything in your home that might be dangerous to him out of reach. He may tug or chew anything he finds, including plants and electrical cords. Check your yard to make sure the fencing is secure, and that there are no small holes through which your puppy could disappear. Make sure your gate shuts securely, and that your puppy won't be able to squeeze through or under it. Keep pools and ponds covered.

As the owner of a new pup, you will want to provide him with all the nutrients needed for healthy growth. Correct nutrition is one of the main contributors to your new dog leading a happy and healthy life. Your pup must receive the correct diet as advised by the veterinarian. Before selecting a diet appropriate for your pup, consult your veterinarian.

WEANING

Your Pup should have already been weaned by the breeder at about three weeks. If you need to wean your puppy, consult your veterinarian immediately prior to feeding anything. The gradual process of weaning will begin with three to four meals a day and by six months time the puppy can be fed twice a day.

HAPPY PUPPY

A happy puppy will show good signs of :

  • Alertness
  • Teeth and Bone Development
  • Strong Natural Defenses
  • Healthy Muscle Growth
  • Healthy Digestion

HOUSE TRAINING

Young pups will go to the toilet very often. The trick is to pick up the warning signs and you will be saved the mess. Some of the signs include

  • Walking in circles
  • Sitting by the door
  • Giving the look
  • Yelping

At this moment place a newspaper when it is about to relieve itself. Do this often, while always moving the paper close to the door. Later start taking the pup outside early mornings, after meals or when it wakes up from a nap. Soon the pup will learn to relieve itself outside and will also learn to show you when its time.


Junior Dog

By now your pet has grown up to be a healthy and strong dog. Depending on the sex of the dog, you may ned o take extra precaution to avoid any middle-aged illnesses. Most common illnesses are ear infections, skin rashes. While most of them are curable, taking adequate precaution early on will prevent severe long term damage.

The junior is stage in a dog’s life is similar in many ways to that of a teenager. Your dog is still growing up and will behave like a youngster from time to time. He might be rebellious or arrogant and must dealt with patience and a mild degree of firmness.

The female is likely to enter her first cycle between six and eighteen months and will be in season for about three weeks. She must be kept away from male dogs if you do not wish to consider mating. It is important that for your hygiene, restrict her movement in the house. Females will come in heat twice a year and if unspayed may risk pregnancy. Consult your vet toady to have your pet spayed. Male dogs are active through most of the year. Dogs typically discover their sexuality at about 6 months of age

Feeding

By now your pet must be nearing his adolescent phase and this stage will demand dietary attention. The dogs physical attributes may have developed well and will need a boost with vitamin and calcium with lots of exercise. Take your dog to a veterinary consultant and check for the following healthy signs.

  • Teeth and Bone development
  • Healthy muscle growth
  • Healthy Digestion
  • A strong immune system

Grooming

Each dogs coat is different, thus they require different grooming styles. The food consumed by your dog has an important role in determining its coats flow, texture, smoothness and health.

Get your dog used to baths, brushing its hair, nail clipping from an early age. Though its advisable to have your vet do the same since it is possible you may over look any infection between the toes, you may do so yourself in the paucity of time.

Use a branded dog shampoo and soap and notice its hair fall. If you feel its beyond normal rush to your vet to have its skin checked immediately


Adult Dog

Caring for your dog requires patience, persistence and lots of love and attention. Here are the main things your dog needs to be happy and healthy>

  • Fresh water every day
  • A nutritionally balanced diet consult your vet for the right kind of dietary requirements

Vitamins

For good vision, bone growth, and efficient metabolism. Every action in your dogs body requires the assistance of vitamins. That is because vitamins are essential catalysts for chemical reactions. There are water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins, and each vitamin has very specific roles to play. For example, if your dog cuts a paw, one vitamin helps stop the bleeding, another helps repair the skin. In pet foods, good sources of vitamins include vitamin supplements, dairy products, vegetables, liver, kidneys, yeast and grains

Minerals

For strong teeth and bones. Some minerals are put together in an orderly fashion to form structures, such as your pets bones and teeth. Minerals also influence the fluids, such as blood, in your dogs body. While minerals are virtually indestructible, they can be difficult to absorb. Please bear in mind that too much of a mineral can be toxic. In pet foods, good sources of minerals include mineral supplements, fish, meat, liver, dairy, cereals and bone meal.

Essential Fatty Acids

For energy and healthy skin and coat. Fats and essential fatty acids (major components of fats) make an extremely important contribution to pet health. They are a major source of energy in a dog’s diet. Also, they can add significantly to a foods taste appeal. Fats also help absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. In pet foods, good sources of fats and essential fatty acids include animal fats, vegetable oils, meat by-products and poultry by-products.

Carbohydrates and Fiber

For energy and good digestion. Carbohydrates are compounds composed of simple sugars known as monosaccharides (disaccharides and polysaccharides). For immediate energy, your pets body converts carbohydrates. Reserve energy is stored as glycogen. Fiber in carbohydrates is beneficial for good digestion and stool consistency. In pet foods, good sources of carbohydrates and fiber include grains - rice, corn and wheat.

Protein

Essential for healthy growth and muscle tone. Protein is the major structural material in almost all living tissue except bones. Hair, skin, nail and muscles are mostly protein. There are thousands of different proteins in your pet's body, each with a unique function, but all made from smaller units called amino acids. Some amino acids can be manufactured in the body, others must be provided in the diet. In pet foods, good sources of proteins include meats, eggs, fish, grains, dairy and yeast

To summarize, as a responsible you need to take the following steps to ensure your adult dog's health an well-being.

  • >> To be spayed or neutered—this ensures many health and behavioral benefits
  • >> Regular veterinary check-ups
  • >> At least two walks a day and a few short play/exercise sessions to keep healthy, fit and feel loved
  • >> Regular grooming
  • >> Obedience training classes to avoid undesirable behaviors and for mental stimulation
  • >> Pet ID—at the least, a collar, to ensure its safe return should it get lost
  • >> A dog license
  • >> Proper shelter while outdoors—a fenced yard with a doghouse is best; to offer protection against the elements
  • >> Dogs should never be left alone outdoors for long periods of time; this can cause undesirable depression
  • >> Safe toys to play with and chew on while you are gone (Please do not give real bones to your pet)
  • >> To always be leashed at all times when off your property
  • >> A closed window to sit by and look out while you are gone
  • >> A loyal and patient family and remember, most behavior problems can be solved!

There are many more ways to ensure a happy, healthy relationship with your dog. Please consult the links below for more advice and information, and ask your veterinarian for the best advice for your particular pet.


Senior Dogs

Annual vet exams are mandatory, but become more frequent as your pet nears its senior life stage. As dogs grow older, many signs of potentially serious health problems begin to emerge. It is much better to be safe than sorry and hence report anything new or unusual to your veterinarian. This is also an emotional time for many pet owners since dog live younger than humans. A big component of taking care of senior dogs also involves counseling young family members in the event of a tragic loss of your pet. Senior dogs are most commonly affected by arthritis, failing hearing, sight, slowing down of internal bodily processes and sadly neglect from owners. Your pet has been with these many years, its time you stand by it too.

Because senior dogs are more prone to certain health and behavior problems, we recommend a special senior health care program:

Regular checkups are a must. Even the healthiest dog should see their veterinarian at least annually; twice a year is often recommended for senior dogs. Ask your veterinarian how often routine checkups are recommended for your dogs age and condition.

Ask about senior dog car. Many veterinarians offer a special senior dog care screening for older dogs. This will include a thorough physical exam as well as specialized diagnostic tests appropriate to your dog’s age, breed and health history.

Many veterinarians recommend blood tests and urinalysis, as well as chest radiographs and/or an EKG. These tests can be used to establish a baseline for a number of body functions and aid in early diagnosis of medical problems in the future. Early diagnosis can safeguard your pet’s health and prolong his life. Discuss with your veterinarian which diagnostic tests are appropriate for your dog.

Keep up vaccinations and parasite prevention. Older dogs are less resistant to disease and more susceptible to infections.

Make sure your dog gets vaccination boosters and heartworm preventatives on schedule, and keep him free of fleas, ticks and other external parasites.

Keep your veterinarian informed. Make sure to let your veterinarian know about any health or behavior problems you have observed in your dog.

Senior Dog Diets

It should come as no surprise that senior dogs have special dietary and nutritional needs, too. Keep these suggestions in mind when feeding your senior dog

Watch those calories. Older dogs are usually less active and have a slower metabolism than their young counterparts. If you continue to feed him like he is a pup, he is likely to become obese – putting unnecessary strain on his heart, lungs, muscles and joints.

Consider a senior diet. Ask your veterinarian if food formulated specifically for the nutritional needs and lower activity level of senior dogs may be appropriate for your pet. Senior diets are usually lower in calories, protein and fat, and higher in fiber.

Make sure food is highly palatable. Older dogs often have reduced senses of taste and smell. If their food doesn’t smell and taste good, they may not eat enough to stay healthy.

Avoid fatty snacks. These may be difficult for an older dog to digest.

If you have a medium or large dog, raise the food dish. Elevate your dog’s food and water dishes by placing them on a low table or crate. This will reduce stress on his neck and back when eating.

Ask about supplements. Your veterinarian can tell you whether vitamin or mineral supplements are needed at this stage of your older dog’s life.

Final Days

For many owners, it is important to be able to say goodbye to their dead or dying pet. If it is necessary to carry out euthanasia, some owners feel that they would like to stay with their pet while this is done. This is preferable in the event of the mature dog facing a lot of pain from its illness. Consult your vet, before taking this decision. This will enable you to say goodbye and allows you to verify in your own mind that he is actually dead.

You may find it helpful to hold a simple memorial ceremony for your pet as this can be an important way of helping children to come to terms with the death and lets them know that they are not the only ones feeling the loss. However, children should not be forced to attend such a service if they do not wish to.

Allow yourself to grieve. After the death of a pet, you are likely to experience a whole range of emotions - going through shock, disbelief, pain, anger, guilt, depression, anxiety, and finally, acceptance, at which time recovery begins.

This is quite natural and these feelings should not be suppressed. It is only by allowing yourself to grieve that you will eventually come to terms with the death and, with time, the sadness will fade.

As our companions age, their needs can change dramatically. And like humans, their bodies begin to wear out, their senses dim and they are more susceptible to diseases; Please consult your veterinarian on proper elder pet care.

Many of the problems associated with old age are preventable with diet, exercise and regular checkups. Regular veterinary exams may save your pets life! Get more Check-ups. Keep vaccinations current and may help catch and treat medical problems before they get out of control.