Puppies are great fun but also a great responsibility. This new addition to your family will require lots of love, attention and plenty of supplies. To get you started, we’ll help with training, discipline, play time and everything in between.
There are more than 2,200 species of fleas recognized worldwide, but only a handful affect dogs in North America The cat flea is the most common flea that infests dogs and can cause far more than itching. To pick the best anti-flea weapons, you must first understand the enemy. The adult flea you find crawling through your puppy’s fur could represent the tip of the iceberg. Fleas can cause allergies and anemia and transmit tapeworms; they are also the agent that causes cat scratch disease.
While plants can make a lovely decorating statement, poisonous plants can kill pets if eaten. Even some of the most common decorative plants and flowers, such as daffodils and tulips,can be deadly to dogs.
Veterinarians estimate as much as 20 percent of all dogs suffer from ear infections at some point in their lives. Canine ears come in all shapes and sizes, from upright ears to floppy or fuzzy ears with hair inside. Despite the outside look, the ear structure and how dogs hear is quite similar in all breeds.
It breaks our heart whenever we hear about a lost puppy because proper puppy identification can bring your puppy back home again. It doesn’t take long once you’ve adopted a puppy to fall in love. One out of three pets will get lost during their lifetimes. Without identification, 90 percent won’t return home.
Dog marking behaviors use smell communication and leg lifting to spray urine and mark territory. Although they primarily use urine, some pups also scratch the ground after eliminating to leave visual signs while the paw pads leave scent cues. The timing of leg lifting behavior coincides with puppy developmental stages but varies from puppy to puppy, with some starting much earlier than others. A puppy’s leg lifting also can be influenced by spay and neuter surgeries, although both intact and “fixed” pets use urine to mark. This behavior is very different than potty accidents.
Low blood sugar can affect puppies much more often than adult dogs, even when a puppy is healthy. The technical term for low blood sugar is hypoglycemia and it happens most often with adult pets that suffer from unregulated or poorly regulated diabetes, but can happen to puppies in certain situations.
Tail docking refers to the amputation of all or a portion of the puppy’s tail. This can be done for medical reasons, such as damage from frostbite or fracture if the pup’s tail gets shut in the door. Some dogs like Labrador retrievers are “tail beaters” in a constant state of bloody injury from flailing their tails against objects. Sometimes a puppy is born with a “crook” in the tail that may catch on objects and cause injury, and so this is removed for safety reasons.
While tapeworms are rarely a serious health risk, they can pose problems like irritation and itchiness when they emerge from your pup’s hind end (to say nothing about how gross they are!). It’s important to understand how your puppy contracts tapeworms to know how to get rid of the parasite and prevent its return.
If your puppy fears riding in the car, it can be a hassle to travel with it, even to bring it along on errands. Some puppies throw fits, cry, and even get sick on the drive. Learn what you can do to ease those fears so your new dog will grow into an excellent traveling companion at home and away.
Ear mites pose an itchy aggravation for puppies and their people. This parasite can travel outside of the pup’s body, making it very contagious to other pets in the home. If one pet has ear mites, all of the other dogs, cats, and ferret friends also need treatment. Your veterinarian can help after diagnosing the mite, but that can get pricey, so it’s also helpful to learn how you can medicate your puppy. Here’s how to cut the cost and treat puppy ear mites at home.