Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Baark! On : Healthy Puppies.

Everybody loves puppies, don’t they? Cute, wriggly bundles of fun! But they do need a lot more care than an adult dog and a few visits to the vet in the early stages to ensure they stay healthy through to adulthood. You may have recently adopted a puppy from the Humane Society or maybe your neighbor gave you one from a recently born litter. Perhaps you found a litter with a stray momma dog or your dog recently gave birth, However you have obtained a puppy, here is some tips to keep them healthy.
Picture used with permission
  • Ensure the momma dog is well fed and watered when she is nursing the pups, so she is healthy enough to take good care of them
  • Create a clean, dry area for her to nurse if possible.
  •  Puppies need their first worming at 2 weeks. This is very important and could save their lives
  •  Puppies need to have vaccinations at 6 weeks, 8 weeks and 10 weeks. There are serious diseases which could kill your puppy within days. Better to vaccinate than to have an expensive vets bill when they get sick.
  •  Mange is a very common condition in puppies. It is caused by mites in the skin. There are different types of mange, so it is important to consult a vet before you treat the condition as you may be wasting your time. If left untreated, mange can develop into a secondary skin infection through scratching, which is very painful. Healthy puppies are less likely to suffer from mange, so it’s important to make sure they always have access to food and clean water.
  •   If you find orphaned puppies you can bottle feed them puppy formula or goats milk (which is the closest to their mother’s milk) Puppies can start to eat puppy kibble softened with water or milk from 4 - 5 weeks onwards.
  •  Contact the Humane Society if you need help with orphaned puppies. They will be able to advise you.
  •  Involve your children in taking care of them. The experience will teach them responsibility and the bonds formed between a child and a pet can help their empathy skills later in life.
  •  Older puppies have lots of energy and just want to play, play, play. If you do not provide toys for them, their play will become destructive and they will turn to household objects and your prized possessions, especially if they have your scent on them! Although it might sound crazy, if you have an outdoor dog, two are usually better than one as they will play together and keep each other company, thus staying out of trouble.

If you would like to get your dog neutered (male) or spayed (female) please contact 427-SPAY (7729) or send us a message via email or find us on Facebook.

We also provide the same service for cats. A lot of the above information applies to kittens too. We will be posting future articles for cat lovers! If you have any questions regarding your animal’s health you should always contact your veterinarian.

A huge thank you to Shelley Hardman for contributing this amazing article to our column and blog!

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