As the proud owner of a new puppy, you are faced with some big decisions in the first few months. Are ALL of those vaccinations necessary? Can my puppy start socializing by mingling at the dog park or on the street? When should I begin training, or hire a dog trainer? What may seem like obvious answers are actually quite complicated and critically important to your puppy's well being.
You might be surprised to know that dogs don't actually need a series" of shots in order to be immunized against canine diseases. That said
Contained in the October issue is an article I wrote about internal parasites worms. I needed art to accompany that article, and the best thing I could think of to depict a wormy dog was a photo of a typically round-bellied wormy puppy, the kind that is surrendered to shelters all too frequently. I called my local shelter and asked whether they had any wormy puppies with bloated tummies; it turned out that they had just received such a litter two days before, and I was invited to come down and take some pictures.
Can a highly stressful environment during pregnancy affect how puppies turn out? Imagine this: A young dog goes stray and lives on urban streets for two months, in almost constant fear. Kids chase her down a street, throwing rocks at her; she is attacked by another dog; and she struggles every day to scavenge enough to eat. At last she is apprehended by an animal control officer and brought to a shelter. Here she finally gets enough to eat, but she's still not able to relax; the shelter is full of strange smells and loud noises, her run is small, and the floor is hard. After she's been at the shelter for a few weeks, a shelter staff member realizes that she is pregnant and due very soon. The shelter puts her on the waiting list for a foster home, knowing that puppies don't do well when they grow up in shelters.
It's one of the best feelings in the whole world -- those first few hours with your new puppy when everything is perfect and anything is possible. It doesn't take long, however, for that bubble to burst. It could be the very first day, when you step in that pile of puppy poo on your Persian carpet, or find deep puppy tooth gouges in your treasured pair of Jimmy Choo shoes.
Cute is not the first word you reach for when describing newborn puppies. Born unable to hear or see, with smushed-in faces and twitchy little bodies, they look for all the world like diminutive aliens. Detached and distant visitors from another planet, they are in their own orbit, seeking only warmth, milk, and the rough caress of their mother’s tongue. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth.
A veterinarian's first priority is the physical health of her clients. As a result, sadly, some veterinarians still issue the out-of-date edict to their puppy owners to not take their baby dog anywhere until he is fully vaccinated age 4 to 6 months. This, of course, totally overlooks the very real concern for a pup's mental health, and the vital need for proper socialization to occur well before the pup is fully vaccinated. As mentioned in the accompanying article, the primary socialization period is early and short when the pup is 3 to 14 weeks of age.
Making a fresh look at the things we take for granted can be wonderfully enlightening. Sometimes, the little light bulb overhead begins to sizzle and sparkle, illuminating a new and better way of doing things. Consider this example: When some savvy veterinarians took a fresh look at performing spays, a surgery we've been doing the exact same way for decades, they came up with a revised technique that accomplishes all of the objectives of the spay surgery with fewer complications. How cool is that?
Responsible, holistic puppy care begins long before the puppy arrives at the homestead. In fact, the first step to creating a healthy puppy is the selection of the puppy’s parents! The best predictors of long-term health of puppies are the health history and personality of the parents. Breeding stock should be proven to be sound in body, mind, and socialization.
Modern-day dog owners enjoy the comforting certainty that their puppies can and will be given a series of vaccinations, so-called “puppy shots,” to protect them from life-threatening canine diseases such as distemper, parvovirus, and rabies. Most of us were indoctrinated in early childhood to schlep Shep to the vet once a year for his annual booster shots in order to extend that vital protection year after year. We accepted without question that a failure to do so was the height of dog owner irresponsibility.
Read any good puppy contracts lately? Probably not. Health and placement guarantees, spay and neuter requirements, limited registration and other legal details are important, but they can (yawn) put you right to sleep. Well, that used to be true, but today some breeders are writing contracts that leave people rubbing their eyes in disbelief because they contradict everything mainstream veterinary medicine recommends. These contracts require puppy buyers to feed an all-raw diet, avoid routine vaccinations, and use holistic therapies instead of conventional veterinary care.
they learn how to play so that they can get what they want and have fun. If they are too rough