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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Dog Vaccines & Treatments




You can usually bring your puppy home at 8 weeks and they will need many shots before they are a year old. They will need rabies, distemper, and possible bordetella shots. You need to get them heart worm tested and protected.


Rabies vaccinations should be given at 12 or 16 weeks, boostered in 1 year, then boostered every 1 or 3 years depending on the vaccine used, and the state law. I live in Michigan and my dog needs to get a rabies vaccine every 3 years after she was puppy. I have to buy her a dog tag license every year by the end February. You can be fined if you don't show proof of rabies and your dog doesn't have a dog tag.

The distemper shot is a very important vaccine for your dog! Distemper is a serious disease that can be fatal. Signs of the disease are fever, not eating, lethargic, eyes running, diarrhea, and can have nasal discharge. You can prevent this disease with the distemper vaccine. Start vaccinating at 8 weeks, then re-vaccinate every 2-4 weeks until 16 weeks, then have them get a yearly booster.

The Bordetella vaccine is a bacteria that can cause a respiratory disease, which is the kennel cough. This cough can last for weeks to months in dogs. Dogs that live in shelters, pounds, or go to a kennel should get the Bordetella vaccine. Carley has had this vaccine, but she is never boarded or around other dogs, so I don't give this vaccine to her anymore.  Bordetella Vaccine requires only one dose in adult dogs, but immunity is only a couple months. Puppies should receive a booster every 2 to 4 weeks (starting at 8 weeks), until they reach 16 weeks old.

Heart worm in dogs is contracted by mosquitoes. I get my dog tested every year and treat her with a heart worm chew monthly for 6 months. I usually get her tested around April before the mosquitoes get bad. Dogs at 6 months of age or younger do not need to be tested to begin a heart worm preventative.  After 6 months of age, you need to wait to give the heart worm prevention until you receive a negative test result. If your dog is ever positive for heart worm then your dog will need to be treated at a vet hospital.
A Fecal test is testing the dogs stool for intestinal parasites. Your dog will need to be treated if the doctor sees any worms in the fecal test.

Flea protection is important as well. I use advantage on my dog. It comes in tubes and you place the treatment in between their shoulder blades. My dog went to a dog park and came home with two fleas on her, I freaked out. That year I didn't give her any flea protection and so I gave her flea powder instead after seeing fleas. It worked to kill the fleas.

Your puppy can start vaccines as early as 8 weeks. Keep your dog protected so she or he can live a long healthy long life.

Buying a new puppy

I consulted the Veterinarian Doctor at the Vet hospital I worked at before purchasing my pure breed Labrador retriever. I remember he told to make sure the dog comes from a recommended good breeder and it comes from a good line from both sets dog grandparents and parents.  He said to know if there was any history of hip dysplasia and retina detachment. Other breeds may have a different set of issues, it's helpful to research the breed. At first I didn't even know what he was talking about until I did some research of my own. After doing some research, I found out hip dysplasia and retina detachment is common among the Labrador breed. Luckily Carely hasn't experienced any of this. She does limp a little after playing outside or a long walk, so I give her glucosamine chews daily. Also you can give your dog a daily dog vitamin. Hip dysplasia normally happens during a young dog’s growing stages. Hip dysplasia can affect both the left and right hips. This can cause terrible pain to your pet. The disease usually is due to the laxity of the ligaments and muscles around the joints. It is mostly a genetic disease. Now Retina detachment in dogs happens when the retina detaches from the two outermost layers of tissue in your dog's eye. So I had to make sure that the dog I brought home didn't come from a history of parents or grandparents that experienced those concerns. Carley has been pretty healthy so far at 8 years old, she just had a senior check up with her blood taken and urine checked.

I remember when I chose Carley, I just said I wanted the smallest and whitest one. I wasn't even thinking about her temperament. However when you choose your new puppy, there are ways to determine if you dog is high strong, happy go lucky, hand shy, food dominate. Luckily Carley was just easily excited and didn't obey very well. If you place the puppy on it's back and he/she doesn't like it or is relaxed can tell you whether the dog is easy going or unsure. You can also see if the puppy is food dominate or not by putting a fake hand by its dish when the dog is eating. If the dog growls or bites the fake hand or stick then unfortunately your dog may bite you when eating. You can take the fake hand and pet the dog with it to see it its hand shy too. Most puppies are just glad to get attention and haven't developed any issues yet unless it an abused dog or a dog from a shelter. After picking out which puppy you would like then you need to think about vaccines, flea medicine, heartworm protection, testing, ect.. Also what type of dog food your puppy will eat. We bought puppy chow for Carley when she was a puppy and she loved it. Most puppies love any food just as long as they are eating!




Puppy Socialization

 
Socializing your dog is so important especially when you have children. When Carley was a puppy, we would take her everywhere we could.  She loved playing with other dogs and making new friends everywhere she went. Three years after bringing Carley home, we welcomed our first daughter. Carley was so well behaved around Audrey, just as I hoped. She was gentle and sweet around our daughter. Now we have a 4 1/2 month old and Carley is even more gentle around our second child. Although Labradors make good family dogs, its important to socialize them. We would take her our family or friend's homes, to the pet store, for walks, dog parks, and pretty much any place they allowed dogs. That gave us the opportunity to discipline her when she jumped up on people or became to excited!  She loves company and it can be difficult to keep her from jumping up or getting too excited, but after five minutes she calms down. We usually will have her on her leash when we have company over and give her a quick jerk of her leash to discipline her if necessary. Using treats helps to distract her and reward her for good behavior too. Now at 8 years old, Carley has slowed down a bit, but she is still our crazy friendly dog!
 
 
 
 





Puppy Potty Training Tips

 
Potty training larger breed dogs can be easier then training smaller breed dogs. It came easy for Carley, she only had a few accidents in house and then she learned quickly to go potty outside. It's important to use a dog crate to train your dog. When we bought our crate from Pet Smart, we bought it large enough for her to grow into, but with a divider. She slept one side with the divider as a small puppy. Dogs typically wont go to the bathroom in the place they sleep.
 
If your dog is in the small portion of the crate with the divider, they usually will wait to go potty so they don't soil the area they are laying in.  Its helpful to let your dog out of the crate every couple of hours and keep your dog in the crate daily to train them. Another tip is to use a repetitive key word for when they relieve themselves outdoors. We would say the words "go potty" every time she went potty outside. Praising them is crucial too. Carley responded well to us saying "good girl" in a high pitched voice over and over when she went potty outside or we would give her a treat too. When she had accidents indoors and if we caught her doing it, we would say "No No" and rush her outside. But we would never rub her nose in it or say bad girl or hit her! She learned pretty fast! 
 
 
 
 

 

Puppy Book

When I worked at the Vet office as a receptionist, they had a book there that I recommended. Its a simple read, but it gets the job done. Its Puppy Primer, you can find it on Amazon. The training tips and advice for crate training, house training, and socialization are listed in an easy to read format.  I used this book and it worked nicely when I trained Carley.


Puppy Obedience Class

Well we felt our beloved dog needed puppy training class. So at two years old we took her to Pet smart and signed her up for some classes. It reminded me of the movie, Marley and me, where the dog gets kicked out of the class! She got lucky since all dogs pass the class no matter what! I remember my husband was so frustrated when we would leave the class. Carley wouldn't listen and would be all over the place trying to jump on everyone. I don't even know if we or the dog learned anything, but I'm sure she had fun sniffing all the scents in the store!











Mischievous Puppy!

 

 

 
 
Our Cute Puppy we brought home 8 years ago, wasn't so cute after all. She ate 4 pairs of my shoes, my wedding album, dry wall, our end tables, and anything she could get her mouth on! I guess the chew toys and bones didn't satisfy her! My husband and I both were working at the time, so she was left alone with time to be bored. I would come home from my lunch break and let her out to do her business.  At first we used a crate to contain her to help with potty training, but then we felt bad that she was cooped up while we were gone. That was a mistake since she decided to eat everything in site. I remember a couple times I came home to find my garbage was all over the floor due to my naughty pup having herself a snack. Then I would let her outside and she would find a way to get all muddy by digging holes or rolling around in mud!
 
We decided we wanted her to have free rein of the yard so we trained her on an electric fence with a shock collar! Well somehow she found ways to escape out of the yard. I wished we had a fenced in yard. She is an indoor dog so she has access to all parts of our home, however don't wear black clothes to our  home or you will turn into a fur ball! We wouldn't trade anything for our loving dog, but the first couple of years of having a puppy is a challenge to say the least!