Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Education Info Section

EDUCATION INFO SECTION:


Start out on the right foot by doing all you can to ease your dog’s adjustment to his new family. Here’s the information you need to help make your friend’s stay in his new home safe and enjoyable.
DOG-PROOF YOUR HOME
Whether your new friend is a puppy or adult dog, here are important tips to help keep him out of harm’s way:
Keep household cleaners and chemicals out of his reach.
Restrict access to plants that are dangerous to dogs: poinsettias, azaleas, rhododendrons, dumb cane, Japanese yew, oleander and English ivy.
Store breakable items safely out of the way.
Hide or cover electrical cords so he won’t chew on them.
Safely store antifreeze, engine oil, laundry detergents and lawn chemicals.
Keep kids’ toys off the floor—since some parts may be small enough for your puppy or dog to swallow.
Use a cover and/or protective fencing if you have a pool or hot tub.
CHOOSING A NAME
Here are a few tips to consider before naming your new dog:
Names should be short. A two-syllable name is best because it’s brief and won’t be confused with one-syllable commands such as “No” or “Sit.”
Be consistent. All family members should use the same name—don’t use confusing nicknames or variations.
Reward your dog’s recognition of his name with lots of praise and play.
WELCOME HOME
As the “parent” of a puppy or new adult dog, it’s important for you to help him get used to his new surroundings. Think of him more as an infant than a pet: He’ll need plenty of patience, supervision and love. Here’s how you can help him adjust.
Bring him home when it’s quiet and you don’t have company. Also, choose a time when your routine is normal.
Show him the area of your yard that will be his bathroom before bringing him inside. Then take him there whenever he goes outside.
Give your dog his own room where you can keep his crate, complete with bedding and chew toys (leave the crate’s door open). He’ll feel safe in his “den.” Put down newspaper for accidents. (See pages 14-15 for more housebreaking tips.)
Supervise your puppy at all times, and play with him several times a day. You’ll help establish yourself as the pack leader.
Give him bathroom breaks every few hours and right after eating, drinking, sleeping and playing (watch for signals like sniffing or circling). Never punish your dog for accidents; instead, praise him when he goes in his outdoor spot.
GETTING EXERCISE
An appropriate amount of exercise will help promote your new dog’s good behavior and assist you in training him. Talk with your veterinarian about how much daily exercise your breed typically needs. Some dogs are just naturally more high-energy, and need more exercise than others. Schedule family members to exercise your dog throughout the day. I do not recommend outside walking until all shots have been completed which is 12 weeks of age.
MEETING CHILDREN
You should have no trouble at all encouraging your children to play with your new dog. Still, you’ll want to supervise his first interactions with your kids and set playtime limits—15-20 minutes two or three times a day. Here are still more ground rules to explain:
No rough teasing or playing. Tell your kids that tail-pulling and teasing can lead to bad habits like jumping up.
Be gentle. Tell kids never to shout at the dog, even if he does something wrong. Explain that dogs can be startled by loud noises.
INTRODUCING OTHER PETS
Here’s how to help him meet your resident animals:
Do it gradually. Keep them separated for the first few days.
Keep him safely in his crate (or behind an expandable doorway gate) as you supervise their first meeting.
After several days of sniffing each other out, let your resident pet enter the den while your new dog is out of his crate.
Giving your new dog the appropriate amount of exercise.
Supplies you’ll need
Have these supplies on hand before you bring your dog home with you.
Victor Dog food (purple bag)
Teething toys
Stainless-steel non-tipping food and water bowls
ID tags with the contact information for yourself and your veterinarian
A size small collar  and a 6-foot leather or nylon leash
Wire Crate 24x36 (this is great for when they first get home because the cat pan will fit along with a bed)
Baby shampoo (we love Baby Majic)
Brushes and combs
Cleanup supplies such as a stain remover, paper towels, and deodorizing spray
Washable bed and blankets (I use old towels that I don't mind washing a lot)
Large cat pan
Green Pine Pellets "Cozy n Fresh" brand for litter (Tractor Supply $6.00 for a 40 lb bag)
Missing Link Puppy Formula to sprinkle on food daily.




Your first veterinarian visit

In addition to providing your new dog optimum nutrition, scheduling regular visits to the veterinarian is key to ensuring his health and
happiness. Here’s how to prepare.
GETTING READY
If you have time, introduce your dog to his new veterinarian by scheduling
an orientation-only visit. Let the veterinarian’s staff pet him and offer treats. If you project a calm, upbeat attitude, your dog will likely remain calm, too. Some experts recommend scheduling these “just dropping in” visits on a regular basis.
THE FIRST APPOINTMENT
At your dog’s first appointment, you’ll be asked basic information, and a staff member may weigh your pet. Keeping track of his weight can help identify problems associated with weight loss or gain.
Then you’ll meet the veterinarian. You’ll be asked about your dog’s diet and lifestyle. Next you’ll get to ask about your dog’s care. Then the veterinarian will examine him and may administer his first vaccinations. Ask about heart worm prevention and flea control products.
THE VACCINATION SCHEDULE
The information you provided will help the veterinarian determine the kinds of diseases your dog may be exposed to and plan an appropriate vaccination schedule.
Schedules vary, but it’s important for puppies to get a series of vaccinations to provide optimal protection against infectious diseases like the ones listed at right. The series is begun as early as 6 weeks old, with boosters given 3 to 4 weeks apart (6 WK, 9 WK AND 12WK) and yearly until they are 12 to 16 years old.
Canine Distemper
Adenovirus-2
Canine Parainfluenza (DA2P)
Canine Parvovirus (CPV)
SPAYING AND NEUTERING
To help your dog live a longer, healthier life (and control pet overpopulation), spaying or neutering is important. Your veterinarian will recommend the appropriate age, generally around 5-6 months.

BATHING YOUR PUPPY
A brushing each week will keep your pup’s coat in good condition, but if he gets really dirty or has acquired an odor, use these steps to bathe your dog:
Step 1: Brush your pup and then gently plug each ear with a cotton ball. Place him in a tub or basin with a nonskid surface. Hold the collar firmly, then pour lukewarm water over his body, being careful to leave his head dry.Cold water will chill your dog and make bathing an unpleasant experience.
Step 2: Use a baby shampoo to soap the body. Work up a lather, talking to your puppy and praising him as you work. When he’s well lathered, move to his head, being careful to keep shampoo out of his eyes, ears and mouth.
Step 3: Rinse and dry the head, then rinse the body. When the water runs clear, rinse one more time. Dry your pup with towels and then remove the cotton plugs from his ears. If your dog has healthy skin, you can dry him further with a hair dryer set on low or warm.

Monday, December 24, 2007

***Create a Pet-Safe Home*****

When safeguarding your house, it's easy to forget about the family pet. Ana T. Pieruccetti crawls on all fours in any rooms she designates for critters. "When I analyze a home, I need to be curious like animals are," says Pieruccetti, owner of Lucca Bella dog spa in Dallas. Kitchens and bathrooms — high-traffic areas for animals — contain chemicals that can be dangerous. Secure all liquids in cabinets with childproof locks. Countertops and hot stoves are an easy reach for gravity-defying felines. The lazy dog's favorite toilet "water bowls" can sicken a pet no matter how clean you think your bathroom is.
If your animals are your favorite office mates, make your home office pet-friendly. Job number one is to secure electrical cords. You can wrap cords in cable snakes or sliced tubing, put them behind bureaus, hide them under carpets or tape them down. Pet supply stores sell bitter-tasting solutions to deter chewing. If your animals spend time in the garage, place any chemicals — especially antifreeze — out of reach. Antifreeze is sweet-tasting to dogs and cats, but less than a teaspoon of the chemical is highly toxic. And use antifreeze with propylene glycol, which is safer for animals if ingested in small amounts and better for the environment.
Your pets can share the holidays with you, but many of the foods that humans love can make animals sick. Foods to watch out for include chocolate, macadamia nuts, onions, raisins, grapes and alcohol. Coffee grounds and cigarette butts are hazards as well. The best bet is to clear plates and empty the sink of leftovers. Place all garbage in cans with secure or locked lids. It's also a good idea to put a skirt around live Christmas trees to prevent your pet from drinking from the tree stand. It's a tempting water bowl, but any chemicals in the tree will leach into the water. Low-hanging Christmas tree ornaments might be seen as toys, but they can break and injure your pet.
Half the fun of new kittens and puppies is watching them explore. Keep an eye out when loading the dryer or dishwasher, or when starting the car (bang on the hood), since cats love warm nooks. Sometimes homemade animal toys, like crumpled aluminum paper, strings, buttons and rawhide chews, can be dangerous; pieces can break off the toy and lodge in an animal's digestive tract. Your best bet is to supervise animals when they're playing with anything. De-icing salts can sicken dogs if they lick it off their paws; wipe post-walk paws with a damp cloth or buy pet-safe de-icers.
If you store clothes under the bed in bags, skip the mothballs, because they're highly toxic to animals. Also, cordon off areas with holes in the walls. Chicken wire is great for blocking hard-to-reach spaces where animals, especially cats, can get stuck or hurt themselves. A number of houseplants can also be dangerous to animals, and you can find detailed listings of poisonous houseplants online. Pieruccetti's list for a good pet first-aid kit includes Biocaine lotion, dog pads, alcohol pads, cold packs, a magnifying glass for removing anything stuck in paws, eyewash and an emergency blanket. If you're uneasy treating your pet, call your vet. Most have 24-hour emergency numbers if you have an injury that can't wait.