Tag Archives: puppy

Your Puppy’s Development: 6 Weeks


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Your puppy is now six weeks old and one step closer to becoming independent! He is likely weaned, or very close to being weaned from his mother. Just as humans learn appropriate behaviors from their family and peers at a young age, puppies also must learn social cues during this period of development in order to integrate smoothly into the world. At this age he may even be learning to use the doggy-door! But there’s more for your pup to learn in the sixth week of his life.

Health
Puppies begin getting first their vaccines between six and eight weeks old. This gives them a great start in life and ensures immunity to many common puppyhood illnesses, like distemper, parvo, and Bordetella. PuppySpot requires all breeders to perform a comprehensive health evaluation for every puppy and keep their puppies up-to-date on all vaccinations and de-wormings.

A Growing Appetite
At six weeks, many puppies can start to eat dry kibble and their feeding can be reduced to three times a day, now that they are old enough to go longer between meals. Puppies can start by eating kibble soaked in warm water for one meal a day and drinking their mother’s milk for the other two meals. The amount of food the puppy eats will gradually increase as he gets more comfortable eating solid food from a bowl.

Socialization
Puppies at this age regularly interact with others, including their mom, littermates and breeder. A puppy greets his littermates with sniffing to the nose and tail. He also learns a lot from his mom—the best example of mature doggy behavior around. A puppy takes after his mom’s example, but he may still be quite rambunctious while he is learning.

A Typical Day
A puppy at six weeks will be curious about his surroundings, as well as those who inhabit it. He’ll sniff his littermates’ noses and tails the same way adult dogs sniff each other when they first meet. Humans may view sniffing each other’s rear ends as an odd way to say hello, but it’s just how dogs get to know each other. The stronger the scent, the more information is available for a pup’s nose to pick up!

Your six-week-old puppy is no longer glued to his mother, and is starting to spend more time interacting with his littermates. He likes to use his newfound mobility to learn from and form relationships with his family. But he’s still got a long way to go before adulthood!

Your Puppy’s Development: 5 Weeks


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Week five is when a puppy is exposed to new faces other than his mom and littermates. At this age, your puppy appears more playful and curious by the day. She is exploring the world around her and learning how to interact with others. Socialization is all about learning how to interact with other dogs and humans and your puppy is just beginning this process. Since her eyesight is now well-developed, she is fully aware of her surroundings and eager to take her place in the big, busy world.

Socialization

At five weeks old, a puppy begins to form relationships with people and other dogs. Her first interactions will be with her mother, but now that her eyesight is fully developed, the puppy will start getting to know her siblings, caretaker and other humans. She now interacts with people every day, getting to know their touch and scent. She also learns to identify and interact with her littermates. These early lessons on how to be a dog will be useful for years to come.

Playtime

A puppy five weeks of age enjoys playtime with her littermates, mother and human caretakers. This is also when, as fidosavvy.com describes, your puppy learns the important lesson of “bite inhibition” and the difference between fighting and play biting. This lesson teaches a puppy the appropriate limits of play in her future interactions with others.

A Typical Day
Your puppy already looks more active—rather than sleeping all day, her open eyes give her more reasons to stay awake and explore. She enjoys activities like playing with humans and her littermates, and is learning more about the world every day.

A puppy at five weeks old takes in a lot of new information, while also enjoying herself as she gets to know the pups and people in her life. Socialization holds special importance during this period, and a breeder might accomplish this by encouraging her to spend more time with her littermates instead of predominantly with her mother. Giving the pup some alone time also helps prepare her for her eventual journey to meet her new family!

Your Puppy’s Development: 4 Weeks


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During the first four weeks of a puppy’s life, integral development begins that will set the stage for the rest of his life. While still very young, the puppy takes his first step towards independence: weaning. It is during this period of time that your puppy starts to gain independence from his mother. The puppy no longer relies on his mother as his sole distributor of nutrition. This is where human intervention enters the equation to make sure the puppy grows and receives the best care possible. Your experienced breeder takes on a very important role full of responsibility at this stage.

Because puppies are in the care of their breeders until at least eight weeks old, we’ve put together a snapshot of developmental milestones your puppy experiences, starting at four weeks old.

Physical Changes
At four weeks, your puppy undergoes a major increase in growth. A puppy’s eyes open between two and four weeks old. Like human babies, puppies are born with bluish-gray eyes, but by this stage, their eyes settle into their adult eye color. Your puppy now has a full set of puppy teeth and can begin weaning. He starts to eat soft foods, and according to fidosavvy.com, some mother dogs will even regurgitate their food to give their puppies a soft form of nutrition. When not sleeping, your puppy spends most of his time eating and still needs food at least four times a day.

Socialization
While your puppy’s motor skills are still limited at four weeks old, he shows the beginnings of playful behavior through his various human and canine interactions. Every breeder has certain practices for further preparing your puppy for socialization as an adult. A common practice among breeders is a method called “tolerance training,” which is a way of handling the puppy to make him more tolerant of future handling from new people. This training can be especially helpful to prime for your puppy for contact with young children who do not know their limits when it comes to handling living creatures. This training can include gently tugging on puppies’ tails, lightly squeezing their paws, turning the puppies over and rubbing their bellies.

A Typical Day
A four-week-old puppy spends most of his time sleeping and eating, but the rest of the time is spent exploring! He can stand up, walk around, wag his tail and test out little puppy barks. He interacts with his littermates and learns about his place in the world as a pup.

Between two and four weeks of age the puppy begins to gain independence from his mother, heightened senses and greater knowledge about his surroundings. The socialization that takes place naturally between him and his littermates and his increased ability to observe his surroundings will give him a good foundation for a healthy and happy future.

7 Pups Who Are Too Sleepy to Dog


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A wise person once said, “Never wake a sleeping puppy.” We agree for a multitude of reasons, the most prominent being they’re just so stinking cute while in puppy dreamland. So adorable, in fact, that we rounded up seven pups who are too sleepy to dog.

This pup needs five more minutes.

This pup hasn’t quite nailed the art of “the puppy nap.”

Source: Imgur

This pup looks like he’s sleeping on a gray cloud of serenity.

This pup is drained from pretending to be a basket of fresh-baked muffins.

Source: FanPop

This pup is also pooped, but from pretending to be a basket of freshly picked flowers.

This pup is “dog tired” from her therapy session.

Source: dailymail

This pup wants cuddle-company.

Source: Tumblr

Managing Your Dog’s Tendency to Jump on People


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Have you ever walked into someone’s home and had their dog jump up on you? While some dog lovers may not think twice and some may even welcome this behavior, others could be taken aback, frightened, or annoyed. The truth is, dogs shouldn’t jump on people, whether it’s their own family members, a house guest or stranger. Learning how to manage your dog’s inclination to jump is essential to having a safe, happy household for both your puppy and your family.

You Make Me Wanna Jump, Jump: Why They Do It
There are several explanations for a dog’s tendency to jump on people. Although this behavior may sometimes simply be a result of your pup’s overwhelming excitement or desire to play, it may also be rooted in a dog’s instinctive desire to reflect their standing in their ‘pack.’ When dogs greet one another, they sniff each other’s faces. Therefore, jumping up on you is widely believed to be an attempt to level their height with yours and greet you as an equal. A dog may also be trying to reach your face in order to lick it, which is a learned behavior that indicates submissiveness. Puppies licking around their mothers’ mouths shows her that they are submissive to her (“sorry, mom!”), so this behavior is meant to demonstrate to you that your pup views you as her leader.

Conversely, jumping may also be a dog’s reaction to feeling uneasy when someone (especially someone new) comes into the house. In this case, jumping is an attempt to show the pup’s dominance over this visitor. Your pup may also be jumping because she is anxious, and has quickly learned that if she jumps on you, she will be picked up and held close or petted.

Fix the Problem
It’s best to correct this problem during puppyhood, when your puppy is busy growing, absorbing information and learning how to become a well-behaved family member. If the jumping continues past these early years, it’s much more likely that the dog could frighten, or worse, injure someone. At a young age, a puppy’s biological mother teaches boundaries in a firm, calm manner. You should take a similar approach to correcting this behavior, and establish your expectations early on.

The most widely accepted way to stop a dog from jumping is to simply ignore it. Each time the dog jumps up, turn away, and don’t look or speak to your dog. Only reward her with your attention once she has had all four paws on the ground for several seconds. If the pup jumps again, repeat the process until she is back on all fours once again.

It’s always a good idea to reward your dog with attention once she is calm, even if you are irritated at her for jumping. Yelling at the puppy or scolding her is generally considered not to be as effective as simply withholding affection and attention until the bad behavior is no longer happening. This will allow your puppy to make the connection between having all four feet on the floor and getting all the belly rubs and cuddles she wants!

If you believe your dog is jumping on guests to assert control, you should consider not allowing her to greet guests right away. Confine the dog and allow her to greet guests once she has calmed down. If your pup acts aggressive towards visitors, it may be best to simply keep them separated – this will keep both the guests and the dogs safer and happier.

Consistency is Key
Being inconsistent in your treatment of this behavior will only lead to misunderstanding and anxiety in your dog as well as frustration for you as the behavior will not change. Be clear every time you encounter the behavior that it is unacceptable, and that you will only greet a dog who has all four feet on the ground! It will be confusing for your puppy if you allow her to jump on you but then expect her not to jump on guests. Pick one approach, and stick with it! You can even involve your close family or friends in your puppy’s training, and show them how to treat the behavior when they come over. Pretty soon, you’ll have a polite, well-behaved furever friend ready to be part of the greeting committee at your home.

How to Find a Responsible Breeder


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Congratulations! You’ve made the big, meaningful decision to get a dog. You’re ready to experience all the love a puppy brings to a home and with your mind now made up, the excitement is building and you’re anxious to find “The One.”

Having placed tens of thousands of dogs into loving homes, we are proud of both our expertise in selecting the top breeders in the country (we accept less than 10% of applicants into our network) and our commitment to matching well-qualified puppy parents to be with the right dogs for them and their families.

Over the years, we’ve talked to countless dog owners, breeders and puppy parents-to-be, and our goal has always been to help make the process of finding a dog easy and safe, while making the transition for the puppies and new owners as seamless as possible. Through our experience, we’ve learned the keys to responsibly finding a dog and want to share them with you.

buy-responsibly-thumbnailTo empower you and start you off on the right foot as a puppy parent-to-be, we’ve broken down the top 10 questions to ask your puppy source. By doing your due diligence with the necessary research, you’ll be able to make an informed, educated choice, thereby ensuring your puppy’s optimal well-being, health and happiness.

1. Where did the puppy come from?
It’s crucial to fully know and understand your puppy’s history – birth place, parents, lineage, characteristics, any known health issues, current state of care, any former owners, etc.

2. If selecting from a breeder, is the breeder USDA licensed or legally exempt from licensing?
Fortunately, the breeding industry is regulated by the Federal government, and licensed breeders are required to follow strict standards on cleanliness, protocol and humane treatment of all animals on the premises.

3. Does a veterinarian examine the puppies before they’re released to the puppy owner?
Because your puppy’s health is of utmost importance, it’s imperative to make sure a licensed veterinarian has done a nose-to-tail examination of the puppy and has written up a comprehensive report so you’re aware of and adequately prepared for any issues before choosing your puppy.

4. Is the puppy up-to-date on all vaccinations?
Make sure to obtain records of vaccinations to ensure the puppy is current on all the necessary immunizations for his/her age. Vaccines are essential to protect against potentially life-threatening illnesses.

5. Has the puppy been socialized with other puppies, dogs and people?
You’ll want to make sure the puppy has had regular interaction with not just other puppies in its litter, but also other adult dogs and of course, people. You’ll want to have a full assessment of any socialization or behavioral issues before deciding whether the dog is right for you and/or your family.

6. Do you offer a guarantee on the dog’s health?
Unfortunately, even the most well taken care of dogs can sometimes get sick. Because life happens, it’s important to be realistic and ask if your puppy source offers any sort of health guarantee or reimbursement, should you discover your puppy has a genetic or hereditary illness or contracts a disease within a certain period of time.

7. Can I see photos and video of the puppies and/or litters available?
A reputable breeder will not only answer any and all questions you may have, but will also happily send photos and/or videos of the puppies you’re interested in so you can not only see what they look like, but also observe their behavior and temperament. Because geographical limitations often prevent the ability to visit a facility in person, photos and videos are great ways to learn more about the puppies, parents and breeder.

8. What paperwork has already been filed, and what documentation will I receive with the puppy?
Find out if the puppy has already been registered and has the required certification. Some breeders will handle, while others require the prospective puppy owner to complete the process. You’ll want to be aware of what paperwork (if any) lies within your responsibility. In addition, many breeders will offer proof of genetic testing for the sire and dam (parents) of the puppy.

9. What is the breeder’s experience and background?
It is your right to learn about the breeder you’re choosing from – not just how they run their operation, but also their expertise and history with dog breeding. Besides amount of years breeding, you may want to ask if the breeder belongs to any breed organizations or clubs, what criteria they require of their stock, and simply, why they breed dogs. The love and passion for what they do will come through in their responses. You should also ask who you should reach out to with any issues after the sale. A good breeder will check in periodically after puppy arrives home.

10. Is there a contract? If so, what are the terms and guarantees?
Similar to the health guarantee mentioned above, understand the inclusions and limitations of your agreement, which can include anything and everything from spaying and neutering to re-homing provisions.

Introducing Puppy to Your Older Dog: The Secret to Successful Socialization


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Having a canine companion is one of the greatest blessings of friendship outside the human circle. While pooches grow even more lovable each day, there may come a time when a pup parent entertains the idea of doubling the fun and bonding by adding another dog to the household. If you were or are one of those people, you’ll understand how wonderful it can be to have two furry friends roaming the house.

Yet, it can take some time for that bond to form – just as an older child may experience adjustment issues when a sibling arrives, the same goes for pups. Dogs are inherently pack animals and thus territorial issues are not only normal, but to be expected. And since your older dog is likely to be larger than your puppy, the attempt to assert physical dominance is likely.

But don’t fret – with hard work, patience and understanding, establishing a healthy rapport between your two pooches is possible. And once they get used to each other, get the camera ready because there will be so many opportunities to capture adorable moments of the two playing, sleeping or eating together. Follow these tips to successfully socialize a new puppy with an older dog.

Let Your Older Dog Lead
introducing-older-thumbnailSince your older dog has been with you for quite some time, you will be in a good position to gauge if she has aggression issues that could make a two-dog household more trouble than harmonious. Assess how your dog behaves towards other dogs and animals in your area. Has your older dog gotten into brawls with other dogs? Another factor to consider is that puppies are extremely high energy and their desire to play may come as a bother to your older dog who has more of a mellow demeanor. An annoyed older dog may either walk away (best case scenario) or throw her weight around and retaliate by snapping or growling.

Remember The Pack Animal Mentality
Your older dog may be the tamest and most obedient canine you have encountered, but a pack animal will always want the group to know she’s boss. Therefore, when you first introduce your dogs, make sure they’re both held firmly on leashes by two different individuals and separated by sufficient space. Do not let the two dogs interact unsupervised until they’ve had adequate time to get to know each other and are comfortable with each other’s presence.

Crate or Confine Puppy to Designated Space
Since your older dog has rightfully established her territory long before your new puppy’s arrival, a key factor for their peaceful co-existence is to either crate train or confine your puppy to a gated-off area for the first few months. This will not only serve to prevent messes and destruction, but also teach your puppy to respect your older dog’s personal domain. By allocating different areas of your home to both dogs, they will grow accustomed to a safe and comfortable roommate situation, and eventually a loving canine relationship.

Leverage The Canine Sense of Smell
While you likely already know that a dog’s sense of smell is highly sensitive, you may not know there’s a unique way to use that adorable snout to your advantage when it comes to assimilating a new dog into a dominant dog residence. Before the dogs meet face-to-face, give your new puppy a blanket or toy to sleep with, ideally for a couple of nights, so the blanket or toy is saturated in his smell. Then give that blanket or toy to your adult dog to get her acquainted and familiar with the new puppy smell. This simple technique will facilitate easier bonding and friendship.

Rest assured, once your two pups are socialized, you’re in for a special treat. Your furry children will eventually love having each other’s company when home alone, playing together outside or snuggling up together for comfort.

What to Expect at 12-16 Weeks of Age


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At 12-16 weeks of age, your puppy will be growing rapidly, both physically and mentally. Puppy’s senses and motor skills are becoming more advanced, which means you’ll notice his curiosity peaking, a more acute awareness of his surroundings and less awkward movements as he continues to discover his new environment and practices walking and running. A major development is something called “flight ingraining,” which means that instead of following you around everywhere, puppy is now starting to test limits by exploring boundaries. Puppy is excited by his newfound independence and you may notice him always headed in the opposite direction of you. Don’t let it become a habit; consider this the time to reel him in with both leash and obedience training!

Training

Congratulations on the progress you’ve already made in potty training. It should be getting easier as your puppy gains better bladder control, though you should still expect random (and sometimes, frequent) accidents to occur. Remember, patience and consistency is key to house training success. You may also want to enroll your puppy in a group training class to start socialization training if you haven’t already. Between 0-16 weeks is by far and away the most crucial learning period in your pup’s life. Consider him a sponge for soaking up your teachings. While there will be other opportunities to refine and change behavior, this is the time period when training is the most successful.

Health/Safety

6-12-thumbnailYour puppy should have already received his first vaccinations, but should be getting boosters at 12 and 16 weeks. Make sure you’re up to date on your immunization schedule by checking with your vet. For example, Parvo is typically given at 16 weeks. Vaccines are required for most pet service providers such as groomers and daycares as well as dog parks, so it’s imperative you’re current on those shots before putting your dog or another’s dog in a potentially dangerous health situation.

Make sure that your home is not only puppy-proofed, but that you keep small, chokable/swallowable items away from your pup.

Nutrition

Your puppy should be eating high quality, solid food now that he’s

been weaned from his mama. Check with your veterinarian on the right feeding plan (on both amount per serving and frequency), but dependent on the breed, your puppy will likely require a few smaller meals throughout the day than adult dogs. As he grows, his “puppy teeth” will begin to fall out and be replaced by “permanent” or adult teeth. Just like a human baby, puppy will want to teethe, so make sure to give him plenty of chew toys to soothe his sore gums (and to prevent unwanted chewing on valuables!).

Socialization

At this age, you’ll want to introduce your puppy to all kinds of new experiences to make sure he starts to get comfortable around not only other dogs but also various kinds of people – men, women, kids, senior citizens and strangers. At around 16 weeks is often when your puppy enters a fear stage. You’ll want to create positive associations with new things that may be frightening to your puppy such as loud noises or other animals to foster a healthy, safe transition and assimilation to his new world.

7 Pups Who Want to Show You Their Toys


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Every pup parent knows a busy pup is not only a happy pup, but also less destructive. Not to mention, puppies happen to look “doggone” adorable with a toy in tow. So, we put together a compilation of pups playing with their favorite stuffy and chew toys for your viewing pleasure.

lamby-thumbnail

This pup’s lamby may be almost as big as she is, but that’s not stopping her from taking a bite out of her furry friend.

 

 

 

wooden-toy-thumbnailThis puppy is into the simpler things in life, like a wooden toy train.

 

 

 

 

whale-thumbnailThis white ball of floof is ready for you to reach for her whale, but at the last second she’ll scoop it up and run away.

 

 

 

loot-thumbnailOkay, this is more of a treat than a toy, but this puppy is still proud to show off his loot.

 

 

 

 

foxy-thumbnailThis pup is feeling foxy and isn’t afraid to show it.

 

 

 

 

mickey-thumbnailThis pup just got back from Disneyland and won’t put down his new friend Mickey.

 

 

 

 

toys-thumbnailThis little guy has all the toys and refuses to share any of them with you.

 

 

 

 

 

6 Ways Puppies Say “Hello”


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For animals with little to no vocabulary, pups sure have developed plenty of ways to say hello to humans and other pooches! We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite greetings from the most adorable pups.

The “I’m ready to start my morning” hello.

golden

The “I’M SO EXCITED YOU’RE HERE, I THOUGHT I’D NEVER SEE YOU AGAIN!” hello.

blue eyes

The “casual” hey.

heyyy

The “Say WHAT?” hello.

say what

The “SURPRISE, it’s me!” hello.

surprise

The “I didn’t see you come in” hello.

pup in box

Top 10 Values Your Child Can Learn From a Dog


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Families with kids are most likely to own a pet, so it may not come as surprising news that in addition to the built-in friendship and playtime that comes along with the child-dog relationship, there are a multitude of emotional and educational benefits as well.

Get ready for your furry child to teach your human child(ren) some invaluable life lessons, such as:

  1. Responsibility

Dogs require a lot of attention and on a frequent, regular schedule.  So, whether you involve your child(ren) in daily feeding, exercise, or even cleaning up after puppy goes potty, these chores will quickly teach your child the meaning of responsibility.  And with that responsibility, comes the unmatched feeling of accomplishment. By praising your child when they successfully complete a task, the importance of responsibility will be enforced.

  1. Compassion

Understanding and responding to a dog’s basic needs teaches kids both compassion and empathy. When the family dog is under the weather, take that trying time as an opportunity to teach your child the significance of being a caretaker. Explain that with the child’s help, the dog can be nursed back to health. This will reinforce the important lesson of nurturing and showing empathy for others who need comfort.

  1. Respect

Teaching a child to be respectful can be a difficult task, but through simple tasks such as petting a dog gently, acting as a caretaker or even giving a dog necessary space or time alone when sleeping or eating, your child will start to learn the meaning of respect.

  1. Loyalty

A dog is known to be fiercely loyal to his family and with explanation of what loyalty means – a strong feeling of support and allegiance – children will quickly begin to understand the significance and how to reciprocate that love and devotion.

  1. Trust

thumbnail-top-10-values-child-learnsDogs trust that their owners will take care of them and keep them healthy. This concept alone is a lesson in trust. Delving a bit deeper, dogs are often described as offering unconditional love. Whether their owner is sad, happy, scared or upset, dogs do not judge and do not withhold their devotion. This can be a step in helping your child learn to build trust in other relationships, too.

 

  1. Loss

Unfortunately, losing a pet is an inevitable and heartbreaking part of life. When a dog gets sick and passes away, it’s important to use the experience (depending on the appropriate age of the child) as an invaluable teaching moment. For example, learning coping skills as well as allowing time to mourn and cry are important pieces of the bereavement process.

  1. Physical Health

Playing a game of fetch with your dog is not only a fun bonding activity, but it’s also an opportunity to teach your child the importance of physical fitness, treating your body well and staying active for overall health and well-being.

  1. Patience

Bonding with a dog can be a process. While your child may want to pick up the puppy right away and snuggle her, puppy may not yet be comfortable with the child. This is prime time for a lesson in waiting for the good stuff. Similarly, training can be extremely frustrating for a child (and you for that matter). By explaining that with time and hard work, training will show results, the art of patience will be learned.

  1. Socialization

Anyone who has a dog can attest that these furry four-legged buddies are the best conversation starters! While walking the dog, you’re bound to run into other dog walkers who will ask you your dog’s breed, name, age and more. Having your child join you on the walk and answer these questions as well as reciprocate, will help teach the art of conversing and being polite. To this point, pets are known to be extremely beneficial to children with autism and other developmental issues, who may lack social skills such as sharing or making eye contact.

Living in the Moment
A dog sticks his head out the window of the car to enjoy a fresh breeze, jumps in puddles without fear of getting wet, chases balls tirelessly and shows excitement to express interest. Likewise, kids shouldn’t hold back when it comes to living life to its fullest each and every day. Following their dog’s lead, encourage them to take joy in even the smallest moments.

 

 

What to Expect at 8-12 Weeks of Age


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Congratulations! Between 8-12 weeks, your puppy has arrived home and the intense bonding process between puppy and family has already begun.

You’ve entered a crucial learning period which will provide the foundation for your puppy’s mental and physical development. Newly away from his biological mommy and litter siblings, your puppy is experiencing a high level of curiosity in his new environment. Anything within reach will be investigated, and likely chewed as a result of that curiosity. In fact, you’ll notice your puppy “mouthing” a lot which is how he grows familiar with the world around him. Basic personality characteristics will begin to emerge but a lot of your puppy’s traits will form based on how he is treated and cared for by the family.

Your puppy is starting to take an active interest in human beings and will look to you for direction on how to behave. So, imagine your puppy as a sponge, ready to absorb all of the information you can provide. This is your opportunity to not only teach him new things, but also to set the tone and dynamics of the relationship. It’s important to socialize your dog with other people outside of the family as well as other vaccinated dogs. Basically, however you’d like your puppy to interact with the world, start introducing it now. So, if you plan to transport him regularly, start taking him for car rides. If you want to make him comfortable with loud noises, don’t be afraid to vacuum the house or run the blender.

thumbnail-puppy-developmentAs far as physical growth, you may have noticed your puppy is a bit rambunctious and messy – clumsily running around and emptying his bladder and bowels often. At this stage, you should be taking puppy out every two hours – remember, frequent trips outside mean less accidents and clean up for you!  As far as appearance goes, puppies are heart melting for a reason – enjoy those big eyes, soft features and sleepiness; and snuggle/hold him often – if your puppy is meant to grow up to be a large dog, you won’t have that opportunity for much longer!

In this vulnerable age, keeping your puppy safe is key. The natural immunity passed on from his mother is starting to wear off, and will soon be taken over by rounds of vaccinations. To avoid the dangers of your puppy contracting illness, specifically Parvo, do not allow your puppy around other non-vaccinated dogs. This means: Stay away from dog parks, and even walking down the street if it’s a highly foot-trafficked area. About a week after the final vaccinations (around 17 weeks-old), you’ll be able to take your pup everywhere – so just be patient!

Just like with a new baby, you may be worried about your puppy’s health before the first vet visit. Here are the symptoms to keep an eye out for which may require a phone call to your vet:

  • Diarrhea – if it lasts more than a day, is extremely watery or discolored
  • Vomiting – if it persists more than a day, or is extreme
  • Unwillingness to Eat or Drink – if puppy is not interested in food or water

Remember, use your best instincts – if something seems off, don’t hesitate and reach out to a professional.

Finally, there is no better time to start training than now. The earlier your puppy begins basic training, the faster he will learn. There are many different methods and philosophies to training your pup, but a steadfast rule for all is to remain calm, be patient and reward good behavior. Good luck!

More Than a Hair Cut, Grooming is Health Necessity


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Many dog owners consider grooming their pooch a luxury or vanity service, rather than a health need. Yet, this notion couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s crucial to change this perception as grooming is a necessary in taking care of not just your dog’s look, but also his health and well-being. And so, we’re here to educate dog owners on the following health benefits of regular grooming.

Ear Mites and Ear Infections
Most groomers will closely check your dog’s ears, which are breeding grounds for bacteria, and be able to spot infections or mites, which may otherwise be invisible to the untrained eye of the average dog owner. If infection or mites are found, the groomer may recommend over the counter treatment, or depending on the severity, recommend you see a veterinarian for a prescription.

Fleas, Ticks or Parasites
A professional groomer will check your dog’s body for ticks, fleas and other parasites, which should then be removed meticulously by the groomer. Fleas are typically found while your dog is being bathed in the tub and with a thorough shampoo, most if not all fleas will die in the water.  If the groomer finds ticks however, they are typically removed during the high velocity drying process by splitting the dog’s hair line by line, removing the dead coat and drying the skin row by row. If your groomer finds worms, you’ll be referred to a vet for a checkup. You may want to ask your groomer if they “fluff dry” or “brush dry” to confirm they use either of these thorough techniques.

Abnormal Skin Growths
It’s a good idea to remind your groomer, who is familiar with dog anatomy, to check for skin abnormalities during the grooming process. Because they’re spending a great deal of time on your pup’s hair, skin and body, this is an appropriate time for them to notice any bumps, lumps or abscesses. If these symptoms are identified in the early stages, you can treat your dog before the condition worsens or a serious illness develops.

Nails, Teeth and Sanitary Area
A typical professional dog grooming packaging doesn’t just include a bath and a trim, but also maintenance of other important hygiene areas such as paws, mouth and buttocks. Nail trimming prevents blood vessels from growing too long inside the nail, which could cause problems as your dog gets older. Not to mention, the sound of long nails scratching the floor or furniture can be reason enough alone to get them trimmed regularly! It’s also important for your groomer to trim hair that grows in between the toes, as sometimes burs and tar can get stuck, penetrate the skin and become infected. Regular teeth brushing can also be performed by your groomer, which can help prevent dental disease and bad breath. Lastly, trimming around the sanitary area removes excess hair that’s more prone to hosting bacteria and carrying feces. If your dog is in need of external anal gland expression due to inflammation, allergies, infection, or abnormal stool, your groomer may be able to handle as well. If it’s a larger problem that requires internal expression, you should be referred over to your vet.

Matting
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Some breeds with longer hair are prone to matting (also known as knotted balls of hair), especially in hard to detangle areas like the face, neck and ears. Besides looking a bit rough around the edges, mats can be painful because they pull the skin tight and can lead to skin ulcers, abrasions and other problems. Sometimes a mat can be cut out with scissors, but other times they require a complete shave down. The good news is that with a regular grooming schedule, mats can easily be prevented.