What to look for when it comes to your New Puppy
Your New Puppy’s Wellness Visits
Each time a dog comes to us for core vaccines, he/she is examined by the doctor. It is important to assess your dog’s health prior to vaccinating and provides an opportunity to discuss any questions or concerns regarding your dog’s health.
We recommend that all puppies start on heartworm /Intestinal Parasite and flea/tick prevention as early as 8 weeks of age and continue monthly, year-round, lifelong.
To see more information on Vaccinations download out NEW PUPPY .pdf here.
Parasites in Pets
What To Look For
These parasites inhabit the cardiovascular system. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes and can cause severe heart and lung disease. Heartworm disease is very costly to treat and can ultimately cause your pet’s death; therefore, we recommend all dogs be on a monthly heartworm preventative.
These parasites live in the large intestine and can cause gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea and intestinal damage. It is important to look for heartworm prevention that also controls whipworms. Whipworms are extremely hardy and do not shed eggs consistently. For this reason, infection with whipworms can go undiagnosed.
A protozoal organism that can cause gastrointestinal upset.
Fleas and rodents are the carriers of tapeworms. Tapeworms are flat, white, segmented worms. The rice-like segments break off and can usually be detected under the pet’s tail or on your pet’s bedding.
ROUNDWORMS(Zoonotic) A very common parasite that inhabits the small intestine. The infective eggs are shed in milk and feces. These parasites can cause vomiting, gas and diarrhea.
A bloodsucking parasite that lives in the small intestine and can cause severe anemia due to blood loss. Symptoms can include dark, loose stools.
A protozoal organism that pets can acquire by consuming contaminated water. These parasites are most often associated with diarrhea.
FLEAS and TICKS
These burdensome parasites are common but can be controlled with an effective flea/tick prevention product, such as Frontline Plus or Nexgard. We recommend using Frontline Plus or Nexgard monthly for all dogs.
*ZOONOTIC DISEASE: Any disease that can be transmitted from an animal to a human being.
Routine Care For Dogs
Dogs require routine ear care, though some require more than others. Some dogs are fortunate and rarely, if ever accumulate wax or debris in their ears. However, most dogs require ear flushing to maintain healthy ears. Any type of water event, such as swimming and bathing, can predispose a dog to ear infections. Flushing the ears after swimming or bathing dries the ears and decreases the risk of developing bacterial or yeast infections.
Fill the ear canal with a veterinary approved ear cleansing solution until it is spilling over. Massage the base of the ear to help break up any debris deep in the ear canal. Swipe out any debris that you can easily reach with your finger and a cotton ball. Repeat this process 2-3 times for each ear until minimal to no debris is coming from the ear. We recommend using Douxo Micellar Ear Solution. It is gentle, does not sting, is good at dissolving hard to reach wax and dries the ears after cleaning. This product is known to have fewer negative side effects than other ear cleaning products on the market.
Some dogs with chronic ear issues or allergic skin disease may require more frequent ear flushing.
Dogs benefit from daily toothbrushing for all the same reasons people do. Plaque, which hardens into tarter, accumulates on your dog’s teeth. Accumulation of tartar and inflammation of the gingiva leads to irreversible progression of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is painful, adversely affects your dog’s health and results in bone loss and tooth loss. In addition to brushing, many oral health care products are available. Ask us how we can help!
A dog’s nails should be trimmed every 4-8 weeks depending on individual factors. We can teach you how to trim your dog’s nails at home or we offer this service on a technician appointment. We can also talk with you about helpful techniques and what to look for in quality instruments.
Your Canine’s Nutrition
When your dog is less than 8 months of age, and not yet spayed/neutered, the feeding recommendations on the bag are usually appropriate However, if your pet is over 8 months of age, and is spayed/neutered, those guidelines could result in overfeeding. Most importantly, measuring the quantity of what you feed every day will give you a basis for adjusting the portion if necessary.
Treats should only account for a maximum of 5-10% of your dog’s total daily calories. Keep in mind a lot of treats on the market are high in salt and fat content. Try giving your dog dental treats like T/D kibbles or a kibble or two of his/ her regular diet.
Feeding 2-3 meals a day is ideal for most dogs because they are very reliant on routine. Meal feeding can be especially helpful during potty training.
Companies with a longstanding commitment to nutritional research and innovations benefit our companion animal’s quality of life (Hills, Royal Canin, Purina). We understand that there is a natural organic presence in today’s pet food market to which many people migrate. Let us help you select a diet that will meet your pet’s nutritional needs most effectively.
Nutrient ranges established by Small Animal Clinical Nutrition are th basis of our nutritional recommendations. It is important to consider your pet’s age weight and activity level when choosing a food. Canine Obesity 6 On most occasions, we recommend transitioning to an adult maintenanc food at one year of age.
Obesity is a growing problem in our pet population and can contribute to a variety of severe health issues. Studies show that dogs kept at an ideal weight live longer and develop arthritis years later than an overweight dog.
Feeding good nutrition with appropriate portions is the key to maintaining a good body condition and to assure your dog’s long term health and comfort.
Things that get Puppies Into Trouble and what We can do about it!
Recently, we at Kingsbrook Animal Hospital have been seeing an increased number of well-intentioned dog owners seek the help of trainers who use electric stimulation or “shock” collars to train dogs. While the response is often quick, we as veterinarians see many dogs that in the long run are adversely affected by this method. It is our position that there are better training methods available that can not only help you develop a well-mannered dog, but also prevent more problems down the road.
For a more in depth discussion, visit our website at www.kingsbrookvet.com, enter shock collars in the search bar.
Eliminating in an Undesirable Location
Dogs by nature will not eliminate where they sleep. Train your puppy to sleep in a crate. Make sure the crate is not big enough to allow your puppy to sleep in one corner and eliminate in another. It is important to establish the crate as a comfortable and positive environment.
Develop a routine for feeding and going outside knowing that your puppy will have to go:
- Every time he comes out of the crate
- 5-15 minutes after eating or drinking
- After naps
- After playing or excitement
Supervise your puppy closely when in your house by tying the leash to your waist. This way, if your puppy postures to eliminate you can interrupt and swoop them outside.
Give treats and verbal praise every time your puppy eliminates in the desired location. It is important to do this as soon as puppy eliminates to create a positive association.
Remember, if your puppy has an accident it is your fault. Punishment does not reinforce what you want your puppy to do. It only creates anxiety in your puppy eliminating in your presence.
Fearful and shy personalities that can lead to behavior problems
Puppies need to be exposed to a lot of different things in order to gain confidence in variable environments.
- Introduce your puppy to 100 different people before 3 months of age.
- Engage in puppy playdates.
- Take frequent trips to dog parks.
- Teach your puppy that things like umbrellas, hats, wheel chairs and loud noises correlate with treats and playtime.
- Do not reward fearful behavior by coddling or trying to offer reassurance. This only reinforces the puppy’s fear.
- Work on gradually increasing your puppy’s exposure to what scares them and correlate them with good things like food and play.
Biting and Chewing
First and foremost, chewing can be dangerous to your puppy. They should always be closely supervised or crated. If your puppy does chew on inappropriate items do not punish. Punishment will not change them from still wanting to chew. Do not encourage your puppy to chew or bite you. Respond the way a littermate would by making a high pitched noise, then redirect the biting to an appropriate toy.
We highly recommend enrolling your puppy in a basic training class as early as possible. Communicating effectively with dogs is not something that comes naturally to most of us. Learning the appropriate language is essential to develop a satisfying relationship.
Not all dog trainers are created equally. We believe the best trainers are not only good at teaching dogs, but – most importantly – they’re good at teaching the person on the other end of the leash. We’re able to recommend 3 very good trainers in our area. They are very popular and book up early, so plan accordingly:
Smart Dog University, Right Start,
and Fit Hound Puppy and Dog Training.
Each of these uses only positive reinforcement in the process of training your dog, making the relationship between you and your pet, the best it can be.
For more information visit their websites at:
For other excellent trainers outside our immediate area , visit www.kingsbrookvet.com/trainer. Trainers who use negative training techniques are not on this list.
Crate Training Tips!
- Have a positive attitude! Remember, when done right, a dog will seek out their crate and view them as a safe haven, not a limited space or punishment.
- The crate should be large enough that your dog can stretch out comfortably. If your dog will grow out of a smaller crate, you can cut costs by purchasing the crate your pet will need as an adult. Then partition off part of the crate with a piece of cardboard.
- The crate should be in a semi-private spot, away from drafts and direct heat.
- When a crate is first introduced, a tired puppy is a good puppy! Exercise him well before placing him in the crate. Offer a treat and then close the door.
- Soft, washable bedding and one safe chew toy are great ideas for puppy, but remove all tags and collars that may get entangled.
The Benefits of Spaying & Neutering Dogs
Spaying is the surgical removal of the ovaries and/or uterus (ovariohysterectomy). Spaying your dog provides the following benefits:
- Eliminates heat cycles.
- Significantly reduces the risk of mammary (breast) cancer. If spayed before first heat cycle, reduction is 97%. If done before the second heat cycle, reduction is 86%. The benefit decreases after that time.
- Protects against uterine and ovarian cancers, as well as, prevents life-threatening uterine infection (Pyometra)
- Controls the pet population crisis by preventing pregnancies.
There are many health and behavioral benefits to spaying and neutering your pets. Studies show that dogs who are spayed and neutered live longer, healthier lives!
Neutering your male dog is the surgical removal of the testicles.
- Eliminates or reduces unwanted behavior such as marking his territory (your house) with urine.
- Reduces the urge to roam in search of females and the associated risks of fighting with other dogs, getting hit by a car or becoming lost.
- Helps to lessen testosterone driven aggression with people, food, toys and other dogs. Statistics have shown that most dog bites are inflicted by un-neutered male dogs.
- Eliminates the risk of testicular cancer.
- Reduces the risk of prostate disease, as well as anal tumors and certain types of hernias.
- Helps control the pet population crisis by preventing pregnancies .
Is anesthesia safe for my pet?
With any anesthetic and surgical procedure there are inherent risks. However, Kingsbrook Animal Hospital takes every precaution to ensure your pet’s safety when going under anesthesia. We perform pre-operative bloodwork to assess liver and kidney health, protein levels and make sure your pet is not anemic. An IV Catheter is placed in every patient and fluids are administered to maintain your pet’s hydration and maintain a stable blood pressure. All medications and anesthesia are tailored to your pet’s individual needs to maximize comfort before, during and after surgery. Our licensed technicians monitor your pet continuously under anesthesia to ensure your pet is stable and doing well. They assess your pet’s heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen level, blood pressure, temperature, anesthetic plane and pain control throughout the procedure.
Will altering my dog make him/her fat and lazy?
No. Obesity is caused by excessive calorie intake and lack of exercise. A pet’s caloric needs can decrease by up to 25% after spaying/neutering because they no longer need to metabolically support reproduction. Your dog’s weight is controlled by proper feeding and exercise. There is no reason that a spayed/neutered pet’s weight cannot be managed to maintain a lean body condition.
Will altering my dog change his/he personality or disposition?
No. Your dog’s personality continuously develops until he/ she is a few years old. Personality alterations may occur naturally with or without surgery.
Should I let my dog have just one litter of puppies?
No. Studies have shown no advantages to allowing your dog to experience pregnancy before spaying. In fact, the risk of mammary (breast) cancer increases with every heat cycle she goes through. Breeding dogs is an enormous responsibility. It is extremely time consuming as well as a large financial commitment when done conscientiously. Not to mention, adding to the overwhelming “pet over-population” crisis. Healthy, adoptable dogs are being euthanized daily due to over-crowded shelters.
Isn’t it cruel to take away my dogs testicles?
No. Studies have shown NO advantages to allowing your dog to remain intact. In fact, it is the EXACT opposite. Neutering your male dog will make him a calmer, healthier, more devoted pet.