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Don’t you love those brand new puppies? They are so cute.
But there are so many questions when they are brand new.
I’ve done the research for you and am sharing the most popular questions and answers about your dog.
1. How can I stop my dog from barking all the time?
My daughter has a dog that barks all the time. It can be annoying. We’ve been working on her barking for years. Some of her barking issues are simply her breed. There are many breeds that tend to bark a lot, Beagles, basset hounds, Jack Russell Terrier and Maltese.
Dogs bark for many reasons, boredom, while playing, being aggressive, out of fear or for protection or warning. You can expect your dog to bark in these situations.
If your pet is barking, you can teach them the basic “no bark” command.
Teaching this command takes time, patience and some of your best treats.
- Have some “special” treats ready in small pieces.
- If your dog is barking wait for them to stop.
- As soon as they stop, wait for a second, praise and give them a treat repeating no bark, hush, quiet, whatever works for you.
- This can take weeks of practice. Once they have the “no bark, hush or quiet” command down, increase the time before offering the treats.
You can teach your pet to control the barking. Never expect that your dog will never bark. It’s how they communicate.
It is unreasonable to expect your dog to never bark as barking is the way they communicate with the world, but you can teach her some control.
2. How can I stop my puppy from biting?
Puppies need to chew and they will! Chew on everything.
However, puppies should not be allowed to bite or mouth your hands, even in play. If you don’t correct this from the beginning, they will think it’s okay to bite. Play bites in a puppy can become obnoxious, painful and dangerous as your puppy gets older.
There are many methods to discourage biting. You’ll want to start this training as young as possible. Six weeks is old enough to begin. Puppies pick up on training quickly.
A few common methods include:
- As their mouth is on your hand or arm yell “Oww” in the puppies face. Mother dogs often teach young by yelping or growling. This is the human variation of teaching a young puppy.
- As the puppy bites, immediately hold the puppy’s mouth closed. Do this firmly, but not painfully. You’ll do this for a few seconds as you give a firm “no bite” command. Repeat this every time your puppy bites.
Puppies may often try to challenge you by repeated, rapid, or even aggressive biting. Don’t let them have the last bite! If so, you will teach them that persistent or aggressive behavior will give them their way.
3. What type of toys should I get for my puppy?
Choose toys appropriate to your puppy’s size. Don’t forget how quickly he or she will grow.
- Toys should not be small enough to swallow.
- Some soft plastic toys can easily be reduced to many small pieces by sharp puppy teeth.
- Hard rubber, chew resistant, toys are better choices.
- Strings, rubber bands, balloons, children’s toys, clothing, and shoes are not appropriate to chew toys.
4. Is rawhide OK for my dog?
Yes, if you monitor your puppy while they are chewing.
- It’s best to buy clean, high-quality rawhides that do not have an unpleasant odor or appear spoiled.
- Young puppies should not swallow very large pieces. Or chew pieces that are dirty, soiled, moldy, or spoiled.
- Chewing appropriate rawhide products can help reduce dental plaque build-up and gingivitis for your pet.
- Chewing helps pull debris off the teeth before it can harden into actual tartar and become trapped against the gums.
- Good “chew” items are an important part of a complete home dental care plan for your pet.
5. I think my dog has worms, what should I do?
Intestinal parasites can cause severe and life-threatening disease.
- Several canine and feline parasites are transmissible to humans.
- Hookworms, whipworms, and other worms can cause serious and even life-threatening disease.
- Many diseases cause microscopic parasites exist.
- Many intestinal parasites, including tapeworms, are not treatable with over-the-counter dewormers.
- A veterinary examination, stool examination, and appropriate treatment is the best way to keep your canine friend happy, healthy, and parasite free while reducing concerns for your human family members.
- Animals with worms may show no obvious outward signs of infection.
- Normal bowel movements do not rule out the possibility of parasite infection.
However, when signs are present they can include diarrhea, or blood-tinged stool, mucus in the stool, variation in appetite, poor hair coat, weight loss, and vague signs of abdominal or rectal discomfort, abdominal enlargement, scooting of the hindquarters, and excess licking or irritation around the anus.
- Some parasites can cause severe blood loss and even death, especially in young, weak, or malnourished pets.
- Worms can be seen in the stool of infected animals. In the stool, adult roundworms and hookworms will appear as small to large, off-white to tan, spaghetti shaped parasites.
- Human infection with roundworms and hookworms is possible.
- Although human infection occurs, it can cause very significant problems.
- Dogs and cats become infected with roundworms by eating worm eggs from contaminated soil or stool, or by eating infected rodents.
- Hookworms contracted by ingestion of microscopic larval by mouth or from larval entry through the skin, on the feet.
- Tapeworms will appear as small, off-white to tan segments in the stool or cling to the hair around the genital area. Fresh segments will be white, about 1/4 – 1/2 inch long, and may expand and contract. Dry segments resemble sesame seeds or rice grains and will be darker.
- Most tapeworms aren’t passed from pet to pet but require an intermediate host.
- Common intermediate hosts include fleas and small rodents.
Pets will become reinfected with tapeworms if these hosts aren’t controlled.
7. I think my pet has tapeworms, what should I do?
A veterinary stool exam leads to discovering parasites.
- There are oral and injectable deworming medications available.
- Over the counter, dewormers are not effective against most tapeworms.
- Tapeworm is a parasite found in the intestines of many animals.
- Worm segments containing eggs shed and passed into the stool, leaving the tapeworm head attached in the intestines.
- Of the most common types of canine and feline tapeworms occurs by ingestion of an infected flea or infected wild prey.
- Tapeworms cause diarrhea or blood-tinged stool. You’ll notice a change in appetite, poor hair coat, weight loss, and signs of abdominal discomfort.
- Tapeworm segments resemble sesame seeds or rice grains while some can be about 1/4 to 1/2 inch long.
8. Why is my dog scratching at his/her ears?
- Occasional scratching is normal.
- Continuous scratching or pawing at the ears or head can show an ear infection, foreign bodies, injury, excess ear wax, or skin problems.
- Ear problems are not visible and require a veterinarian examination.
- If you notice any discharge, odor, redness, pain, swelling, or masses may show an infection or other abnormality.
If your pet has an ear problem, visit your veterinarian as soon as possible.
9. Do I need to brush my dogs teeth?
Yes! This is one of the best ways to help keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy.
Starting this as young makes your pets accustomed to having their mouths handled.
- Using a moistened, soft, pet or child’s toothbrush, finger toothbrush, gauze around a finger, or a cotton swab.
- Pet toothpaste is your best option. Do not use human toothpaste, baking soda or salt.
- Using gentle brushing to clean the teeth and gums, just as you do your own.
- I’ve noticed that most pets won’t allow you to brush the inside of the teeth, which is okay. At least clean the outside area reaching all the way back to the upper molars and canines. These teeth build up tartar.
- Your pet’s teeth should be brushed as often as possible.
Do I need to clean my dog’s ears?
Yes! Cleaning and caring for your pet’s ears are great ways to reduce ear infections or excess wax build up.
- Any discharge, odor, excess scratching, pawing, or rubbing at the ears, redness, pain, swelling, or masses can be an infection or other abnormality.
- Routine cleaning and at home exams let you notice infections or any other problems early.
- If you think your pet already has an ear problem, visit your veterinarian immediately.
- To clean your pet’s ears, use a mild ear cleaner made for animals. Don’t use vinegar, alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide as these can cause irritation in some dogs. It’s painful to an already inflamed ear.
There are several types of cleaners to choose from.
- Ear cleaning starts with good grooming. Remove dirty, or matted hair from around the ear canal and the ear flap. Heavy, matted, or moist ear flaps, surrounding hair, and excessive hairy ear canals decrease air flow to the ear canal, trap wax and other debris, and can lead to infection.
- Some hair may need to be removed from inside the ear canal to avoid canal damage and minimize discomfort.
- After grooming the ear area, it is time to clean out the ear canals. Always be gentle! The ear canals and flaps are sensitive. Aggressive cleaning can cause damage to the delicate ear structures.
- Pick up an ear flap and dribble a small amount of ear cleaning solution into the ear. The solution should flow into the canal. Massage gently at the ear base of the ear for 10-20 seconds. You’ll hear a “squishing” as you massage. This isn’t painful. If it is, take your pet to your veterinarian.
- Repeat this with the other ear canal. After massaging let your pet shake his or her head. Using cotton balls gently wipe out and up the canal, remove any wax, debris, or cleaning solution.
On small dogs, you may need half a cotton ball. Never use cotton swabs.
How often you clean depends on your pet’s breed, hair coat, activities, age, and amount of ear wax they produce.
Most dogs should have their ears cleaned at least once a month. Others may need more cleanings, especially if they are swimmers.
10. The inside corners of my dog’s eyes are always messy- do I need to clean them?
Yes, any excess mucus, secretions, tears, or matter should be cleaned from your pets eye areas.
- Most pets have a small amount of eye debris on the inside eyelid corners.
- Some breeds, toy breeds, in particular, can produce a large number of tears.
- Many have chronic hair staining at the eyelid corners from proteins in the tears.
You’ll want to monitor this to avoid mistaking an eye infection for “normal” eye secretions.
If your pet has any eye redness, swelling, pain, excess discharge, loss of vision, changes from normal eyeball appearance, excess blinking or pawing at the eyes, he or she may have an infection or problem.
- To clean normal tears from the eyelids, use a moistened, soft, clean cloth, cotton ball, or tissue to wipe away any secretions.
- Avoid rubbing or touching the eyeball, this causes injury to delicate eye structures.
- Some pets may need this repeated daily. Breeds with long facial hair should have grooming to keep hair out of their eyes. Consider using a professional groomer.