LUV My dogs: care

LUV My dogs

Everything about your dog!

Showing posts with label care. Show all posts
Showing posts with label care. Show all posts

Friday, January 13, 2017

How to Care for a Small Dog

How to Care for a Small Dog
  Small breed dogs are ideal for owners in a variety of living situations. For example, tiny dogs do better in small apartments than larger breeds.Toy dog breeds are extremely popular companion dogs. 
  Many small dog breeds were once the prize possessions of members of the ruling class, and some are a scaled down version of another breed. Bred as house pets, they have served as companions for hundreds, even thousands of years.
  As man's best friend, many small dogs were bred to be companion animals and are very loyal. Like other pets, small dogs have basic needs that are the responsibility of their owner. Caring for small dogs requires an owner to pay attention to the dog's health, their happiness, and their well-being. While dog ownership is a big commitment, it is very rewarding!

Choosing The Right Small Dog Breed
  Not all dogs are created equal and some breeds will be more suitable for your household than others. The first thing you should do once you've identified the breeds you like is to carry out a little research on their care needs, temperament and likely health issues. Don't be scared off by potential health problems - you will find long lists of ailments which can befall particular breeds but your dog may never suffer from any of them. Use them as a guide to what could happen in the future. Provided you are financially and emotionally capable of dealing with illness, you will be fine. If you can purchase pet insurance, do so at an early stage.
  When you are certain that you want to go ahead and buy a small dog, check out breeders in your area. 

Their small size makes them perfect for:


  • Apartment and city dwellers as well as those that live in the country
  • The young and old and everyone in between
  • For singles, couples,  and those with families
  • Basically just about anyone!



Research the unique characteristics of your pet's breed. We use the term ‘small dog’ to refer to dogs that are typically less than eighteen inches tall and weigh less than twenty pounds. This includes toy, miniature, and small breeds like Yorkshire Terriers, Chihuahuas, Miniature Poodles, and Miniature Pinschers. Each breed has their own temperament, appearance, characteristics, and needs.

Feed on a regular schedule. It is important to feed your dog on a regular schedule to maintain consistency and to establish a routine. The amount of food your dog will need to consume each day will depend on their age, size, and activity level. Incorporate training into your feeding schedule by having your dog practice certain obedience commands before you let them eat.

Brush your dog’s teeth several times a week. Tiny dogs often suffer from tooth decay and gum disease, and frequent brushing will keep the teeth and gums healthy.


Avoid feeding small dogs human food. It can be very tempting to share bits of your meal or to give human food to your pet as a treat. However, there are a number of foods that are very harmful to dogs. Feeding your dog human food also encourages negative behaviors, such as begging or bothering people when they are eating.


Always provide access to clean water. Along with food, dogs need water to stay healthy. Always leave a bowl of clean and fresh water for your dog to enjoy.

Crate your tiny dog when you can’t watch her closely. Very little dogs can squeeze into small spaces and may injure themselves trying to escape. Crating is also useful during parties and family gatherings to keep small dogs out from underfoot.

Provide a comfortable place to sleep. Whether you decide to crate train your dog or have them sleep in their own dog bed, your dog wants to feel safe when they sleep. Small dogs sleep an average of twelve to fourteen hours a day as adults, and puppies will sleep even more.

Fit your dog with clothes during cold weather. Dog clothes, such as jackets and sweaters, help regulate body temperature and keep your dog from getting too cold. Choose tight-fitting clothes made from soft material to keep your dog warm and dry.


Schedule routine veterinarian visits. Like humans, dogs need routine medical care to stay healthy. Different small breeds are at higher or lower risks for certain conditions than other breeds.

Spay or neuter your dog. Unless you are planning to breed your dog, neutering or spaying your dog has health benefits and can improve temperament. On average, dogs that are spayed or neutered live up to two year longer than dogs that have not undergone these procedures.


Vaccinate your dog. Your veterinarian will administer vaccinations to your dog, and the number of vaccinations that your dog needs will depend on their age and the area that you live in.

Exercise frequently. Some small dog breeds have more energy than others, though all small dogs need to exercise to stay healthy. Their exercise needs will depend on your dog’s age, their health, and their breed.

Groom the dog at least once a week. Many people assume that small, inside dogs don’t need to be groomed, which is untrue. Brush your dog from nose to tail with a soft brush, and check for mats in long-haired breeds. Clip her nails with a small pair of pet nail clippers, clipping off small bits at a time to prevent cutting the quick.

Provide mental stimulation. Much like physical exercise, small dogs need to exercise their brains to stay stimulated and engaged. Dogs that are not stimulated often exhibit destructive behaviors, like chewing on furniture and digging, because they are bored.

Handle your dog throughout the day. Little dogs are notorious nippers and may bite if not handled enough. Pet the dog gently, run your hands over her ears and touch each of her feet to acclimate her to being handled.

Train your dog. Many small dog breeds have stubborn and independent temperaments that can make training difficult. However, small dogs need to be trained to follow basic obedience commands and to walk on leashes.


Read More

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Surviving the First Night with Your Puppy

Surviving the First Night with Your Puppy
  You just brought your little bundle of puppy fur home, and now it's time for the fun to begin. Well, sort of. Sometimes there's fun to be had the first night you spend with your new puppy, but you have quite a lot to do that often involves more work than play. All that work will pay off, though, helping your pup to have a positive start to his new life as your buddy.
The first night home with your new puppy can be a trying experience for both of you. It’s the first time your puppy has spent the night away from his mother and littermates. Because dogs are pack animals, your puppy knows instinctively that being separated from the pack is dangerous. Whining and crying at night is your puppy’s way of calling for his pack to find him. Of course it does nothing to comfort you.
  With a little preparation and patience, you can make the most of the first night with your puppy.
  From an evolutionary point of view - that is, all of the traits that began when dogs were still wild and continue because they have helped to keep the dog species alive - a vulnerable puppy that is separated from his family is at risk of being attacked and killed by predators. In order to discourage his mother from leaving him for long periods, he cries and carries on, resulting in her staying close in order to keep him quiet and therefore ensuring his survival. 
  On this first night, the puppy is going to feel his new aloneness most keenly. A lot of people will respond to the whines and squeals of a puppy by placing them far from earshot, such as in a basement or garage. Or, the puppy may be placed in a cage to keep him from escaping and scratching at doors. In such a situation his sense of insecurity increases and he will whine and squeal as loudly as he can, perhaps until dawn.

Everything’s New…Everything’s a First
  First things first…We are informed that up to this point your puppy has been with his mother and his littermates in a sterile environment. It’s advised that your puppy’s first week at home should be a quiet one. The puppy should be allowed to explore and meet his new family. You should now start teaching the puppy his name . When you first arrive home give your puppy a chance to relieve itself in an area you have designated for that purpose .

  Take your puppy out on leash. Allow your puppy 10-15 minutes, if he hasn’t relieved, take him inside. Try again in 10 minutes. If the puppy does relieve itself in the proper area, give him lots of praise. Then let him explore the house (remember to supervise – don’t let him out of your sight). Afterwards your may take it inside, but remember to supervise the puppy; do not let it out of your sight. Talk to the puppy when it explores to make it feel more at home.


Security, Not Coddling
  The first thing to consider is making a place where the puppy will not feel isolated. This can be a challenge, of course. Some people feel comfortable keeping their dogs in the bedroom on a dog bed or designated blanket on the floor. This can be good for giving the puppy a much needed sense of security. However, it’s probably best if you do not take the puppy into bed with you.
  Despite this, there are those who feel very comfortable with taking their pets into their beds and allowing them to sleep there every night. In fact, this practice has its own practical applications: dogs are a wonderful source of warmth on frigid winter nights.

  Not everyone wants a dog in their bed all the time, and if you are not sure whether you will or not, it is best not to. If you do take the puppy into your bed just to comfort him, it can lead to some behavioral problems later if you should decide that you do not want the dog in your bed every night after all.

Tips for first night
Keep your puppy on his accustomed food. It's fine to switch him to a new food in a few days, as long as you do it gradually, but the first night isn't the moment to start changing his food. He might not even eat the first night, and if he does, he's way better off eating something familiar.
Toss a few toys onto the floor. Squeakers, balls, ropes and such help your puppy feel more comfortable in his new home. They keep him busy, especially if he's teething and in the mood to sink his teeth into something.
Give the little rascal some space. You've got cute little furball in front of you, so it's only natural to lie on the floor next to your pup, scoop him up in your arms every chance you get, and follow him around like a lost ... puppy. You can love on him some, but he needs some quiet space and some time. He's just been taken to a new place where everything is different from what he used to know. He's scared and confused. He'll come around in a few days.
Keep an eye on him. Give your puppy space to explore if he wishes, but don't let him out of your sight for too long, and be suspicious if things get too quiet. You might think he's going to take a nap in your bedroom, but he's really going in to check things out, and that's bad news in the world of puppies. Think of him as you would a child who can't be left unwatched. Otherwise, you may be making a trip to the store to buy new sheets, pillows and a sewing kit.
Take your new little pal outside regularly. You're probably going to be cleaning up after at least one accident the first night you bring him home, unless he's older and already house trained. Take your puppy out as soon as you get home with him, right after he eats, whenever he wakes up after a nap, and right before bedtime. The timing of his outside ventures depends somewhat on his age. He can hold it for a maximum of his age in months plus one hour. So a 2-month-old puppy could hold it at most three hours. Do not try for this limit if you want to avoid accidents. He's a puppy. He's been in the world just eight weeks, and for four of those he was not paying attention. He's ready to learn, but he knows nothing. He will go when he feels the urge, because he doesn't yet know that you have a plan.
Introduce your pup to his crate during the day. If you're lucky, his breeder accustomed him to being in a crate, and he was transported in a crate to your home, so he's familiar with it. Crating usually results in loud wails, as if your puppy is suffering from something horrible. You can ease his transition into the scary crate by playing with him near it, tossing a few treats inside, praising him for getting in, and closing and opening the door. Keep doing this throughout the day. From the start, be certain that you never release him from the crate when he's complaining, but always wait for a time of silence before you walk in and release him with some praise. Otherwise, he'll start trying to train you, instead of the other way around.
Put your new puppy in the comfy crate you have set up for him near your own bed when it's time for sleep. Your puppy will bond best with you if his crate is near you, where he is surrounded by your scent and knows you are right there. Do not allow him to sleep on your bed. First night or not, your puppy does not get to sleep wherever he wants. When he wakes you in the middle of the night, that generally means he needs to potty, and you should take his word for it. Take him outside, and wait for him to squat and do his business, and then take him back to his crate, turn out the lights, and go back to sleep.

When Nature Calls
  If the puppy does whine excessively, it is reasonable to take the puppy gently by the scruff (back) of the neck , and without getting agitated, tell him in a low voice, “No, go to sleep.” Repeat this several times and as the days pass into weeks he will learn to obey you. In the morning, take him outside to relieve himself.
  Along with going out before bed, going out first thing in the morning should also become a habitual morning ritual. Puppies will typically relieve themselves in small amounts several times before they have finished an outing. Once he is finished, praise him with a pat and perhaps a small training treat and say a few praising words to let him know he has done the right thing.

Stop puppy crying at night
  If and when your puppy starts crying at night, you need to decide if he has to go to the bathroom or if he’s looking for attention. If he’s been quiet for a few hours and suddenly starts to cry or whine, he may need to go out. Puppies have small bladders, so you’ll likely have to take him out at least once during the night. A good rule of thumb is to add one to your puppy’s age in months and that’s generally how long he can go without a trip outside. So a two-month-old puppy can wait three hours. That means your puppy will probably need to go out at least twice during the night.
  If your puppy is crying and you’re sure it’s not for need of relieving himself, reach down and soothe him a little. Don’t be too doting or coddle your puppy. This will only reinforce the behavior and he’ll cry even more. If he continues to whine, a gruff “Quiet” and a quick, but gentle, shake by the scruff should settle the matter. If all else fails, ignore him. Tough love may be difficult, but eventually your puppy will learn that crying at night gets him nowhere. The more persistent you are in your approach, the quicker the situation will be resolved. If you’re stern one minute and sympathetic the next, your puppy will only be confused and his behavior will continue.

In the morning
  Get up right away and take your puppy outside to his soiling area. Carry him. Don’t let him walk there or he may be tempted to go before he gets outside. Let him empty everything out, and praise him when he’s finished.
  As with any new baby, you may not get much sleep the first night with puppy. If you’re patient and understanding, your puppy will learn what you expect of him when it’s time to sleep. You both should wake up rested and ready for the day after a few nights together.


Tips
  If you have other pets, introduce your puppy gradually. It's best to keep kitties and your puppy in separate rooms for a few days.
  Aside from letting your pup out to pee in the middle of the night, do not let him out of his crate if he's whining, barking or throwing a fit. He needs to learn that having a little tantrum doesn't get him anything. Discipline yourself to let him out only when he's quiet.

Warning
  Do not yell at your puppy or rush at him if he does something wrong. You can gently deter him from bad behaviors, but don't frighten him. Teach him. He's a baby exploring a new place. The whole world is new to him, and his early experiences make lasting impressions.
Read More

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Most Important Commands Your Dog Needs To Learn

Most Important Commands Your Dog Needs To Learn
  When training your dog you're going to be teaching him commands. These are special words that you repeat over and over to condition him to obey. Although there are certain command words that most trainers teach, in theory you could use any word you want to designate a command. 
  We all love to teach our dogs tricks. Some are frivolous like "play dead" and some are important, like going potty only when outdoors. But there are other tricks to teach our furry friends that could save their lives.
  But what is most important is consistency. You must always use the same word for the same command. Mixing command words up will only confuse your dog and make training him more difficult if not outright impossible.
  Some dogs are smart enough to learn 165 words or even more. Just how smart they can be largely depends on the breed and how much time you spend with them.
  No dog, however, is smart enough to realize every single danger he can get himself into. There are poisonous snake bites, open wells, automobiles, medication, antifreeze and getting trapped in places where he cannot get out. 
No- As the word implies, no is used whenever your dog is doing what he should not be doing. For instance if he urinates on the floor instead of going to his crate to pee saying no in a stern tone of voice gives him the message that what he did is not okay.
  The key thing to remember with dogs is that your tone of voice is extremely important. With conditioning commands like “no” it's as if not more important than just the word itself. This is because dogs are very influenced by body language and voice tone.


Sit-  is one of the most basic tricks we can teach our dogs. When a dog is in a "sit" position, he knows he is meant to stay sitting until you say otherwise. If you need your dog to just chill out while you take care of something, you can put him in a sit position, knowing he won't run off and get into trouble while you're distracted. It's a perfect command for situations like standing in a crowded place or if you're loading the car for a trip and need Fido to hang out before getting in. Or on the flip side, telling your dog to "sit" before opening the door of the car to let him out gives you time to open the door, leash him up, and make sure no other cars are coming in the street or parking lot before allowing him to exit the vehicle.Sit is an important command because it puts your dog in a semi-submissive position and helps to calm his brain. A dog that goes from being excited to sitting has had to change gears mentally and refocus. This can be useful when putting on his leash or when someone wants to greet him. Sit can also be a primer for other commands such as stay and lie down. You can also use the sit command after other commands, such as "off" or "quiet", to reinforce the change of focus.


Good Dog- On the flipside saying “good dog” lets your dog know that they're doing what they should be doing. When you say this you should combine it with a physical gesture praising your dog for a job well done. This one should come naturally to most of us but what's important is knowing how to use it in combination with other commands we're going to talk about so you can positively condition your dog so he wants to follow your commands.

Lie down- The "lie down" trick is another way to have your dog stay in one place and out of trouble. Teaching your dog to lie down — especially if you teach him to drop to a down position when you signal from far away — can go a long way in keeping him out of trouble. A down position is one of increased vulnerability, so if your dog is getting too rambunctious around other dogs or is too wound up in a certain situation and simply needs to mellow out, a "lie down" command gives him an opportunity to calm down and remember his human is the one who is in control. Like the "sit" command, this is an active command, meaning your dog isn't just lounging — he should be purposefully staying in one spot, keeping focus on you and waiting for his next command. Both the sit and lie down commands are excellent for bringing a boisterous dog back down to earth before a situation escalates out of control — such as when other dogs are around that might spark a fight, small children might get hurt, or other attention-grabbers pull your dog's focus away from you.
Stay- What dog owner hasn't had a dog that you loved with all your heart but for the life of you could get to stay in one place? That's where this command fits in. 
Sit your dog down and with a stern tone, tell your dog to “stay”. If he doesn't listen, say “no” and start again. The key is repetition and consistency. If you start while he's a puppy it shouldn't take too long.

Come- This trick is rather obvious. After all, knowing that your dog will return to your side without fail in any situation is a big part of ensuring he will be safe. But getting that "rocket recall" can be tough. When a dog is distracted, or knows that you are much more boring than whatever trouble he is getting into, then getting him to come when called is a challenge. There are different ways to approach it, depending on a dog's personality, but the best way to make sure your dog beelines back to you when you call is to give him the most amazing treat he can possibly imagine every time he comes back to your side. Whether it is rotisserie chicken, or liver baby food, or tripe, make sure he only gets that treat when he hears, and obeys, the recall command. Then he knows that when he hears the word "come" he'll get a jackpot of a reward. Here's a great video about getting a rocket recall with an example of exactly why it is so important for your dog to come back to you no matter what else is happening.

Down- This command should be used when requesting your dog to lie down with his belly to the ground. This puts a dog in a submissive position, helps you gain control, and helps his mind relax. It is very useful if he is in an excited or stressful situation such as at the vet's office or if he needs to maintain a "stay" position for a long period of time. Be consistent with how this word is used and do not interchange it with other commands such as "off" or "lie down".

Heel- is the first command that should be taught when training your dog to walk on the lead, and is the first stage towards teaching heelwork and enabling your dog to walk beside you safely even when off the lead. The “heel” command should be used when in close quarters to call your dog to your side, and to indicate to them that they should walk beside you, matching your pace and staying close. “Heel” is an important command to keep your dog safe when walking on the roads, and to safeguard your dog and other people and animals when passing each other in close quarters.
Your name is the most exciting word in the world- To humans, names are really important. It is embedded in us to use someone's name to get their attention. Why bother fighting against that compulsion to say a name when needing your dog's attention? But if it works for us to say the name, we need to make sure it works for the dog to hear his name. Teaching a dog to love his name sets the foundation for everything else in your relationship as it creates a level of trust as well as willingness to learn more tricks. And it can also be a lifesaver when out and about. For instance, if a dog is reactive to other dogs while on leash and his attention begins to zero in on a dog walking toward you on the street, you can say your dog's name to bring his attention back to you. You can give him other commands or treats until the other dog has passed. You avoid conflict, and you etch away at that reactivity since your dog will realize that keeping his attention on you is much more rewarding than getting freaked out by that strange dog ahead. You now have an invaluable tool that can be used in situations from busy streets to chaotic dog parks to finding a dog that has wandered off out of sight.

Drop It-  is one of the most important commands you can teach your dog. You are requesting from your dog that he release something from his mouth, that at least for the moment, he highly values. It can be something as simple as a shoe, as dangerous as a medicine bottle, or as delicate as a bird. It is best to teach this command long before you need to use it. Practice with lures that are just slightly more valuable than the item he currently has and he will naturally want to trade.

Stand- This command requires a dog to stand with all feet on the grand and to distribute his weight evenly. This is especially helpful at the vet's office when a nervous dog would rather sit or lie down. It is also useful when trying to trim your dog's nails or give him a bath. This command will be bring your dog to attention and can be a precursor for the command "come".

Leave It- This is an especially good command for dogs who will not hesitate to grab a snake, a kitten or a dropped pill with their teeth. Some dogs will not discriminate in what they swallow.
Have your dog on a leash and drop a toy onto the ground. Walk your dog past the toy just short of where he could get it. As soon as you notice him pulling toward the toy, sharply say, “Leave it” and pull him away. When he walks away without your having to pull him, reward him with a snack and tell him what a good dog he is. Repeat this with a longer leash and later without a leash, until he listens to you and ignores the toy. Never forget to reward and praise.

Wait- The command “Wait” will help you tremendously when you have to take your dog for a checkup. In the time you open the car door and the crate door, your dog can be out and running into the street before you get the chance to put the leash on him.
  Teaching him to wait lets him know that he has to stand still for a short time until you are finished with some task. Teach him to wait until you give him permission to go through a door, for instance.
  Open your door and give him enough leash that he could walk through the door. When he is at the front of the door, pull the leash tight and say, “Wait.” Have him sit if he already knows that command. If he doesn’t listen, pull the leash and release a little in quick succession. Praise him and give him a snack when he finally gets it. Practice until he waits until you are through the door and then allow him to follow.
  Remember that training is an ongoing endeavour, and not something that takes a few weeks to teach when your dog is a puppy and that then takes care of itself!



Read More

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Spotting the signs of pregnancy

Spotting the signs of pregnancy
  Unlike humans, detecting pregnancy in a dog is not as practical as urinating on a stick or confirming a blood test. A veterinarian may be able to diagnose a pregnant dog within a month or so of conception by a physical examination or by x-ray or ultrasound around six weeks gestation, but since the gestation period of a dog is about nine weeks, this offers little to the anxious breeder.
  Gestation is the period from conception to birth. It averages 63 days from the day of ovulation (the normal range is 56 to 66 days). Note that the day of ovulation is not always the same as the day of breeding.
  There are some outward symptoms a pregnant dog may exhibit, but they generally do not surface until about four or five weeks. The most obvious symptom is weight gain, although a dog may not gain any significant weight until a week or two before birth if there are only one or two puppies. Another obvious sign is enlarged mammary glands, which most pregnant dogs will display between five and seven weeks.
  Other signs a dog may be pregnant are behavioral symptoms. Initially, you may notice a decrease in appetite. Dogs may become restless and interact less with their people and may prefer seclusion. They often make natural attempts at “nesting,” evidence by the shredding of paper or digging at blankets and bedding in the last week or so of the pregnancy. The dog can also become irritable, with minor personality changes in the last two to three weeks.
  It can be difficult to tell whether a dog is pregnant until the last few weeks of her nine-week gestation, when her belly's increase in size is hard to miss. The most surefire way to find out is by taking her to a vet, but being aware of physical and behavioral changes that may take place is also useful. 
  To understand dog pregnancy, you should first get a general comprehension of how her body works. Your dog will experience a heat cycle before she is able to get pregnant. Veterinarians suggest that you do not breed her during her first heat period unless it happens after she is 1 year old. Any earlier would stunt the growth of your young female.
  Most dogs go into heat 2 times a year, but it is common to skip one on occasion. While in heat she will be able to breed with more than the one male. She will be in heat for 3 weeks and her cycle will arrive every 6-9 months.
  The first thing you will recognize when your dog goes into heat is a swollen vulva and bloody discharge. Eggs are not released yet in this phase of her heat cycle. Male dogs will be chemically drawn to her more than ever before. She still will not show a major interest in them, until this 6-11 day stage comes to an end.
  In the second stage of heat she is actually fertile. Her posture will transform to a stance that invites procreation. Her bleeding will change from light pink to a golden sand color. Her vulva will remain swollen but is softer than before. The most common duration for this stage is 5-9 days but has been known to go on for nearly 20 days for different dogs. Once this stage is finished she will no longer be inviting male attention.


Signs of pregnancy
  • A slight mucoid vulval discharge may occur around one month after mating.
  • The teats will become more prominent, pinker and erect, due to an increase in the blood supply around the base of the nipples. This should appear between 25 and 30 days after mating.
  • Body weight will increase from around day 35 onwards and may increase to 50% over normal.
  • The abdomen will enlarge and this should be noticeable from around day 40, although first-time mums and bitches carrying few puppies may not show as much of a change.
  • Mammary gland enlargement is noticeable around day 40 and some bitches may express a serous fluid from the teats from this time.
  • Behaviour may also change, such as displaying slight depression as well as a drop in appetite, but as these signs can also indicate a problem, consult your vet if they occur.
  • Many dogs’ appetite will increase in the second half of pregnancy.
  • Closer to the delivery date, your bitch will probably start to express her nesting instincts, scratching at the floor or in her bed, and displaying signs of increasing restlessness.
On average, you should be able to tell whether or not your bitch is pregnant at around one month after mating.

Veterinary procedures
  If you do suspect that your dog is pregnant, you'll need to see your vet for confirmation.
  • The most commonly used method is ultrasound. This can be used after 20 days (no earlier), and foetal heartbeats can be identified at 22 days, but predicting the number of puppies can be challenging. Ultrasound examinations are comfortable because they are not invasive and very reliable in experienced hands.
  • Feeling the abdomen from about 30 days can be accurate if performed by an experienced vet, but this may be difficult if the dog is nervous or slightly overweight. If pregnant, the vet will feel a thickening of the uterus and ‘bumps’ within. The method isn't infallible, however, especially if there is just one pup in the womb or if the pregnancy is not as advanced as first thought.
  • From approximately 21-25 days endocrine tests detect relaxin, a hormone exclusively produced by pregnant dogs.
  • An x-ray will pick up the skeletons of the puppies from around 45 days. It should also be accurate in determining how many there are. However, most vets prefer not to use this method, as there is a possibility that early exposure of the foetus to x-rays can cause problems. This risk is minimal after 45 days, although sedating the bitch to obtain the image may be more of a problem.

Dog Pregnancy - Giving Birth
  Take her temperature periodically. It is normally 101-102 degrees Fahrenheit. Once you see it drop into the 97-99 degrees range, and notice it has been the same consistently for 2 readings taken 12 hours apart, this is when you can be sure the delivery will happen within the next 24 hours.
  Her labor will go through 3 clear stages. The third stage is repeated with the birth of each puppy:

Stage One: She will appear restless and have anxiety. She will often separate herself from any attention. No food will interest her, not even her favorite treats. Take her out to go to the bathroom because it may be her last chance before delivery.

Stage Two: Her contractions will have begun. A green sac of fluid will protrude from her vulva. The puppies will start to appear either headfirst or rear first. Both are normal positions for dogs to be born in. Do not be alarmed to see them quiet and listless directly after birth. Leave her alone to stand or pace, as she needs to. The mother's instincts will cause her to open the sac, and lick the pups to clean them. She will sever the umbilical cord herself, but sometime you may interject if the natural process takes too long. The sac should always be removed immediately if it remained unbroken during the delivery. You may clean the puppies by rubbing them gently with a fresh cloth. Keep rubbing to stimulate their circulation. The mother's tongue or your rubs are what gets them to start squirming and crying.
  If the mother struggles with a puppy that becomes lodged then you can try to assist the birth by grasping the puppy with a clean clothe. Firmly exert steady traction but do not jerk or pull suddenly. If you have any questions then call your vet right away.

Stage Three: Her resting period will last a few hours as her mild contractions fade away. If she delivered two pups closer together than her comfort level allowed, then her contractions will take longer to end.

When There Is An Emergency
  A vet should always be called:
  • If a puppy is lodged and unable to be removed.
  • If your dog's labor occurs for 2 hours with no delivery.
  • If there is a 4 hour window since the last pup was born and before more are delivered.
  • If the delivery of pups doesn't commence after she showed the normal greenish-black discharge in the beginning of the birthing process.
  • If her pregnancy has past 65 days.
  • If she experiences any uncontrollable tremors, vomiting, or panting.
After The Puppies Arrive - Post-Natal Care

  You can periodically examine the mother's nipples to make sure they are not infected, and even palpate them with a warm damp cloth to clean the area. Clip any puppies' nails that can irritate her skin.
  She will pass soft stool for a few days due to the natural change in her new eating habit and from the residue she consumed while cleaning her pups.
  Do not be alarmed if she eats her pup's feces in the beginning. That is a common thing for new mothers to do and will generally not hurt her. She will still have some remaining vaginal discharge with passing blood clots for a week. Any longer is not normal and should be addressed.
  The new mother will take care of the puppies after birth so there is very little you need to do to assist them. She may even act territorial or aggressive initially. This behavior will slow down over time. They will start nursing 2-4 hours after birth. Never place a heating pad down for the puppies, but do realize that the low floor can be 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the room. The puppies need a comfortable room temperature. Their eyes open at 10-14 days old. Their first visit to the vet is at 3 weeks for routine de-worming and a health exam. They need to be weaned at 3-4 weeks of age.
  During the weaning process, cut their milk intake down gradually by substituting the remainder of their diet with watered down puppy food and milk replacer. It is good if they start taking solid food, but if you are still having difficulty then never deprive the puppy of the mother's milk until he is able to eat solids for however long it takes.
  Make sure to keep the puppies' bed area clean daily. Watch their feeding habits and weight gain to know which puppies need extra nutrients. Never feed human milk. Milk replacer is the only nutritional boost you should feed a small puppy. One or two runts in a litter are common. You may give them a separate feeding time to have an equal chance of achieving a full diet. Always rid their area of fleas because a flea infestation could drain the little pups of blood at a dangerous rate.

  Once they reach 6-8 weeks old then they are at the age to be adopted out.

Read More

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Everything about your Chihuahua

Everything about your Chihuahua

This sassy little dog has a super-size personality. He knows what he wants and goes after it with single-minded determination. For his size, he’s an excellent watchdog, but he can be yappy if he’s not taught to moderate his barking.

  Chihuahua's need special requirements because of their small size. So, they need a loving family to care for them. If you want to pay care and respect to your chihuahua, then this is the article for you!

 History 
  The Chihuahua is a native of Mexico, and his ancestors were surrounded by many myths. They were believed to be spirit guides that protected souls as they traveled through the underworld. While the stories about the dog’s origins are interesting, there’s no real evidence about how long they’ve existed or that they were known to the Aztecs or other peoples who inhabited Mexico before the Spaniards came.
  Some dog experts say they were among the first native dogs of the Americas, others that they were brought to the New World after the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Still others believe the little dogs may have originated as miniaturized versions of pariah dogs, the nondescript brown dogs with prick ears that result when dogs are left to breed on their own with no selection for color or other specific characteristics. Whatever the case, the breed takes its name from the state of Chihuahua, where late-19th-century American tourists first encountered the tiny canines.
  The Chihuahua we know today was developed by North American breeders. The first Chihuahua registered by the American Kennel Club, in 1904, was named Midget. The Chihuahua Club of America was formed in 1923. Today, the Chihuahua ranks 13th among the breeds registered by the AKC.

Breed Characteristics
  • Easy grooming
  • Pleasant temperament
  • Long lifespan
  • Portable
  • Territorial tendencies
Overview

  Don't let their compact size fool you — when it comes to Chihuahuas, big personalities come in small packages. Confident, intelligent and passionate, Chihuahuas love to play, cuddle and speak their minds when necessary. These little guys take loyalty to the next level. Primarily bred as human companions, Chihuahuas are known for attaching themselves to their owner. They can be protective, territorial and even jealous. Undeterred by their small size, Chihuahuas use their loud, high-pitched barks as a way of "guarding" their beloved masters.



Breed standards
  • AKC group: Toy Dog
  • UKC group: Companion Dog
  • Average lifespan: 12 - 20 years
  • Average size:  6 pounds and under
  • Coat appearance: Varies
  • Coloration: Tan, red, black, white or splash
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Other identifiers: Small frame and fragile head structure; ears are pointed and erect
  • Possible alterations: Head shape can be apple- or deer-shaped; coat can be long- or short-haired
  • Comparable Breeds: Papillon, Pekingese
Is this breed right for you?
  Chihuahuas are a great fit for many, but households with young children may want to think twice about bringing home this tiny breed. Due to their size, Chihuahuas must be handled with gentle care and require constant supervision around young children. Chihuahuas make excellent companions for apartment dwellers and families with older children as they require little maintenance and space. Whether you opt for a pet with a smooth coat or a long-haired Chihuahua, grooming for this breed is fairly low-maintenance. Chihuahua owners should also beware of a soft spot in their dog's skull known as a molera. As the only breed born with an incomplete skull, it's important to treat this breed with extra-gentle care, especially during the first six months of growth.


Other Quick Facts

  For the show ring, the Chihuahua should not exceed six pounds, but many Chihuahuas are actually larger than that, making them a better choice for families with children.
Chihuahuas that weigh less than three pounds often have a short life span.
Don’t think that the Chihuahua is a gentle lapdog. He is tenacious and terrierlike in attitude.
Chihuahuas are highly intelligent and take well to training when it comes with positive reinforcement in the form of treats and praise.
Chihuahuas come in any solid color or combination of colors, including fawn, black and tan, chocolate and white, blue and red. Avoid breeders who try to get you to pay more for supposedly “rare” colors.

How to Care- Step
1.Consider if you really should get a Chihuahua. They may be tiny, but they still need food, vet care, daily walks, and care for up to seventeen years. They are also prone to eye problems, weight gain, and can easily be injured if you accidentally step or sit on them. 

2.Decide if you want to buy or adopt your Chihuahua. Because they're so common, you can easily find a purebred in a shelter, but if you want a puppy your best bet will be a responsible breeder. However, never buy from a pet store or casual breeder, which can give you unhealthy puppies and are contributing to our huge pet overpopulation issue.

3.Don't baby your Chihuahua! You should treat your Chi like a big dog. For example, if a German Shepherd jumped up onto you, you would correct him. You should do this with your Chi too! If a Labrador snapped at another dog, you would correct him. If your Chi does the same, she should be corrected too!

4.Chihuahuas don't need much food, but the food they get should be high-quality and not random kibble. This might cost more, but it'll save you down the road by preventing health issues caused by bad food. Remember not to overfeed them, as Chihuahuas tend to grow fat, which is dangerous and unhealthy.

5.Take your Chihuahua to the vet for yearly check ups. Choose a vet who's experienced with Chihuahuas and their care!

6.Give your Chihuahua a daily walk! You might assume they get enough exercise running around the house, but walks offer mental stimulation that is necessary for your Chi. However, because of their short muzzles they can be susceptible to heat stroke; keep the walks short and only walk them during cool weather.

7.Grooming your Chihuahua is fairly easy. If your Chi is short-haired, he'll only need to be brushed or wiped over with a damp cloth occasionally. However, if your Chihuahua is long-haired, you'll need to brush her hair daily, and take care to watch for mats in the hair.

8.Love your Chihuahua! They can be difficult to care for, but their wonderful personalities, adventurous spirit, and lovable nature will win you over quickly.


What You Need to Know About Chihuahua Health
  Tiny dogs often come with big health problems, and the Chihuahua is no exception. Many Chihuahuas live long, healthy lives, but conditions seen in the breed include breathing difficulties caused by a windpipe that collapses in on itself; luxating patellas; eye disorders; congestive heart disease; certain neurological conditions including hydrocephalus (fluid buildup in and around the brain), neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, a condition in which fatty pigments in the brain cause the progressive loss of brain function, and atlantoaxial subluxation, a neck deformity that may require surgical correction; obesity; and dental problems caused by the small size of their mouths. 
  Luxating patellas are an orthopedic problem. The patella, or kneecap, of most very small dogs, including the Chihuahua, can very easily become displaced, causing pain and lameness. In mild cases the knee quickly slips back into place on its own, but severe cases must be corrected surgically. Ask your veterinarian to examine your dog's knees regularly, especially if you notice him limping or "bunny hopping" while running.
  The Chihuahua's round, protruding eyes are one of his most distinctive characteristics, but they are prone to a number of genetic eye disorders as well as to frequent injuries.
  Chihuahuas frequently have what's called a "molera," or an open fontanelle, which is a soft area under the skin of the forehead where the bony plates of the skull have not fused together. It may eventually close up and become hard, but in some dogs, the molera never fully closes. While many dogs can live a normal lifespan with a molera, some may have a condition called hydrocephalus (fluid buildup in and around the brain), which can cause seizures and even death if not treated. A Chihuahua with a molera can live a perfectly normal life, but he is more prone to head injuries so he’s not the best candidate for a home with rambunctious children or bigger, rougher dogs.
  Chihuahuas can also be born with a liver defect known as a portosystemic shunt, in which blood is diverted away from the liver. This may cause a buildup of toxins in the dog's body, stunted growth, and can be fatal if not corrected with surgery.
  Although Chihuahuas are prized for their small size, they're often fed to obesity. A Chihuahua's skeleton is not designed to carry much weight, and even a few extra ounces can be a significant burden to a dog this size. As with all dogs, leanness is far healthier – and cheaper, when it comes to veterinary costs. Keeping a Chihuahua lean is particularly important if he has luxating patellas.
  Tiny mouths frequently mean there's no room for proper development of teeth. It's essential to get regular veterinary dental care for a Chihuahua, and he may need to have some teeth pulled to make room in his mouth for proper development of the rest of the teeth.


Getting Their Attention 
  Sometimes when they are barking, it is impossible to get their attention. Try throwing a can of pebbles or can of coins in front of them or near them (don't hit them!) They will be startled and after a few times may conclude that barking brings about this startling thing and stop barking! Don't let your dog see you do this!

Chihuahua Grooming
  Chihuahuas come in two coat types: smooth and long. Smooth Chihuahuas wear a velvety, shiny, close-fitting coat and have a ruff — an area of thicker, longer hair — around the neck. They have a scant covering of hair on the head and ears. The tail should be furry, not bare.
  Smooth Chihuahuas shed, but they are so small that the amount is manageable for all but the most house proud. Brush them weekly with a rubber grooming glove or soft bristle brush to remove dead hair and keep the skin and coat healthy.
  The longcoated Chihuahua is the product of a recessive gene, meaning a puppy must have the gene from both parents for the long coat to express itself, so he isn’t seen in litters as frequently as the smooth. The long, soft coat is flat or slightly curly, and the dog has a ruff around the neck, fringed ears, feathering on the legs and a plumed tail. The hair on the rest of the body is almost as smooth as that on the smooth Chihuahua. Longcoated Chihuahuas are beautiful, and they’re easy to groom, but they do shed seasonally.
  Keep your Chihuahua’s big ears clean with a solution recommended by your veterinarian. Don’t use cotton swabs inside the ear; they can push gunk further down into it. Wipe out the ear with a cotton ball, never going deeper than the first knuckle of your finger.
  Trim his nails regularly, usually every couple of weeks. They should never be so long that you hear them clicking on the floor.

Adopting a Dog from a Chihuahua Rescue or Shelter
  There are many great options available if you want to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or breed rescue organization. Here is how to get started.

1. Use the Web.
  Social media is another great way to find a dog. Post on your Facebook page that you are looking for a specific breed so that your entire community can be your eyes and ears.

2. Reach Out to Local Experts
  Start talking with all the pet pros in your area about your desire for a Chihuahua. That includes vets, dog walkers, and groomers. When someone has to make the tough decision to give up a dog, that person will often ask her own trusted network for recommendations.

3. Talk to Breed Rescue
  Networking can help you find a dog that may be the perfect companion for your family. Most people who love Chihuahuas love all Chihuahuas. That’s why breed clubs have rescue organizations devoted to taking care of homeless dogs.

4. Key Questions to Ask
  You now know the things to discuss with a breeder, but there are also questions you should discuss with shelter or rescue group staff or volunteers before you bring home a pup.
  • What is his energy level?
  • How is he around other animals?
  • How does he respond to shelter workers, visitors and children?
  • What is his personality like?
  • What is his age?
  • Is he housetrained?
  • Has he ever bitten or hurt anyone that they know of?
  • Are there any known health issues?
  Puppy or adult, take your Chihuahua to your veterinarian soon after adoption. Your veterinarian will be able to spot problems, and will work with you to set up a preventive regimen that will help you avoid many health issues.

Did You Know?
  The Chihuahua is the most famous of the “purse puppies,” toy dogs toted around in chic upscale doggie bags by high-profile celebrities and socialites. The most famous celebrity Chihuahua is Tinker Bell, who spends her days nestled in socialite Paris Hilton’s handbag.

A dream day in the life of a Chihuahua
  Getting treated like the kings or queens they makes this tiny breed feel right at home. Chihuahuas love being carried around, and luckily, they're just the right size for it. Put this breed in a cute carrier, a stroller or gently carry them in your arms and consider their day made. This pint-sized pup is prone to suffering during extreme heat and cold so make sure they're appropriately dressed for the occasion.


Enjoy that Chihuahua!

Read More