Illustrated Articles

Puppies

  • Many dogs love to get out to socialize and exercise with their canine friends and dog parks are their go-to spots for getting together. Proper etiquette, from both you and your pup, will allow everyone to enjoy the park safely and courteously.

  • To prevent undesirable behavior, the first step is to establish a daily routine that answers all your puppy's needs such as walks and exercise, social bonding, play and training, feeding, and sleeping. The rule of thumb for dog training is set the dog up for success.

  • A successful life with a family dog starts with great training for your puppy. Planning to set puppies up for success, learning how to use management, positive reinforcement, luring, capturing, and shaping will help owners train their puppies successfully. Positive puppy training and socialization classes are also beneficial for healthy puppies over eight weeks of age.

  • This handout provides general information on feeding and training your puppy, nail care, and hiccupping.

  • Most puppies will begin going to the veterinarian at two to three weeks of age for an initial health-check and de-worming, and then at six to eight weeks of age to begin vaccinations, heartworm, and flea preventive treatments; receive behavior and training advice; and get permanently identified with a microchip. It is important to follow your veterinarian's recommended exam schedule to ensure that your puppy receives proper protection and that you receive timely and appropriate advice.

  • Cryptorchidism is the failure of one or both testicles to descend into the scrotum. Toy breeds may be more at risk, but it can affect any breed of dog and is believed to be an inherited trait. Diagnosis can usually be made by palpation but sometimes requires blood testing or an abdominal ultrasound if the dog’s history is unknown. Risks of retained testicles include testicular cancer, spermatic cord torsion, and the development of undesirable male characteristics, so neutering is strongly recommended. Surgery is generally routine, and recovery is similar to any abdominal surgery.

  • Roundworms are the most common gastrointestinal worm found in dogs and can also be transmitted to people. They are of most concern to puppies when present in large numbers, causing stunted growth, a pot-bellied appearance, and recurrent diarrhea. Diagnostic testing, treatment, and preventive measures are explained in this handout.

  • Dogs, like people, need to practice their social skills. Spending time with other dogs will help your dog hone his ability to read his friends’ body language and to communicate effectively. These skills decrease the development of dog related fear and aggression. Play groups in an organized or more relaxed setting are beneficial for both your growing puppy and adult dog. Canine and human socialization occur simultaneously and dog owners enjoy meeting new friends, too. Watching dogs play is a great way to reduce your stress level. Socializing should be pleasant for you and your dog, so find a comfortable group and setting and have fun!

  • Teething in puppies lasts from about 3-6 weeks of age and again from 12-24 weeks of age. During this time, puppies are also exploring the world with their mouth. Safe chew toys are an important source of energy release but if puppies are not stimulated sufficiently or supervised carefully, they will chew elsewhere. Puppies should never be encouraged in rough play as this sends to message that biting and scratching are appropriate. It is important to get your puppy used to having their mouth manipulated for exams, teeth brushing, and removal of items that they shouldn’t have picked up!

  • Veterinarians routinely recommend certain vaccines for all dogs(called core vaccines) whereas others are used more selectively according to the dog's environment and lifestyle. Vaccines work by stimulating the body's immune system to recognize and fight a particular microorganism such as a virus, bacteria, or other infectious organisms. Depending on the disease, the vaccine will help the body prevent infection or lessen the severity of infection and promote rapid recovery. Vaccination will protect the vast majority of dogs but under some circumstances, vaccine breakdowns may occur.