What Puppies Really Need!

It is a really beautiful day here in sunny Florida, one of those days when there is little or no humidity and the temperature is in the very low 80’s. Yes it is spring and Gram and I are discussing puppies.

Since spring is the time of new birth, we got to talking about puppies and the care they need. We talked of how times have changed, when Gram was young and you got a new puppy, all that was required was a bowl for water and food and a leash. A lucky puppy got a stick to play with and maybe a ball plus a collar.

Well, times have changed and along with the changing times, comes new rules for raising a puppy.

Gram says feeding a puppy is especially important, You need to feed a puppy, food made just for puppies. Why? Because puppies have special nutritional needs. They need about 35 to 40 percent more protein than an adult dog needs, in order to build muscle tissue and healthy strong bones.

Gram says it is important to feed puppies several times a day, as they have very small tummies. Puppies younger than 10 weeks should eat at least 4 times a day and from then on up to 6 months should be fed at least 3 times a day.

An interesting thing my Gram has learned is that you can free feed (leave food out all the time) for small dogs that is, a dog that will not weigh more than 20 pounds when they are full-grown. For some reason little dogs know when to stop eating. However, if you have a medium sized dog or one that will grow large like me, you need to have definite feeding schedules, as we bigger guys tend to enjoy eating and will over-eat.

It’s okay to feed your puppy “people food,” if you stick to healthy foods like bite sized veggies, and you stay away from the foods that are not good for us (grapes, raisins, chocolate, onions and most nuts.)

It is also a good idea to keep track of your puppy’s weight. You can use the “rule of thumb” to check its weight. Place your hands around its rib cage and slide your hand up and down it rib cage, using your thumbs to feel the puppy’s ribs. If you cannot feel its ribs, it is time to cut down on the snacks and treats a wee bit, as your puppy is over weight.

If you see that your puppy is having a skin inflammation, itchiness, throwing up, or diarrhea this might indicate a food allergy or sensitivity. Always be certain to talk to your breeder, the pet store (don’t buy puppies there) or the person who has puppies at home, and ask what they are feeding them and try to maintain that diet.

Gram says veterinary care is very important for a puppy and for all household pets. I personally do not like visiting the vet and I am embarrassed to say, my Mom has a hard time with me, when we have to go.I cannot explain what happens to me, as I am a very nice dog at home, but when I go there I am a monster. It takes a muzzle and strong arms to control me. Once it is over, I am a nice quiet girl again.

Anyway a vet visit is important, and I know this, I just do not like it. A puppy needs to get its shots and then once or twice a year after that is sufficient, unless you get sick or have a problem.

My Mom and my Gram both say socializing is “very” important for a puppy/dog. At my house socializing is very easy, as we always have company and I do get to meet people and other dogs.

My Mom has been very good at training me, but if you do not have the ability, Mom and Gram suggest puppy-training classes. Puppies and dogs need to learn basic obedience commands and they also need to learn how to get along with other dogs. You should begin socialization before the puppy is 12 weeks of age.

If your dog is skittish, shy or anxious take a break from the socialization for a short time. Begin again and offer good treats like chicken or lean steak, when you puppy behaves well. If you continue to have problems, seek advice from your vet.

I hope this article has been of value to you and until next time, I remain

Your Sadie

P.S. Gram says this is a great book to help you train your dog and have the best behaved dog on your street and/or block Click Here!

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