Congratulations on the new addition of your furry friend!
Adding a new puppy, or adult dog, to your family is a lot of fun, but it is also a big responsibility. If you haven’t read our introductory brochure yet, click the button below to get all caught up!
In addition to all of the useful information we have included in our brochure, we’ve also provided some more information in regards to the healthcare needs of both adult dogs, and puppies, below. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or schedule an appointment below. We’re here to help!
Heartworms are a particularly significant parasite, especially in Southeast Texas where they are prevalent because of the warmth and humidity. They live in the dog’s bloodstream where they cause major damage to the heart and lungs, and often result in death. Heartworms are transmitted by the bite of mosquitoes. Heartworm preventives are dosed according to your dog’s weight. As your dog’s weight increases, the dosage should also increase. Many of these products also protect your dog against certain intestinal parasites and external parasites such as fleas. It is very important that your dog stays on heartworm prevention beginning at your puppy’s first appointment.
Apart from the risk of unplanned pregnancies, intact female dogs have a significant risk of developing breast cancer and/or uterine infections. Spaying before the dog experiences her first heat cycle has 3 benefits: it eliminates the risk of unplanned pregnancy and helps control the problem of dog overpopulation, it eliminates any possibility of uterine disease, and it virtually eliminates any chance of developing breast cancer.
Intact male dogs are attracted to a female dog in heat and will climb over or go through fences to find her. Intact male dogs tend to be more territorial towards other male dogs and are at risk to develop prostatic disease and/or testicular cancer.
If you do not plan to breed your dog, it is strongly recommended that your puppy is spayed before 6-7 months of age, but we can perform this operation at any age.
If you plan to breed your dog, she should have at least one or two heat periods first. She will then be more physically mature allowing her to be a better mother. Breeding after five years of age is not recommended unless she has been bred prior to that. Having her first litter after five years of age increases the risk of complications during the pregnancy or delivery. Talk to your veterinarian before you choose to breed about how to appropriately breed your dog and the pros and cons.
When you begin house/potty training, be prepared for accidents- and break out the patience and positivity!
This is one of the most important things to teach your dog, so start by creating a schedule. Dogs are very much creatures of habit, so taking your dog out to potty after eating, playing, waking up from a nap and before crate time, are all great times to put on them on that schedule. When your pup eliminates in the correct spot, be sure to give them plenty of praise! This will help to motivate them to continue this correct behavior. In no time, your pooch will know when and where to potty! Be sure to remember, not all dogs are perfect. You may need to clean up a mess or two!
As soon as you get your new pup or adopted dog, get them used to a collar and leash before trying to walk them. Let the leash drag around the house attached to the collar. You want them to be comfortable with the leash/collar and not afraid of it. Start with a short walk around the house or the backyard, that has familiar smells/scents. When your dog is walking alongside you on a loose leash, remember to praise them for the good work! Always keep your pet on a short leash: while this is often seen as a negative by humans, keeping your dog on a short leash is integral to leash training success. The less room your dog has to stray away from your side, the easier it is for them to learn to walk next to you. Walking with your dog at your side instead of in front of you, allows you to control the direction. When dogs are allowed to walk out in front or behind, they tend to wander off and smell everything. Remember, dogs are pack animals! If they see you as the pack leader, your pup will fall in line and become the perfect walking partner.
Crate or kennel training is vital and necessary for safety, damage prevention, house training, and traveling. When your dog cannot be kept with you, they should be confined to a safe space, such as a dog crate. The crate should be big enough for your dog to comfortably strand up and turn around with no issues.
A good way to introduce your dog to a crate is by playing a game that teaches them to go into the crate on command. At mealtime, grab a handful of their kibble and take your dog to the crate area. With a bit of encouragement, toss a couple of kibbles into the crate. As your dog runs in after the kibble, say, “Crate” or “Kennel”. Once your dog has gotten the prize of some kibble, they will run out to play again. Repeat this exercise several times per session. Gradually move farther way each time you toss the kibble in. Eventually, you should be able to sweep your hand towards the crate with no kibble and say “Crate” or “Kennel” and your dog will enter on command.
If possible, keep your dog’s crate in an area that is trafficked frequently and leave the crate door open, so your dog can explore the crate on their own as well. Your dog’s crate should be a safe haven! Never scold or handle your dog roughly as you put them inside the crate.
The key to your dog interacting with other dogs is familiarity and experience. You should expose your dog to as many positive experiences, with as any different people, places, and animals as you can. Dogs have an instinctual sense of hierarchy and you as the owner, should always be at the top. Your dog needs to know that you are confident and unafraid, before they can be confident and unafraid. A simple but effective way to help your dog become socialized appropriately, is to keep their attention on you in any situation they are unsure of. Your dog will recognize you as the leader of the pack because you are being strong and confident in the situation that may seem scary or unsettling to them. They will find comfort in knowing you, as the leader, will take care of things.
Positive reinforcement training is one of the most common and popular approaches used by professional and amateur trainings. It makes training a fun and enjoyable experience for you and your furry friend, while helping them to build trust in you. By rewarding positive behavior, you reduce your dogs stress and frustration and help them to find a sense of pride in their corrected behavior. The goal is to develop a dog who thinks and works cooperatively alongside with this owner as part of a team, instead of just a dog who simply obeys commands.
Always adopt the right attitude when it comes to training! There will be challenges along the way, and you will need a lot of patience in the process. Dogs can and will sense your demeanor and body language. So, if you find yourself getting frustrated or overwhelmed during a training session, it is okay to stop and reset and try again! The more enjoyable the training session is, the more your dog will be eager to learn and please you.
Actively watch for positive behaviors your dog already does and let them know you approve of this behavior with some praise and a little treat. Creating the association with a treat and approval will help your dog to look for new ways to win your admiration.
Always start with simple actions and associations. Teaching your dog to sit is a great way to see early results. Start by holding a treat up close to your dog’s face with the verbal command, “Sit.” Your dog will naturally sit as the treat gets closer to their face, but only when they sit, do they receive that reward. Repeat this move as many times as needed (treat to face, “sit”, reward) until your dog puts all the pieces together. With each successful reward, be sure to shower your furry friend with lots of praise!
Remember: Set your dog up for success and consistency is key!
Dogs are creatures of habit and the more consistent you are with training, the more likely they are to develop these habits. Always lead by example when training your dog. Be your dog’s leader and show them a firm example of how you expect them to behave. Use verbal praise every time they complete a command to reinforce the good behavior, as well as strengthen your bond.
You can turn your rambunctious puppy into a super dog by taking a little extra time to shape the behaviors and personality you want them to have as an adult. A little forethought, adequate supervision, appropriate confinement, and early training will go a long way toward keeping your dog out of trouble. Early training can help you gain control of your dog, prevent a wide variety of problems, and promote desirable behavior.
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