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Dogs + Care & Wellness

  • When traveling, you may need to board your pet at a kennel or veterinary clinic if friends, neighbors, or pet sitters are not an option. Ask for references to find a boarding facility and be sure to visit it before agreeing to have your pet stay there. A short stay before a longer trip can help your pet to settle in more easily. Be sure to leave emergency contact info for you and your veterinarian with the boarding facility.

  • Body condition scoring is an effective objective method of determining if a pet is at a healthy weight. There are 2 scoring systems: one out of 5 and the other out of 9. This handout outlines how to body condition score pets and recommends tracking body condition score to keep pets at a healthy weight, an important factor in pets living longer with less health complications.

  • You can place most puppies in their new homes at around eight to ten weeks of age, ideally after ten weeks of age to ensure proper weaning and maximum social development. Treating for worms and first vaccinations should occur before puppies are placed in their new homes.

  • For the next two months, even if everything went smoothly with the birth, you have a lot of work to do! After the birthing process, clean up the mother as much as possible without upsetting her using a warm water and washcloth. Do not use any soaps or disinfectants unless instructed to by your veterinarian. Remove any soiled newspaper or bedding from her whelping box. Normally the new mother will spend most of her time with the puppies. It is important to have the mother and puppies examined by your veterinarian within forty-eight hours of birth. The veterinarian will check the mother to make sure there is no infection and that she is producing sufficient milk. The puppies will also be examined to make sure that there are no birth defects such as cleft palates. Any necessary medications or injections will be administered during this visit.

  • This handout summarizes the care of the pregnant dog and the puppies following birth. Topics include eye care, diet, and instructions for weaning the pups at the appropriate time.

  • Although most dogs will give birth without the need for human or veterinary assistance, certain problems can arise which require veterinary attention. It is essential to closely monitor your pet during birthing and seek veterinary care if you have any concerns.

  • This handout is a basic care guide for pregnant dogs, outlining changes in nutritional requirements and physical activity, and pregnancy testing.

  • Breeding dogs is a great responsibility that should not be done just because an owner wants puppies from their beloved dog. There are many potential consequences to the bitch and the puppies that need to be taken into account and prevented if possible, including producing puppies from parents with known heritable problems and medical care of the bitch and puppies. Breeding does not reduce unwanted behavior in male dogs and there is no guarantee that puppies will be anything like the parent, so this is not valid reasons to breed a dog. Many puppies are abandoned at dog shelters or worse because of inappropriate breeding practices. There are usually many abandoned dogs looking for homes that an owner can find what they are looking for through shelters or rescue organizations.

  • This handout summarizes whelping (giving birth) in dogs. Instructions for preparing your pregnant dog for delivery and how to assist her if necessary are outlined. Situations requiring veterinary assistance are also described.

  • It is estimated that over two-thirds of dogs over the age of three have periodontal disease (infection of the tissues surrounding the teeth). Brushing three times a week is the minimum recommendation to help remove plaque and prevent tartar accumulation. In order to be successful at brushing your dog's teeth, you must make it a positive experience for both of you. Do not use human toothpaste or baking soda. A list of dental products and diets that have been accepted by the Veterinary Oral Health Counsel can be found on www.vohc.org.