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Saturday, September 29, 2012

What To Feed Your New Puppy?

    
     It's been super busy around Dogwood Dachsunds the past week, as the latest litter of puppies went to their new homes.  Above are two happy kids as they take "Scuby" and "Rusty" home to Friendswood, Texas.  These are very patient kids, as they have had their puppies picked out and reserved since they were two weeks old.  Through personal visits and emailed photos, they were able to keep up with their puppies' progress until that happy time when they were able to actually take their little guys home.
     One of the most basic questions people often are at a loss to answer is "What do I feed my puppy?"  There are so many dog foods on the market, this is a legitimate question that can have more than one answer.  There are dry foods, wet foods (canned), food for small dogs, or VERY small dogs, food for large dogs and food for giant dogs (such as Great Danes).  There are even foods that are made for specific breeds of dogs.  Some of those are specially formulated for their particular metabolic needs, as well as some foods in which the kibble is particularly shaped for ease in eating (some short-faced breeds have difficulty picking up their food).
     Your breeder should be able to give recommendations along with sample quantities of the food the puppy has been eating as it was weaned.  And you may take some suggestion from your veterinarian.  If you decide to change to a different food from what the breeder gave you, you should gradually change over to the new food by mixing a small amount of the new in with the old, increasing the amount of the new food a little at a time over a week or two.  And this would be true any time in your dog's life when you might change his food.  A sudden change in food may cause upset in his digestion, and he may not eat well.
     The important thing is that you feed your puppy a good, high protein, high quality food made especially for puppies.  Your puppy will need to stay on that puppy food until he is 12-18 months of age.  It is tempting to switch him to adult food after he has reached "full size".  But his bones and muscles are still growing, and adult food will not contain the nutrients specifically added for puppies. 
     As soon as possible after bringing your puppy home, try to get him on an eating schedule.  Some puppies can regulate their eating habits--but many will overeat.  So offer food two or three times a day. When he seems finished, remove the food until the next feeding time.  He will soon learn to eat when the food is given.  One benefit for YOU in controlling his eating habits is that the more you control when he eats, the more you control when he poops.  This is helpful in your efforts at potty training, as the puppy will normally need to go potty after eating.  You should also keep a bowl of clean, fresh water available to your puppy any time he is out of his crate.  And here, again, he may need to go potty after getting a drink of water.
     Giving your dogs treats has been covered in a previous post.  But I will say, that treats are a fun thing for your dog and for the owner to give.  But they are not nutritionally necessary, and should be limited to a sensible amount.  If giving "people" food, limit it to things such as carrot slices, apple slices or bits of cheese.  (And NEVER feed your dog directly from the table.  This will foster disrespect from the dog, and will result in constant begging.)
     We here at Dogwood Dachshunds will have a new litter in a couple of weeks, and get to start the whole process over again!  Those will be the Christmas Puppies for 2012, so we're really looking forward to them.
      If you have a question or comment, please leave it here, and I will get back to you as soon as I can.  If I don't know the answer to your question, I will do my best to get it for you.  And if you're not signed up to "follow" or are "subscribed" to this blog, please do so on the upper right side of the page.  Then you will get the automatic updates in your email. 
     Thanks again, for stopping by, and as always . . .  . . . . . . . .

                              Happy Tails, Everyone!!!!!!!
      

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Time for a Treat?

     Just about any dog is ready for a treat, just about any time.  And you as a good "parent", must decide when the time is right for such a treat as well as what kind of treat your dog will receive.  Doggie treats are a wonderful bonus for your dog, and fun for you to give.  But they are not nutritionally necessary.  Just like for own diets, we must monitor what our dog eats for nutrition, quantity, and even whether it may even be bad for him.  Special dilligence should be used if your little friend is a Dachshund, because excess weight can cause or aggravate back problems.
     A good guideline to follow is first of all, ask your veteranarian if your dog is a good weight.  If not, you will probably be given some tips on feeding to either bring his weight up or down to a healthy level for that particular dog.  There are many good quality, high protein dog foods on the market.  You should use advise from your vet, some personal research,  along with your individual budget constraints.  Some dog foods are extremely expensive, and not necessarily the best for your dog.  Just because they claim to add mass amounts of vitamines to their food doesn't mean that is best for your dog.  Check with your vet before feeding a food that has claims like that; my own vet told me she had treated three dogs in one month with vitamine poisoning from one particular (and very high priced) food.
     Some "people" food is OK for your dog.  Most dogs love apple slices, carrots, and string cheese.  Any of these in small portions are fine.  But always separate the giving of treats away from your own meals, and NEVER feed straight from the table.  This will encourage a disrespect from your dog who will then sit right under you and beg whenever you or even guests are eating.  Some things to NOT give your dog are chocolate, macadamia nuts, onions, grapes, raisins, alcohol, and xylitol (an artificial sweetner found in gum).  There are many things, including flowers, toxic to dogs; a complete list can be found online by searching "plants toxic to dogs"  and "foods toxic to dogs". 
     Do you have a problem with your dog snapping at your hand for a treat?  You can train him to take it slowly (and safely!)  with just a little effort.  At a time when your dog is not excited, and when he has already eaten and is not hungry, hold a small treat in your closed palm.  Your dog will smell it and try to open your hand wih his nose.  Only when he relaxes, and pulls back, open your hand and say, "Easy."  Your dog will learn to gently take a treat from your hand without taking your fingers with it! 
     I hope this has been informative for you.  If you have a comment or question, please leave it on the space below.  I will do my best to answer, and if I don't know the answer, I will find it for you!  And, if you're not already a "follower" of my blog, please subscribe above and it will come directly to your email.  Thanks for stopping by, and as always, . . .
                        HAPPY TAILS, EVERYONE!
    
    

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Thor Finds a Home - and nail trimming tips

     It's been  busy week around here for the Dachshund Lady.  We have had several puppies going to their new forever homes, with more set to leave even today!  Mostly these have been the Cream puppies of Duke and Duchess; their puppies are so, so cute!  Their litter was an astounding SEVEN!  There were six girls and only one boy; talk about being outnumbered.  But that little boy got to go to his new home yesterday, and he got a brand new, very powerful name:  Meet "Thor".  You Avenger  fans will appreciate that.  :)
"The Mighty Thor"
"Thor protecting his two sisters"

     Here is another picture of Thor's two sisters who are not spoken for yet.  The are just now eight weeks old, but have been completely weaned and totally rowdy for a couple of weeks already.  You'll notice instead of Thor's green eyes and brown nose, they both have black eyes and black noses.  Both are very striking looks.  Of course, I could be a little prejudiced.
     Before puppies leave Dogwood Dachshunds, they always get one last once over checklist to make sure they are healthy and fit.  One thing is they always get one last "puppy manicure".  New puppies' nails grow fast, and since the first few weeks are not spent running around and wearing their nails down, they grow into little "hooks", and are very sharp.  I trim the little nails at around 4-5 weeks, and then again before they "go home" at 8 weeks.  This is a very important time to begin teaching your puppy that nail trimming is necessary and not something to be feared.  From this point on, I encourage new puppy owners to keep nail trimmers handy, and to quite often take the trimmers and let the puppy smell them, rub them on the puppy's feet, in between their toes, and actually squeeze the trimmers close to their ears as if you were actually clipping, so they can hear the little sound it makes.  All this will then seem "everyday and natural" to your puppy as he grows older, and so should be comfortable with you handling his feet.  Otherwise, you may wind up having to go to the Vet or groomer just to have nails trimmed.  Dogs with light colored nails are easier to work with, because the vein can usually be seen through the nail itself, so you can avoid clipping too far into the "quick".  It is very painful to the dog to cut too far, and the nail will bleed a lot.  It is advisable to have on hand a product to stop the bleeding, called "styptic powder".  You can find it in the pet store in the medical section.  The brand name I most often have seen is "Kwik Stop".  I call it the "yellow stuff" ('cause it's yellow).  If you do cut too short, and the toenail is bleeding, simply apply some of the yellow powder directly to the nail, and it should stop the bleeding.
     I hope everyone is having a safe and happy beginning to their summer.  Remember to not let your dogs overheat.  We'll discuss heat exhaustion here soon, as it can be very dangerous for your dog.  If this is your first visit, welcome!  Please go to the top of the page and sign up to "follow", or "subscribe", so you'll get automatic updates. And recommend us to your friends to follow, as well.  You can also checkout my website at www.dogwooddachshunds.com.  And if you have a comment or question, please use the comment section below.  If I don't know the answer to your question, I will do my best to find it for you!
     Thanks for stopping by, and as we always say,
                                    "HAPPY TAILS, EVERYONE!"

       

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Raising a Happy, Friendly, and Confident Puppy

     Who doesn't love a puppy?  And if you have a new one, you have a great opportunity to start him off right, and raise a happy dog, who is friendly and respectful.
     One thing to ALWAYS remember, is that you puppy is a dog, not a human.  Lots of people like to say, "Oh, they are like my own children to me."  And I know they believe that.  The thing is, puppy is NOT human.  Puppy doesn't THINK like human, doesn't respond to things in the same way.  On the other hand, there are some similarities in the ways we CAN treat Puppy as you would a child.  One thing is to be consistent.  Physical punishment does not work with puppies; it only makes them a scared puppy whenever you raise your hand.  What you CAN do, is lightly "poke" the puppy with a finger and make that sound mothers do to kids, like Ah! Ah!. That takes his attention away from the bad behaviour and you can then direct him to a better choice to occupy his time.  Also--and, this is big; DO NOT rub your puppy's nose in his poop if he has an accident.  Yes, YOU would hate it if someone did that to YOU.  But Puppy will not understand you intention.  Did you know that dogs EAT their own poop sometimes.  So you are not accomplishing your goal, which is to have Puppy go poop in the correct location.  When you see him sniffing the floor, turning around in circles, or pacing back and forth, grab him and take him to the pee pad, or outside in the grass wherever you designate for him to go.  After he has done it in the right place tell him how good he is, and play with him for a bit.  If Puppy is very young and still in training, he should not be unsupervised in areas where he could have accidents and perhaps damage carpet or flooring.  Crate training is great for this purpose.  Dogs actually learn to love the crate, as they are den animals and feel safe and secure in their "den".  Don't get one too large, though, because he will make his bed in the back, and poop in the front.  It needs to be large enough that he can stand up without his head touching the ceiling, and plenty of room for him to turn around.
     Puppy should be introduced to new people slowly.  Especially if they are children.  Children should be shown how to approach the puppy slowly from the front or side of the dog, and offer a hand near or under the puppy's mouth to be sniffed.  This certainly applies to older dogs as well.
     Your puppy should be introduced to people and situations in order to become confident around all kinds of people, things, and situations.  But I will caution you:  I don't recommend you take your dog or puppy to public places, especially dog parks, until all preventative vaccinations have been completed, with the last one being given at least two weeks past.
     Abnormal behaviors include being fearful or easily startled, constant crying or yelping, biting to guard food or toys, and extreme nervousness or destructive behavior.  These can be quite serious problems and may require professional help or formal training.
     Remember that with a puppy, "out of sight" usually means "Into trouble".  So pay attention to what Puppy is doing, and how he interacts with his environment.  Keep appropriate toys to keep him interested and stimulated, and provide safe "down" time, especially for young puppies as they do require frequent naps.  Also, remember, waking up from a nap is one of the times you always should expect him to go potty; after he finishes eating is another time you always want to give him a chance to go potty.
     Hopefully, you've found something here that might help with your dog or new puppy.  We, here at Dogwood Dachshunds (shameless plug) are always here to help if we can.  We actually have a litter of Cream puppies, of which there are still three available--a male and two females.  You may contact me by the email here if you're interested in them.

      So, thanks for stopping by.  I hope you'll go to the tab at  and as we always say,
                           Happy Tails, Everyone!!!!!!