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Puppy Tips

Stuff on this page...

  • Chocking Hazards
  • Good Grooming
  • Recipes and Treat Tips


Choking Hazards

Babies aren't the only the only small creatures that can choke on small, hard objects.  Take a look around your home for small objects on the floor or within reach that would fit your puppy's mouth.  Things like bottle caps, rubber bands and string or thread (which are particularly hazardous because they can cause internal damage), loose screws, twist ties, small blocks or balls (such as cat toys), and even small wads of paper trash.  All these things can be hazardous to your puppy.  Small, hard objects can lodge in your dog's throat and block the air passages.  String-like objects can actually kill your puppy by geting caught in the intestines.
If your puppy does choke on something, let him try to dislodge it himself.  If your dog isn't breathing, whether unconscious or not, try to hook the object out with your finger, if he'll let you.  Just don't force the object in farther.  If that procedure doesn't work, you can try a movement similar to the Heimlich maneuver.
  1. Place your puppy up on all fours and then lift his front end slightly off the ground.
  2. Put your fist or thumb on his upper abdomen just below his rib cage and then thrust upward.   Remember:  Don't be too rough.  You don't want to injure him.  And keep doing this procedure a few times to try to get the object out.
  3. Do one of the following:

          -If you can dislodge the object, once your dog can breathe, take him  
           straight to the vet.  He may have internal injuries.

          -If you can't dislodge the object, rush your pet to the nearest vet or   
          emergency care facility.  If you can, take someone with you who can keep
          trying the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge the object en route.

If all this choking talk sounds scary to you, it is.  The best thing to do is keep all choking hazards out of reach, especially if your puppy tends to try to chew on everything in sight.

When you are looking for potential choking hazards, don't forget to look for strangling hazards, too.  More cats than dogs are probably strangled in blind cords, but it can happen.  Keep blind cords out of reach--especially if you have children.  Keep all the little ones safe:  human, canine, and feline.  Small dogs can also get caught up in drapery sashes or miniblinds.  Also, remove any hook-like objects that are within reach but off the floor because they may possibly catch on your puppy's collar or leash.  Remember, to throw away squeeker toys when they are torn up.  The babies love to tear out the squeeker mechanism and it becomes a choking hazard.  Lastly, consider giving your baby an alternative to rawhide.  Rawhide has a tendency to collect in the intestinal tract and cause blockages, which may or may not require surgical removal. 


Good Grooming
Remember that good grooming is essential to the overall health and happiness of your best canine friend.
  • A healthy, mat-free coat makes examination of the skin easier and doesn't harbor pests, dirt, or bacteria.
  • Tartar-free and plaque-free teeth help prevent gum disease as well as more serious conditions like heart disease, which can result from bacteria in your dog's mouth traveling to his heart.
  • Short, clipped nails keep your pup's feet healthy and correctly positioned on the ground.
  • Clean ears are less likely to harbor mites and develop infections, and regular ear examinations help you detect the presence of such conditions if they occur.
  • Emptied anal sacs don't become impacted or infected.

Uh, oh, probably grossed you out on the last bullet, huh?  Anal sacs?  Ever noticed your little friend dragging his rear end on the floor?  Well, this was more than likely caused by the anal sacs being full.  All dogs have anal sacs on either side of their anus, and these sacs are probably responsible for scent identification between dogs.  They are possibly involved in courtship and/or in marking territory.  The anal sacs fill up with a thick, extremely smelly liquid that is usually drained when dogs excrete feces.

However, some lucky breeds, including many of the small breeds, tend to develop impacted anal sacs.  Your vet can drain these sacs, and so can your groomer.  Depending on how often your pup's sacs get impacted, this procedure should be done every month or so.  You may opt to drain them yourself, if so, here's how:  Look at your pup's rear end and imagine a clock face with your dog's anus as the center.  The anal sacs are at 4:00 and 8:00.  Take a couple layers of paper towels and place them over your dog's anus; then squeeze on either side of the anus with your fingers--in, downward, then upward--until all the fluid is expelled.  If you can't get it, ask your vet or groomer to show you how. 


Recipes and Treat Tips

Bow Wow Bon Bons
3/4 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 egg
6 ounces lamb baby food
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Mix all ingredients together and drop by teaspoonfuls onto a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Back at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until browned.  Keep stored in your fridge, or freeze them if you need to keep them for longer than two weeks.
Liver Treats
1 lb chicken or beef liver
1 cup flour
3/4 cup corn meal
1 tsp. garlic powder
Mix all ingredients in a blender or food processor with 1/4 cup water.  Spread the entire mess evenly on lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 to 30 minutes or until done.  Cut into desired sized pieces while still warm.  Keep stored in a fridge or in the freezer for longer periods of time.  Yields:  a dozen small treats.
Frosty Paws
In blender or food processor, mix 1 ripe banana, 2 to 3 oz. of plain yogurt (non-fat is best), and 2 oz. water.  Process until smooth and pour into small ice cube trays.  Freeze and serve.  Great for summer days!
Favorite Liver Treats
Make up a batch of Jiffy cornbread according to package directions, add a pound of raw pureed liver (blend it in a blender or food processor), pour in a greased, floured cake pan, and bake.  Cool and cut into small bite sized pieces.
Good Treats
  • baby carrots
  • broccoli florets
  • green beans
  • fresh or frozen peas
  • plain yogurt
  • low-fat cottage cheese
  • berries
  • small pieces of fruit
  • small amounts of olive oil
  • oatmeal, rice, and whole grains
  • fresh low-fat meat, minced
Bad Treats
  • raisins and grapes (can cause renal failure)
  • hot dogs or any cured meat
  • candy, especially chocolate (chocolate is toxic to a canine in any amount)
  • spoiled food of any kind
  • sweetened yogurt
  • high fat cheese
  • high salt food
  • bones, cooked or raw
  • butter or lard
  • baked goods - cookies and cakes
  • any processed foods
  • high fat meat
  • rawhide

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