Choosing a Shih Tzu

Choosing a Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a small sturdy dog with a big heart. With a name meaning “lion,” the Shih Tzu is an ancient breed and a popular family pet. Recognized as part of the toy group by the AKC in 1969, the breed is an excellent choice for families with children or for the elderly.

The Shih Tzu has racked up a number of honors. The breed won the Eukanuba Tournament of Champions in October 2001, and was one of the top top 10 AKC small breeds. According to AKC, Shih Tzus are the 20th most popular dog breed.

History and Origin

Based on their presence in various Chinese paintings and tapestries, it is thought that the shih tzu has been in existence since 624 AD. Despite many theories about the origin of the breed, it is not disputed that the Shih Tzu was part of the ancient Chinese court. The dogs were bred and selected with great care. From this foundation, along with the help of Russian refugee Madame de Breuil, the dogs of today were developed.

In the 1930s the interest in the breed had spread to England. During World War II, U.S. military personnel stationed in England fell in love with the breed. When returning home, the Shih Tzu accompanied them, thus introducing the breed to the United States.

Appearance

The Shih Tzu has a short nose and slightly pushed in face. The hair coat is naturally long and dense and requires daily care. The hair of the face is typically tied on top of the head as a topknot. To reduce the need for daily brushing, some people have the coats trimmed in a short terrier-like trim. Shih Tzus can be any color or combination of colors.

Size

Standing only 8 to 11 inches at the shoulder and weighing 9 to 16 pounds, the Shih Tzu is a small but tough little dog.

Personality

The Shih Tzu is bred to be a pet and nothing else. The breed is strong and sturdy, the least delicate of the toy breeds. They have the appearance of being proud and arrogant but are actually gentle and very playful.

Home & Family Relations

The Shih Tzu is a friendly dog that adapts to any family situation but is definitely an indoor dog. Their size gives them poor blood circulation, so you want to limit the amount of time that your Shih Tzu spends outside when the temperatures are chilly. They can easily withstand the rough treatment, and even the occasional dress-up of children and make excellent children’s companions. The breed is also loyal and gentle enough to be a great choice for a companion for the elderly.

Training

Basic obedience is recommended to help develop a content and pleasant member of the family. The shih tzu is not typically trained for specific jobs and does best as just a loving pet.

Special Concerns

With a long hair coat, the shih tzu needs grooming to prevent mats.

Famous Shih Tzus

The plot of the movie Seven Psychopaths starring Colin Farrell centers around the abduction of a Shih Tzu named Bonny. Breath easy Shih Tzus lovers. While not all the characters see a happy ending in this movie, Bonny comes away unscathed.

Celebrities with Shih Tzus

Shih Tzus make for wonderful pet dogs. The adorable little fur balls are popular with celebrities as well. The following celebrities have pet Shih Tzus:

  • Nicole Richie has a Shih Tzu named Honeychild.
  • Geri Halliwell, of Spice Girls fame, has a pet Shih Tzu named Harry.
  • Queen Elizabeth of England has a pet Shih Tzu named Choo Choo.
  • Bill Gates has a Shih Tzu named Ballmer.
  • Mariah Carey has a pair of Shih Tzus named Bing and Bong.
  • Beyonce has a Shih Tzu named Munchie.

 

Health Concerns

Proptosis is displacement of the eyeball out of the eye socket that can occur in some dogs.

Cataracts cause a loss of the normal transparency of the lens of the eye. The problem can occur in one or both eyes and can lead to blindness.

Atopy is an itchy skin disease of animals that is caused by an allergy to substances in the environment.

Urolithiasis is a urinary tract disorder characterized by the development of bladder stones.

Corneal ulcers are common in the Shih Tzu due to the protrusion of the eyes.

Intervertebral disk disease (IVDD) is a disorder that affects the spinal disks resulting in pain, difficulty walking and possibly paralysis.

Tracheal collapse is a weakening of the rings of the windpipe. This leads to irritation and coughing.

What to Expect from Your 9-month-old Puppy

If you had a tiny puppy at one point, chances are the pooch grew quickly. He soon became a gangly adolescent, and you might wonder when he will start behaving like a grown-up. At nine months, many dogs look like adults but still exhibit puppy behaviors. However, they should have grown out of the more inconvenient habits, like having accidents in the house and teething. It is important to learn how to care for a puppy at this age so that you may encourage good behaviors that last a lifetime.

Your Teenage Dog

Until they’re about four months old, puppies are unpredictable. However, they also tend to be small, roly-poly, and easy to deal with. After four to six months, they may mellow out to the point where you can forecast certain behaviors and get a sense of their habits. Just when you think this puppy care thing is going smoothly, they turn into crazy beasts again.

Nine-month-old puppies have been described as rambunctious teenagers. Your dog’s hormones are shifting incredibly at this time, leaving him with some erratic and impulsive 9-month old puppy behaviors. Like human adolescents, teenage dogs are in a new phase of developing confidence and awareness. To solidify their learning during this stage, they tend to test boundaries and explore in ways that may not be appropriate.

You might wonder what happened to your sweet little snuggler. All of a sudden, Fido doesn’t listen to a word you say, can’t stay off of the kitchen counter, and inches his crate across the room when you’re not home. Everything seems like it has fallen apart. Some dog owners respond to this age by deciding that they need to rehome their puppies, but all hope is not lost. This is just a phase, and you can help your dog grow out of it successfully. On the other side is a mature, calm, obedient adult dog (with proper care and training of course).

Training An Adolescent Puppy

According to Dog Star Daily, adolescence is a crucial time to socialize your dog. The behaviors that are reinforced during this era may stick around for the rest of her life. Many owners who attended a puppy class or brought their dog out and about with them when she was younger have settled into a routine that involves seeing the same family members every day. Even if you go to the dog park or walk your dog, you probably follow the same route and interact with the same people and dogs.

If your dog doesn’t continue to experience unfamiliar environments, she can become progressively desocialized during adolescence. This can result in aggressive or anxious behavior when she is exposed to novelty. What can you do? Continue to bring your dog to new places, keep meeting new canines, and make each meeting especially fun by offering your dog her favorite treats when you do something new.

What else does training an adolescent puppy entail? Now, you have many more distractions to deal with. Your dog wouldn’t leave the yard when he was four months old. He stuck to your heels like glue. At nine months old, he lunges after bikers and chases squirrels even when you try to lure him back with a can of wet food. His manners have taken a nose dive, but you can reinforce good behavior. Instead of barking “No!” every time your pet does something wrong, use positive reinforcement training to teach him what you want him to do. Rewards are more powerful than punishment. Learn more about positive reinforcement training by watching this video.

The Physical Development Of A 9-Month-Old Puppy

By the time they reach nine months of age, small breeds will be fully grown, but they’ll fill out over the next four months. Medium breeds may reach about 80 percent of their adult size by nine months. Larger breeds may still have a ways to go. Trupanion says that large breeds like collies and Labrador retrievers won’t be fully grown until they’re closer to 18 or 24 months. Different breeds vary in their maturity rates.

What else is going on in your nine-month-old pooch’s body? At this age, pups have all of their 42 permanent teeth. When puppies are actively teething, they tend to chew on everything. Most puppies have all of their adult teeth by six months of age. If your dog is still chewing on inappropriate items, perhaps she’s testing her teenage boundaries. Give her plenty of appropriate chew toys. Remember, her teeth are much stronger than they used to be. Make sure that you monitor her while she chomps on a bone, and take it away from her if it starts to seem like a hazard or gets bitten down to a nub.

Cat Facts – How Much Do You Know About Cats? The Answers!

How much do you know about cats? Check out the answers to these questions and find out:

1. How many bones does a cat have in its body?

A cat has 244 bones in its body, including approximately 60 vertebrae. Also, nearly 20 of these bones are in the tail, which allows the tail to make so many movements.

2. How many muscles does a cat have in its body?

A cat has 517 muscles in its body.

3. How many muscles does a cat have in each ear?

A cat has 32 muscles in its ears.

4. How well can cats see and identify objects?

Cats have 1/10 the ability to distinguish separate objects. They can see movement quickly but they have poor visual acuity.

5. How developed is a cat’s sense of taste? How does it compare to a human’s?

Cats have a relatively poor sense of taste. A human tongue has approximately 9,000 taste buds as compared to a mere 473 taste buds on a cat’s tongue (and these are generally focused only on the tip).

6. Can cats get sunburn?

Yes they can – especially light colored cats.

7. What is the average lifespan of an indoor only cat?

The average indoor cat lives to be 15 years old.

8. What is the average lifespan of an outdoor cat?

The average lifespan of an outdoor cat is short, ranging from only 6 months to 2.5 years.

9. How many hours does a cat purr on average each year?

According to Cat Fancy magazine, a cat will purr an average of 10,950 hours during its lifetime.

10. What is a cat’s normal body temperature?

A normal body temperature for a cat ranges from 100.5 degrees F to 101.5 degrees F. Normal human body temperature is 98.6 degrees F.

11. What is the normal heart rate of a cat? How does that compare to a human?

The normal heart rate of a cat is anywhere from 150 to 210 beats per minute. Most humans have a heart rate of approximately 60 to 80 beats per minute. A cat’s heart beats 2 to 3 times faster than a human’s.

12. What can a cat do with its tail that no other species can do?

A cat can walk with its tail held vertically, which is different than any other species.

13. How many vocal sounds can a cat make and how does that compare to a dog?

Cats can make more than 100 vocal sounds. A dog can only make about 10 sounds.

14. Do cats meow at each other?

No – cats do not meow at each other.

15. What spring plant is extremely toxic to cats? (Ingestion can cause kidney failure and even death.)

The Easter lily is very toxic to cats. We recommend that you do not bring Easter lilies into any home that has a cat.

16. How old was the oldest living cat?

The oldest documented cat on record lived in England. The cat lived to be 35 years old.

17. How does a cat’s sense of smell compare to ours?

Cats have more than 200 million scent receptors in their nasal folds compared to only 5 million in humans.

18. What percentage of pet cats in the United States are thought to be obese?

Approximately 25 to 40% of all American household pets are obese or overweight.

19. Which medication is extremely toxic to cats? (As little as one pill can be fatal.)

Several medications are toxic to cats. Cats should never be given any medications with out the approval of a veterinarian. Acetaminophen (also known as Tylenol) is one of the most toxic.

What Your 6-month-old Puppy Needs

Your 6-month-old puppy has certain needs to stay healthy! The following is a list of recommended wellness care for a 6-month-old puppy including tips and advice on dewormers, heartworm prevention, flea and tick control, spay and neutering and nutrition.

  • Vaccines – 6-month-old puppies should have completed all of their puppy shots. This means he or she should have received 2 to 4 sets of shots spaced every 3 to 4 weeks from age 6 weeks to 16 weeks. If your puppy has not had any shots, he needs 2 sets of shots 3 to 4 weeks apart and one rabies vaccine. Additionally, Lyme disease vaccination may be recommended depending on your pet’s level of risk. Bordetella vaccine may be recommended for some dogs.
  • Dewormers – Most puppies at this age have already been dewormed and do not require additional deworming unless they are infested. Your veterinarian can check a fecal sample to determine if worms are present. Alternatively, a dewormer medication can be given and may be repeated in dogs that have an unknown history or have not been previously dewormed. Many heartworm preventative medications control worms which eliminates the need for routine deworming.
  • Heartworm Prevention –Heartworm prevention is important to puppies and should be started before they are 6 months of age. If your pet is older than 6 months of age, your veterinarian can perform a simple blood test and prescribe preventative medication.
  • Flea/tick Control – Depending on where you live and your current flea/tick situation, there are very good preventative medications to control flea and ticks. The best and safest products are prescribed by veterinarians.
  • Spay/Neuter – Most dogs should be spayed or neutered by now, if they have not been already. Check with your veterinarian to determine their recommendations.
  • Diet – Your puppy should be eating a good quality food formulated for puppies of his or her size twice daily. Consider your pup’s age, weight, and activity level when deciding how much to feed. Every brand of food has different nutrients, caloric densities and feeding recommendations. There is no set formula for how much to feed a puppy. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations on how much to feed. As your puppy ages and his size increases, he will need more food each day. Weigh your puppy each week. The approximate caloric requirement for a 6 month old puppy varies with breed size and activity level. Estimations include Toy breeds – 250 calories, small breeds 635 calories, medium breeds 975 calories, large breeds 1875 calories and giant breeds 2800 calories.

Is Pet Insurance Right For You?

The best pet insurance offers coverage that’s broad enough for whatever care your pet needs and with enough options to get the perfect coverage for you and your pet.

As one of the first pet insurance providers in the U.S., PetPartners has been offering affordable, comprehensive pet health insurance to dogs and cats in all 50 states since 2002. Trusted as the exclusive pet insurance provider for the American Kennel Club and the Cat Fanciers’ Association, PetPartners highly customizable options allow pet owners to create a plan that fits their individual needs and budget — so you’re not paying for added coverage you don’t necessarily need or want. Visit www.PetPartners.com today to see if pet insurance is right for you and your family.”)

IMPORTANT HEALTH ALERT – Dog & Cat Food Recalls

Recent Dog Food and Cat Food Recalls by FDA

Pet food and treat recalls are common and below is a list of the recalls with the most recent listed recall listed at the top by year. We included recalls from current to 2008 for those of you that may have old boxes of treats or older bags of dog or cat food around that you have not yet fed. 

If you believe your dog or cat could have been affected by a dangerous dog food, cat food or other pet product recall – please go to this link:

How to Report a Problem With Your Pet

Recall List from the FDA. Below is the recall from the FDA, pet product manufacturer, a link for more information and a short blurb regarding the reason for the recall.

Pet Food Recalls 2017

5/8/2017 – RECALL – Bellmawr, New Jersey, C.O. Truxton, Inc. is expanding their 4/21/2017 voluntary recall, as a precaution to include the following C.O. Truxton, Inc. products, registered NDC numbers and corresponding lot numbers, to the consumer/user level. 

5/5/2017 – RECALL – Smallbatch Pets Inc. is voluntarily recalling two lots of frozen 2-lbs. chicken blend for dogs and cats, brand name Smallbatch, due to the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

4/24/2017 – RECALL – Party Animal is voluntarily recalling lots of 13-ounce-can Cocolicious Beef & Turkey dog food (Lot #0136E15204 04, best by July 2019) and 13-ounce-can Cocolicious Chicken & Beef dog food (Lot #0134E15 237 13, best by August 2019).

4/21/2017 – RECALL – Bellmawr, New Jersey, C.O. Truxton, Inc. is voluntarily recalling lot 70952A of Phenobarbital Tablets, USP, 15 mg, to the consumer/user level.

3/20/2017 – RECALL – EuroCan Manufacturing is voluntarily recalling Lot Number 84 consisting of it’s individually shrink-wrapped, 6-pack, 12-pack and 25-pack bags of Barnsdale Farms®, HoundsTooth® and Mac’s Choice® Pig Ears because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

3/17/2017 – RECALL – Blue Buffalo Company is voluntarily recalling one production lot of BLUE Wilderness® Rocky Mountain RecipeTM Red Meat Dinner Wet Food for Adult Dogs, as the product has the potential to contain elevated levels of naturally- occurring beef thyroid hormones.

3/17/2017 – RECALL – WellPet has initiated a voluntary recall of a limited amount of one canned topper product due to potential elevated levels of naturally occurring beef thyroid hormone.

3/3/2017 – RECALL – Out of an abundance of caution, Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food is voluntarily expanding its recall of Hunk of Beef and is also recalling Evanger’s Braised Beef and Against the Grain’s Pulled Beef Products due to potential adulteration with pentobarbital. 

2/14/2017 – RECALL – Out of an abundance of caution, Against the Grain Pet Food is voluntarily recalling one lot of Against the Grain Pulled Beef with Gravy Dinner for Dogs that was manufactured and distributed in 2015.

2/9/2017 – RECALL – PetSmart has issued a voluntary recall of one production lot of its Grreat Choice® Adult Dog Food sold on PetSmart.com, Pet360.com, PetFoodDirect.com and in nationwide PetSmart retail stores.

2/3/2017 – RECALL – Out of an abundance of caution, Evanger’s Dog & Cat Food is voluntarily recalling specific lots of its Hunk of Beef product because of a potential contaminant Pentobarbital, which was detected in one lot of Hunk of Beef Au Jus

1/13/2017 – RECALL – Grange Co-op is initiating a recall of Rogue All Purpose Rabbit Pellets in 25# (25RP) 50# (50RP), 1,500# Tote (RP) no lot codes.

1/13/2017 – RECALL – Blue Ridge Beef is voluntarily recalling one (1) of its frozen products due to their potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

1/6/2-17 – RECALL – The J.M. Smucker Company is expanding the limited voluntary recall on certain lots of 9LivesTM, EverPetTM, and Special KittyTM canned cat food due to possible low levels of thiamine (Vitamin B1).

1/3/2017 – RECALL – The J.M. Smucker Company announced a limited voluntary recall on certain lots of 9LivesTM, EverPetTM, and Special KittyTM canned cat food due to possible low levels of thiamine (Vitamin B1).

Pet Food Recalls 2016

12/28/2016 – RECALL – Huvepharma, Inc., which recently acquired the Longmont Colorado manufacturing facility including the respective FDA registration associated with this recall, is voluntarily recalling 1 lot of Duramycin-10 Soluble Powder, distributed by Durvet, to the consumer level.

12/23/2016 – RECALL – Whitestone Feeds, Inc. has initiated a voluntary recall of a single product from its beef cattle feed line.

12/14/2016 – RECALL – Ridley Block Operations has initiated a voluntary recall of a single batch of its beef cattle feed product, Ultralyx 24% + 3% Mag Composite Block.

12/08/2016 – RECALL – Blue Ridge Beef is voluntarily recalling two of its frozen products due to their potential to be contaminated with Salmonella and/or Listeria monocytogenes

11/30/2016 – RECALL – Intermountain Farmers Association (IFA) is recalling its 50-lb. bags of rabbit pellets.

10/7/16 – RECALL – Mars Petcare US has announced a voluntary recall of a limited number of CESAR® Classics Filet Mignon Flavor product.

9/20/16 – RECALL – Wells Pharmacy Network is voluntarily recalling all sterile human and veterinary products prepared between February 22, 2016 and September 14, 2016, and that remain within expiry.

Your Guide to Common Cat Poisonings

There are hundreds of items your pet can get access to. Some things are highly toxic and others are non-toxic. This article is a guide to help you determine if a particular item is a problem and link you on to more in-depth information.

If you think your pet may have been exposed to a toxin, the best thing to do is to check the label of the item you think your pet ingested. Read the information about toxicity. Often, but not always, the information on packaging regarding children is relevant to pets and some manufacturers even discuss pet toxicity. If there is an 800 number on the package – call them! It is also recommended that you call your veterinarian to confirm the recommendations. If you go to your veterinarian, take all packaging and any information you have on the product.

General Information. For most poisonings, there is not much you can do at home. Consult your veterinarian or veterinary emergency facility if you suspect your pet has been poisoned. For some ingested poisons, your veterinarian may recommend inducing vomiting before bringing the pet in for examination and treatment. Inducing vomiting of a toxic substance should never be done unless specifically directed by a veterinarian. For topical exposures, bathing in lukewarm water with a mild dish soap can reduce further toxin absorption before the pet is examined and treated by a veterinarian.

Amitraz. Amitraz is an insecticide used in some brands of dog tick collars and topical solutions. Toxicity most often affects cats who have a dog tick collar placed on them but can also occur if a cat licks the tick collar on the dog. Typical symptoms begin within about 2 to 6 hours of ingestion and often begin with the cat becoming weak and lethargic. Vomiting, diarrhea and disorientation are also common. Without treatment, coma may result. In severe untreated cases, toxicity may result in death. Prompt consultation with your family veterinarian or local veterinary emergency hospital is suggested if you realize an amitraz-based tick collar was placed on your cat or your cat licked a collar.

Antifreeze. Ethylene glycol toxicosis is a type of poisoning that occurs after ingestion of antifreeze or other fluids containing the ingredient ethylene glycol. Ethylene glycol itself is not toxic, but it is metabolized in the animal's body to several extremely toxic chemicals that are responsible for its potentially lethal effects. Ethylene glycol poisoning results in nervous system abnormalities and severe kidney failure with almost complete cessation of urine output. Ethylene glycol poisoning can be fatal if not treated soon after ingestion (within 4 to 8 hours). Cats are more susceptible to ethylene glycol poisoning than dogs (i.e. smaller amounts are required to cause poisoning). The minimum lethal dose for a cat is 1.5 milliliters of antifreeze per kilogram of body weight. Therefore, a teaspoonful can be lethal to a 7 pound cat. Definitive treatment should be started as soon as possible after consumption of ethylene glycol (within a few hours). If treated promptly and appropriately, pets that have consumed ethylene glycol will not develop kidney failure and have a good chance of survival. Signs to watch for include: nausea, vomiting, increased thirst, lethargy and incoordination progressing to coma. Pets may act as if they are intoxicated. These signs develop within 30 minutes to 12 hours after ingestion of ethylene glycol depending on the amount ingested.

Aspirin. Aspirin toxicity (salicylate toxicity) is poisoning that occurs following the ingestion of aspirin or aspirin-containing products. Cats and young animals are more susceptible to the effects of aspirin than are dogs because they are unable to metabolize the drug as quickly. Aspirin interferes with platelets, which are responsible for helping the blood to clot. Disruption of platelet function increases the amount of time it takes the blood to clot after being cut. Spontaneous bleeding may also occur causing pinpoint bruises to appear in the skin and on the gums (petechiae). Aspirin toxicity may cause gastrointestinal problems, respiratory difficulties, neurological problems, bleeding disorders and kidney failure. If accidental ingestion has occurred, remove any remaining pills from the environment. Take your cat to a veterinarian as soon as possible for treatment. If you live more than 30 minutes from the veterinary hospital, call ahead for advice on whether or not to induce vomiting at home prior to transportation.

Arsenic. Although a common poison in the days of Agatha Christie, arsenic is somewhat difficult to obtain and animal poisonings are rare. Usually, poisoning is due to the ingestion of very old insect traps. Since 1989, the use of arsenic in insect traps has greatly diminished but there are still some out there. The lethal dose is 1 to 25 mg per kilogram of weight and signs of poisoning include severe vomiting, diarrhea and nausea. If caught early, most pets are treated and recover. If treatment is delayed and the signs of illness are severe, pets usually do not survive. If your pet has ingested an insect trap, make sure to check the label to see if arsenic is present and call your veterinarian.

Bathroom Cleaners, Bleach, Lysol and Other Corrosives. Household cleaners can cause very serious "chemical burns." Most often these chemicals are ingested or licked causing a caustic or corrosive burn usually affecting the tongue and upper esophagus. If chemical ingestion is witnessed, immediately flush the mouth with large amounts of water. This can help reduce the amount of chemical in the mouth and may reduce the damage. Chemical oral burns may not show up immediately. Call your veterinarian for additional treatment recommendations. Common signs include: lack of appetite, drooling, pawing at the mouth, and excessive swallowing.

What Your 16-Week-old Puppy Needs

Your 16-week-old puppy has certain needs to stay healthy! The following is a list of recommended wellness care for an 16-week-old puppy including tips and advise on dewormers, heartworm prevention, flea and tick control, spay and neutering and nutrition.

  • Vaccines – 16-week-old puppies should have at least their second set of shots, and ideally it is their third set. If your puppy has not had any shots, get a first set as soon as possible and repeat them again in 3 to 4 weeks. Rabies is required by law between 12 and 20 weeks of age in most states. If it is not given now, it should be given by 20 weeks. Some breeds may need an additional set of vaccines at 20 weeks of age, especially if your puppy is at risk for certain diseases such as parvovirus.
  • Dewormers – Most puppies are born with worms and therefore should be dewormed by your veterinarian. The first deworming generally occurs at 6 to 8 weeks of age and another deworming is generally given at this time. If your puppy has not already been dewormed, he may be dewormed now.
  • Heartworm Prevention – Heartworm prevention is important to puppies and should be started before they are 6 months of age. Heartworms are present in most parts of the United States. Ask your veterinarian if your dog is at risk.
  • Flea/tick Control – Depending on where you live and your current flea/tick situation, there are very good preventative medications to control flea and ticks. The best and safest products are prescribed by veterinarians.
  • Spay/Neuter – Puppies may be spayed and neutered at an early age or later, closer to 6 months of age. If your puppy is not “fixed”, discuss when the best time is with your veterinarian. Pet overpopulation is a serious issue and by allowing your dog to have litters, you are adding to the problem. Finding homes for puppies is not as easy as you may think. Even if you choose to keep the puppies, you now have the additional cost of vaccines, parasite control, toys and food for several pets.
    • Diet – Your 4 month old puppy should be eating a good quality food formulated for puppies of his or her size 3 to 4 times per day. Consider your pups age, weight, and activity level when deciding how much to feed. Every brand of food has different nutrients, caloric densities and feeding recommendations. There is no set formula for how much to feed a puppy. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations on how much to feed. As your puppy ages and his size increases, he will need more food each day. Weigh your puppy each week. Approximate caloric requirement for a 4 month old puppy varies with breed size and activity level. Estimations include Toy breeds – 250 calories, small breeds 535 calories, medium breeds 825 calories, large breeds 1600 calories and giant breeds 2250 calories.

    What to Expect from Your 6 month old Puppy

    At about 5 to 6 months, if you have more than one pup, you may find that play becomes more aggressive and exhibits some nipping, growling, and other general displays of dominance. Many males, and some females, will begin humping each other at this stage as they rehearse for their adult roles. Such behavior is acceptable as long as it is not directed towards you.

    Puppies can be taught to sit, lie down, wait, stay, leave it, and other such useful commands that will stay with them for the rest of their lives. Once these behaviors have been learned they should be reinforced periodically throughout life. This is the usual time for formal puppy training classes outside the home. Such classes are extremely helpful as long as they are conducted in a non-confrontational way.

    The following list will help you know what to expect from your puppy as he develops.

    • How Big? – Most 6-month-old puppies are approximately 75 % of their adult body weight. Most puppies will gain or grow each week until they attain their adult size which occurs between 9 and 16 months of age. However, there is a range of maturity between the different breeds. Small dogs mature faster and reach their adult size and body weight faster than large and giant breeds of dog.
    • Teething – By 6 months, the permanent canines erupt. Permanent premolars erupt at 4 to 6 months and the molars erupt at 5 to 7 months of age. Most breeds will show all their permanent teeth between the ages of 6 to 7 months of age. Although dogs this age have all their adult teeth and are not actively “teething”, chewing may peak at this stage. Make sure they have safe and approved chew toys. This is a great age to be on a regular tooth brushing schedule as these are the teeth they will have for the rest of their life so it is important to care for them properly.
    • Senses – By 6 months of age, most dogs have a very keen sense of hearing, vision, taste and smell. At this age, dogs are learning to differentiate one dog (and human) smell from another.

     

     

    • Ability to Hold Urine – 6-month-old puppies can generally hold their urine for about 7 hours. This means you will need to take them out at least every 7 hours if you expect them to not have an accident. They should be able to sleep through the night without having to go out.
    • Intelligence – 6-month-old puppies are in the beginning of their adolescence. They are smart, curious, strong, willful, and very playful. They also may take more risks by eating things that younger puppies may not. It is important to ensure that your puppy does not have exposure to trash cans, dirty clothes, and other objects he may want to eat.
    • Agility – Most puppies that are 6 months old are becoming very strong and coordinated. They can generally romp, play, fetch, jump, and run with very good accuracy. This is a time they have lots of energy and some of the fetch type toys can be a good release.
    • Sleep – Puppies that are 6 months old sleep approximately 16 to 18 hours per day.
    • Puberty – Be aware that by the time most puppies are 6 to 8 months of age, puberty has set in and unplanned pregnancies are possible, so be ready to take precautions or consider spaying or neutering as soon as possible.
    • Physical Appearance & Hair Coat – Your puppy will begin some changes from a puppy to an adult haircoat. Most puppies begin to shed some of their puppy coat. Get your dog used to being brushed as the shedding will get worse as they full loose their puppy coat. Your puppy will appear much more like an adult at this stage, starting to grow in height and length and fill out with developing muscle.

     

     

    Tips on Best Ways to Raise Your 6-month-old Old Puppy

     

    • Consider that crate training is for life
    • Take him out at least every 7 hours
    • Make sure he gets plenty of exercise!
    • Brush and comb daily
    • Brush teeth daily
    • Train!
    • Feed twice a day
    • Switch out safe chew toys
    • Don’t let your puppy chew on anything he can swallow
    • If he is at risk for heartworm disease, make sure he is on preventative!
    • Get your puppy spayed or neutered
    • Give positive reinforcement for work well doneRead about What your 6-month-old Puppy Needs to Stay Healthy!

     

    Pros and Cons of Spaying and Neutering in Dogs

    It’s time to start thinking about spaying or neutering your dog. But, maybe you are not quite sure if it is the right thing to do. If you’re wondering whether you should just leave your dog as nature intended, consider the positive and negative aspects of spaying and neutering before making your decision.

    First, what does neutering mean? Neutering is a procedure used to “de-sex” an animal. This procedure has been used to control animal population growth, reduce unwanted sexual behavior in pets, and decrease or eliminate the possibility of certain disease conditions later in life, such as pyometra or infection in the uterus.

    Castration is a term used to describe the removal of the gonads (testicles) in male animals. Spaying is a term used to describe the sterilization procedure of females. The procedure of spaying most often consists of removal of both the ovaries and uterus, which is called an ovariohysterectomy. Both procedures are performed under general anesthesia and both involve a surgical incision.

    Neutering is done most commonly at or around six months of age. However, many veterinarians perform this procedure earlier – as early as 8 to 10 weeks in some situations. Early neutering can be done safely and has a number of advantages, especially in cases of pet adoption.

    Spaying – The Positive Side

  • Spaying removes the risk of pregnancy.

    Pet overpopulation is a serious issue and by allowing your dog to have litters, you are adding to the problem. Finding homes for your new family additions is not as easy as you may think. Even if you choose to keep the puppies, you now have the additional cost of vaccines, parasite control, toys and food for several pets. In addition to costs, the health of the mother can be in jeopardy during delivery. Some new mothers can have serious complications delivering puppies and can even develop health problems during nursing. All these potential problems can be avoided by spaying your dog.

  • Spaying makes for a cleaner, calmer dog.

    Without the drive to mate, your dog may be quieter and not prone to an incessant need to seek out a mate. The spayed dog no longer attracts males and their annoying advances and serenades. Dogs won’t have a bloody discharge for several days while they are in heat. Without proper protective products, the discharge can stain sofas, bedding and carpets. Spayed pets are also easier to get along with. They tend to be more gentle and affectionate.

  • Spaying keeps your dog healthier.

    A final positive aspect of spaying your dog is that spayed pets tend to have fewer health problems. Spaying is the removal of the ovaries and uterus. Without these organs, ovarian cysts, uterine infections and cancer of the reproductive tract are no longer a concern. Studies have shown that dogs spayed before puberty have a significantly lower chance of developing breast cancer than unspayed dogs or dogs spayed later in life.

  • Spaying – The Negative Side

  • Spaying means sterilization.

    Spaying will result in the sterilization of your dog, and she will no longer have the ability to become pregnant. In the era of pet overpopulation with thousands of unwanted pets being euthanized each year, this is really not so bad. 

  • Spaying may cause weight gain.

    Some pets may gain weight after spaying and as they get older. Just as with people, to loose weight we need to either diet or exercise. Cutting back on food intake or increasing your pets activity will help reduce weight gain.

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    Neutering – The Positive Side 

  • Neutering removes the risk of pregnancy. 

    Pet overpopulation is a serious issue and by allowing your dog to breed, you are adding to the problem. Although you may not own the female dog, and you are not burdened with finding homes for those new puppies, someone else is. Even if you accept your responsibility and choose to keep the puppies, you now have the additional cost of vaccines, parasite control, toys and food for several pets. 

  • Neutering makes for a calmer dog.

    Another positive aspect of neutering your dog is that neutering can result in a calmer, and sometimes cleaner, home. Without the drive to mate, your dog may be quieter and not prone to an incessant need to seek out a mate. The neutered dog no longer feels the need to seek out and serenade females. He no longer has the stress of needing to mark his territory and urinate throughout the house and yard. Neutered pets are also easier to get along with. They tend to more gentle and affectionate. Neutered males tend to roam less and typically are not involved in as many fights with other animals.

  • Neutering keeps your dog healthier.

    A final positive aspect of neutering your dog is that neutered pets tend to have fewer health problems. Neutering is the removal of the testicles. Without these organs, testicular cancer is no longer a concern and the risk of prostate problems is reduced. For those people who would like to sterilize their dog but do not wish to alter his appearance, testicular implants are available.

  • What Your 9-month-old Puppy Needs

    Your 9-month-old puppy has certain needs to stay healthy! The following is a list of recommended wellness care for an 9-month-old puppy including tips and advise on dewormers, heartworm prevention, flea and tick control, spay and neutering and nutrition.

  • Vaccines – 9-month-old puppies should have completed all of their puppy shots. This means he or she should have received 2 to 4 sets of shots spaced every 3 to 4 weeks from age 6 weeks to 16 weeks. If your puppy has not had any shots, he needs 2 sets of shots 3 to 4 weeks apart and one rabies vaccine.
  • Dewormers – Most puppies at this age have already been dewormed and do not require additional deworming unless they are infested. Your veterinarian can check a fecal sample to determine if worms are present. Many heartworm preventative medications control worms which eliminates the need for routine deworming.
  • Heartworm Prevention – Canine heartworm disease is a serious parasitic disease caused by a long, thin worm that lives in the blood vessels and heart of infected dogs. The disease is spread by mosquitoes. Heartworm prevention is important to puppies. Before beginning heartworm prevention, any dog over seven months of age should first have a heartworm test. Heartworms are present in most parts of the United States. Ask your veterinarian if your dog is at risk.
  • Flea/tick Control – Depending on where you live and your current flea/tick situation, there are very good preventative medications to control flea and ticks. The best and safest products are prescribed by veterinarians.
  • Spay/Neuter – Most dogs should be spayed or neutered now, if they have not been already. Check with your veterinarian to determine their recommendations.
    • Diet – Your 9 month old puppy should be eating a good quality food formulated for puppies of his or her size twice daily. Some veterinarians recommend weaning to an adult food somewhere between 9 and 12 months, depending on the breed and size of your dog. Consider your pups age, weight, and activity level when deciding how much to feed. Every brand of food has different nutrients, caloric densities and feeding recommendations. There is no set formula for how much to feed a puppy. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations on how much to feed. As your puppy ages and his size increases, he will need more food each day. Weigh your puppy each week. Approximate caloric requirement for a 6 month old puppy varies with breed size and activity level. Estimations include Toy breeds – 230 calories, small breeds 600 calories, medium breeds 925 calories, large breeds 1700 calories and giant breeds 2800 calories.