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Archive for the ‘Nitro’ Category

Puppy Food

I hadn’t fed my last dog puppy food simply because its typically just a higher protein. There are no real benefits. But after talking to the breeder, she recommends it until around 4 months of age so I decided I will just go with that – after all, she is the expert right? I emailed her to find out what food she recommended and it was a good brand. Things you want to avoid are corn, wheat and by-products of any kind. Corn is pure starch…how many diets out there recommend corn as a main course for humans? none. So why do it for dogs?

So, today I am off to a specialty store where they have a lot of really great brands of food. Most of the higher quality foods don’t make puppy food (that has to tell you something) but I decided on Merrick Puppy. If they have Innova Puppy I might do that. When the puppy is 4 months of age I will switch him to Canidae or Wellness. My vet recommends BARF (raw foods) but with two small kids and 3 dogs, I think I will hold off on that until I have more time on my hands. There are some premade raw foods which are quite good but you still have to defrost it and clean the bowls and sanitize after each feeding. Dogs don’t get salmonella like we do. They can get it but its quite rare. They have a much faster digestive track.

The Honest Kitchen dog food is one that is a raw food, you can add meats to it if you like…I have fed this food off and on over the years and really like it. Whatever food you decide to feed your puppy, just read the ingredients first and avoid those 3 things listed above!

Crate Training

We were fortunate that our breeder opted to shoot for crate training our puppy early. I do believe it has made all the difference in the world. His first night with me, I figured that he would cry, need to go potty, and so forth. I opted to not turn on the alarm and just wait and see how it went. Nitro is a bit older, 10 weeks when we got him so I had my hopes up.

Luckily, we put him in his crate for the night, and he cried. I looked at my watch. Within two minutes, he was quiet and asleep. What a great blessing that was! He slept all the way through and didn’t have one problem. Now, when we initially put him in the crate, he fuses and whines…sometimes howls and barks. We just ignore it and he falls asleep or chews on his toys. I’m doing my best to make the crate a positive experience. I put him in when he is sleepy (usually really hyper means sleepy apparently) and give him a few pieces of dog food to reward him for going in. I hang out in the room – I dont always want the crate to mean mom is going away. When he howls, I never even look at him. Overtime I am hopeful this behavior will decrease. If he never gets let out, or looked at, then he will find that it does nothing for him. When he is quiet in there and being nice (not sleeping), I will periodically go over and say hello. Reward the good, ignore the bad at this age!

Leash Training a Puppy

Leash training a puppy….easy? Yes and no. I knew the puppy would have sharp teeth and chew right through a leash I put on him. I also knew that I wanted him on leash 90% of his free time outside of his crate. Why? Supervision, prevention, all those good things. Nitro had never had on a leash before so this was a new experience – it went like this – ew mom, something on me? I better eat it!

Rather than struggle to get the leash out of his mouth which quickly turned into a wrestling fun game for the puppy, I just distracted him with a toy. I bought a really cheap thin leash that I know is going in the trash within the first few weeks. When we are out and I have him tethered its with a leather leash. I know he can destroy it, but he’s less likely to do so. I still say “ah ah, leave it” and give him something else to chew on. At this age (10 weeks) its all about redirecting bad behavior and trying to prevent it.

Nitro: Puppy Teething

Oh those puppy teeth!

Update: Just after I posted this, within a week, we have started losing teeth! I haven’t seen them yet, but they are gone from his mouth. Poor little guy!

Teeth? Fangs? Needles? All of the above? You guessed it…boy puppy teeth hurt! I have more puncture wounds that I care to count. Not anything he has done viciously, but they are just sharp and he accidentally gets me from time to time as I give him treats or toys. How do I handle it? Keep that neosporin near by.

Teething has to hurt a dog, some days Nitro chews on soft toys and others hard. I dont really know why he chooses what he coes, but if he is going for the chairs, I know its a sign he needs harder things to chew on. If he is going for my socks, its time for a fleecy toy.

Somewhere around 4 months (he is 14 weeks now) his teeth will start to loosen and fall out. I’ve never actually witnessed a puppy tooth on the ground. I think they disappear :) In any case, keep a variety of toys, even some frozen ones help and look at what they are telling you by what they chew on. Try not to get mad. Remember, it hurts to have your teeth come in!

Nitro: Puppy

Traveling with a puppy

Its spring, summer is around the corner, and travel season will soon be among us. If you introduced a new puppy to your family like we did this year, one thing on your mind is, how can we travel with our puppy? Well, it depends on where you are going! There are so many pet friendly places now, but unfortunately there are still many that just aren’t pet friendly.

If you are visiting the beach, you need to find out if the beach is pet friendly. For example Myrtle Beach doesn’t allow pets between 9 AM and 5PM. Thats usually OK because its so hot, dogs shouldn’t be out in the sand anyway, it could burn their paws. If you look at you will find many pet friendly places to stay. Bring your dogs food, some water, medications, and of course toys. Its also a great idea to bring some natures miracle (just in case!).

I also like to look up the local vets ahead of time, that way I can be sure if there is a problem I know who to call. Its also not a bad idea to bring along your pets shot records or medical history just in case. Travling with your puppy can be very fun, but remember, its a new location, so try to bring familiar things. Bring their crates so they are safe while you are away. And do your best to enjoy having them with you!

If you can’t bring your pet, then look for a pet sitter, its a great alternative