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How to take care of a puppy
How to take care of a puppy

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How To Take Care Of A Puppy

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Watch as Veterinarian Dr. Katy Nelson shares all the basics of building a positive relationship with a puppy. You’ll learn everything from taking care of your puppy’s basic needs to socialization. When all is said and done you’ll learn how a happy puppy makes for a happy owner as well.

 

Hi, I'm Dr. Katy Nelson with IAMS, and today we're going to talk about how to take care of your puppy. First and foremost, you want to understand and meet your puppy's needs. Here they are in order of importance. Number one: basic health-- water, nutrition specifically formulated for puppies, and sleep. Also, immunizations and regular checkups are recommended. Number two: safety. As with small children, you need to keep your puppy in an environment that is safe for him. Puppies explore with their mouths, and they learn about different textures by gnawing. Also, chewing helps massage their gums. For your puppy's safety, keep things that he or she should not be chewing on out of reach. Number three: psychological. Your puppy's greatest psychological need is to be part of a group and be socialized with other dogs. However, to do this successfully, you need to be a guardian he can depend on. Once your puppy's basic needs are met, you want to understand the way he sees the world, so that you can build a strong relationship. Your puppy does not understand the world you live in, so you cannot expect him to. Two things you need to understand is that to them, everything is edible, and they will lunge at anything exciting—you, kids, guests, and other animals, until you train them not to. Praise him exuberantly to encourage the right behavior. Give him treats, pet him, play with him, and be stern to discourage the wrong behavior—ignore him, stop petting, or stop playing. Most importantly, be patient and consistent. Don't be harsh. Puppies have lots of energy, and it's healthy for them to use it. Periodically, helping your puppy release energy will minimize his urge to dig and chew on things. Spend time out in the yard making him run in short bursts. Go on walks or play fetch. Puppies are used to playing with their brothers and sisters. When they're separated, they're looking for their next playmate. Playing with your puppy will also make him more focused on you, improving your bond and making training easier. It teaches him new behaviors, self-control, and will help him gain self-confidence. Like play, socialization is also fundamental to raising your puppy. This is why socializing your puppy as soon as you bring him home is important for both of you. Socialization teaches your puppy to be calm in stimulating circumstances, and to obey when instructed. It also gets him used to being touched, handled, and even used to having hands and inedible things in and near his mouth, so that he behaves around other people, kids, and his veterinarian. Also, know that puppies are sensitive. They can read facial expressions and emotions. Be consistent about what things your puppy does that make you express happiness. Also, be careful not to give your puppy reason to think he's at blame for negative emotions you have from other areas of your life, like when you've had a bad day at work. Emotions are contagious. The happiest puppies tend to be in the most positive and loving households. I'm Dr. Katy Nelson with IAMS, and I hope that you found this helpful as you welcome your new addition to your family.

  • Choosing the Right Dog Food
    Choosing the Right Dog Food
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    Choosing the Right Dog Food

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    Author: Dr. Diah Pawitri
     

    When visiting the store, dog owners can get overwhelmed by the array of dog food options available, from dry kibble to canned wet food and more. These processed foods may not be appealing to humans, but they contain all the nutrients that dogs need to stay healthy. Like humans, dogs also need a variety of nutrients from their food, not just from meat as their main diet, but also from grains, vegetables, and fruits. This kind of balance is usually weighed by pet food labels in kibbles or wet food in grams for different types of dogs. 
     

    For optimum health, dogs need food that is tailored and customized to their life stages, starting from when they are puppies and all the way into adulthood. Puppies have completely different nutrient needs compared to adult dogs as they are still in their early stages of life. They need enough nutrients to fuel a speedy growth, especially after transitioning away from their mother's milk. Puppies require complete and balanced nutrition with protein to help build their tissues, fats or healthy skin, hair, brain, and vision, carbohydrates for energy, vitamins, minerals, and water.

    The need for balanced nutrients in puppies starts with the mother during pregnancy, followed by lactation and growth. Sufficient nourishment for the mother is pivotal in enhancing the puppies’ growth inside the womb and preparing them for life after birth. Both mother and puppy should receive well-proportioned antioxidants, DHA, and prebiotics to support their health and growth as provided by the IAMS product line, which contains DHA that is essential for puppies' brain development while also supporting the mother's pregnancy and quality of milk produced. 
     

    While puppies need the primary nutrients for growth, adult dog food has a different level of complexity. Adult dog food requires the same make-up of nutrients as puppies do but tailored to their specific needs. Recent research indicates that an adult dog requires at least 10% of its daily calories from protein and at least 5.5% from fat. Adult dogs need quality protein for firm muscles and a healthy immune system. Additionally, an adult diet can contain up to 50% carbohydrates, with fiber ranging from 2.5 to 4.5%. There is no specific prescribed amount of fibre for adult dog consumption daily, however, it is still one of the most important components in dog food to address constipation and support a healthy weight.
     

    Adult dogs in their prime also require a balance in antioxidants to reduce systemic inflammation and restore active muscles. They should receive Vitamin E and C to support their immune system, joint health, and prevent inflammation. As they grow older, they may be exposed to different diseases from diabetes to cancers, which can be prevented by polyphenols.  Parents to adult dogs must acknowledge the most suitable food for their loved one that is comprised of the right amount of nutrients and can look to the IAMS line as they are formulated to support healthy bones and joint health, scientifically proven for healthy digestion with a good fibre and prebiotic blend, as well as antioxidants for a strong immune system.
     

    Besides life stage, balanced nutrition should be adjusted to their breed, which give insight to different factors like weight, mouth size, and energy level. This will then determine the type of kibble and food given. Smaller breeds tend to be more active, requiring the same essential nutrients and prebiotics for a healthy body as well as smaller-sized kibble designed specifically for their smaller mouths. As smaller dogs relatively have a high metabolism, higher levels of protein, fat, and essential fatty acids like omega 3 and omega 6 are some of the important nutrients that should be available in their food. On the other hand, larger breeds require foods that are lower in fat and calories, contain slightly lower levels of calcium and phosphorus, and have a specific balance of calcium-to-phosphorus ratio to support stronger bones and muscles.  Owners can look to products like the small breed line from IAMS, containing 7 essential nutrients to build strong muscles, support their tiny immune system while protecting their healthy skin and coat, and the product line for adults for large breeds.
     

    Dog parents must acknowledge and understand the unique needs, life stage and characteristics in their dog to choose the right dog food so their furry ones can grow into their healthiest selves. Make sure to visit your vet regularly to check these components as well!