This post is brought to you as a part of the Dog Days of Summer Campaign, hosted by the folks at dog training collars. These helpful hints are meant to bring inspiration for positive pet ownership.
If you need to know anything about me it’s that I love my puppies. Alright, I know that they’re no longer in the puppy stage but just as a child will always be their mother’s baby my 3 dogs will always be my puppies. I love them, I spoil them and I discipline them when necessary.
It really makes my blood boil when I see stories in the paper or on Facebook of dogs that have been abused or worse, tortured for fun. If you’re not going to love and care for your pets properly then you don’t deserve to have one.
I live in a rather rural area but I’m appalled when I see dogs running loose, into traffic or getting into the neighbor’s garbage looking for food. A few years ago Don and I saw a pick-up towing a flatbed trailer pulled to the side of the road with a puppy in the street next to the trailer. We stopped to help and it seemed the owner had the puppy riding on the trailer and he fell off. I can’t begin to describe the shape the puppy was in. We had a pillow in the car that belonged to one of our puppies and gave it to the owner to put the puppy on so he could lift and carry him without hurting the puppy any more than he already was. I also had the card and number of the vet we used and they have and emergency number. I called the vet the next morning to see how the puppy was doing and found out he had too many injuries and died. Of course I cried for that puppy who should have been in the cab of the truck with the driver. I mean, would you let your child ride behind your car on a trailer that had no sides? I didn’t think so.
I guess that’s where I think differently than a lot of people, my puppies are more than pets, they’re family members and as such are treated with the same respect and care that any human member of my family would receive. That includes taking care of their health and safety. They don’t go out of the yard unless they’re on a leash (except for the few times they dug under the gate) and we always make sure they have plenty of food and water available. If they get sick we call the vet and if needed take the trip into his office.
I can’t begin to tell you how many times Ellie’s been there for an emergency. The first she could barely open her eye. I called the vet and he was out of the office but within 10 minutes they were calling back that he was on his way in and wanted to see her. She had a scratched cornea and without antibiotics it could have led to an infection. The last time we noticed drops of blood on the bed. In feeling around we felt something under her skin. A trip to the vet and he pulled out a huge splinter (wedge) of wood. Guess she got that when she was trying to get under the fence.
Last summer Rascal was making funny noises and when I looked at him I was horrified. His muzzle was swollen and he looked pitiful. At first I panicked but then realized the vet said I could give him a children’s dose of Benadryl when he had his puppy shots so I shoved 1 Benadryl down his throat then called the vet. Of course being a Sunday it was their emergency number but I found out that I did the right thing and I could give the Benadryl every 6 hours and if it got worse to call back. About an hour after the first pill the swelling was going down and by the next morning he was back to his old self.
Recently Rascal had terrible diarrhea. He was playing and running around but still had this problem. A quick call to the vet and I found I could give him Kaopectate. 1cc per 10 lbs of body weight and I could give it up to 3 times a day. Rascal weighs 17 lbs so I gave 1.5cc’s and after the first dose he was much better.
If I had to tell a new dog owner my top tips to having a loving, happy puppy
- If you love them, let them know.
- Keep them on a leash or in a dog run or fenced in yard
- Don’t let them run the neighborhood where they could get hit by a car or injured by another animal. Get them their shots (series of puppy shots as well as yearly Bordetella and Rabies) as well as heartworm tests and give them the heartworm meds to prevent infection
- Keep your vets number handy so you can call in an emergency
- When traveling remember to bring water for the dogs
- If they’re going to be outside for any length of time or if it’s hot keep water out there with them.
- Dogs shouldn’t have meat bones
- They can splinter and cause serious problems to their throats and intestines.
- When using household cleaners or insecticides make sure they’re safe to be used around pets.
- Above all else, love them and take care of them