Puppy Basics: Health Care Essentials
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You’ll do anything to keep your puppy healthy and happy—IAMS™ is just the first step. Here’s some extra advice to help your puppy stay extra healthy.
Giving Your Puppy a Pill
Step 1: Begin with a play session and praise to relax your puppy. Then get on the same physical level as your puppy. With a large dog, kneel next to him while he's in the sitting position; with a small puppy, place him on a grooming table or a countertop.
Step 2: Place one hand over the top of the puppy's muzzle as shown. Hold the pill in your free hand and then gently open his mouth with that hand.
Step 3: Place the pill in the center of the tongue as far back as you're able to reach. Then close your puppy's mouth and hold it shut while you blow gently but quickly at his nose. This will cause your dog to swallow before he has a chance to spit the pill out. Give him a treat immediately afterward to ensure that the pill has really been swallowed. End each session with play and praise.
Finding a Veterinarian
Just like you, your new puppy needs high-quality health care. Before you run into any dog health issues, ask a friend or your local humane society to recommend a veterinarian, then choose one with these factors in mind:
- Education and experience. How long has this veterinarian been practicing? Did he or she graduate from a respected veterinary college?
- Specialty. In urban areas, you might find veterinarians who deal exclusively with the special problems of dogs and cats.
- Location. Don't let it override education, experience, and specialty, but location is important. A drive across town during a medical emergency could delay needed treatment.
Schedule a visit and interview
Once you've narrowed your choices, visit the veterinarian's office. Inspect the facility and talk to the doctor about your new puppy. If you like what you see and hear, arrange a time to bring your puppy in for an initial examination. It's a good idea to visit the veterinarian within the first three days after you bring your puppy home to make sure he's in good health. The veterinarian will probably check:
- Stool. A fecal exam will reveal the presence of internal parasites.
- Body. A head-to-tail physical exam includes inspecting your dog's coat and feeling his body for abnormalities, as well as checking the eyes, ears, mouth, and heart and examining the anus for signs of intestinal parasites.
- Once an exam is completed, your veterinarian can schedule immunizations and vaccinations and advise you on the importance of spaying and neutering.
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- adp_description_block63Understanding Puppy Food Nutrition Labels
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How much do you know about the food you’re buying for your puppy? When shopping for puppy food, pay attention to these three sections of a dog food label.
1. The Ingredient Panel
This section lists all the ingredients that make up the product. The ingredients are listed in descending order according to weight before cooking. In dry food, look for a source of high-quality animal-based protein: chicken or lamb, for example. Dogs thrive on animal proteins.
Manufacturers who use large amounts of vegetable proteins might be saving money by providing basic — but not optimal — nutrition. You should also avoid artificial colors and flavors, which offer no nutritional benefits.
2. The Guaranteed Analysis
Near the ingredient panel should be a chart of percentages called the "guaranteed analysis." These figures reveal the basic nutrient makeup of the dog food's formula and protein content. The minimum percentages of protein and fat and the maximum percentages of fiber and moisture (water) should be listed.
3. The Manufacturer’s Name and Address
This information must be included on the label by law. A toll-free number or web address for the manufacturer may also be listed. Manufacturers who list a phone number, such as IAMS™, generally have a high-quality product and welcome consumer calls and questions. If you would like information about IAMS products, visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-525-4267.
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