Puppy Basics: Spaying and Neutering
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For most pet parents, the expense, time, and expertise involved in breeding dogs responsibly is beyond their reach. Here are some advantages to having your puppy spayed or neutered:
- For females, there will no longer be a mess to deal with during their 21-day heat cycles, which occur every six months. The heat cycle begins in females sometime after 6 months of age.
- Spaying a female before her first heat cycle will reduce the chance of mammary tumors or uterine diseases.
- Neutered males tend to be less aggressive than unneutered males.
- With a neutered male, the urge to mark territory may lessen.
- A neutered male is less likely to want to roam in search of potential mates.
When to Spay or Neuter
Dogs should be spayed or neutered by the time they are 6 months old to avoid many dog health issues. Both operations are performed under anesthesia and may require an overnight stay at the veterinarian's office. Recovery time is quick, with most dogs resuming normal activity in a few days. Spaying (for females) consists of an ovario-hysterectomy.
Neutering involves the removal of the testicles. When you bring your puppy to the veterinarian's office for his first thorough examination, have the doctor explain the operation in detail and set up a time to have the procedure done.
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- adp_description_block223Understanding 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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