Puppy Love and Nurturing
There is nothing quite like puppy breath. All the cuddly skin he or she is growing into, the happiness and love that abounds from his or her body and soul, this is the best thing ever!
There are so many questions each new puppy parent will have for raising their pup healthfully. Some of the most common questions and concerns that my clients ask me are what is the best food for my pup, how much of it does he need, how and when do I increase the amount for his growth, what vaccinations should he have and at what age, how much exercise is good without over doing it?
In this article I will share some great resources that will help answer these questions and more, to assist you in making the best informed choice and decision you can for your lifestyle and the health of your pup.
For vaccinations, there are definitive core vaccines that are recommended by veterinarians which can vary a little based on the state you live in and what diseases may or may not be an issue for that area.
Dr. Ron Schultz is an immunology expert that has spent most of his career studying animal vaccines. This video will help you to understand titers and why they are important to consider before vaccinating. http://truth4pets.org/tag/ronald-d-schultz/
Truth 4 Pets is an evidence based site on pet vaccinations where you can get solid information to help you make an informed choices on what is appropriate for you pup. Here you will find questions and answers on blood titers, ways of eliminating unnecessary shots, lifelong immunity information and much more. http://truth4pets.org/question-before-vaccination/
Feeding nutritious whole foods is the key for optimal health. I’m sure you’re aware that I am not a fan of most commercial diets that can be laden with “source unknown” ingredients as well as sodium and synthetic vitamins and minerals, especially when it is easy to create your pups diet yourself. There can be a moment of a balancing act so I recommend consulting with your holistic vet, animal nutritionist or choosing an author such as Lew Olson’s Raw and Natural Nutrition for Dogs, or Canine and Feline Nutrition (Case, Daristotle, Hayek, Raasch) which will break the life stages nutritional needs down nicely for you.
Helpful supplements for puppies can be a good quality pre/probiotic to help balance healthy gut flora, to soothe digestive issues brought on by stress or diet change. Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria needed to maintain healthy bacteria and ward off bad bacteria as well as increase nutrient absorption.
I always recommend detoxing after vaccinations as some are preserved with Thimerisol, which is 49% mercury. Heavy metals build up over time and may wreak havoc within the lungs, kidneys and liver as well as damage the neurological, cardiovascular and immune systems. Removing toxins as soon after they have been introduced to the body will help all the systems to remain healthy.
Being consistent with the amount of exercise that your puppy gets is much more beneficial in frequent short periods than longer sessions less often. It is recommended by many veterinarians as well as breeders that a puppy needs 5 minutes of exercise per month of age, 3 or 4 times per day. For example a 4 month old pup would need 20 minutes at a time, 3-4 times daily. This can come by gentle ball tossing, a play at the beach or a swim if you live near the water, or a walk on leash. You’ll want to build up his stamina slowly in lieu of rigorous running for long periods of time while their musculoskeletal system is developing. Overdoing it at a young age can quite possibly lead to early onset of joint and tendon issues.
Be sure to understand the breed of your pup as some breeds are not built (suited) for running like pugs as much as others are like border collies and labs for example.
Best of all, remember to love, nurture and enjoy every minute you have with your dog, at all ages.
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