General Dog Care

Looking after your puppy is a HUGE responsibility - this little creature trusts you 100% to care for it.  It has undying love, devotion and loyalty, which although probably sounds a bit melodramatic, think about it, who else loves you no matter what you do or don't do, who doesn't care about the past only the present, and thinks you are the greatest thing in the world?  This page is a little on the l-o-n-g side (ok, it's very long!) but please bare with me ...


Puppy nutrition these days is a lot more involved than it used to be.  Be aware of what the packet literature says for the biscuits that you are feeding to your puppy - are they a complete food or part of a complete diet? 

If they are a complete food then you should only give your puppy those biscuits - also, it is important that you check to see how much food you should give them (remember, that the guide usually gives you how many grams per day, so you should be dividing the amount by two).  If you add meat to the biscuits, you can destroy the calcium/phosphorous balance created by the manufacturer which is so important for your puppy's bones and development.  You must not feed too much either because the puppy can grow too fast and get bone abnormalities.  YOU MUST NOT ADD CALCIUM.

If the biscuits are part of a complete diet, it is different again.

I was also informed recently that you cannot give your puppies whole wheat malted breakfast biscuits either as the high amounts of fibre take the calcium straight out through the puppy's bowel.

Also, please be aware that dogs can get food allergies and can also be allergic to food colourings.  These can present in different ways but can be seen by itchy ears or an itchy skin.


A treatment has been brought to my attention for Arthritis in dogs ... I would use it as an "alternative therapy" and for use as an adjunct to other Arthritic treatments.

A friend of mine (who is a Vet), advises people whose pets are on alternative therapies is to use it for 8 weeks (for these type of products) and if it doesn't help, then stop.  Our personal opinion is that every little bit helps with arthritis because the bottom line is your animal is in pain, so try everything to give them the chance of best quality of life possible.  Don't forget that weight loss (if overweight), warmth, beanbag beds are other "adjuncts".  She has also seen some great results with acupuncture too.  

I would be very happy to hear how your dog goes if you choose to try Syn-Flex.

Please click on the link for some more free information ...


If you would like some more information, The "Arthritis and Glucosamine Information Center" is an independent, non-profit resource site where you can search for Arthritis or Glucosamine information -

Please make sure that your dog has sufficient water at ALL TIMES.
Do not exercise your dog just before or after eating - there is a condition called Bloat (gastric dilation) that is extremely serious and can be fatal if you do not get to your Veterinarian within a very short space of time. It is thought to be caused by eating a large meal, exercising before or after eating and then gulping down large amounts of water.  Signs of Bloat are drooling, restlessness and pacing, retching or vomiting and an enlargement on the left hand side of the stomach area and consequently, shock.  Please ask your Vet about Bloat.
Please remember to worm your puppy every two weeks when you get them home i.e. at 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 weeks then monthly until 6 months.  Then, you should worm your dog every three months.  Worming your dog is not only important for your dog but you and your family too.  Humans can catch things like Toxocariasis from roundworm eggs found in cats and dogs (especially puppies - just about all puppies are born with roundworm) which in one of the two diseases associated with Toxocariasis, the ocular larva can cause blindness; Creeping Eruption is caused by hookworm in cats and dogs (and by not clearing away their faeces left in the garden); Hydatid Disease caused by tapeworm eggs and Sarcoptes Mange which is caused through a mite.  Please check with your Vet about the right worm tablet for your dog and ask for more information on the above diseases, if required. It is not a bad idea to get worm tablets from the Chemist to worm you and your family while you have a small puppy.  (Get your children into the habit of washing their hands every time they play with your puppy/dog and don't allow the dog [or cat] to lick their faces.)

Watch this space ...

Heartworm is also very important and should be started early.  If your dog has never had Heartworm tablets, they will need to have a simple blood test to make sure that they have not already got the worm.  Please check with your Vet.
A good Flea prevention treatment is essential.  (Humans can catch nasty things from fleas too!)  Please check with your Vet.
Grooming is very important for your dog's skin and coat.  Please try not to wash your dog too often - you can destroy the natural oils in their coats.  I get my dogs Hydro bathed once a Season - which even still may be too often!  If they have been for a swim in the river or a dam, I will hose them down (no shampoo) to get the sand and river water off them and check for leeches!  Yuk!
Always treat your puppy gently - do not hit them over the nose (they have fine membranes in their nose that you will damage and can consequently ruin their sense of smell).  REWARD IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN REPRIMAND!
Don't ever call your dog and then reprimand it - the last thing it did was come to you and you are scolding it - it will be very confused and you will get a dog that will not come back to you when called.  Try to think ahead and not let the situation arise in the first place e.g. do not leave your favourite pair of training shoes where the puppy can get hold of them!  If you have to, take the puppy to the "scene of the crime" and then "scruff" it and "tell it off".  A dog has a very small attention/retention span ... reprimand longer than 5 seconds after the incident IS TOO LATE!
Chocolate is toxic to dogs, please do not give them even small bits - choc treats that you buy are made from Carob. 

Other things that are bad for dogs as are:

Onion; Alcoholic beverages; Avocado; Coffee; Fatty foods;

Macadamia nuts; Mouldy or spoiled foods; Raisins and grapes; Salt; and Yeast dough


ASPCA Animal Poison Control center

America's National Poisons Awareness Week

click on site and choose brochure "Top Ten Poison Prevention Tips"

or have a look at Pet Education's website for more information

another good site for information on how these foods can affect your dog is

Dog First Aid 101


Since February 2000, when I started this site, I have written back personally to thousands of emails free of charge but I have now included (and added to) a FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) Page where hopefully you can find an answer to your question and there is a lot of information that can be found around the site.  If you cannot find your answer, please include whatever you think is relevant in your email - the more you tell me, the clearer the picture I will have of your situation.  I do reply to every one but if you have not received a reply within 2 weeks, please email me again as I may not have received your email or been able to access your email address.

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