I had always heard that a house is not a home without a dog, but until receiving a puppy for my birthday a few years ago, I never really valued the truth of the statement. Since Gingerbelle came to live with our family, our house is more of a home than ever.
Along with all the joy that comes along with having a new puppy, it is also a lot of work! For example, Gingebelle is a golden retriever, which means that her long fur coat needs daily grooming. And being a large breed, we have to take extra precaution against things like hip dysplasia.
Visual Clues to the State of Your Puppy’s Physical Well-Being
But how could we know we were doing the right thing? It was not like Gingerbelle could just tell us whether or not we were doing a good job. Thanks to some advice from our veterinarian, identifying the signs of good puppy health was easier than we thought.
- SKIN – When it comes to good puppy skin, the surface should be supple and smooth without scabs, growths, flakiness, redness, or swelling. Canine skin can naturally range from light pink to dark brown or black. It can even appear naturally spotted, depending on the breed.
- COAT – Your dog’s fur should appear glossy and pliable without the presence of dandruff or appearing excessively oily. Your dog’s fur should also be free from fleas, ticks, and other parasites that make their home in the undercoat.
- EYES – As with humans, canine eyes are bright and shiny. It is normal to have a minimal amount of mucus and watering, as long as it remains clear. Any type of swelling, yellow discharge or other abnormalities should be checked by the vet ASAP.
- EARS – The skin along the inside of your puppy’s ears should be pale pink and free from crustiness. A little yellow or brownish colored wax is normal, but as with other areas of skin the inside of the ears should be free from redness, swelling, or scabs.
- NOSE – A warm, dry nose does not mean your dog is sick. While your dog’s nose is usually cool and moist, it is more important that it be free from discharge that is thick, bubbly, or foul smelling. If this happens, contact the vet at once.
- MOUTH – As with human mouths, your dog’s gums should be firm and supple, just like its skin. While a dog’s gums can be pink, black, or spotted, there should be no redness or swelling. Its teeth should have smooth, white teeth that are free from stains or chips.
Keeping Up with Your Puppy’s Vaccinations and Preventative Care
When it comes to pet vaccinations, the Veterinary Medical Center at Ohio State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine (vet.osu.edu) suggests talking with your veterinarian about your pet’s lifestyle and which infectious diseases he might be exposed to first.
This will allow your family veterinarian to tailor a custom vaccination that is designed specifically for the needs of your pet. While every pet needs the same basic vaccinations, like rabies shots, a working dog may need more than a pampered puppy princess that rides around in a purse all day.
Why a Wireless Fence Could Save Your Puppy from a Horrible Fate
Puppies are squirmy, and can get into some tight spots that are inaccessible to older, adult pets. They are also more likely to escape the backyard fence. Even if puppies have tags, there are puppy thieves who are not above taking off with your fuzzy family member.
One way to keep your puppy safe is with a wireless fence. It creates a virtual boundary around your yard that, as long as the puppy is wearing the coordinating collar. Most fences are safe to use for dogs that are 5 pounds or larger, with a neck size that is between 6” and 23”.
You can’t know how happy and healthy your puppy is at all times unless you know where he is at all times. Because you can’t keep your dog cooped up in a crate or kennel both day and night, a wireless fence is the best way to let him safely explore the great outdoors.
Best of all, you can take your PetSafe wireless dog fence with you when you go on vacation, camping, or even to visit family members. There’s no need for a pet sitter when you can take your puppy along on all your family’s adventures!
Freelance writer Becky Muth cannot imagine life without her adorable golden retriever, Gingerbelle. Thanks to the wireless fence around her back yard, the precious pup is free to enjoy life off the leash every afternoon. Becky points all of her family and friends to http://www.doggyfence.com/ for safe ways to let their dog explore the outdoors. When she isn’t writing she enjoys knitting, visiting the beach, and reading current bestselling novels.