CHOOSE A VET CAREFULLY
PREP YOUR HOME
- Before you get your pup, research and line up a vet. The most important thing an owner can do is take a new puppy immediately to the veterinarian. The vet can look for genetic diseases and birth defects before you become attached.
- Your puppy’s vet will be your partner. If after an initial visit you don’t feel comfortable and confident you can work together, keep looking for a vet you click with.
- Make a list of questions, including when to spay or neuter, what kind of flea-tick-worm prevention to use, what vaccinations he needs, whether his weight is appropriate, whether he might need supplements, and what kind of food he should eat.
- Be prepared to take your pup back to the vet in three to four weeks for his next combo vaccine.
- Puppy-proofing your home is much like childproofing it. Anything a crawling baby might get into, your puppy will get into – and more.
- Put covers on your electrical outlets to protect cord plugs and secure electrical cords by taping them to the wall.
- Get a kitchen wastebasket with a lid that latches shut.
- Use a gate at open stairways and to keep your puppy out of rooms you can’t puppy-proof.
- Move houseplants out of reach.
- Put a latch on cupboards that contain cleaning supplies and other chemicals. Remove food from lower cupboards.
- Keep your puppy out of the garage. A few licks of antifreeze can be fatal.
- Teach everyone in your house to put things away – TV remotes, cell phones, glasses, gloves, shoes, socks, books and pens – so your puppy can’t chew them.
- Supervise your puppy at all times until he reliably follows house rules.
JUST FOR ADULTS
HERDING IS A FUN, CHALLENGNG, AND HIGH-ENERGY SPORT
Using dogs to herd cattle, sheep and other livestock has been practiced for centuries. Herding as an organized dog sport, however, is a relatively new concept.
The American Kennel Club first began its herding program in 1989 to give herding dogs an outlet for their innate abilities. For dogs belonging to the AKC Herding Group like Border Collies, Bouviers, and Australian Cattle Dogs, their handlers can choose from a variety of courses and livestock to herd.
The program has two major divisions: non-competitive test for dogs with little or basic herding experience and competitive trials for dogs with extensive herding training. Each requires the dog and handler to work as a team to move livestock around a designated arena, along a specified course. At the end of the course, the dog must herd the livestock into a gated pen.
Dogs are awarded points for how well they execute the commands of their handlers, whether they stay on course, whether they complete the course, and other facts.
Herding is a unique sport in that it’s one of the few that incorporates live animals into the mix, which can make each trial unpredictable. Sometimes, livestock doesn’t want to be herded, no matter what.
AGING OR ILLNESS?
Is your dog simply getting older or is something seriously wrong with him? Signs of some diseases look a lot like ordinary aging. If you think there’s something wrong with your dog, there probably is. Don’t assume it’s just old age. You are in the best position to know what’s normal for your dog. Report anything you consider unusual to your veterinarian right away. . Early detection leads to the best chance for a positive outcome.
The following afflictions are common in older dogs. Learning about the symptoms and available treatment options can prolong your senior buddy’s life.
ARTHRITIS – Signs to watch for: Difficulty climbing stairs, standing up from a lying position, or bending to food or water bowls; a decreased ability to jump onto furniture or into the car; a diminished interest in walking, running, or playing; morning stiffness; limping or lopsided gait; wincing, crying, or other expressions of pain when attempting to move.
CUSHING’S DISEASE – Signs to watch for: Excessive urination, thirst, hunger, weakness, trembling, panting, enlarged abdomen, hair thinning symmetrically on both sides of the body.
DIABETES – Signs to watch for: Excessive urination and drinking, weight loss without a change in diet or exercise, poor skin and hair coat, frequent bladder infections.
HEART DISEASE – Signs to watch for: Coughing, trouble breathing, decreased energy, fainting.
CANCER – Signs to watch for: Decreased appetite, low energy, a recent onset of lameness, any unusual lumps or bumps on or under the skin.