What’s been done to safeguard my pups health?

I have DNA Health tested all my breeding dogs.   I am sold on DNA testing… and am proud to be able to offer my current LIFETIME health guarantee.

What is so special about DNA testing? DNA health testing tells me what,  if any, genetic defects my parent dogs might have and help me to be sure that my pups are as genetically healthy as possible. The tests I have been using test for dozens of genetic diseases and helps me to eliminate them from my pups. By doing this, I can guarantee that none of my pups will ever develop any of the long list of genetic problems that are present in either of their parent breeds. This is a relatively new option for breeders and one that most purebred breeders hadn’t even begun doing yet.  I strongly feel it’s something every breeder should be doing as it’s an absolute definitive answer to many health questions and would, if done by all, help to eliminate many preventable genetic problems. ALL of my breeders must test clear for all genetic defects or they will not be bred.

Prior to breeding, my dogs are all updated on their shots and must be in excellent physical condition.

From the beginning of her pregnancy, Mama dog is fed Puppy chow , beef liver, eggs and daily vitamins to keep her built up and the pups start strong. She’s also wormed early in the pregnancy and again mid way through.

On day 3 pups should go to the vet for an exam and have their dew claws removed. The claws left on are often snagged on things as the dog gets older and get ripped off, causing a lot of pain and major vet bills. Removing them does not interfere in any way with your dogs abilities, it simply eliminates the possibility of future problems. My vets office charges $7.50 per pup to do it… I consider it money well spent.

At 2 weeks, the pups should be wormed. They almost always have worms, even if their Mama has been wormed, so this helps to insure that all the food they’re eating goes into keeping them healthy rather than being sucked out of them by parasites. The worming should be repeated every 2 weeks until the pup goes into it’s new home. It costs me about $10 per pup for the 4 treatments. I figure it saves me in vet bills, and lost sales because it keeps my pups healthy, so it’s a win win situation and done routinely.

At around 3 weeks, the pups begin eating a gruel of puppy chow soaked in warm puppy formula. I decrease the amount of formula gradually until at about 5 weeks they’re eating the puppy chow soaked in warm water. From there I reduce the water in the food, and provide a dish of clear water and dry dog food so they leave me eating dry puppy chow at 8 weeks.

At 6 weeks I give the pups a 7 way vaccine that prevents diseases common to puppies. Now that they’re weaned, they’re no longer protected by their moms immunities, so need to develop their own. This shot is repeated in 2 weeks. Until they’ve had the third shot at 12 weeks, it’s wise to be cautious about where you take them and any other dogs you have them around as they can actually die from preventable diseases if you get careless. They’re fun to show off, but be patient for their sake and be sure they’re well protected first. I pay $17.50 per pup per shot. It’s SO worth it! At 8 weeks, when they’re ready to leave their dam, I give everyone of the pups an injection of Ivermectin, which is a broad spectrum anti-parasitic. It prevents heart worms, intestinal worms, fleas/tick/lice and mites. Each of my adult dogs also get this shot each month.

Daily monitoring by a knowledgeable breeder can detect a lot of small things before they become big ones. For example, it’s not uncommon for pups when in the weaning process to develop a urinary tract infection. They’re going from a liquid to a solid diet and while most make the transition just fine, some might struggle a bit more with the change. Pups may also become constipated during this time. A smart breeder will have stayed around while the pups ate to be sure ALL have nice round tummies after. With in minutes they will all relieve themselves. A pup with a urinary tract infection will strain and cry and have blood tinged urine. A round of antibiotics will take care of it, but you need to catch it early for the pups sake. A constipated pup will also strain and make loud pathetic grunting noises. They need more water, maybe a bit of puppy formula, and a bit of extra help to get back on track. Some pups get diarreah while adjusting to the rich puppy chow. Vigilance is the best preventative again.

Often with Labradoodles you will find some have the Lab personality and others are more like Poodles. Some will be more aggressive in feeding and will naturally get the best and most. One that’s not able to compete can suffer and fail quickly if it’s not noted and dealt with. When this happens, I bring that pup in and give it a few meals all by itself for a while until it’s able to better take care of itself. This can make all the difference.

In summary, the best safeguard of your pups health is a breeder who takes the time to know and observe the pups and do the basic cares in a routine manner and breeds health tested dogs. We’re responsible for them being born, so we owe them that.

I also teach them early when they first start eating gruel to come to the sound of my voice for their meals. Later they will know to come to the sound of YOUR voice rather than run off and be in danger. I also start socializing them even before their eyes are open so they trust and enjoy human companionship. They learn to trust me and my family, so more easily transfer that same trust to their new family when they leave me. It all takes time, but makes for a safer, healthier puppy that is a joy to own.

Any pups that for any reason are with me longer than 8 weeks will continue to be wormed, vaccinated and given heart worm and flea,tick/lice/mite preventative every month until they leave. My goal is to sell only perfectly healthy pups so I do all that I can to help them start out right.

Puppies first lesson

The pups are 3 weeks, 5 days old. They eat from a dish twice a day now and feast on their mom besides. All of them eat til they look as if they’ll burst. I’m able to feel just the hint of their milk teeth beginning to peek through, so soon the food will be less liquid and more for chewing. They’re growing round and strong, which is good… but they’re also learning their first lesson. One that will serve them well through their entire lives and help to keep them safe.
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They’ve learned to associate the sound of my voice with food, so are now coming when I call them. I call them out of their house, across the porch, and a few feet into the lawn. I want to teach them that coming when called is a GOOD thing; it brings rewards and positive interaction. Little do they know it’s setting the tone for their first lesson as pets. I try to move around a bit and vary the spot they’re fed at so that they’re learning to come to me rather than to a specific spot. They have to listen for my voice and come to where I am if they want their reward. Later, when they go to their long term homes, they’ll be ready to respond eagerly when called because they’re learning it now. This is puppy kindergarten where they’re mastering their first lesson.

Puppies first food

With a litter of 12 to feed, Canada has had a challenge to keep everyone well fed and herself healthy in the process. I’ve been top-dressing her food with Puppy formula, she gets raw liver and eggs. There is ALWAYS food in her dish, even though she’s eating over 30 lbs a week right now. She’s managed to stay a bit on the chubby side, but her coat is starting to show the stress of feeding so many. So yesterday we found this:

Puppy in Mamas food

Which was a pretty strong hint that the pups are becoming interested in Mamas food. At 19 days of age, it’s a few days earlier than expected, but hey they’re showing me what they want, so who am I to say they’re not ready?
Tonight I found one licking her food even though he has no teeth to chew with yet.

So I decided to mix up some puppy forumla and thicken it with a bit of soft white bread crumbs. I figured they’d at least get a taste for what’s to come. Nothing had prepared me for the frenzy that followed! The first pup I put at the bowl dived in like he hadn’t eaten all day. So we brought out another… who did the same. They were sucking the mix down like they were old pros.

So I ran in, mixed up more, and filled a second pan. We brought out all 12 pups, and let the frenzy begin. Now anyone who hasn’t seen puppies sharing their first few meals has missed some serious cuteness. They climb INTO the food, over each other, and rut around like little pigs. It’s comical and charming at the same time. By the end of the meal they’re a sloppy mess… which I just can’t resist sharing.

ENJOY!
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Canada seemed to enjoy watching them eat. I’m sure she enjoyed cleaning them up after too! Between the 12 of them they ate 4 cups of formula with 4 slices worth of bread crumbs. We checked them all carefully before putting them back in for the night and not one looked like it could have swallowed another drop.

So feeding time has taken a sudden turn, and from now on they’ll be getting puppy formula with crushed puppy chow softened in it a couple times each day. Once their teeth come in, there will be less liquid and more puppy chow until they’re ready to eat like big puppies do. They’re growing up so fast!