Puppy farms are not somewhere that puppies are romping around in the field - they are disgusting, cruel living conditions for mother and pups - infections, illness and disease are rife and so many people have heartbreak after buying a puppy that comes from a puppy farm. They are often 'shipped out' to a sellers home to look like a home bred pup - do not be fooled.
Never buy from Puppy Farm (ie via Pet Shops, Ads in the Paper & Websites showing several different breeds being available etc)
Remember - All puppies bought from April 2016 must be microchipped by the breeder before being sold - always obtain the paperwork so the microchip can be transferred to you after purchase
Buying a puppy is a serious commitment and should not be taken lightly. Before making that decision consider whether you have the time and money to care for a dog properly and the commitment to do so for the rest of its life, which could be 15 years.
If you decide to get a dog why not consider giving a home to a rescue dog? Animal shelters up and down the country are full of dogs needing a home. Rescue dogs make wonderful companions and desperately need our help since thousands are abandoned every year, in many cases through no fault of the dog. Many thousands are put to sleep simply because they don't have a home; so when you give a shelter dog a home, you're literally giving them a second chance at life.
If you have a particular breed in mind you could also consider adopting from one of the many breed rescues but always do your homework and checkout the people who run the rescue are reputable.
If you do decide to get a puppy from a breeder, you should first research which breed of dog will best suit your lifestyle.
VETERINARY ARTICLE ON DAMAGE CAUSED BY USING CHECK/CHOKE CHAINS
It is vitally important that you train your dog when it is young to obey commands and not to be a general nuisance for other people, and for this reason a dog training collar is often used for such purposes. However, it is possible to injure a dog by using training collars ineffectively or overzealously. They are never to be used as a means of punishment or violent reaction to a dog's mistake. Unfortunately, that is precisely the type of use they often get. Possible Injuries to Dogs Choke chains are perhaps most responsible for unnecessary dog injuries. Choke chains work on very large dogs with thick necks that won't be easily damaged and should only be used when you need to get quick control of the animal. That being said, excessive choke chain use can lead to long term injuries for your dog. They include: tracheal and/or oesophageal damage, sprained necks, foreleg paralysis, laryngeal nerve paralysis and hind leg ataxia.
Tracheal and Oesophageal Damage
By punishing behaviour with a choke chain, not only are you not leaving your dog with positive reinforcement, you could permanently damage their trachea and/or oesophagus. Consistent yanking on a choke chain as a means of training does little else than make them afraid.
Spraining the muscles of the dog's neck is another lasting impression made by choke chains. Too many well-meaning dog owners think they are training their dog when in reality they are inflicting severe psychological damage to them.
Persistent use of the choke chain can also can lasting damage to the forelegs of the animal. Transient foreleg paralysis, as it is known, is caused by damage to the nerves that run to the forelegs.
Laryngeal Nerve Paralysis
Another type of paralysis that can be inflicted upon dogs by the use of choke chains is to their laryngeal nerve. Paralysis to this nerve can affect the dog's voice for life. By "training" your dog with violence, not only are you simply teaching them to fear certain reactions and not really training, but you could possibly be injuring them for life.
Hind Leg Ataxia
Hind leg ataxia in canines shows symptoms such as imbalance, wobbliness, buckling leg joints, tripping, falling and even collapsing. This too can be caused by the use of choke chains, and it is another reason to never use them on your dog.
If choke chains do not work and can cause permanent damage to your dog, what does work? Dog training is by far the best way to have a well mannered, happy best friend. You have to train them psychologically, not physically.
Article below gives full explanations as to why Check/Choke chains should NEVER be used
ARTICLE by PADDY DRISCOLL ON USE OF CHECK/CHOKE CHAINS
Reprinted with kind permission of Paddy Driscoll
**Click on READ MORE to see whole article**
Check chains are still used dog training despite the advent of more positive training methods. There isn't a lot of evidence that they cause damage to dogs, but there is some.
Vets will tell you they encounter disc and neck problems which they believe to be a result of dogs being corrected on check chains. Respected veterinary behaviourist Robin Walker wrote a strong letter to the Veterinary Record (Veterinary Record March 19th 1994 p312) in which he makes clear his professional opinion that check chains are damaging and dangerous. "In 30 years of practice (including 22 years as veterinary adviser to a police dog section)" he says " I have seen numerous severely sprained necks, cases of fainting, transient foreleg paresis, and hind leg ataxia after robust use of the check chain." He has more to say about the use of punishment, period, in training. "It fails disastrously when it creates anxious casualties or violently defiant rebels." (op cit)
HEATSTROKE - what it is and how to treat it
Once it gets warm EVERY year dogs die from heatstroke - don't let yours be another statistic.
And don't forget: DOGS DIE IN HOT VEHICLES!!
What is heatstroke?
In simple terms, heatstroke occurs when a dog loses its natural ability to regulate its body temperature. Dogs don't sweat all over their bodies the way humans do. Canine body temperature is primarily regulated through respiration (i.e., panting). If a dog's respiratory tract cannot evacuate heat quickly enough, heatstroke can occur.
To know whether or not your dog is suffering from heatstroke (as opposed to merely heat exposure), it's important to know the signs of heatstroke.
A dog's normal resting temperature is about 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. Once a dog's temperature rises above 105 degrees, physiological changes start to take place, and the dog begins to experience the effects of heatstroke. At 106 to 108 degrees, the dog begins to suffer irreversible damage to the kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract, heart and brain.
If a dog is experiencing heatstroke, you may observe excessive panting; hyperventilation; increased salivation; dry gums that become pale, greyish and tacky; rapid or erratic pulse; weakness; confusion; inattention; vomiting; diarrhoea; and possible rectal bleeding. If the dog continues to overheat, breathing efforts become slowed or absent, and finally, seizures or coma can occur.
The amount of damage a dog sustains when stricken with heatstroke depends on the magnitude and duration of the exposure. The longer and more severe the exposure, the worse the damage will be.
What to do
1. Pay attention to your dog. Recognizing the symptoms of heatstroke and responding quickly is essential for the best possible outcome.
2. Get into the shade. If you think your dog is suffering from heatstroke, move it into a shaded area and out of direct sunlight. Apply cool water to the inner thighs and stomach of the dog, where there's a higher concentration of relatively superficial, large blood vessels. Apply cool water to the foot pads, as well.
3. Use running water when possible. A tap or hose is the best way to wet down your dog's body. Never submerge your dog in water, such as in a pool or tub - this could cool the dog too rapidly, leading to further complications, including cardiac arrest and bloating.
4. Use cool - not cold - water. Many people make the mistake of using cold water or ice to cool the dog. When faced with a dog suffering from heatstroke, remember that the goal is to cool the dog. Using ice or extremely cold water is actually counterproductive to this process because ice and cold water cause the blood vessels to constrict, which slows blood flow, thus slowing the cooling process.
5. Don't cover the dog. One of the keys to successfully cooling your dog is ensuring the water being placed on the dog can evaporate. Never cover an overheated dog with a wet towel or blanket. This inhibits evaporation and creates a sauna effect around your dog's body. Likewise, don't wet the dog down and put it into an enclosed area, such as a kennel. Any air flow during the cooling process is helpful in reducing the dog's body temperature. Sitting with the wet dog in a running car with the air conditioner blowing is an ideal cooling situation.
6. Keep the dog moving. It's important to try to encourage your dog to stand or walk slowly as it cools down. This is because the circulating blood tends to pool in certain areas if the dog is lying down, thus preventing the cooled blood from circulating back to the core.
7. Allow the dog to drink small amounts of cool (NOT cold) water. Cooling the dog is the first priority. Hydration is the next. Don't allow the dog to gulp water. Instead, offer small amounts of water that's cool, but not cold. If the dog drinks too much water too rapidly, it could lead to vomiting or bloat.
8. Avoid giving human performance drinks. Performance beverages designed for humans are not recommended because they are not formulated with the canine's physiology in mind. If you can't get an overheated dog to drink water, try offering chicken- or beef-based broths.
See a vet
Once your dog's temperature begins to drop, cease the cooling efforts and bring the dog to a vet as soon as possible. Your dog's temperature should be allowed to slowly return to normal once cooling has begun. A dog that's cooled too quickly may become hypothermic.
Even if your dog appears to be fully recovered, the vet needs to check to determine if the heatstroke caused any damage to your dog's kidneys and liver. The effects of heatstroke can continue for 48 to 72 hours longer, even if your dog appears normal.
William Grant, DVM, a vet for 20 years and former president of the Southern California Veterinary Medical Association, has treated hundreds of cases of heatstroke, ranging from mild to fatal.
According to Grant, the most common cause of death following heatstroke is disseminated intravascular coagulopathy (blood coagulating throughout the body), or DIC, which can occur hours or days after the heatstroke episode.
DIC can also be caused by pyometra or septicemia, but Grant says heatstroke is the most common cause. "Once a dog develops DIC, it may bleed in the thorax, abdomen, nose and intestine," Grant says. "Once the blood-clotting factors are consumed, there is an inability of the blood vessels to prevent leaking; the condition is almost always fatal." For this reason, follow-up veterinary care is essential following a heatstroke episode, even if your dog seems to be completely fine.
Prevention is the best medicine
The best treatment for heatstroke is prevention. Especially during the summer months, it's essential to be aware of the potential for heatstroke. Knowing the signs of heatstroke, and taking the necessary steps to prevent it, will ensure your dog can have a safe and active life year-round.
And don't forget: DOGS DIE IN HOT VEHICLES!!
KEEP YOUR DOG SAFE AND HEALTHY:
NEVER - leave your dog tied up outside shops (dogs are being stolen at an alarming rate EVERY DAY)
NEVER - leave your dog in a car on even warm days - several dogs die in the UK each year left in cars - it only takes MINUTES for this to happen
NEVER - play with sticks with your dogs or allow them to carry sticks - several dogs die or are badly injured by playing with sticks in the UK each year
NEVER - Train using prong or 'E' Collars or physical punishment - its cruel, outdated and unnecessary
WORMING YOUR DOG .. If you want to check IF your dog actually has worms before putting possibly unnecessary wormer into them use this site (very quick turn around service) - checks for all common worms, including lungworm:
Click on a category below to view News/Blog on that subject and scroll down through the posts that appear re your chosen topic.
'ALL' will show every post in date order.