Crate Training Tips for Your New Puppy

Your young puppy definitely should not have the run of your home. Just like toddlers, they are just learning right from wrong and can get in trouble, hurt or make an absolute mess when you are not watching.

By using a crate as part of your house training program, you are not only teaching them their potty skills, but also keeping them safe and secure. Crating your puppy is an excellent way to start developing good habits with your puppy.

Here are some great tips to help with crate training your puppy.

  1. The natural instinct for a puppy is to seek a den, preferably one that is partially enclosed in the back so they feel safe from a rear attack.
  2. Airline crates work great and can also be used for trips.
  3. It is also a natural instinct not to mess in their sleeping quarters, so try using a soft bed rather than newspaper, especially if you are planning to paper train.
  4. Make sure your crate is big enough to accommodate your puppy, yet small enough that they cannot mess in the corner.
  5. If you have a large breed dog, you may need to buy bigger crates as they grow or get expandable crates. My Labrador eventually outgrew his crate so he now sleeps on his orthopedic pillow in the same spot .
  6. Your puppy should start to sleep in their crate at night. Similar to babies, it teaches them to sleep on their own and not bark and whine all night long. So, at bedtime, place your puppy in the crate and leave them to cry it out.
  7. If you return to the crate when they are making noise, you are actually encouraging the crying and will make it worse. Each night, the crying episodes will shorten in length until they actually will seek out their den when they are tired.
  8. Do not allow your puppy to sleep with you. Your puppy may have accidents in your bed or may be injured when you roll over.
  9. Another reason not to let your puppy sleep with you is kinda gross, but it actually happened to me when I was in Vet school. My dog happened to become infected with tapeworms from eating a flea. These worms can crawl out of the puppy during the night and will then be deposited in your bed. Another good reason for regular worming and flea control. (Over the counter dewormers are not effective against tapeworms). The crate is the best place for your puppy to sleep at night.
  10. Keeping your puppy properly dewormed will also lessen the risk of diarrhea and accidents.
  11. Do not use the crate as punishment if your puppy has chewed up something valuable. It is your responsibility to make sure your home is puppy proofed and this is a good way to get your kids to pick up their toys.
  12. Scheduling your puppy also helps with the house training. Your puppy will need to go to his designated potty area:
    • first thing in the morning
    • right after they eat
    • when they are finished playing
    • when they wake up from a nap
    • before they go to bed
  13. Young puppies should be fed about 4 times a day and feeding them at the same time each day will help establish regular elimination habits.
  14. Feeding your puppy in the crate will also help him enjoy his crate more.
  15. Make sure your puppy has water in their den. If your puppy has a tendency to spill the water, they can be taught to use the water bottles like hamsters and ferrets, only bigger.
  16. A great tip is to set a timer for every 2 hours during the day so you can remember to let the puppy out.
  17. Never punish the puppy for accidents, but praise them lavishly for doing their deed at the designated location. If puppy is caught in the act somewhere other than the designated area, simply scoop them up and take them to the designated area to finish and praise them once there.
  18. If your puppy does have an accident, it is your fault for not watching him and letting him out on his regular schedule. Ignore the accident and be more vigilant next time.
  19. Do not rub their nose in the accident or reprimand them in any way.
  20. Use an odor neutralizer to clean the accident and never use ammonia.
  21. Give your puppy a safe chew toy to keep the occupied when they are in the crate, Kong toys work well because you can fill it with peanut butter or treats and it will keep them occupied once you leave them.

Your puppy is eager to please you and with a little help from your family and a crate, accidents and destructive tendencies will be kept at a minimum. Pick up more puppy training tips at my new puppy care and dog training website MyPuppyCare101.com

Parasites on Your Cat

ParasitesParasites are organisms that live in or on your cat, causing harm. Minimizing parasites is an important part of keeping your pet healthy. Some pet parasites can cause problems for people too, so keeping them out of your home is also good for you and your family.

External parasites are insects or arachnids that live on the skin or in the ears, feeding on blood or cell fluids. Most are large enough to be visible, but its easy to miss them on a furry pet. Your veterinarian can tell you about parasite control products that are safe, convenient, and effective.

Fleas
Fleas are about twice the size of the head of a pin and are brown in color. They scurry rapidly through your cats hair coat and can jump several feet. Fleas can be detected by combing your pet with a fine-toothed flea comb. The presence of flea droppings is another sign. Flea droppings look like black sand. A good trick for differentiating flea droppings from dirt is to add a drop or two of water. Flea droppings contain partially digested blood, and will produce a red color when wet.

Fleas cause severe skin irritation and allergies. Your cat may scratch so much that he creates raw spots, which can become infected. Severe infestations can cause anemia. Fleas are also the carriers of tapeworms. Although fleas prefer furry creatures, they can cause itchy bites on people.

There are many products available for flea control. The newest, safest, and most effective are available from your veterinarian. These products are also very convenient, requiring only a few drops of liquid applied once a month. You may still notice a few fleas occasionally. Sprays for the home and garden can minimize this problem. Make sure to read and follow label directions on all flea products. Some products can be dangerous to you or your cat if they are used improperly.

Lice
Lice are whitish insects that are smaller than fleas. Their eggs, or nits, can be detected on the hair shafts. In cats, lice are much less common than fleas. Lice can cause skin irritation and anemia. Insecticidal shampoos and other products can be used to treat lice, but it is very important to treat the bedding as well. Although people get lice, they are a different type, so you dont have to worry about getting lice from your pet.ticks

Ticks
Ticks are arachnids, relatives of spiders. Their size varies tremendously, depending on the type, age, sex, and whether the tick has fed on blood. Larval ticks may be smaller than the head of a pin, whereas some adult ticks are larger than a corn kernel. Ticks are detected by careful examination of your pets skin and ears.

Ticks can cause anemia and are carriers of many serious diseases, including Lyme disease and Ehrlichia. They can also bite people.

Some of the topical flea products available from your veterinarian for flea control are also effective for ticks. In addition, powerful tick-specific products may be recommended. Many tick control products are safe for dogs only, so read all labels carefully before using a product on your cat.Microspcopic view of earmites

Mites
Mites, like ticks, are arachnids, but they are much smaller. Many mites are difficult or impossible to see without magnification. Ear mites can be detected by your veterinarian during a physical examination. Skin mites usually require a skin scraping test. Symptoms vary depending on the type of mite, but can include itching, irritation, and hair loss. Skin mites are the cause of mange. Effective mite treatments are available by prescription. The treatment often takes several weeks.

Debra Garrison, DVM

Parasites on Your Dog

Parasites on your Dog
Parasites are organisms that live in or on your dog, causing harm. Minimizing parasites is an important part of keeping your pet healthy. Some pet parasites can cause problems for people too, so keeping them out of your home is also good for you and your family.

External parasites are insects or arachnids that live on the skin or in the ears, feeding on blood or cell fluids. Most are large enough to be visible, but its easy to miss them on a furry pet. Your veterinarian can tell you about parasite control products that are safe, convenient, and effective.

Fleas
Fleas are about twice the size of the head of a pin and are brown in color. They scurry rapidly through your dogs hair coat and can jump several feet. Fleas can be detected by combing your pet with a fine-toothed flea comb. The presence of flea droppings is another sign. Flea droppings look like black sand. A good trick for differentiating flea droppings from dirt is to add a drop or two of water. Flea droppings contain partially digested blood, and will produce a red color when wet.

Fleas cause severe skin irritation and allergies. Your dog may scratch so much that he creates raw spots, which can become infected. Severe infestations can cause anemia. Fleas are also the carriers of tapeworms. Although fleas prefer furry creatures, they can cause itchy bites on people.

There are many products available for flea control. The newest, safest, and most effective are available from your veterinarian. These products are also very convenient, requiring only a few drops of liquid applied once a month. You may still notice a few fleas occasionally. Sprays for the home and garden can minimize this problem. Make sure to read and follow label directions on all flea products. Some products can be dangerous to you or your dog if they are used improperly.

Lice
Lice are whitish insects that are smaller than fleas. Their eggs, or nits, can be detected on the hair shafts. In dogs, lice are much less common than fleas. Lice can cause skin irritation and anemia. Insecticidal shampoos and other products can be used to treat lice, but it is very important to treat the bedding as well. Although people get lice, they are a different type, so you dont have to worry about getting lice from your pet.

Ticks
Ticks are arachnids, relatives of spiders. Their size varies tremendously, depending on the type, age, sex, and whether the tick has fed on blood. Larval ticks may be smaller than the head of a pin, whereas some adult ticks are larger than a corn kernel. Ticks are detected by careful examination of your pets skin and ears.

ticks

Ticks can cause anemia and are carriers of many serious diseases, including Lyme disease and Ehrlichia. They can also bite people.

Some of the topical flea products available from your veterinarian for flea control are also effective for ticks. In addition, powerful tick-specific products may be recommended.

Mites
Mites, like ticks, are arachnids, but they are much smaller. Mites are difficult or impossible to see without magnification. Ear mites can be detected by your veterinarian during a physical examination. Skin mites usually require a skin scraping test. Symptoms vary depending on the type of mite, but can include itching, irritation, and hair loss. Skin mites are the cause of mange. Effective mite treatments are available by presDemodexcription. The treatment often takes several weeks.

Puppy Care

Congratulations! Bringing home a new puppy is fun, but it is also a huge responsibility that lasts its lifetime, which can sometimes reach 12 to 18 years or longer. The first six months of your puppies life are the most critical and establishes his health and behavior for the rest of his life.puppy You, as the puppies advocate, must ensure he is protected from disease with a series of vaccinations and effective monthly parasite control. Thousands of inadequately vaccinated puppies never make it to see their first birthday because of diseases such as parvovirus and distemper. Thousands more will die from heartworm disease from the bite of one single mosquito, and even more may succumb to intestinal parasites, such as hookworms, even before they even reach 2 months old.

The majority of dogs relinquished to animal shelters is usually because of behavioral issues, such as dog aggressiveness that results in a dog bite, the inability to house train or unruly and destructive behavior. These are natural tendencies in dogs, and it is your responsibility to learn the how the dog thinks and use the natural, instinctive pack leadership skills to effectively modify both you and your dog’s behavior and solidify a great and rewarding relationship with your new puppy and family

Puppy proofing your home is another safety precaution you must establish. There are several hazards to young puppies you must look out for, such as electrical cords, toxic houseplants, foods that must not be fed, and toxic substances that need to be secured. Providing a safe haven for your puppy, such as a crate, when you are away, will keep him out of trouble and will also hasten house training.

There is so much more that I want to share with you that I have developed a series of newsletters and videos to help you take great care of your puppy and then well into his senior years. Register for my puppy care newsletter and you will also get some bonus e-books.

Recommendations for Puppies

Age 2, 4, 6 weeks of age

* deworm for hookworms and roundworms
* check for other intestinal parasites such as coccidia, tapeworms, whipworms and giardia

6-8 weeks of age

* Wellness Examination (WE) Check eyes, ears, heart, lungs, teeth, and other structures.
* DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvo, )
* Parasite Check
* Dewormer
* Start Heartworm preventative
* Start Flea medication
* Behavior counseling (crate training)

12 weeks

* Wellness Exam
* DHPP #2
* Bordetella #1
* Leptospirosis #1 (4 way)
* Dewormer
* Heartworm and Flea medication

16 weeks

* Wellness Exam
* DHPP#3
* Rabies
* Lepto #2
* Bordetella #2
* Heartworm and Flea medications

5months and older

* Spay or neuter
* Blood profile to screen for congenital problems prior to surgery
* give heartworm and flea medication every month all year round
* feed high quality pet foods, avoid generic brands
* Start getting your pet used to brushing teeth while they are young.

10months old

* parvo booster
* bordetella booster
* parasite check

Annually

* Wellnes Examination
* Rabies
* DHPP
* Leptospirosis
* Bordetella
* Heartworm (Erhlichia and Lyme) test
* Parasite Check
* Lyme booster
* Giardia booster
* If pet has received 2 Rabies Vaccinations exactly 365 days or less in a row, then pet may go to a Rabies injection every 3 years. If the two vaccines are more than 365 days apart, then they must get another vaccine within the year.
* Pets age 7 years for every 1 calender year. Physical exams on a bi-annual basis are a good way to screen for health problems before they become major.

Dr. Debra Garrison
Dr. Debra Garrison