English Golden Retrievers
INFORMATION and TIPS
Protecting Your Puppy’s Health
It’s very important that you do not expose your puppy to dangerous diseases until all vaccinations have been given for protection at a minimum of 16 weeks. Puppies can get
diseases by walking where sick dogs have been and by picking up traces of feces or other bodily fluids. Some viruses, such as the parvo, are extremely durable and contagious, and it only takes a small amount of exposure to infect and cause death of your puppy. How do you prevent exposure? Do not let your puppy walk in public places. This means that you should not let your puppy walk in the neighborhood or in public parks until she has had all her shots. If you must take your puppy to these places, carry him/her. It’s up to you to keep your puppy safe.
You will need to purchase several collars as your puppy grows. When choosing a flat collar, pick one that is at least 1 inch wide, but probably no more than 1.5 inches. Your best bet is to measure around your dog’s neck with a cloth measuring tape and then add an inch. Remember, that the fit of a collar shouldn’t be pulled tight. You should be able to fit a couple of fingers between your dog’s neck and their collar.
You never know when your puppy can get lost so be prepared in advance if that should happen. While your puppy does have a microchip, a tag is the quickest and easiest way for someone who finds your lost dog to locate owner information otherwise they will have to take the puppy to a vet or humane society to be scanned which may not be immediately. There are many different types of tags out there but I think the Collar Tags are the best. It secures directly onto the dog’s collar with no hooks or rings. They are more expensive but they won’t fall off, wear down, get caught on things or dangle in the water or food bowl.
Food and Water
Your puppy will need to eat a high-quality puppy food for at least its first full year of life. The day you pick up your puppy you will be given a sample of Royal Canin Puppy Medium Starter which is the
same food that your puppy is currently eating. This is a common high-quality food that you can find at any pet store. If you decide to buy your own brand please use the sample to help
transition your puppy onto the new food. Sudden diet changes can hurt a puppy’s sensitive stomach and result in diarrhea. If you switch foods, start by replacing a small portion of the old food with a little of the new food. Each day, increase the new food while decreasing the old food, until your puppy is completely on the new food. This transition should take place over five to seven days for best results. We follow the guidelines on the bag for serving size per weight.
Feed multiple times a day:
Age 6-12 weeks – 4 meals per day
Age 3-6 months – 3 meals per day
Age 6-12 months – 2 meals per day
Your puppy has been given Nursery Water since our water in Brownsburg is not the best quality and we don’t have a filter. The transition from our water to your water may cause the puppy to have a loose stool. You can give your puppy up to 2 teaspoons a day of 100% pure canned pumpkin (not pie filling). You can add this to your puppy’s food or you can feed alone. They love the taste. In our experience we typically don’t have to give more than 2 days. Pumpkin is also good for constipation and can be fed the same way. Pumpkin may not help your dog with diarrhea or constipation if there is an underlying medical condition. Call your veterinarian for advice if the diarrhea or constipation persists. We usually see results with the next stool or within 48 hours.
Your puppy was started on NuVet Plus around 38 days old. This vitamin is full of antioxidants and will help your puppy dealing with stress and anxiety of being away from the litter and new surroundings. We have given you a sample and encourage you to keep them on this as long as you can. If you choose not to purchase it as your puppy grows please give him the remainder of what we have provided. Since the wafer is a little large at this time for your puppy I break into quarter pieces and feed. It’s a good idea to feed it separate from a meal. It’s a nice treat between a meal and your puppy loves it. The vitamin cost is about $55.00 for a 90 day supply. It is very reasonable and so many benefits to your puppy. There is also a 15% discount if you sign up for auto-ship.
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Food and water bowl
Stainless Steel bowls are sturdy, long lasting, affordable, dishwasher safe, and safe to subject to boiling water for bacteria killing purposes. Stainless steel bowls tend to be the safest, most practical choice for pet bowls. If properly cared for (do not scrub with abrasive materials like steel wool), stainless steel bowls do not harbor bacteria and can last a lifetime. Simply washing your pet’s stainless steel bowl with warm water and mild dish soap can safely rid it of bacteria. They are also dishwasher safe. A raised dog feeder is known to help the digestive system of your dog. Also a higher dog feeder can be cleaner to maintain as your dog will not drop as much food on the floor. When your dog is eating from a raised feeder he will be more comfortable and will have better body posture. It is also easier for your dog to swallow food when eating out of a raised feeder, often helping your pet to slow down the pace.
There are many toys for puppies and dogs. Make sure the toys you buy are made for dogs, are non-toxic and age and size appropriate. Be sure to remove small toys as your puppy grows, as a small ball used in the first three months can easily be caught in the throat of an adult dog. If you find your puppy is destroying toys, you will have to limit those toys to supervised play only. Many dogs will not only destroy toys, but ingest them. This is dangerous as this can cause intestinal blockage that will cause great pain and possible death if not treated surgically. We recommend any type of Kong toys. Unstuffed animals are also a big hit with our Golden’s. Our dogs do not chew or shred these, only carry them around. You may want to monitor your puppy to make sure that tearing it a part is not his/her objective. I would stay away from any type rope toy unless they are supervised while playing. The rope toys can unravel after excessive chewing and can be easily swallowed getting tangled in intestines. We learned this the hard way. Even the sturdiest ones are not that durable.
There is an abundance of shampoos out there. We use Pure Paws Oats N Aloe. It absorbs impurities deep within the skin and the Aloe Vera helps to moisturize. It is formulated to calm
itchy and flaky skin. We use this on our dogs but it is safe for puppies too under 12 weeks old. It has a long lasting oatmeal cookie scent. It can be ordered at www.purepaws.net or at
Amazon. A 16oz bottle is about $16.50. The Pure Paws Silk Cream Conditioner works really well and can be diluted with water. Neither takes much to use so the product will last a long
Bathing Your Golden
Always brush your dog before bathing it. If you don’t remove dead hair and comb out tangles and knots, you will make your problems worse. Water will cause tangles and mats to tighten and become bigger. Lots of dead undercoat left on your dog will hold the shampoo and will not rinse out properly. Wet your dog down completely, being careful not to get water in the ears. Apply shampoo and work into lather. Avoid getting shampoo in the eyes. Rinse your dog thoroughly. Just when you think you have all the soap off, rinse a little more. You do not want to leave any shampoo in the coat. After you are done rinsing, run your hands all over the body, checking for any leftover shampoo. Rinse again if you find any. Always towel dry your dog when finished. If you choose to use a blow dryer, towel dry as much as possible and make sure your dryer is on a cool low setting. Your puppy may be afraid of this so make sure it isn’t too warm and on the lowest setting it won’t be as loud.
Cleaning the Ears
The first thing you should know is that you cannot damage your dog’s ear drum (unlike people). When you look into the ear, you'll notice the canal or "hole" goes straight down. The hole then turns at a 90 degree angle and leads to the ear drum. This turn in the canal prevents anything you put in there from touching and damaging the ear drum. Always keep your dogs ears dry. Moisture in the ear will lead to infections. To clean the ears, we recommend using baby wipes. Most all baby wipes contain alcohol. Alcohol will evaporate out of the ear, keeping the ears dry. If you don't have baby wipes, you can use Q-tips and cotton balls dipped in rubbing alcohol. A cotton ball works great for the outer ear, just rub a little and the dirt and wax will come off. To clean in all the crevices of the outer ear, use your Q-tip or take a corner of your baby wipe and twist it. Lastly, clean down to the turn in the canal.
Trimming the Toenails
Trimming the toenails is easy, as long as your dog complies. If you are afraid to do it you can take your puppy to the vet or to the groomer just to have their toenails trimmed, but you will pay a fee, usually around $10. We recommend that puppies have their toenails trimmed once a week, and adults every other week. Puppies nails grow more quickly because they are being fed a high protein diet, and their nails grow right along with the rest of their body. We trim our puppy’s nails from the first week they are born, so they are used to having this done. If you continue to trim the nails on a regular basis, your dog won't mind. To them, it is just part of life. But if you don't do it for quite some time, your puppy may object to having its nails, or even his feet touched, let alone trimmed. Don’t forget to trim those dewclaws. For puppies, I recommend trimming nails after they have had a long walk or play session. They will be tired and less likely to wiggle around. Most Goldens have white or light brown toenails, so you can visibly see the pink part of the toenail, the quick. The quick is the blood vessel. If you cut this, it will cause some discomfort at first and will bleed. Depending on how far you cut into the quick depends on how much it will bleed. It is easy to mistakenly cut a dog’s nails too short particularly if the nails are black or dark in color. If you can visibly see the quick, you should be able to trim the nail as short as possible without cutting it. If you do cut it, just apply a cotton ball or cloth to it with slight pressure for a couple minutes then dip the toenail into a mixture of cornstarch. If the bleeding doesn’t stop then keep dabbing the paw into the mixture until it does. You can always use a styptic powder which is much more effective than a home remedy. If a dog's nails are trimmed the appropriate length, you WILL NOT hear the clicking of the nails when the dog walks on hard surfaced floors. The only exception to this rule is if your dog has long quicks within its nails. If a dog's nails go for a long period of time without being trimmed, the quick will start to grow longer too. Then, even when the nails are trimmed as short as possible, they are still longer than ideal.
There is much controversy whether or not removing the dew claws is the right thing to do. There are studies revealing that there is a possibility by removing them increases the chances of carpal arthritis. There are many that believe the dew claws actually aids dogs when running and making tight turns. Some believe that this can help save your dog by pulling itself out of water with the extra grip. Some dogs use their dew claws to hold on to toys, etc. All of our dogs have their dew claws and we have never had any problems or injuries. For these reasons we have decided to keep the dew claws intact.
Around 8 weeks of age, it is a good idea to start getting into a routine of brushing your puppy’s teeth. Getting your pup comfortable with having his teeth brushed now is important. Daily brushing is great but generally we only do it once a week. We hope that you will consider doing it more often than we do. You may notice that at about one year old your puppy’s teeth might be starting to turn yellow. We give our dogs knuckle bones which are safe and dogs love them. They are safe for dogs to eat and it takes a long time for dogs to chew them all up. They crumble, not splinter so the bone is safe for dogs to chew. After a couple days of chewing on a knuckle bone your dog’s teeth will be white again. We typically throw it away after it is chewed on for a few days. We do this once every 4 months. We get the same result from the knuckle bones as having their teeth professionally cleaned.
It often helps for dogs to be in crates or carriers when traveling. This can help them feel more secure and reduce unwanted anxiety, nausea, and vomiting. Even when secure in these
products, dogs can still see through windows and generally feel safer when traveling this way. Keep the windows down a couple inches to allow good ventilation and the vehicle cool. Try not to feed your dog prior to traveling or not as much as you normally would. There are a couple over-the- counter medications can help reduce your dog's nausea associated with travel. These include Dramamine and Benadryl. Please check with your veterinarian first on suggested dosages before giving your dog either one of them.
Introducing to Children
Golden’s are notorious for being wonderful around children. However with this said, young children, sometimes while meaning no harm, might overwhelm the puppy by chasing, pulling.
and poking, etc. The puppy does have its limits. While some puppies are more tolerant than others explain to your child that the puppy is still a baby and show them how gentle the puppy should be played with. Your puppy sometimes will let the child know that he has had enough by growling, running away or hiding. Give the puppy a place to go and rest alone if needed. Please supervise your child with the puppy. Your puppy will grow to love and protect your child if the puppy doesn’t fear him/her.
Never physically punish your puppy. Golden Retriever’s can be very sensitive and this only teaches the puppy to be afraid of you. Also, you should never verbally punish the puppy unless you catch him in the act of doing the inappropriate behavior. Unless punishment comes within a few seconds of a behavior, the dog has no idea why he is being yelled at. The key to training your dog is to praise all of the good things that he does. Teach your puppy what you want through positive reinforcement. This is the also the best way to bond with your new puppy. Example: if your puppy is chewing on furniture, wall, etc. tell him no-no and move him away from the object and give him a chew toy. He will be just as happy to chew on the toy. Never tell you puppy no and then pat them on the head or hug them right after. It’s like saying “good job” for doing something wrong. Be consistent.
If you have any questions please don’t be a stranger. Please call Jeff’s cell number (317) 410-7322 or Linda (317)730-2216. You may also email Linda@INGOLDretrievers.com. If we are not available, we always do our best to return your call, text or email as quick as possible.
Please keep us updated with pictures of your puppy as he/she grows. We always love to see pictures and of course love to hear of how they are doing.