Illustrated Articles

Dogs + Puppies

  • Life with puppies is complicated, and all puppies will sometimes do things their owners find problematic. Using management, planning, supervision, and positive reinforcement for the right behaviors will help puppies succeed, and owners better enjoy their companions.

  • Every puppy will become a dog who needs veterinary care, grooming, and handling. Starting in puppyhood, owners can use positive training techniques to teach their puppies how to accept and enjoy restraint, basic procedures, and home husbandry.

  • Providing puppies with positive socialization experiences may prevent the development of future fears. Puppy socialization must be done gently to avoid accidentally causing fear. Puppies are most primed for socialization before the age of 14 weeks. By taking precautions, some careful socialization can and should be done even before puppies have completed their entire vaccination series.

  • A successful life with a family dog starts with great training for your puppy. Planning to set puppies up for success, learning how to use management, positive reinforcement, luring, capturing, and shaping will help owners train their puppies successfully. Positive puppy training and socialization classes are also beneficial for healthy puppies over eight weeks of age.

  • Congratulations on the addition of a new puppy to your family! This handout provides general care advice for your puppy, including nutrition, play and chewing behavior, housetraining, socialization, nail trimming, and basic first aid.

  • Owning a puppy can be an extremely rewarding experience but it is also a large responsibility that lasts the entire lifetime of the dog. Working with your veterinarian, there are several preventive measures to help keep your puppy safe and healthy as he grows up, including vaccination, parasite treatment and prevention, identification, and spaying or neutering your dog.

  • Cryptorchidism is the failure of one or both testicles to descend into the scrotum. Toy breeds may be more at risk, but it can affect any breed of dog and is believed to be an inherited trait. Diagnosis can usually be made by palpation but sometimes requires blood testing or an abdominal ultrasound if the dog’s history is unknown. Risks of retained testicles include testicular cancer, spermatic cord torsion, and the development of undesirable male characteristics, so neutering is strongly recommended. Surgery is generally routine, and recovery is similar to any abdominal surgery.

  • Roundworms are the most common gastrointestinal worm found in dogs and can also be transmitted to people. They are of most concern to puppies when present in large numbers, causing stunted growth, a pot-bellied appearance, and recurrent diarrhea. Diagnostic testing, treatment, and preventive measures are explained in this handout.

  • Dogs, like people, need to practice their social skills. Spending time with other dogs will help your dog hone his ability to read his friends’ body language and to communicate effectively. These skills decrease the development of dog related fear and aggression. Play groups in an organized or more relaxed setting are beneficial for both your growing puppy and adult dog. Canine and human socialization occur simultaneously and dog owners enjoy meeting new friends, too. Watching dogs play is a great way to reduce your stress level. Socializing should be pleasant for you and your dog, so find a comfortable group and setting and have fun!

  • Teething in puppies lasts from about 3-6 weeks of age and again from 12-24 weeks of age. During this time, puppies are also exploring the world with their mouth. Safe chew toys are an important source of energy release but if puppies are not stimulated sufficiently or supervised carefully, they will chew elsewhere. Puppies should never be encouraged in rough play as this sends to message that biting and scratching are appropriate. It is important to get your puppy used to having their mouth manipulated for exams, teeth brushing, and removal of items that they shouldn’t have picked up!