Tips on Puppy Training - III

Is there any special attention to be given for my dog's ears?
Very often, the ear requires cleaning especially when accumulated with dirt or ear wax. Take a good quality ear bud and soak it with clean water or rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol). Position the ear in bright light and wipe the ear canal very gently. Never use any pressure. If there is any scratch or wound, burning sensation will make the dog uneasy and prevent further cleaning. This burning sensation is often due to the inflammation present in the ear canal; often referred to by the vets as - Otitis. Deeper cleaning is to be done by a vet.

Then, how about the eyes?
Corners of the eye and eye lid may accumulate with matter. Then it should be cleaned. This can be removed by using a damp piece of cotton or more easily with a pre-moistened pet wipes. Wipe out the area gently. If the eye is red and there is puss or constant discharge, consult your vet. He will prescribe correct medication.
Does this hold good for teeth too?
No cleaning is required in the case of a puppy. In adult dogs, tartar gets accumulated periodically and this has to be cleaned. This is mostly a professional job and has to be done by the vet. Also, he will find out any other diseases affecting the teeth and mouth cavity. As discussed earlier, Chew-Bones are very good for preventing tartar build-up and improving oral hygiene. Now good pet shops also sell tooth paste and brush for dogs as well !
When does a puppy shed it's milk teeth?
Pup will start shedding his baby teeth by the time it is three months old. It will be over by the time he reaches seven months old. Very rarely, one of the incisors will be retained, even after permanents are erupted. This has to be removed at the earliest, else, it may look like a fang.
And, how about the nails?
Dogs’ nails are to be kept clean and smooth in all ages. You should not use human nail cutters or scissors. There are various types of nail cutters available exclusively for dogs. Buy a robust one since it is required for a long time. The one with a 'guard' to protect over-clipping is ideal. Nail can be cut in level with the paw. However, excess trimming will cause pain, bleeding and sometimes infection. Some dogs, once experience such a pain, will start avoiding the moment you take the nail cutter. Dogs that are kept indoors as well as without proper exercise may need frequent trimming.

What are the major physiological differences between large and small breeds, necessitating specially formulated feed?
1. Small breeds reach maturity much early. They mature by eight to twelve months while the large ones will take anything from 12-18 months to reach maturity.

2. The daily gain of body weight varies between the small breeds and the large breeds. A full grown small breed may gain twenty times their weight at birth. But large breed dog will ultimately reach weight a hundred times when they are born.

3. The energy requirement of small breeds also differ from that of large breed. The smaller dogs' requirement is almost double than that of the large breeds.

4. In small breeds, the weight of digestive tract is about seven percent of the body weight while in large breed it is only 2.5 percent. Though, large breeds require 'large' quantity of food, they should not be fed a large single meal.

5. The life expectancy of these breeds are inversly proportional to their size. That is to say, small breeds live longer while the large ones have a short life-span.

All these factors guide you in using the right feed for dogs. Now, there are even 'age' and 'breed' specific dog food with varied nutrient density. Hence, these food should ideally be preferred to the general food.

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