Diet of an Older Puppy Dog

Diet of an Older Puppy: A discussion with Dr. Manu
Hello! Welcome to a new episode of our video Petzz series. Today we’ll be discussing with our Petzz expert about the diet of older puppies.

R1: Hello, doctor……! First of all, let’s get something straight: until what age are dogs considered puppies?

V1: Hello! Until they are around 1 year old, dogs are puppies, but this depends on the puppy’s breed: small breeds reach adulthood sooner than large dog breeds. Small breed dogs reach adulthood at around 9 months of age, while larger breeds become adult dog at around 15 months old.

R2: I have asked this because a few weeks ago we talked about a small puppy’s diet and what to feed a puppy after it is weaned, and how to move to a solid diet. What I would like to find out today is what do we feed older puppies, after 4 months old?

V2: Hello! Yes, after 4 months of age a puppy moves to a fully solid diet, of course, and it can be fed a variety of fresh food and vegetables, rice, meat, bread, kibbles and even some fruits.

R3: It’s not very different from an adult dog’s diet.

V3: Actually it is, because puppies need more nutrients, minerals and carbs to help them with growth. A puppy’s diet requirements are different than those of and adult dog. Until a puppy reaches adulthood, he’ll need more meals a day and a higher percentage of protein and fat than an adult dog. That’s why there’s an obvious difference between food for puppies and food for adult dogs. Puppy food has more calories and proteins.

R4: How many times a day should we feed older puppies? And how much food should we give them?

V4: As their digestive system is still developing, it’s recommended to feed them smaller portions 3-4 times a day, rather than 2 big meals. Older puppies should be fed 2-4 times a day, depending on their size, large breeds need more food than smaller breeds, of course, and depending on the type of food you feed them.

Dry dog food or kibbles is a concentrated form of food, so you should measure the appropriate quantity before feeding your puppy. Most dog food bags show a feeding chart depending on the dog’s weight and breed. It’s advisable to buy a graded cup from a pet store and use it to measure the dry food quantity for every meal.

If you choose to feed your dog cooked food, note that as a general rule, dogs will eat around 2-3 percent of their body weight daily. Large dogs tend to eat a lower percentage, and small dogs a higher percentage of their body weights. Toy breeds may need as much as 4 to 5 percent of their body weight daily, while giant breeds might eat as little as 1½ percent, or even less.

R5: Are supplements required in a growing puppy’s diet? What supplements should we give a puppy?

V5: If your puppy eats a wide variety of foods and in sufficient amounts, then supplements are not really required, though they are highly recommended. Puppies should be given growth supplements that include the necessary vitamins and minerals for their growth. Raw or cold-pressed salmon oil is also a good option, just sprinkle a few drops on your dog’s food.

R: Thank you, doctor! Keep an eye on our video Petzz series next week when we’ll talk about deworming and vaccination of adult dogs.

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Puppy Dog Grooming Routine

Puppy Grooming Routine: A discussion with Dr. Smita

Hi. Welcome to our video Petzz series. Today we are going to talk with doctor Dr. Smita, our vet expert, about the grooming routine of a puppy.

R1: Hello, doctor! Before going into details about the grooming routine, let’s define the concept and why is it important even for a puppy?

V1: Hello! Well, grooming is not at all a new concept, it was actually a solution to a common problem in 16th century: some hunting dog breeds had long hair that hindered them in water or snow, so european hunters started trimming the fur in some parts of the dog’s body, leaving vital areas like the joints, the chest or the head covered with fur. Later on, “practical” turned into “style” and the rest is history.

Today, grooming means basically to take care of your dog’s hygiene and cleanliness, or styling its coat in a particular way, either according to the breed’s looks, or for dog competitions and shows.

Puppies are playful and curious and while they learn how to eat or play with other siblings, they will often get dirty, as food or dirt get stuck in their fur. Keeping their coat clean is important in order to have a healthy puppy.

R2: What does grooming a puppy mean exactly?

V2: Grooming means cleaning and brushing a puppy’s coat, but also clipping its nails (if necessary) and cleaning its ears. Brushing a puppy’s fur is recommended as it removes dirt, dandruff or dead hair. Plus, regular brushing brings out the natural oils in the dog’s fur, and during brushing these oils are spread over the entire coat giving it a healthy shiny look.

R3: When should we start the grooming routine for a puppy?

V3: If you’re brushing your puppy at home, you can start as early as 3 weeks of age, and you can use a soft damp cloth and a toothbrush. If you want to have your puppy groomed by a professional, you can start this routine after the puppy has received at least 2 rounds of vaccination and has built some immunity, generally after 3 months old, otherwise you risk exposing it to some very serious diseases from other dogs.

R4: I guess brushing is the easy part, but what about a bath? When and how often can we bathe a puppy?

V4: As long as they have their mother around them, she will step in to clean them whenever they are dirty. When they are no longer with the mother, puppies should not be bathed too often, but only when they are very dirty or very smelly. Bathing a puppy too often it will hinder its skin’s ability to produce the natural oils that make it soft and silky.

We can start bathing a puppy during the first few weeks, just as we bathe a baby. Make sure the water is warm and you have a couple of dry towels to dry the water after giving him a bath.

R5: What cleaning products should we use to bathe a puppy? Can we use products for human use?

V5: Choose a good quality puppy tearless shampoo or an organic one, and be careful to not put too much on him. Always squeeze a few drops of shampoo in your hand and gently wash the puppy’s fur starting from the head down. Do not use human shampooing products, as they have a different pH level and they often contain harsh detergents that can damage a dog’s skin.

R6: What should we keep in mind when bathing a puppy?

V6: Keep his head out of the water, don’t put shampoo into his eyes and ears and don’t let him outside before he’s completely dry.

R: Pretty much the same as with a baby:)

V: Yes, exactly.

R: Thank you, doctor! I hope our Petzz expert answered the many questions related to puppy grooming. We will meet again next week to discuss about the grooming routine for adult dogs.

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Adult Dog Grooming Routine

Adult Dog Grooming Routine: A discussion with Dr. Manu
Hi. Welcome to our video Petzz series. Today we are going to talk with doctor Dr. Manu, our vet expert, about the grooming routine of adult dogs.

R1: Hello, doctor! Last week we discussed about a related topic – how to groom a puppy-, so it’s only natural that today we are going to talk about the grooming of adult dogs. How is grooming an adult dog different from grooming a puppy?

V1: Hello! Essentially there’s not much of a difference in grooming a puppy or an adult dog, since grooming an adult dog means the same thing as in a puppy’s case: brushing the coat, giving him a bath, cleaning its ears and clipping the nails. But there are a few details that need to be mentioned though:

● Adult dogs shed their coat twice a year, once before the hot season and again before the cold season. So when your dog is shedding, you’ll have to brush him more often to remove the excess of dead hair that flies around the house.

● Some specific dog breeds or older dogs who don’t walk much need their nails to be clipped regularly in order to prevent injuries

● Also, with older dogs you need to keep an eye on their ear hygiene, as they tend to display ear infections quite often. Ear infections might be due to dog scratching and bruising the ear tissue that afterwards becomes infected, or diet that is too high in protein.

● Another important aspect that is part of the grooming routine is the emptying of a dog’s anal glands that should be done by a veterinarian a few times a year. Street dogs use their anal glands to spray and mark their territory thus emptying them every now and then, but dogs that live mostly inside don’t get the chance to empty their anal glands until they are too full and they just burst when the dog makes a sudden move.

R2: How many times a month or a year should we give a bath to an adult dog?
V2: Just as with a puppy, not too many times, generally once or twice a year or only when the dog has rolled into mud or into something very smelly. Bathing your dog excessively can cause him dermatitis, dandruff and dry skin and lose the shiny look of the fur which is given by the essential oils in his skin.

R3: What products should we use to bathe an adult dog? Can we use shampoos or conditioners designed for human use?

V3: As with puppies, It’s not recommended to use regular shampoos or conditioners designed for human use because these usually contain harmful detergents that will inhibit the production of essential oils in a dog’s skin, ultimately causing them skin diseases. The best thing is to use products designed especially for dogs, or organic shampoos and conditioners as long as you are certain they are made of naturals oils and plants.

R4: What do you advise dog owners who have long haired dog breeds?

V4: Long-haired dog breeds definitely need regular brushing and grooming as their fur can quickly become tangled and matted. Pet owners should brush their dogs at least twice a week.

R5: Is fur trimming recommended?

V5: If a dog has been neglected for some time, only brushing is not an option and fur trimming will be necessary to get rid of all the dead and matted fur. This can be done by a professional groomer. However, keep in mind that long-haired dog breeds have at least two layers of hair that helps them regulate their body temperature and prevents them from sunburn. Fur trimming is not recommended unless it’s absolutely necessary. Of course, short-haired dogs don’t need trimming.

R6: Except for grooming what else can we do to ensure that our dog has smooth shiny looking coat? Do supplements help?

V6: Yes, supplements for skin and coat can help a dog improve his skin and fur condition and it’s recommended you give them to your dog 2-3 times a year for 30 days. Salmon oil is another very good and healthy addition to your dog’s diet. It contains vitamins and fatty acids that are essential for a dog’s skin and coat. Salmon oil will help him with shedding and will give his fur a healthy glow.

R: Thank you, doctor! We hope that all this information will help you and your dog. We’ll see you next week when we’ll talk about….

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Puppy Dog Vaccination and Deworming

Puppy Vaccination and Deworming: A discussion with Dr. Akshay
R: Hi. Welcome to a new “Ask the Vet/Petzz Expert” episode in our video series. Today we are going to talk with doctor Dr. [Dr Akshay], our vet expert, about the importance of vaccinating a puppy.

R1: Hello, Dr. [Dr Akshay]. There are still pet owners who don’t think vaccination is important for their dogs and often skip this step. Can you tell us how important is vaccinating a puppy?

V1: Vaccination means literally the difference between life and death. A puppy’s immune system doesn’t have the capability to cope alone with deadly diseases such as canine distemper or parvovirus and hence vaccination is paramount. Also, vaccination is the best and only means to eradicate deadly dog diseases and stop them from spreading.

R2: Can a puppy be in contact with other dogs before vaccination or can it be taken out for a walk before vaccination?

V2: Definitely not. The only dogs a puppy can be in contact with are those in the nest, specifically the puppy’s mother and the rest of the litter. The bitch’s milk helps building a puppy’s immune system, but unvaccinated puppies are extremely vulnerable to deadly diseases and should not be exposed to other dogs or the outside. Even when taken to the vet for vaccination, the pet parent should never allow other dogs to sniff or lick the puppy, or put the puppy down on the floor. The puppy should be held in a dog carrier or in the pet parent’s arms, away from other dogs.

R3: When should the first vaccine be given to a puppy? And what is the correct vaccination scheme for a puppy?

V3: The first vaccine should be given to a puppy as soon as it leaves the nest, between 6-8 weeks of life. It’s a trivalent vaccine given for distemper, hepatitis and parainfluenza. After 10 days the puppy will receive a second DHPPi vaccine (for distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus and parainfluenza), followed by a DHPPi RL booster shot another 10 days later, which includes immunization against rabies and leptospirosis as well.

R4: What is the relation between vaccination and deworming? Why is deworming important?

V4: Deworming is just essential for a puppy as vaccination is, and it’s done to prevent illnesses caused by internal parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, and whipworms. Usually, 1-2 days before receiving a vaccine the puppy is dewormed so that it can eliminate the intestinal parasites before the vaccination is given, since the puppy needs to be in a good and healthy condition before vaccination.

R5: What is the deworming scheme for a puppy?
V5: The deworming scheme for a puppy is pretty simple. The veterinarian will give one dose of deworming before each vaccine, so in the first 12-14 weeks the puppy will be given 3 dewormings. Then, to prevent parasite infestation, the puppy should be dewormed every 4 months.

R: Thank you, doctor!

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Healthy Diet for Adult Dogs

Healthy Diet for Adult Dogs: A discussion with Dr. Akshay
R: Hi. Welcome to a new “Ask the Vet/Petzz Expert” episode in our video series. Our vet expert, Dr. Akshay, will talk to us today about the healthy diet of an adult dog.

R1: Hello, Dr. Akshay. When it comes to a dog’s diet there are a lot of opinions being passed around, basically every dog owner thinks that he knows best how to feed his dog. But is it really so? Tell us a few things about how important is a balanced diet for an adult dog.

V1: It’s true that every owner believes he knows best what his dog should eat, but more often than not dog owners do make mistakes when it comes to their dog’s’ diet, so when in doubt it’s better to ask the vet.

First and foremost, a healthy dog diet should not be composed of scraps and leftovers from their owners’ meals. Of course that almost every dog will be watching you while you eat and you just can’t handle the teary eyes and you end up giving him a piece of your food. However, you have to make sure that the food you are eating is completely safe for your dog, but bear in mind that this is not a behaviour that you should reinforce.

Just as a human’s diet, a dog diet should include protein, fats and carbs, but their percentages vary greatly from humans’ intake. A dog should have more protein and fat and little carbohydrates. Also, a healthy diet should include greens and vegetables besides meat and kibbles. A balanced diet makes the difference between a lean healthy dog and a dog whose immune system is weak.

R2: Doctor, you mentioned greens and veggies as part of a healthy diet. What greens and veggies we can feed our dogs? And what about fruits?

V2: Leafy greens like spinach are great for dogs, and also carrots, baked potatoes or sweet potatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, and cooked peas or beans should be part of a dog’s diet. If your dog likes fruits, you can give him apples, pears, blueberries, watermelon or pumpkin. During hot summer days, you can even freeze these fruits and give them to your dog as an icicle which will help him stay hydrated, and entertain him as well.

R3: Are bones safe for dogs? What bones should we give a dog?

V3: Fish and chicken bones should never be given to dogs as they pose a great risk of piercing through their digestive tract. Safer options are turkey or mutton bones, but even these should be half cooked and not given raw.

R4: Is a diet based solely on kibbles – even from reputed brands – or processed dog food recommended for a dog?

V4: Kibbles are a form of highly concentrated dog food that should be given moderately, always use a measure and feed your dog according to his weight. There are good brands of kibbles of course, but a dog’s diet should include other foods besides this too. Canned food is also a good option as long as you choose a good brand, but again you should not feed your dog only canned meat and not all the time.

R5: How can we improve a dog’s diet?

V5: A balanced diet that includes raw foods, meat, greens, veggies and kibbles or canned dog food would be a very good balanced diet. Additionally, you can give your dog supplements (minerals, vitamins), 2-3 times a year for 1 month. For a nice shiny coat and healthy joints you can add a few drops of salmon oil to your dog’s food every day.

R6: What signs will a dog with a poor diet show? What health issues can be triggered by a poor or unbalanced diet?

V6:Diet is the most important part in a dog’s life. A poor or an unbalanced diet can lead to an array of diseases ranging over time from skin diseases to liver and kidney failure. A dog that is not fed good food can be skinny, lethargic, can exhibit hair loss, rashes, dandruff, dermatitis. Also, if a dog is too fat, he’ll have other health problems such as joint problems or diabetes.

R7: What foods we should never feed our dogs? Is milk a good food for a dog?

V7: Dogs should not be given sweets or any human food with a high sugar content, especially chocolate which is toxic for them, and even some fruits and nuts (grapes, strawberries, raisins, macadamia nuts, cashews, peanuts.

Regarding milk, dogs can be lactose intolerant just like humans and will suffer the same symptoms whenever they eat dairy products. Some dogs cannot digest the cow milk enzymes at all and will have gas, diarrhea or vomiting, others will not have any issues.

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How to Wean a Dog Puppy

How to Wean a puppy: A discussion with Dr. Smita

Hi. Welcome to our video Petzz series. Today we are going to talk with doctor Dr. [Dr. Smita], our vet expert, about how to safely wean a puppy. Just like human babies, puppies are weaned and the nursing is replaced with a more solid diet.

R1: Hello, Doctor [Dr. Smita]! There’s quite a debate as to what is the right age to wean a puppy: some vets recommend puppies to be introduced to solid food around 3 weeks old, others suggest a slightly later age. What is the right age for a puppy to be weaned?

V1: Generally, we can’t say there is a right age to wean a puppy, but generally around 3-4 weeks old, puppies will start to show interest in other kinds of food other than their mother’s milk. So, that is the right time you can start introducing the puppy to a new diet, around his 4th week.

R2: How should we introduce the puppy to the new diet? Gradually or can we change it over a few days?

V2: No dog diet should be changed suddenly, as it can cause digestive problems. With puppies is even more delicate since their digestive system is not fully formed, so that’s why we’ll introduce them gradually to a new diet. We can start with a semi-liquid mix of starter or weaning formula (you can find these puppy foods in almost any pet shop). The weaning formula should be a dog product and not a human one, as puppy formulas are specifically tailored to meet the dietary needs of a puppy.

Put the mix in a small shallow pan or bowl and gently place the puppy at the edge of the pan. As soon as they smell the food they’ll start licking it by themselves. Lazy puppies that are a bit reluctant to approach the new food can be given a gentle push by putting their chin in the pan with food.

R3: Should the puppy be fed formula together with a solid diet? What food should we feed as solid diet? Rice with meat and vegetables, kibbles, canned dog food?

V3: Yes, at the start of the weaning period, the puppy can have 2-3 formula meals and 1-2 semi-liquid meals. Then gradually increase the number of the semi-liquid meals and decrease the number of formula meals. After a week of semi-liquid diet, we can start thickening the food with grounded puppy starter food (small kibbles) or puppy canned food. Since they are only starting to get their teeth, puppies can’t eat a solid diet, that’s why you can soften the puppy starter kibbles in water before you give them or smash them into smaller pieces and add them to the semi-liquid mix.

R4: When nursing and as he’s around his mother a puppy will eat as many times as he feels hungry. After weaning, how many times a day should a puppy be fed?

V4: After weaning a puppy should have 5 meals a day and around his 6h week, we should come down to 4 meals a day of high quality puppy food.

R5: What about water? How should we introduce a puppy to water? How much water should a puppy drink daily?

V5: Water intake is important for puppies and they should be introduced to water the same way we introduce them to the puppy weaning formula. Puppies should ½ a cup of water every two hours depending on their size of course. After the weaning period, when they have more solid food, a puppy should drink between 15-30 ml per kg of body weight. So if your puppy weighs 4 kg, it should drink 100-120 ml of water daily. As a general rule, puppies drink more water than adult dogs.

R6: As pet parents, how can we devise a weaning time schedule?

R6: Thank you, Dr.[Smita]. I hope our Petzz expert managed to throw some light on how to wean a puppy safely. We will meet again next week to discuss about how important is vaccination and deworming for a puppy.

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Common Conditions of Senior dogs

Common Conditions of Senior Dogs: A discussion with Dr. Akshay
R: Hi, doctor….! Many pet parents have older dogs and they keep on asking us about common conditions that affect their senior companions. So, we have a senior dog, we are aware that he’s not as agile as he used to be, he sleeps more, he eats less, etc. What signs or symptoms should we look for in an aging dog?

V: Old age for dogs comes with a whole set of conditions typically associated with an advanced age, just like in humans’ case. As you said, we might notice our pet is not so eager to go out for a walk, he has a hard time getting up from the floor, he can’t jump on higher places like his favorite couch, he eats less and sleeps more, he can’t hear to well when we call him or he can’t see properly and looks disoriented. These are all signs of old age and that is why it’s very important to get our pet checked by a vet every 6 months or every time we notice something is just not right (he’s more lethargic, he refuses food, he won’t come to you when you call him).

The most common conditions for senior dogs are generally associated with joint pain (arthritis), eye problems (cataract), constipation (your dog might have a stool only once in two days or even less), cognitive dysfunction (the dog shows signs of confusion, it takes some time until he manages to obey a command or till he responds to your call), hip dysplasia (a common problem for giant and large-sized breeds like GSD, Saint-Bernard, Rottweiler, Great Dane. The quality of life decreases and your dog is in constant pain), urinary incontinence (the dog will not be able to hold it for longer times, he might need more walks so he can relieve himself more often. Small accidents will happen, as he might pee inside the house.)

R: These are all important topics, and we’ll cover them individually in our next episodes, but i want you to tell pet parents of older dogs what can be done about these conditions and how they can improve their pet’s life quality?

V: Some of these conditions can be improved in different ways. For example for constipation, you can feed your dog less protein and more fibers, like greens and vegetables. If that also doesn’t help, you can incorporate coconut oil or salmon oil into his food. In severe cases (if your dog hasn’t had a stool in a week or more), you will have to take him to the vet for treatment.

If your senior dog has joint pain you can give him special supplements to alleviate his pain and help sustain the joint function. Other conditions might require a surgical solution if recommended by the veterinarian, and this is the case for hip dysplasia.

Generally, your dog’s life quality can be improved by regular check-ups, supplements, appropriate diet and a lot of care. If you notice any change in the dog’s behavior, any signs of discomfort, any changes in the way he walks or he reacts to stimuli, if he refuses food or water, or on the contrary if he drinks too much water, if he doesn’t have a stool or doesn’t pee for longer periods or he is in pain when doing so, these are generally red flags and you should immediately take him to the vet. Monitoring your pet closely definitely impacts his life and it can extend also.

R: In what other ways we can help our ailing friends?

V: Be patient. Your dog doesn’t have the same reactions as he used to when he was younger, so be patient when you take him for a walk, allow him to take his time. Don’t let him on high places where he’ll have difficulty in getting down from. It may be his favorite couch or bed, but if he can’t get up there by himself, he’ll definitely not be able to come down on his own either. So make sure you are always around when he’s on higher spot. Make his meal times regular and give him access to plenty of fresh water. Avoid giving him unhealthy treats or foods, even though they are his favorite. A piece of sausage or a little bit of your cake may create a lot of trouble for a senior dog’s digestive system.

R: Thank you, doctor! Keep an eye on our next episode of the Petzz video series, when we’ll talk about hip dysplasia in senior dogs.

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