Happy New Year!!! We are so excited to begin 2020 with another fantastic litter of puppies due on the 18th! Rogue is in excellent shape and sporting a large and growing baby belly!
With puppies due soon, I am more conscious of all the potential hazards which could present accidents or injury to mom and/or the litter. Rogue reminded me of just such a hazard this morning. Read on.
As I was finishing morning chores with the dogs, I was reminded by the distinctive “peep” of the Hairy Woodpecker that their suet feeder needed filling. It’s a great feeder, containing a basket within a wire mesh to allow the small birds to feed and minimizing the gluttony of the Jays, Starlings, and Grackles. I took the feeder inside to fill with the frozen suet balls Sobeys makes in store. They are compact balls of ground beef fat with tiny bits of meat and birdseed combined. The birds love them, and they are a great value compared to commercially produced blocks.
Anyway, what does this have to do with raising dogs? As I was securing the wire mesh feeder Rogue came by with her nose in the air. Normally quite trustworthy with food, at 7+ weeks pregnant, she’s looking for every extra calorie she can get! As her nose skimmed the counter, I moved the Styrofoam meat tray a little farther back. Also on the tray is a pair of nitrile gloves I wore to handle the balls, plus the mesh bags that comes with the suet balls. Instantly I imagined any or all of that trying to pass through her intestines. As soon as I secured the feeder, I disposed of the meat tray and its contents in the garbage can.
Ron will sometimes accuse me of seeing the worst in everything. He’s not wrong; but it doesn’t come from a place of negativity, it comes from having a vivid imagination. I can actually SEE the consequences of a misstep in any situation. It can be the most benign set of circumstances and my brain will form a worst-case scenario. Fortunately, most often nothing happens, whether from removing an enticing meat tray, or it just wasn’t in the cards that time.
Regardless, when raising puppies to be good dogs, DILIGENCE will solve or prevent almost every problem you can imagine, or have experienced. I have a good friend who shall not be named; she has an amazing dog, who also shall not be named. But this dog has got in to and eaten a long list of things that really aren’t good for dogs. Chocolate covered almonds, not once, but two days in a row. Toilet paper on a daily basis. Jumped on the table and ate a casserole. His latest feat, a box of toothpicks. The dog is 18 months old. He’s also a very determined dog. That said, diligence from a young age, would still prevent these escapades.
If your puppy pees on the floor, it’s your fault, not his. Either he woke from a nap and you weren’t quick enough to get him out the door, or he had a big drink of water after a play session, or you didn’t pay attention to his subtle cues because you were immersed in your smart phone.
We have a few rules in our house regarding puppies and adolescents.
- If you can’t watch him, crate or x-pen him. He can’t get in to stuff that’s not good for him if he’s safely in his crate or x-pen.
- You wake him, you take him. Like young children (and old people) puppies and adolescents need to pee almost immediately upon waking.
- Have plenty of safe chew toys to substitute for shoes, books, chair legs etc. If you catch your puppy chewing (and you should because you’re being diligent) sub out the bad thing for something puppy is allowed. This will reduce frustration and conflict.
- Although we share many of our groceries with our dogs, we never feed from the table! And if you’re not sure the treat you’re about to give your dog is safe (many people foods are not!) Google it. You’re probably on your phone anyway! 😉
There are likely others that I’m forgetting at the moment, but the whole point of this post is to encourage you to pay a little more attention to the circumstances in your life. Imagine a situation which could be unsafe for your dog, and then fix it. At the very least, you’ll avoid conflict, and potentially an expensive vet bill and trauma for your dog.
Questions or comments can be directed to ourpassion @ leidenschaftkennels dot com.