No puppies currently available>Check back in Oct 2017

Feeding, Housetraining & Exercise Puppy also Recommended Reading

CARING FOR YOUR PUPPY

Feeding

1. Your pup is eating 3 meals a day. 6 am-12 pm and 5 pm.  Adjust this to your schedule so the last feeding will be before 6pm for housebreaking help. Any good commercial high protein meal or puppy food will do, i.e., Fromm, Eukanuba large breed, Blue Seal, Wellness, Science Diet, etc. However if you plan on changing your pup/dogs diet, do it slowly.

Your pup is now eating Blue Seal Puppy Food. Cover 1/2 to 1 cup of kibble with hot water and feed... Leave food down no more than 10 minutes. If food is leftover for more than two meals in a row, you are feeding too much; if dish is cleaned too quickly, increase the amount a little. DO NOT OVERFEED LABS are big dogs and should not be allowed to get too heavy, especially while bones and muscles are not fully developed. This will contribute to dysplasia and arthritis.  Labs are big boned dogs and as with all breeds each has their own set of problems and with labs it is being big, growing fast, and over exercising and over feeding.  Keep your lab on the thin side.  This will help with the bone growth issues.   Never exercise your labs on a slippery surface. Never let them jump from your arms onto the floor, off the couch, bed, stairs, no jumping period, rough housing with other dogs is forbidden also, until they are done growing. This will be at 2 years old. This will hurt their elbows and hips, and can even slip disc in their backs.  Remember that small injuries to their joints and bones when young will develop into arthritis, so try to keep their exercise moderate, using common sense, and non weight bearing exercises such as swimming. 

2. At 12 to 24 weeks, feed 2 meals a day, gradually increasing the amount of food to 1 to 2 Cups per meal. After 6 months your puppy will now start adult large breed formual.  You can free feed 4 +/- cups a day, depending on how your dog is growing.  Give them empty calorie snacks, such as carrots, etc., if you must give them something to eat.  Remember that any treats through out the day, especially when training with treats, as this is the best way to train your lab, should be taken into account when decided how much to feed them at each meal!! By 6 months switch to an adult large breed formula/ or adult maintenance formula if you have not already done so.  Fromm Adult Gold as well as Science Diet maintenance formula for adults is acceptable to put them on at 4-6 months old.  Ask your vet what they recommend for your dog and make sure you have a vet who understands  Large Breed Dogs and their growing issues. Please leave fresh water down for them at all times, once they are housebroken. Do not leave your pup on puppy food longer than 6 months of age.

3. Snacks and table scraps; Dogs need hard chew food to keep their teeth clean. Biscuits can be used occasionally, but do not give too many. Labs LOVE food and get overweight easily. Scraps are OK if they are not too rich or fatty. Bacon, sausage, hamburger grease can be given along with a cooked egg two or three times a week. This is good for their skin and coat. Raw as well as cooked vegetables and fruits are also good for your dog.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. This is true, not only for you, but for your companion animals too. In fact, providing your dog or cat with a variety of nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables can help him live a healthier, longer life, even reducing the risk of certain diseases, including cancer.

Choose orange, red, yellow, and other brightly colored fruits and vegetables to support your animal companions’ daily diet. Buy organic produce whenever possible, and say “no” to dyed, waxed, irradiated and genetically engineered items. This is particularly important because the skin on fruits and vegetables is usually the most concentrated source of nutrients, so you don’t want to have to remove it.

Our animals do not have the necessary enzymes to break down cellulose walls, which are indigestible carbohydrates found in the outer layers of fruits and vegetables like apples, broccoli, green beans, and carrots. We have to break down the walls for them, so these powerpacked foods become as bio-available as possible. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways:

•A food processor, blender, or grinder can quickly create a wonderful purée for your feline and canine family members. Most fruits just need a fast spin in a processor.

•Cooking and steaming vegetables will also break down the cellulose walls.

•Juicing produces lots of fantastic pulp. Visit your local organic juice bar or health food store, and ask if you can have some of their extra pulp. The pulp freezes beautifully, so you always have something on hand when you can’t do the work yourself, and you can use it as a base for wonderful frozen treats and biscuits.

The following ten fruits and vegetables are major players when it comes to the health and well being of our feline and canine family members.

1. Carrots
The carrot is one of the kings of the vegetable patch. There are over 100 varieties, from deep purple and white to the brilliant orange we are most accustomed to. Each is a storehouse of nutrient power that’s good for our canine and feline friends.

Carrots contain pro-vitamin A (betacarotene), vitamins B, C, D, E and K, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, magnesium, manganese, sulphur, copper, and iodine. They support the immune system, aid digestion, and are also recognized as a glandular tonic, skin cleanser, and eye conditioner.

For your feline friend, try some cooked puréed carrot. Consider parboiled carrots for a teething puppy. For trips on the road, you can even try Frontier 100% organic carrot powder.

2. Broccoli

Broccoli, a phyto nutrient-dense member of the cruciferous family, is a low glycemic vegetable king pin. This means it does not cause a rapid rise in blood glucose levels. Broccoli contains lots of vitamin C and beta-carotene, as well as vitamins A and D. It is one of the most important cancer fighting vegetables. It contains no fewer than three cancer protective biochemicals, including sulforaphane, which boosts the immune system.

Other members of the cruciferous family include Brussels sprouts, caulif lower, cabbage, rutabagas, kohlrabi, bok choy, kale, Swiss chard, collards, and turnips. Clinical studies are currently examining the role of cruciferous vegetables and their possible link to lower cancer rates. Broccoli should be fed in moderation, because it can depress thyroid function if fed in large amounts. When it comes to the cruciferous family, try cooked rather than raw, because cooking releases indole, a cancer fighting enzyme.

3. Green Beans
Green beans are considered one of the world’s healthiest foods. They are an excellent source of vitamin A because of their concentration of carotenoids, including beta-carotene. Green beans also include vitamins C and K, calcium, copper, fiber, folic acid, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, protein, riboflavin, thiamin, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin K stands out because it is important for maintaining strong bones. Vitamin K-1 activates osteocalcin, the major non-collagen protein in bone, and acts as an anchor for calcium molecules inside bones. Green beans are heart smart, too.

4. Toys hard (large) rubber balls, large booda toys, nyla bones, and rope bones, and kong toys are needed as well as a stuffed animal or 2 as long as they do not eat them.  Never leave a tennis ball or anything your dog can swallow in the crate with them.  Use the kong toys, stuffed with a bone or treats, a flavored gumabone until they start eating that and then switch to a flavored nyla bone.  Robe bones are safe.  Rawhide, long rolled sticks are usually safe as long as you supervise them when they are chewing on them..

5. Your pup will need a 10-16 inch adjustable nylon collar to start with, check daily too make sure it is not too tight, you will be checking the collar as you take it off to put puppy in his crate. You will need a 6 foot leather lead for walking and training.

HOUSETRAINING

Pup will relieve them self almost immediately upon waking and shortly after eating. They should be let out every hour for the first week or so until they start asking for the door. They will rarely soil the sleeping area, If you keep them confined to this area except for short periods after taking them out, you should find training fairly easy, If they make a mistake reprimand immediately or not at all, as they have very short memories and will not know why they are being punished. Never reprimand your pup until you know they know what is expected of them.  NEVER put a pup’s nose in his urine or feces!!!!

A young puppy, 9 -16 weeks old, usually has no problem accepting its crate as its own special place”. Any complaining is caused, not by the crate, but by the puppy’s resistance to the controls of his new unfamiliar situation. Remember to keep the crate in the room you are in for the first few weeks, really all the time, as they want to be with you. Until the puppy is past the chewing stage, old towels which can easily be washed, and some freshly worn article of old clothing such as a t-shirt or sweatshirt can used as bedding.  This will make the puppy feel comfortable in your absence.

DO NOT leave food or water in the crate (Large crate 38’Lx24”H x 26”W) this encourages spilling and elimination. You can feed the pup in their crate to get them to like their crate but always leave the door open and stay right their so you can bring them out as soon as they are done eating. Then remove the bowl. Be sure to remove anything from the pups’ neck, I.e. collars, which might get caught. Establish a crate routine immediately and stick to it as close as possible. A puppy should be taken outdoors to a specific bathroom spot after every meal, nap, and at regular intervals in between. A good rule of thumb is to keep the puppy in the crate any period of time when the puppy isn’t being directly supervised by you. Let the pup outside every hour if he is not sleeping.  So not wake them up to go out.  Unless you are leaving and want them to go pee before you leave. Never leave your new pup alone more than 1-2 hours the first 2 weeks you and he are bonding.  Do leave him alone for short periods though,  5 minutes at a time to help him establish independence.

Be consistent. be firm, and know that a puppy needs to be kept out of trouble when left alone, It will make your time together much happier in the long run. Studies have shown that puppies that are crate trained are 75% less likely to have behavior problems during the first 3 years of (heir life. A good beginning with a puppy can mean a lifetime of happiness.

I recommend buying or borrowing at least 2-3 crates. A small one for the first few months,to take puppy in the car and to make puppy feel secure in a nice snuggly place when they are babies.  A big plastic one, size 400 vari-kennel, to keep in your bedroom and big wire one to keep in the family room, so they can watch you, when you are cooking, eating, on the phone, etc..Do NOT leave a pup in the wire crate when you are not home as they can get their feet and legs through the wires. The plastic crates are much safer and more den like for sleeping.

Medical Care

See health record for immunization schedule. First Shots and physical will be given by my vet @ 6-7 weeks, next are due at 10 weeks and 14 weeks. Please do not give the rabies at the same time as the boosters as this will overload their immune system. I do not use the leptospirosis vaccine on puppies as several have had severe reactions to this vaccine. Please check with your vet!!

Puppy should have an annual health exam which should include booster shots, a heartworm check and an exam of stool for worms. Accidents can be prevented if you keep your dog confined to a safe yard. This will also prevent puppy from becoming a neighborhood tramp, getting into fights with other dogs or hit by cars. All pet dogs should be neutered or spayed.

Labrador Retriever puppies are normally a very easy breed to work with. They are bred for their brains as well as their beauty. Do not let this adorable pup get lost in the shuffle. Make them part of everything possible in your lives. Try your best to make every experience a positive one for your pup. Proper behavior as well as improper behavior is learned not instinctive.

Exercise is another issue for most. Too, much versus too little. I suggest no rough housing with other dogs, no jumping in and out of trucks, no jumping off stair landings, no jumping high to catch the Frisbee. Lots of supervised playing and a lot of training at the same time. Leash walking is a must learn activity and you can start that as soon as you get home with your pup. Put the collar on your pup, when they are not in their crates and put the leash on them and let them lead you around the first few days.  Never let them pull you around. Just plant your feet in and do not move when your pup gets bigger and decides he is going to take you for a walk. Resume your walk once your pup has sat at your side and you have given him a treat, one piece of kibble is a treat/reward.

Swimming is the one exercise that cannot hurt your pup so go ahead and let him swim and fetch in the water all you can take, but do watch your pup constantly. Always pay attention to either the heat or the cold with your dog. Check the pads of their feet, their teeth and ears, and clip their nails at least once a week. Once your pup is teenager, which is at about 9 months old you can start to increase their exercise. Longer walks and loose exercise, running freely off lead as long as you are in a fenced in area and you have control of your lab.  Do not be a lazy lab owner. I spend an hour a day walking around the outside of my pool in the winter with all my labs just to give them exercise.  They love this, anything you want to do with them, they will love to do. Obedience classes and socialization are all individual depending on you and your pup. I do recommend that you socialize your pup with other dogs and people early on, you do not have to go to class to do this. If you have doubts about whether to call a trainer or go to a class you should probably do one or the other. However, you should be able to teach your puppy sit, heal, stay, to walk on their leash, down, off,  no and their name, all too some degree before they start class which is between 12 and 16 weeks, once all vaccines are given.

Any problems or questions please call Judie at 603 895 4693 or email me @ labs2love@comcast.net

Recommended Reading

The Art of Raising a Puppy by The Monks of New Skete

Mother Knows Best by Mary Rutherford

The Book of the Labrador Retriever by Anna Katherine Nicolas

Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook by Delbert G. Carlson, DVM and James M. Giffin, MD  (This book has saved more than one of my dogs, it is a must in your dog library!)