Dog Care

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BEHAVIOR All dogs are descended from their wild cousin, the wolf, and share many traits seen in wolves. Dogs, and puppies in particular, are denning creatures and feel more secure in small, snug areas with low roofs, thus the success of the training crate.

Dogs are pack animals and do not enjoy being alone. Puppies who stay with their litters until eight weeks old easily will become members of human packs/families. Each pack needs a leader. Ideally all human family members should be ahead of the dog in the pack order. Your dog should not be the leader, as this can result in aggression or other dominance displays.

Before You Bring Your Dog Home You will need food, water and food bowls, leash, collar, training crate, brush, comb and canine chew toys.

HEALTH See a veterinarian if your dog is sick or injured. Take him for a full check-up, shots and a heartworm blood test every year.

Fleas and Ticks Daily inspections of your dog for fleas and ticks during the warm seasons are important. Use a flea comb to find and remove fleas. There are several new methods of flea and tick control. Speak to your veterinarian about these and other options.

Heartworm This parasite lives in the heart and is passed from dog to dog by mosquitoes. Heartworm infections can be fatal. Your dog should have a blood test for heartworm every spring, because it is important to detect infections from the previous year. A once-a-month pill given during mosquito season (which varies in different areas of the country) will protect your dog. If you travel south with your pet during the winter, your dog should be on the preventive medicine during the trip. In some warmer regions, veterinarians recommend preventive heartworm medication throughout the year

Worms It is common for dogs, even in urban areas, to be exposed to worms and possible infestation. Microscopic eggs produced by intestinal worms in infected dogs and passed in their feces provide a source of infection for other dogs. There are several types of worms and a few microscopic parasites that commonly affect dogs. Because most of these cannot be seen in feces, a microscopic fecal evaluation is the only satisfactory way to have your puppy or dog checked for intestinal worms and other parasites. Most puppies, even from healthy mothers in good homes, carry roundworms or hookworms. All puppies should be dewormed by a veterinarian regardless of fecal evaluation.

You can order these ASPCA books by calling The ASPCA Humane Education Department at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4410.

Courtesy of ASPCA 424 East 92nd St. New York, NY 10128-6804 (212) 876-7700 www.aspca.org

Congratulations on your new addition! Learn more about your dog and get helpful tips for the first few days.