Good puppy health starts before the little ones join us in life. Cleanliness is a habit that we must practice every moment of each day to keep our dogs happy and healthy. We routinely watch for a number of common dog ailments and prevention is key when it comes to health concerns. Infectious diseases are certainly a legitimate concern, however, we do not over pamper our dogs and keep our facilities so sterile that our dogs cannot build up natural immunities to life's many unseen diseases. Below are a few of the things we do to bring good health and happiness to our dogs at Vallecito Alsatians.
Before Your Puppy Arrives
1. All kennel facilities are constantly monitored for waste material, which is removed at the very least twice a day.
2. Our dogs drink fresh, chlorinated water both in the house and in the kennel area.
3. Kennels are cleaned with a diluted bleach mixture (8oz to 1 gallon water) twice a month. The bleach mixture is left to sit for 20 min. and then rinsed thoroughly and dried before dogs are allowed to re-enter.
4. Females are naturally trained to enhance their instinctual cleanliness habits by only being allowed to live in a clean environment and by being brushed and groomed regularly. When a female enjoys clean surroundings and a clean coat, she develops a natural desire to keep herself and her puppies clean as well.
5. Stool samples are regularly checked for worms and coccidiosis, an intestinal disease. If anything is found, we promptly medicate according to our veterinarian's recommendations and thoroughly clean all supplies and living areas to reduce the possibility of reinfection. (So far, no contamination has been found at our place.)
6. Each pregnant female is given a rich protein diet with added vitamins and minerals throughout her pregnancy to enhance the ability to produce good nutrition and disease immunity to her puppies. We feed Taste of the Wild High Prairie Formula (Bison and Venison).
7. The whelping room as well as all supplies needed for the birth are cleaned and sterilized.
8. Just before birthing, the mother is allowed to use her natural instinct to dig and move around vigorously which contracts her birthing muscles and helps to push the babies in and down the birth canal in a natural way.
Birth to 8 Weeks
1. Birth - The mother is allowed to clean her puppies as this stimulates her natural bonding,
nursing and protection hormones. The mother dog's vigorous licking, pushing
and carrying also stimulate tiny little lungs and hearts to beat strongly. For these
reasons, we rarely interfere with the natural birthing process unless the mother is
having complications. We do have a veterinarian on alert at this time just in case.
2. 2 weeks old - Puppies are given the first dose of roundworm medication.
3. 4 weeks old - Puppies are given a second dose of roundworm medication.
4. 6 weeks old - Puppies are given a third dose of roundworm medication.
- Puppies are given a 5-in-one shot which includes the following vaccines:
a. adenovirus cough
c. canine distemper
5. 7 weeks old - Puppies take a trip to our veterinarian to check for the following:
a. eyes - discharge, redness, cloudiness, third eyelid up, hair loss
b. nose - discharge, crusty, foreign material
c. ears - redness, discharge, odor, dirty, swelling, hair loss
d. mouth - correct bite, discharge, abnormal gum coloration, crust and
scabs at corners
e. body - redness, foreign material, hair loss, wetness, dryness,
oiliness, sores, scabs, scaliness, discoloration, descended testicles
f. general - dehydration, discomfort, hotness, possible hip problems,
need for cruciate surgery
g. health approval for air travel
* We do not give any antiprotozoal medication at this time (such as Albon for coccidiosis or Flagyl for giardia) as our dogs do not presently show any signs of any bacterial infections.
*Roundworm is seen in most all litters of puppies and ours is no different.
*We are currently considering the use of Diatomaceous Earth as an all natural effective alternative to intestinal parasite control in our dogs.