Help Files

by: Gina Heitz Brier Goldens

* a work in progress - updated: 10/11/06

Table of Contents:

Sick Dogs & Bland Diets
Switching Puppies to RAW
Children and Puppies
Socialization Training
Getting Along With Other Dogs
People and Dogs
* Vaccines

Sick Dogs & Bland Diets

The foregoing is not intended to circumvent your vet but can help you to understand how to treat a sick dog until the vet can be consulted and help you to understand how to best aid convalescent care. Sometimes puppies/dog's get sick, how we treat them at home can make a difference and also help with diagnostics. If you think your puppy is sick you need to investigate a few things and make some notes.

1. Is your puppy eating normally, or is he picking at food, and or throwing it back up?

2. Is your puppy drinking enough or is he drinking an excessive amount of water?

3. Does your puppy have loose stools or diarrhea?

4. Does your puppy have a fever?

5. Is your puppy mildly depressed or lethargic?

6. Why?

Puppies get into everything and even seemingly harmless plants in the yard such as grass, leaves or twigs can make them seem ill and sometimes with what seems to be at an alarming rate. Parasites can also make a puppy sick and puppies and parasites go paw in mouth literally. Stress also plays a role in sickness with puppies.

Sick puppies will pick at their food or refuse to eat, sometimes they will want to drink excessive amounts of water or not want any water at all. Usually if a puppy is sick his stools will be off, loose to diarrhea. Diarrhea can include mucus and a small amount of blood indicating bowel irritation. They will be depressed and not active on their own. And while puppies may not seem stressed they very well may be, even enough to raise their body temperature beyond normal. Normal temp for a dog is 101 to 102.

If you think your puppy is sick by all means consulting a vet is the thing to do, but sometimes things can be waited out for a few hours or overnight if need be. It's also important to have some basic information in the event you do need to seek out vet care. A good place to start is to think about the days activities and where the puppy has been and how much supervision he has had or not had. If a puppy is throwing up yard debris it's quite possible they just got too much yard and you might be in for a up and down night.

Steps to follow and chart: Check body temp by using a rectal thermometer a human old fashioned type. Ear digitals are not accurate enough and a temp on a puppy has to be taken in the rectum. Shake down the thermometer until the reading is 96°F or less. Lubricate the thermometer with some Vaseline or lubricating jelly. Grasp your puppies tail at the base and raise it. Hold it firmly so your puppy will not sit down. Gently insert the bulb portion of the thermometer into your puppies rectum about an inch. Leave the thermometer in place for 1-2 minutes, wipe it off and read it. Write down the time and temp. If your puppy does not have a fever or has a mild fever to 103 do not be overly alarmed but note it. Chart any other unusual behavior such as frequency of urination or need to defecate and the quality of the stool. Willingness to eat and if puppy is keeping down food. Posture, sick puppies will often stand very stiff and not be relaxed.

As previously noted puppies will often want to drink excessive amounts of water when they do not feel good and this can create problems, so monitoring intake is essential and some times even withholding water is necessary. It's my rule of thumb if a puppy throws up to withhold water for approximately an hour then offer a small sip, about a tablespoon. If that is kept down in thirty minutes offer the same or an ice cube. Continue to offer small amounts of water frequently, but under no circumstances should you allow free choice water to a puppy who wants to tank up. Often too much fluid will cause throwing up and aide in dehydration. Chart intake.

It's important to assess he quality of your puppies stool, is it formed, semi soft, or full blown diarrhea? Frequency is also important to note. Chart quality and quantity as well.

Most often it's been my experience that if your not dealing with ingestion of something that has upset the system you probably have a parasite issues going on. Puppies immune systems are immature and they are susceptible to everything and remember parasites go paw and mouth.

The most common non-threatening issues but still serious that needs veterinary care, medication and supportive care are Coccidia and Giardia (see papers on both for explanation). Generally with these parasites puppies will be at first slightly off, not interested in food and stools will be soft, but in a matter of a few hours they can become seemingly quite ill. Refuse to eat or drink, and stools will turn to runny or diarrhea. Their stool will have a foul very strong odor and there may be blood in it. The normal course of treatment for these parasites can include a fecal examination, sub-q fluids, and medication and a bland diet.

Bland Diets:

Commercial Products:

Available via your Vet only: Science Diet ID canned and dry formulas available.


· 1 pound of full fat 4% cottage cheese

· 5 to 6 medium potatoes fully peeled fully cooked

· 1 can of full fat chicken broth

Mix the above in a food processor or fully mash with a potato masher. Feed several small meals ¼ to ½ cup per feeding depending on size of puppy/dog.

· 2 cups of uncooked rice

· 3 cups of water

· 1 can full fat chicken broth

· 1 pound full fat cottage cheese

Bring water and broth to a boil add rice cook covered for 20 minutes on medium to low making sure you do not boil over or boil dry. Add cottage cheese and feed as above.

Once your dog is starting to feel better and poops are getting better you can add to these mixtures some protein in the form of:

· 1 pound of boiled rinsed ground beef or turkey meat or:

· 1 pound of boiled boneless chicken breast or thigh meat

Normally after about 3 to 4 days of bland food you can move your dog back over to their normal diet by adding in ½ of the amount of their normal kibble to the above leftover mix ups.

Switching Puppies to RAW & Why

Recommended Reading: Books by: Ian Billinghurst DVM

Available through:

1. Give Your Dog A Bone

2. Grow Your Pup's With Bones

3. The BARF Diet

We base our diet on Dr. Ian Billinghurst's BARF program. BARF stands for either Bones and Raw Food or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food. (There are other programs out there, but we are most comfortable with Dr. Billinghurst.) Dr. Billinghurst is a veterinarian in Australia. Kibble dog food did not really make an appearance in Australia until the 1970's. Until then, most people fed a natural, raw diet to their dogs. As more and more people began to feed kibble, Dr. Billinghurst began to notice health problems cropping up that he really hadn't seen before in his practice. Allergies, skin problems, dental problems and orthopedic problems were increasing rapidly. Those dogs that were still fed 'the old way' seemed much healthier. As he put two and two together, he began doing some research and eventually came up with the BARF program.

His first book, "Give Your Dog a Bone" outlines his reasons why kibble is not an appropriate diet for dogs and talked about feeding a raw diet. Many individuals have read only this book and have successfully switched their dogs over to a raw diet however reading the companion book: "Grow Your Pups With Bones" which outlines feeding for all life stages and some medical conditions is an invaluable companion book and is a must read.

"The BARF Diet" is Dr. Billinghurst's third and newest book, it is an easy step by step guide to starting raw feeding, though we highly recommend you read all three of his books starting with GYDAB then GYPWB, (these two books are companion books and must be read in order for best comprehension) The BARF Diet can be read first and you can start your dog on this program by following this book which includes most of the principals and some recipes to get you started.

That said the following is only to serve as a guide and to point out areas where people make the diet too difficult or over do, and is not intended in any way to replace doing you own reading. I would rather see someone feed a good quality kibble than to hear they are feeding a raw diet without first reading the suggested books.

Getting Started Is Easy:

Starting your new puppy on raw food is very easy. Most puppies switch far more easily than adult dogs and have very little intestinal upset. The biggest mistake people make with puppies is giving too much food or adding too many supplements. Always keep in mind that in when feeding puppies, LESS is more. In the wild, puppies are the last to eat, so they get the scraps of bones and hide and whatever else they can scavenge. They are not eating prime meats and internal organs, they do not get a lot of fat, they don't even get the best bones to chew on. Obviously, we don't want to starve our puppies, but it's important to keep in mind that they will do quite well on a simple diet of raw meaty bones with a small amount of veggies and fruit. They do not need lots of eggs, cottage cheese, yogurt, extra meat. In fact, this can do more harm than good.

You should start by feeding turkey necks or chicken backs only for the first few days. If you choose chicken backs, remove as much of the fat as you can. Puppies only need a small amount of fat in their diet. You can feed the backs or necks whole, chop them up with a cleaver or grind them. Some puppies have trouble getting the hang of chewing up bones at first, so chopping them up a little can help. This becomes particularly when the puppy is teething. However, go by what your puppy is doing, not what you think he/she should be doing. Puppies also like their food warmed up and warming makes it easier for the puppies digestive systems. Simply soak your bones in a pan of hot tap water, never cook bones or defrost them in a microwave.

After your puppy has eaten raw meaty bones for a few days and their stomachs have adjusted, you can start adding in fruit and veggies. Fruit and veggies should make up no more than about 30-40% of their total diet.

Amounts to feed also will vary with each individual. A rough guide is to start with about 10% of their body weight per day. This means if a puppy weighs 10lbs, you would feed one pound total food over the whole day. And then adjust according to their needs and activity level. As in adults, some will need more, some will need less, but you need to keep an eye on their condition. And remember, keep your puppies lean! Carrying extra weight is very hard on puppies and can cause damage to their growing skeleton. Adult dogs eat much less more like 2% to 3% of their ideal weight.

Standard Puppy Veggie Mix:

Two green leafy vegetables, for example, one head or bunch of two of these: spinach, kale or cabbage, collard greens, parsley. Fruit, 1 total, medium apple, banana, pear, avocado, ½ cup blueberries or 4 medium carrots. One half pound of ground meat, preferably something other than turkey or chicken since the RMB are most likely one of these. (ground beef, lamb, pork are all fine choices.)

Juice or process veggies & fruits using a small amount of yogurt no more than a ½ cup to keep food processor running free if you process; no yogurt necessary if you juice. Add the pulp and juice to the ground meat and mix well.

Storage ideas: single serving approximately 1/4 cup.

· Freeze in ice cube trays, transfer to zip lock bags, feed two cubes per meal.

· Freeze 1/4 cup balls on a cookie sheet, transfer to zip lock bags.

· Freeze in larger containers but be sure to use mix up within 2 to 3 days and keep in a tight fitting container such as Tupperware in the refrigerator.

Always defrost/warm foods by soaking in hot water, do not microwave, this is cooking and kills the nutrients in the veggies & fruits.


Supplements as previously noted are really not necessary with puppies, but if you must here are a couple that are okay:

· Missing Link Plus (w/Glucosamine) three times per week maximum.

· V-C at the rate of 500 mg per day.

· Cod liver oil ½ teaspoon 1 time per week per 20 pounds. Over 50 pounds ¼ teaspoon per 20 pounds.

Advanced Veggie Mix: (over 6 months of age through adulthood large batch)

5 lbs ground turkey

5 lbs ground meat (beef, lamb, pork, venison, whatever I can get and I vary it from batch to batch)

5-6 lbs veggies (carrots, broccoli, kale, chard, turnips, beets, parsnips, parsley, spinach, whatever is fresh and not too expensive)

2-3 lbs ripe fruit (apples, bananas, plums, blueberries, pears, again, whatever is fresh and available.

12 whole eggs

5-6 cloves of garlic

1lb cottage cheese or yogurt


 Children and Puppies

When you bring your new puppy home, don't let your children play with him constantly. Puppies need a lot of rest just like a growing child. Limit puppy-children play sessions to 15-30 minute periods 2-3 times a day.

1 Young children may be tempted to shout at a puppy if they think he's doing something wrong. Be sure they understand that puppies and dogs can be easily upset and startled by loud noises.


2 No teasing. Keeping a toy just out of reach will reinforce bad habits such as jumping up and excessive barking.


3 Wagging tails and play biting can be too rough for some young children. Supervise interaction and separate them if the play is too rough.


4 Teach kids to care for a dog by showing them how to feed and groom him

Your puppy has been exposed to a lot of loud noises and stimulation but remember he has always had the support of the litter. Puppies will respond differently in their new home than they did here in the litter. Within the litter they have strength in numbers, and litters operate as a unit pulling their strength from the whole.

It's very important that rules regarding teasing be followed, puppies are easily excited and will also become dominate if allowed to be over stimulated.

Children need to not allow puppies to chew on them, it is very important that parents teach their children how to respond to puppy mouthing. Two good ways to do this is for the parents to first work with the puppy by saying OUCH or some other short sharp word to startle the puppy into letting go. Then teaching children to do the same after the parent is sure the puppy is understanding. Second if the puppy gets so worked up that mouthing is out of control the children need to know it's time to put the puppy in his crate and ask for help with that if needed. This is not a punishment, it a time out, time to cool off. Puppy make make a fuss but generally after a short fuss they will settle down for a nap.

The more your children interact with the puppy taking care of routine needs the more the puppy will learn to respect them. Dogs look to care givers as ones who deserve respect.

Socialization Training

What is socialization training?

Socialization training is training that allows a dog to be comfortable in day to day situations as well as non day to day situations.

The more time a dog spends as a member of the family the more easily he will learn social skills simply because he will have the opportunity to practice in day to day life, make mistakes, be corrected, and receive praise for behaving well. This includes when ever possible the dog be along on family outings.

Good training will improve the relationship with your dog. Dogs need to be able to trust I find the best way to ensure trust is by nurturing. Accountable for their actions and praised for their good deeds, yes but also time to just be a family member.

Every dog should have at least some basic obedience instruction and that instruction should be with the family not away at a dog training facility. The more time you spend building a relationship of mutual trust and respect the happier everyone will be.

Effective training requires good timing. This is the most difficult thing for most dog owners to learn. A critical difference between the way people learn and the way dogs learn involves the use of language. A parent can explain to a six year old child that an action (praise or punishment) is related to an event in the past. Dogs, for the most part, lack language skills. Good timing becomes critical to connect the action (your praise or correction) to the event as dogs live in the present.

Getting Along With Other Dogs

Dogs have a language of their own - body posture is their number one communication tool. Dogs communicate fear, anger, aggression, submission, playfulness through posture. A puppy who grows up with other dogs will learn canine language and be able to communicate effectively. A puppy raised in isolation may misinterpret cues from other dogs, or inadvertently send signals that may confuse other dogs.

Puppies must learn appropriate social behavior. When puppies play, overly enthusiastic nip's results in yelps from playmates. Persistent jumping on their dam may result in a growl or snap of correction. In these ways, puppies learn the limits of play behavior.

During socialization, puppies should be allowed free play time. Puppies should be supervised to make sure puppy play doesn't become overly aggressive, especially if there's a big size difference among the dogs. But puppies just like children learn communication skills by interaction with their piers.

Puppy socialization with other dogs begins in the litter, and appropriate puppy socialization should continue throughout puppy and juvenile growth stages. A well socialized puppy will mature into a dog who can be trusted to meet and play with other dogs. Puppy Kindergarten and puppy play groups are both good options for helping your puppy to get along with other dogs.

People and Dogs

Dogs live in a human world, it's important for dogs to understand people - all sizes shapes and colors. Early, positive exposure to lots of strangers, with praise or rewards for good behavior, will help your puppy become a well adjusted dog.

Invite friends to your home to meet and play with your puppy. Ask adults to crouch down and avoid sudden movements when meeting your puppy. If you don't have children of your own, invite friends over who do have children and have a supervised play session. Be sure children know not to pick the puppy up, or to move too quickly. Puppies will chase children that run, so be sure to instruct young children to not run. Also talk to children about mouthing - see "Children and Puppies".

Once your puppy's shots are completed, begin taking him to public places such as parks, where he can meet lots of friendly people. Also, make a point of introducing your dog to people of different ages and races, people in uniforms, and so on - dogs can be wary of people who seem "unusual" in any way.

It is paramount to remember you are teaching your puppy to be comfortable with people, and to behave around them. Behavior that is cute in a puppy, such as jumping and barking, is no longer cute when the dog is an eighty pound adult with a mature voice!



2006 AAHA Canine Vaccination Guidelines for the General Veterinary Practice

Simplified version by Gina Hetiz.

See AAHA for complete report:


Core Vaccines: My Notes are marked with an * I am not a Veterinarian nor do I play one on TV, but I am a breeder and I do try to keep myself up to date on issues related to health and welfare of our pets. Please do run all of this by your chosen Veterinarian as well as please be proactive in your pets health care.


Canine Parvovirus

(CV-2) (MLV)

AAHA Initial Puppy Vaccine: Administer at 6 to 8 weeks of age, then every 3 - 4 weeks until 12 - 14 weeks of age.

AAHA Revaccination (booster) Recommendation: After a booster at 1 year (unless manufacturer label recommendations otherwise) revaccination once every 3 years or more is considered protective.

AAHA Comments and Recommendations: Core: Although annual boosters are recommended by some vaccine manufacturers, studies have shown protection against challenge (DOI) up to 7 years postvaccination with MLV vaccines. Products with CPV-2, regardless of genotype ( i.e.: CPV-2, 2a, or 2b) all provide excellent protection against field isolates.


Canine Distemper Virus


AAHA Initial Puppy Vaccine: Administer at 6 - 8 weeks of age, then every 3 - 4 weeks until 12 - 14 weeks of age.

AAHA Revaccination (booster) Recommendation: After a booster at 1 year (unless manufacturer label recommendations otherwise) revaccination once every 3 years or more is considered protective.

AAHA Comments and Recommendations: Core: Although annual boosters are recommended by some vaccine manufactures, adult dogs challenged 7 years (Rockborn Strain) and 5 years (Ondertepoort Strain) following MLV vaccination were protected (DOI)


* Distemper vaccine: I choose not to use multi-agent vaccines on puppies under 10 to 11 weeks of age because of the possible side affects to the immune system. There has been a study done that suggests that mixing the Parvovirus and Distemper vaccines prior to 10 weeks of age can lead to immune mediated disease. And vaccine protocols call for 3 to 4 week intervals because the immune system needs at least 21 days to assimilate and recover from a vaccine challenge. So please do not vaccinate your puppy with a multi - agent vaccine prior to 11 weeks as I have vaccinated your puppy with the Parvovirus (CVP) at 8 weeks.


Canine Adenovirus 2

(CAV-2) (MLV parenteral)

AAHA Initial Puppy Vaccine: Administer at 6 to 8 weeks of age, then every 3 - 4 weeks until 12 - 14 weeks of age.

AAHA Revaccination (booster) Recommendation: After a booster at 1 year (unless manufacturer label recommendations otherwise) revaccination once every 3 years or more is considered protective.

AAHA Comments and Recommendations: Core: Demonstrated cross-protection against canine hepatitis caused by CAV-1 as well as CAV-2, one of the agents known to be associated with the infectious tracheobronchitis. Adult dogs challenged y 7ears following the CAV-2 MLV vaccination were found to be protected (DOI) against the more virulent CAV-1.


Rabies 3 - year (killed)

AAHA Initial Puppy Vaccine: Administer one dose as early as 3 months of age.


AAHA Revaccination (booster) Recommendation: The second rabies vaccination is recommended 1 year following administration of the initial dose, regardless of the animal's age at the time the first dose was administered, Booster vaccines should be administered every 3 years. State, provincial, and or local laws apply.


AAHA Comments and Recommendations: Core: State, provincial, and local statutes govern the frequency of distraction for products labeled as "3 year rabies vaccines." The 1-year rabies vaccine is sometimes admistered as the initial dose followed 1 year later by distraction of the 3-year rabies vaccine. State, provincial, and local statutes may dictate otherwise. Route of distraction may not be optional: see product literature for details.



 My schedule is as follows:
8 weeks Parvovirus vaccine only

11 weeks Distemper, Adenovirus, ParaInfluenza, and Parvovirus

14 weeks - Distemper, Adenovirus, ParaInfluenza, and Parvovirus

18 weeks - Rabies or by 6 months of age but not in combination with other vaccines.


For more information and or further modified puppy vaccination protocols please visit this link:


For more on re-vaccination and titer testing please visit these links:


Re-vaccination (lots of citations, research and links)




Other pages to visit on our web site

Puppy FAQ

Vet Education

Getting Ready

Shop Till U Drop

Puppy Notes


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