Category Archives: “G” Litter – July 2012

Puppy Toys and chewy bones

Safe toys are an important part of a puppy’s life. Be careful when choosing toys for your puppy.  There are many cheap toys available, but I would suggest rather invest in toys made by recognised companies who have taken safety into consideration. Sure they are more expensive, but think how much is your Puppy worth to you. If unsure of the safety of a toy – don’t buy it.

Check for things like:

1) What is the toy made of? You don’t want the toy to be made of any toxic substances and the cheaper toys often have unknown substances in them. We don’t want to poison Puppy through his toys.

2) What does the toy contain? Some soft toys are stuffed with harmful substances. If Puppy chews the toy open – what will he be exposed to? For example, avoid anything with polystyrene balls. Aweful stuff to eat, but Puppy may decided to try eat it. Not good.

Squeeky toys are fun, but some dogs (like mine, who are gundogs) will try to kill the squeek! This means the toy is likely to be thoroughly destroyed in the effort to get to the squeek. Once the squeek is dead, then the toy is no longer fun. But in the meantime, its stuffing has been ripped out and spread all over the place.

3) Is the toy too ‘fluffy’? Some soft childrens toys are too fluffy for Puppy and the fluff comes off and may get stuck in Puppy’s throat. Puppies should get puppy toys, not human toys.

4) Size of the toy: – avoid toys that are too small. Keep things like Lego and Mecano (anything that has small components) away from Puppy. Toys should be big enough to NOT fit whole into Puppy’s mouth where it can get stuck and block the airway.  This is especially important when it comes to balls.  No table-tennis balls for example. Rather be safe than sorry. A tennis ball is a good size ball, even if it seems too big for Puppy at first.

5) Are there any parts of the toy that come off? Sometimes the cute toys with attached eyes and noses are not a good idea if Puppy can chew they eyes or nose off. Again, these pieces tend to be small and can get stuck in the throat or intestines and cause problems. Hard toys with ‘spikes’ can also be a problem, even if the spiks are soft. Again Puppy is like to swallow the spikes, even if they are small. These could cause a problem when getting eliminated, especially when Puppy is still small himself. Bigger dogs are unlike to have a problem passing chewed bits of toy, but the little guys have little intestines.

6) Will the toy unravel or fray? Be careful of toys that may unravel or fray – like a ski rope. Rather choose a knotted rope toy made specially for dogs – they are generally a good buy and not too costly either. The fibres are thick and unlikely to fray into small pieces. These are good and safe for cleaning teeth. The knotted rope is also a good starting toy for teaching “retrieve” as it has the same shape as a dumbell.

7) Raw hide bones and hoofs: – there are many varied opinions on these. Personally, I like to stick to natural rather than processed. Dried oesophagus and dried pigs ears are expensive, but tastier and healthier for Puppy. Hoofs are better if ‘uncleaned’, but boy can they stink?!!

8) Which bones are safe? Avoid any small bones that can get swallowed whole – bones should be chewed so that they can be digested, not swallowed whole. Also avoid any bones with sharp edges eg lamb bones. These have potential for perforating the intestines – nasty!  I often go to the butcher and get a thigh bone of a cow, which I then ask the butcher to cut both vertically and horizontally to make four pieces. This opens the bone to expose the marrow. This is a HUGE favourite with all my dogs, young and old alike as they can safely get to the marrow and it keeps them busy for a long time.  And don’t get a fright when you find Puppy’s poop is white the next day – its the chewed bones coming out.

9) Are chicken bones safe? Again this is a debatable issue. Many people claim that chickens today which are bred in chicken houses have very soft bones as they do not get to run outside in the sunshine where they would build strong bones. We give our dogs chicken bones, but make sure to take off that sharp little bone on the drumstick. Chicken gravy / fat is a lovely treat to pour over their kibble on occassion.

If in doubt, think like a puppy. What can I chew? What can I destroy? What can I swallow?

You have invested a lot of money in buying your Puppy – look after your little investment!

 

Safe ball

Safe toy

Knotted rope

Rope ball

Safe soft toy

Triplets born to Abi and Copper

Happy Birth Day Triplets!

Three little boys were born to Abigail and Copper in the early morning of Monday 9 July 2012. There were no complications and all are well. Baby dogs have already gained weight and are looking good and healthy. Mom is well and happy.

We were woken at just after midnight to the growl of Abigail . Waking up to see what was happening, we found Abi had whelped her first baby and was warning off the other inquisitive adult dogs. We quickly moved mom and baby to the whelping room, which was already warmed, where she could have peace and quiet for the rest of the whelping. The other 2 puppies arrived at 00:28 and 01:45 respectively. We waited patiently until 06:00 for the rest to arrive, except there were no “rest”. That was it – three little boys. They weighed in at birth weights: 465 grams, 509 grams and 419 grams respectively.

By 15:30 the same day the three boys had gained weight, weighing in at 520 grams, 532 grams and 462 grams. They are already looking a little fatter and can swim their way around to find “mom”.

Happy Birth Day Triplets!

Whelping Imminent!

Abigail is making all the signs of getting ready to whelp. She started puffing and panting this morning and seems to be feeling quite hot as she took an early morning dip in the pond – poor babies in her belly got quite a rude wake up call. She is a also climbing in and out of her whelping box, scuffling up newspapers, towels and whelping mat to ‘make a nest’ for the newcomers. Her milk has come in and her teats are getting full. Only thing she hasn’t done is stop eating, but then this is Abigail who LOVES her food! She had breakfast this morning, but nothing since. So I expect puppies to arrive within the next 24 hours!