Most people will agree that routine vaccination and worming of working dogs and pet dogs is important. Especially for very small puppies of 6 weeks old, because they are at risk from Parvo virus. This disease, especially in toy breed pups, makes them particularly vulnerable to dehydration from persistent vomiting and or diarrhoea and can even cause the heart to stop perhaps due in part to loss of potassium in diarrhoea. Parvo disease is often associated with dietary imbalance especially feeding of dog roll or other high fat or low digestibility foods which may be poor quality and high in fat. Puppies cannot digest high fat diets. ( Refer to subscription section - pancreatitis)

Both working and pet dogs generally fit into the LOYALTY category, rather than ROYALTY as in the case of cats. It is really important to start the education of your dog at eight or nine weeks, teaching the basics of good behaviour, obedience and hygienic habits,because  if you turn your puppy into a spoilt baby then you can be sure that is how he or she will behave as an adult. This doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy your puppy but simply that he/she will try to get as high in the pecking order as possible and that can lead to trouble with people who are not familair to the animal when the pup grows up. Teach him to sit for a little while before you give him his meal and lengthen the time a little bit each day until he knows that ‘SIT’ means just that.

Establishing control of the puppy before 4 months is the key to controlling such issues as dog attacks..the other factor is not to feed poor quality biscuit diet as this can cause agression  as a result of possible allergy reactions in the liver (refer  subscription section Traditional chinese medicine and common diseases)

If you want to toilet train a puppy, take him/her outside about 10minutes after a meal and use a warm towel of cloth to wipe the area under his anus, just like his Mum would do using her tongue in the natural toilet training situation.

Worming the puppies can start as soon as they are eating solid food around 4 weeks or even earlier with liquid wormers. You should worm puppies every two to three weeks until 12 weeks and this is especially important in the female puppies as they are more likely to transmit worm eggs than the male puppies. Worms can also be a problem in adult dogs especially if the hygiene and diet are not up to the mark, and can even cause death if allowed to continue unchecked, especially with whipworm and hookworm which suck blood from the intestine of the dog.

Parasitic worms can also be transmitted to children and even adults if regular worming and basic hygiene are not managed properly.At greatest risk are babies or small children both for 'ringworm' a fungal lesion of the surface of the skin or cutanmeous larval migrans ( also visceral larval migrans) when the infective larva of the Toxocara canis worm bores through the skin and migrates in a uncontrolled manner even ending up bin tissues behind the eye of its host. and especially hydatids which is transferred to children and even adults from dogs that are fed uncooked or insufficiently frozen sheep or goat meat.

Dietary problems are very common in working and in pet dogs for several reasons most of which are very important in the first six months of life. One of the purposes of this website is to help dog owners through the dietary maze when you have a dog with skin conditions. ( or any condition that may be associated with tisssues derived from the embryonic skin, such as brain or bladder, ears or front of eyes)..

 These can include dog skin conditions like, itchy dog, scratchy dog, licking dog, and smelly dog. Bad breath in dogs and possibly other symptoms which are currently considered separate diseases such as agressive behaviour and even ligament damage such as cruciate rupture..

Use of Prescription diets from your veterinarian whilst easy and convenient may not be completely fool proof since they seem to be based on very small groups of research animals and may be high in carbohydrates. This is  especially true of foods from the supermarket where the presence of certain grains can lead to some food allergies.

Problems arise,often due to owner ignorance or apathy or inability to afford to maintain a dog on an adequate diet..

Dogs need less protein than cats, and can utilise more carbohydrates without to many problems but this can lead to skin itching and skin scratching ….“itchy dog”

Most of us will  attempt to feed a balanced diet to our dogs but I am often surprised at how frequently one sees a dog that is fed a poor diet. The most common symptoms are skin itching and skin scratching and skin licking, body odour and a series of more complex conditions associated with the skin and with diet, these can include aggression, behaviour , bladder, bad breath,chewing at feet or toes ear problems ,some eye problems. Itching,licking,scratching and smelly or bad body odour occurs because the skin is an excretory organ for waste products inaddition to normal pathways of excretion like the bowels and bladder and lungs. This is why skin disease from allergies is uncommon in working dogs because they often "burn off"the toxic material during the days work.

Very often one can tell if there is an skin allergy likely to be present by rubbing your hand from the top of the dog’s head where hair is usually soft and silky, to the base of the tail, where if there is a food problem the hair is coarse and rough to feel this can indicate a wheat allergy which can often also show as colitis, or discomfort in the colon when the flanks are pressed together from on top,. .If there is a rash on the belly and in armpits it may be milk product allergy. (Refer to sunscription section.)

 The lack of Calcium in the diet of puppies when they are at around 4 months of age may be a problem, especially the large and giant breeds.

 The demand for calcium for bone growth and development is immense especially in the giant breeds. In early puppyhood lack of calcium in the diet can lead to abnormal bending of the carpel (wrist) joints in the two front feet, so that the feet point sideways instead of forward. Calcium deficient diet in dogs can often be caused by feeding meat with or without poor quality biscuit or the wrong type of food. Good quality puppy biscuits ( with added calcium) should be fed right up to eighteen months when the dog is finally mature.

Perhaps the most dramatic case was in a five month cross bred dog of 25kg when both tibia s spontaneously fractured due to lack of calcium in the long bones. The dog was destroyed. The owner has been feeding chicken mince alone.

Meat is very high in phosphorus and low in calcium( a ratio of 10 to15 parts of phosphorus salts to 1 of Calcium in diet so a simple way to get adequate calcium levels if you must feed high meat diet is to include the family’s chicken eggshells  (mainly calcium carbonate)crushed up and mixed in the meat.

 Another good  alternative is to incorporate RAW bone in the diet remembering that pups have small juvenile teeth so use of chicken necks or chicken frames or to a lesser extent ox brisket bones without the excess fat are cheap options. If you use whole chicken eggs keep the number down to two or three a week or there could be a vitamin B deficiency develop if the egg whites are fed raw. There are a host of other potential problems so if you are under pressure at work or don’t have the time to feed your dog, you can use prepared dog food but it is wise to be careful in what you buy ,taking time to read the contents labels. The veterinary prescription diets are usually better than the supermarket foods many of which contain wheat, Veterinary sourced diets are often more expensive. ( Refer to Calcium sources for dog diet in subscription section)

Quality of dog food available:

 It seems that in the last 30 years everyone and his brother has gone into production of dog food in the Western world using everything from abattoir waste to GM grains to very high quality materials.   Dogs are very important members of the family especially in UK, Australia NZ and US  and other suburban cultures  and especially in  poorer economic areas where often income stress requires people to have a  trustworthy friend and guard dog. What better friend than a trusting dog. There is also the bonus that the dog may also serve as protection as a guard dog or be used as a hunting or working animal.

Buying cheap dog food is false economy and can cause some unrecognised problems associated with skin (refer to subscription section) as manufacturers seek to minimise costs in a very competitive market by cutting costs. Avoid cheap dog foods

Cheap food may some very unattractive side effects on the health of the dog even up to 20 % of the population especially in warmer and humid areas. This can be ultimately responsible for many conditions from Colitis due to allergy effects to behavioural conditions and epilepsy due to the effects of allergies on liver function, thus is a dog sometimes becomes very aggressive one should start by examining the diet.

Cheap food causes a number of obvious skin conditions and a host of hidden ones; these are dealt with in the subscription area because there doesn’t appear to be any reliable data on what is a 40 year clinical observation in three countries by the author. In my opinion it is the root cause of many conditions and sicknesses of dogs..

Agression.

 This is a whole subject on its own.It can involve pack animal behaviour , emotionally stressed animals!   Yes! Animals do show stress, but like humans it may often be conquered by feeding a good diet.(refer :Testimonials.)

The Geriatric Dog:

 Dogs can live up to 24-25 years,  though most get to 15yrs.The dilemma facing every old dog owner, is when to let go of a friend.

It will depend on individual circumstances and one of the purposes of this website is to help owners through the severe emotional stress on a one to one basis. (This service is available in the subscription section- The geriatric dog.)

Poison

Dogs are inclined to eat all sorts bof things including poison baits (e.g. rodent baits) so it is essential that owners and carers of dogs keep these poisons under lock and key and if left out to poison rodents then use of a plastic pipe dispenser is a very valuable investment as dogs have been known to take everything from slug baits to warfarin derivatives and even smelly dead carcasses that had been poisoned with 1080 poison- a very sad and distressing way of losing your dog so Please take care with poisons.