Your Puppy's Health & Medical Checklist.
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You’ll do anything to keep your puppy healthy and happy—IAMS™ is just the first step. Here’s some extra advice to help your puppy stay extra healthy.
Giving Your Puppy a Pill
Step 1: Begin with a play session and praise to relax your puppy. Then get on the same physical level as your puppy. With a large dog, kneel next to him while he's in the sitting position; with a small puppy, place him on a grooming table or a countertop.
Step 2: Place one hand over the top of the puppy's muzzle as shown. Hold the pill in your free hand and then gently open his mouth with that hand.
Step 3: Place the pill in the center of the tongue as far back as you're able to reach. Then close your puppy's mouth and hold it shut while you blow gently but quickly at his nose. This will cause your dog to swallow before he has a chance to spit the pill out. Give him a treat immediately afterward to ensure that the pill has really been swallowed. End each session with play and praise.
Finding a Veterinarian
Just like you, your new puppy needs high-quality health care. Before you run into any dog health issues, ask a friend or your local humane society to recommend a veterinarian, then choose one with these factors in mind:
- Education and experience. How long has this veterinarian been practicing? Did he or she graduate from a respected veterinary college?
- Specialty. In urban areas, you might find veterinarians who deal exclusively with the special problems of dogs and cats.
- Location. Don't let it override education, experience, and specialty, but location is important. A drive across town during a medical emergency could delay needed treatment.
Schedule a visit and interview
Once you've narrowed your choices, visit the veterinarian's office. Inspect the facility and talk to the doctor about your new puppy. If you like what you see and hear, arrange a time to bring your puppy in for an initial examination. It's a good idea to visit the veterinarian within the first three days after you bring your puppy home to make sure he's in good health. The veterinarian will probably check:
- Stool. A fecal exam will reveal the presence of internal parasites.
- Body. A head-to-tail physical exam includes inspecting your dog's coat and feeling his body for abnormalities, as well as checking the eyes, ears, mouth, and heart and examining the anus for signs of intestinal parasites.
- Once an exam is completed, your veterinarian can schedule immunizations and vaccinations and advise you on the importance of spaying and neutering.
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- adp_description_block497Nutrition for Large- and Giant-Breed Adult Dogs
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Healthy joints and proper weight are especially important for dogs that grow to be more than 50 pounds. But not all large- and giant-breed adult dogs have the same nutritional needs. Is your dog getting proper exercise? Is she about to have puppies? Special conditions can dramatically affect your dog’s nutritional demands. Giving her a food specially formulated for her large size, life stage and activity level is the easiest way to make sure she’s getting the nutrients she needs.
Choosing a Food for Overall Health
To address the special needs of your large- or giant-breed dog, look for these features:
- Less fat to help maintain an ideal body condition for less joint stress
- Vitamin-rich fish oils for healthy skin, shiny coat and overall health
- Essential vitamins and minerals to help support the immune system and help maintain good health
- High-quality animal-based protein sources to help maintain muscle tone
- A moderately fermentable fiber source, such as beet pulp, to maintain intestinal health, enhance your dog's ability to absorb nutrients, and reduce backyard cleanup
- A carbohydrate blend to help sustain energy by maintaining normal blood sugar levels
These components are key to good nutrition. Look for them in treats, wet dog food, or dry dog food, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Adult Large Breed.
Maintaining Healthy Joints and Cartilage
Joint health is a big concern for owners of large- and giant-breed dogs. A large- or giant-breed formula that contains high-quality protein can help nourish healthy joints. Vitamins and minerals help promote the production of cartilage. Also, keeping your dog at a healthy weight will help minimize joint stress.
Guarding Against Weight Gain
Dogs with lower activity levels and dogs that have been neutered or spayed are all prone to weight gain. Controlling your dog’s weight is an important step toward protecting against the health effects of excess weight, such as diabetes or joint health problems. If you use a weight-management food, look for these characteristics:
- A reduced fat level that still offers essential nutrients for skin and coat health
- L-carnitine, a key nutrient that helps burn fat and maintain muscle mass during weight loss
- Special carbohydrate blends that help maintain energy while managing weight
- Vitamin-rich fish oils for overall health
Providing Nutrition During Pregnancy
Pregnant dogs have substantial nutrition requirements. Starting in the seventh week of her pregnancy, a mother dog will need to increase her energy intake up to 50% by the time she gives birth and increase it even more when she starts nursing her puppies. Because she may lose her appetite at times, it's important that she eats a nutrient-dense food. A complete, balanced puppy formula can give her the extra nutrients she needs. But avoid puppy food created for large and giant breeds; these formulas contain specially adjusted levels of energy and minerals that may not be sufficient for a pregnant or nursing dog.
Switching to a Mature Diet
Dogs who grow to be more than 50 pounds are considered mature or senior at age 5 or 6, which is earlier than small-breed dogs. So, it’s critical to make a proactive transition to a specially formulated mature diet, such as IAMS™ ProActive Health™ Mature Adult Large Breed, to help keep your dog healthy and active as she ages.
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