You do everything you can to keep your new puppy happy, and having fleas is definitely not a happy time. Keep these tips in mind to keep your puppy healthy, happy, and flea-free.
The common flea not only causes your dog discomfort, but it can also transmit disease, pass on tapeworms, and cause anemia, especially in vulnerable puppies and older dogs. Regularly inspect your dog for any signs of fleas. Intermittent scratching, biting, and gnawing, plus evidence of flea dirt between your dog's back legs or on top of his rump, are telltale signs of fleas. If your dog is constantly biting and gnawing himself or you can actually see fleas, you've got a full-blown infestation. To check out your dog for fleas, have him stand in a bathtub and vigorously rub your hands through his fur. If little dark dots fall on the tub floor, they're likely either fleas or flea "dirt" (excrement). You'll know you've got fleas if the "dirt" turns red when you add a drop of water.
Flea Control Myths
Garlic and onion repels fleas. Feeding your dog garlic or onion will only give him bad breath. It will have absolutely no effect on fleas, and feeding large amounts of onion to dogs can be toxic.
Brewer's yeast repels fleas. There is no evidence that feeding your dog brewer's yeast repels fleas.
Prescription Flea-Prevention Products
These products work by preventing fleas from biting or reproducing. They are the flea control methods of choice, and when used faithfully as directed, help pet owners avoid many dog health issues associated with fleas.
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How much do you know about the food you’re buying for your puppy? When shopping for puppy food, pay attention to these three sections of a dog food label.
1. The Ingredient Panel
This section lists all the ingredients that make up the product. The ingredients are listed in descending order according to weight before cooking. In dry food, look for a source of high-quality animal-based protein: chicken or lamb, for example. Dogs thrive on animal proteins.
Manufacturers who use large amounts of vegetable proteins might be saving money by providing basic — but not optimal — nutrition. You should also avoid artificial colors and flavors, which offer no nutritional benefits.
2. The Guaranteed Analysis
Near the ingredient panel should be a chart of percentages called the "guaranteed analysis." These figures reveal the basic nutrient makeup of the dog food's formula and protein content. The minimum percentages of protein and fat and the maximum percentages of fiber and moisture (water) should be listed.
3. The Manufacturer’s Name and Address
This information must be included on the label by law. A toll-free number or web address for the manufacturer may also be listed. Manufacturers who list a phone number, such as IAMS™, generally have a high-quality product and welcome consumer calls and questions. If you would like information about IAMS products, visit our website or call us toll-free at 800-525-4267.
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