New Additions

Welcoming home a new pet is very exciting for both the owner and the new addition to the family. There are quite a few things to know before bringing your new baby home to make sure they live the happiest, healthiest life possible.

Bringing Home Your New Aussie - By Lauren Parrot,

                                 Vet  Tech

Let's start with getting a new puppy! Most breeders will do at least one or two sets of vaccines before sending you new puppy home with you. Puppies usually need around 4 sets of vaccines before their little immune systems are all built up. Usually all four times they are vaccinated with the DHPP (7-in-one) vaccine. This vaccine covers distemper, parvo-virus, and hepatitis. It is very important for puppies to be vaccinated for these diseases because they are highly contagious and deadly if untreated and if they are treated it is very expensive! Some parvo cases have been around $2000! At the visits, puppies will receive other routine things like fecal tests (because puppies can get all types of nasty worms!) and other vaccines like bordatella (for kennel cough) and rabies (very important!!). Puppies get worms from their mothers so it's important to have them de-wormed at every vet visit. Bordatella helps prevent kennel cough (which is a nasty cough that just sounds painful!) and this is especially vital for dogs that are boarded regularly or go to the groomer; these places house many dogs and since kennel cough is so contagious, these places usually require a bordatella vaccine before a dog can come visit. Rabies isusually given when a puppy hits around 16 weeks of age. It is very important for puppies and dogs of all ages to receive arabies vaccine every one to three years depending on your veterinarian's preference. Rabies vaccines usually are required by city law as well. Puppy boosters are usually administered every three weeks. Now you have all your vaccines! What else do you need to think about?? Heart worm prevention!!! This is definitely more vital to those living in the south but those in the north should definitely make sure their animals are on prevention as well.
What are heart worms? They are worms passed from host to host through the bites of mosquitoes that make their homes in the hearts of dogs. These worms cause death if they are not treated and let me tell you, the treatment is not cheap! Usual heart worm treatment costs around $900 and that is accompanied with many pills, vet visits, Immiticide injections, and decreased activity for many many months. All pets can be protected by using a monthly heart worm product, and there are many on the market! Some products that have gained popularity here at the clinic I work at are Trifexis, Advantage Multi,and Iverhart max. The Trifexis and Advantage Multi are especially enticing because along with monthly heart worm prevention, they also provide flea prevention and de-worm intestinal parasites each month. Ask your vet today about these products!! One nice thing about getting these products at your veterinarian as compared to online is that you get the guarantee from these companies that if your pet comes down with heart worms on this product, they are responsible for paying for the treatment; hear tworm tests must be up to date however for this guarantee to apply.
 
All dogs SHOULD be on heart worm prevention, ideally, for their entire lives regardless of location because it takes only one mosquito to infect a dog. Dogs should all be tested for heart worms each year at their yearly vaccine check-up as well. This is just one monthly dose that can help give your dog the best life possible! Now the choice to spay or neuter your new puppy or dog. Most people want to know when the ideal age is to have this procedure done. This can be done as young as 8 weeks but ideally it should be done when the puppy is anywhere from 4 to6 months of age. Some veterinarians prefer to wait until the pet is at least a year old. If you chose not to have your animal spayed or neutered, make sure they are annually checked by their vet to make sure they are free from cancers that can arise from keeping those organs intact. Now let's say you bring home an older fur baby. Hopefully they have been vaccinated when they were puppies but if they haven't, make sure the first thing you do is get them completely vaccinated and then your chances are pretty high that you'll have a healthy baby! When bringing home an older dog, there comes a new factor into play - behavior. Bringing home a new puppy is usually pretty easy on others in the household because the puppy's behavior has not been established and it is easy for them to learn rules (like coming into a home with a highly dominant or territorial dog). If you don't get a puppy however, don't fret!!!It's like if you have an older child and you bring home a child you just recently adopted. Tension may be high at first, but extra time needs to be given to both parties to adapt to the brand new change before frustration begins to set in. You can't expect things to go perfect as soon as they come home.
 
Dogs have personalities too and they too need time to adapt to a change as big as this. There are many things to do to help this situation. One thing is to make sure the dogs first meet on neutral ground. This helps erase a new dog encroaching on your dog's "territory" where they likely will become aggressive. If no other dogs come into the picture, it won't take the new dog as long to adjust to their new home but they still need time to learn the ropes! Bringing home an older dog can be a very rewarding experience but it also takes a patient owner to help dogs acclimate to their new homes. In summary, there are many factors that come into play when bringing home a new fur baby. Hopefully these notes have helped your new endeavor! Making sure you have a good, reliable veterinarian is the first set to ensuring a happy, healthy life for your new addition.

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Bonding
From as far back as we can go, dogs have been deemed "man's best friend," and they have most certainly earned the label. The bond between (most) humans and dogs is undeniable. Since the domestication of the dog, people have been drawn to them due to their unconditional love that we often fail to obtain from our human companions. The word “bond” has various interpretations when it comes to the relationship between you and your Aussie. Typically, the bond is considered transposable with the love we have for our Aussies however, love usually develops naturally, but the bond takes time and attention to grow. Love is what makes your dog leap with joy when you walk through the door after being gone for 5 minutes to bring out the trash, but the bond is what keeps him from taking off without you when you open that door to step out. Developing a strong and loving bond with your Aussie will set the tone for a long, beautiful and trusting relationship. Developing this bond is critical because once your Aussie feels loved and part of your family, you will have greater success in future training. Bonding with a new puppy is pretty simple and comes naturally with time spent together but rescue dogs can take a little more work. This is not a complicated task. Give your new Aussie your love and he will return that love, every day tenfold. Starting the bonding process with a rescue can prove difficult as there is no way to know how his previous owners treated (or mistreated)him. He could have been loved and adored, or he could have been neglected, or abused.
Regardless you must move forward in developing a loving and trusting relationship. When you first bring your Aussie home, give him an opportunity to check the place out, inside your home, back yard etc. It will be obvious quite quickly if he had lived in or outdoors prior, so be patient and understanding of accidents that could happen. (See the article 'Potty Training with Gideon 101 for housebreaking and crating tips) Talk to your Aussie in a calm and soothing voice and have other household members do the same. Let him become familiar with the sights and sounds of daily living around your home. Establish yourself as the pack leader from the start, letting him know what are considered good and bad behaviors Without this crucial step, further training with prove difficult. The more time you spend with your Aussie, the sooner you will build that strong and loving bond. Give him a gentle massage with slow strokes from head to tail and offer scratches behind his ears, under his chin and at the base of his spine. Include him in your daily routines at home, have him on your lap or by your side when reading or watching TV, take him for walks, hikes and on picnics and engage in interactive play. Take him to your local pet store to buy a new toy or teach him to catch a dog disc/frisbee. Even feeding (with high quality food), bathing and grooming are good bonding techniques. And remember, no matter how you build and maintain this bond, it will surely promote the physical and emotional health of both you and your Aussie.
 
The Ties that Bind
Some people think humans are the only species with the ability to love and bond closely with others thinking that pets have no emotions and are therefore unable to care about each other or even their owner. But, there are plenty of documented stories about pets developing strong friendships and bonding with each other and even with wild animals. One of the wonderful benefits of having two dogs or more is that they develop bonds and entertain one another. But when first bringing two dogs together, there is no guarantee of an instant bond. They may become instant buddies or there may be some resistance. There are a number of factors determining how quickly and/or how well your dogs will bond, including sex, spay/neuter, living space, age differences and their personalities, but these things are often managed quite well by confident and knowledgeable owners leading the pack. Make sure you provide enough dog beds, bowls and toys to accommodate each dog. Make sure you give each dog equal attention with one on one time. It is scientifically proven that dogs feel emotions very similar to humans. They can experience jealousy. Make sure your dogs learn to play together. Walking them together is one of the most successful bonding exercises. Something as simple as cuddle time on the couch with one on each side of you can do wonders as well. Make sure you have separate areas for the dogs to have some alone time. Even the best of friends, just like humans will want some alone time once in a while, especially if they have different energy levels or are not close in age, like a senior dog with a pup.
 
Crate training allows each dog to have their own 'space' and don't ever confine them to a small space for long periods of time as it can cause anxiety and agitation. Make sure that no matter what you spay and/or neuter your pets. This will have a huge impact on their potential friendship/relationship. Once your dogs have bonded, you will soon see a communication system form. Dogs communicate with one another in different ways, including body language. A butt up in the air represents a desire to play, a paw swat from one to another shows confidence and comfort ability with one another. And just like us, dogs like to talk. However, unlike body signals, barking can represent different things to different dogs. The pitch or volume of the bark will increase with the dog’s level of emotion. Once your dogs have bonded you will enjoy the peace and harmony of their mutual existence and that bond will hold true throughout their lives as dogs do not have the human flaws of deception, abandonment, dishonesty or any other negative factors that impact human relationships.
 
Here are some true stories of bonds between dogs or dogs and cats that prove what extent our furry little friends can demonstrate their deep love and concern for one another. There is the case of a Labrador Retriever named Puma. One cold day in Bristol, England, a gang of boys stole a kitten, threw it into a pond and waited to watch it drown. Suddenly, Puma dashed into the pond to grab the kitten. He must have thought that this was some sort of accident, because he brought the kitten out of the water and laid it at the boys feet. They just laughed and threw it back into the water. Puma again leaped into the water, but this time swam across to the other side of the pond with the kitten and ran home with it. When his family opened the door he rushed past them and laid the kitten down next to the heat vent. He would not let his family take the kitten out of his sight, so they felt that they had to keep it.
They named the kitten Lucky, because he was so lucky to find a friend like Puma. The dog and cat established a life-long bond, playing together, sleeping together and apparently drawing comfort from each other. Take the case of Mickey and Percy. Mickey was a Labrador Retriever owned by William Harrison, while Percy was a Chihuahua that had been given to Harrison’s daughter, Christine. Normally, their size difference might have prevented the dogs from becoming friends; however, in this instance, they became playful pals. The dogs would chase each other around, or Mickey would lie on the ground and let Percy pretend to be dominant as the little dog jumped on him and mouthed his ears. They ate together and, when they slept, Percy would lay against the bigger dog to stay warm. One warm summer evening, the dogs were out on the front lawn playing one of their favorite chase games, and, as he often did, Percy made a wide circle at high speed in an attempt to get behind Mickey. Unfortunately, this time his path took him out into the street and he was hit by a car. The first one on the scene was Mickey, who barked and whined and nosed his little friend.
Then, while Christine stood by weeping and Mickey watched attentively, William placed the dead dog in a crumpled sack and buried him in a shallow grave in the garden. The depression that had fallen on the family seemed to affect not only the humans, but also Mickey. The big dog sat despondently staring at the grave of his friend, while everyone else went to bed. He would not come into the house when he was called, so William left the back door open except for the screen door, in order to allow him to hear Mickey if he decided that he wanted to come into the house. A few hours later, William was awakened by frantic whining and scuffling outside the house. When he investigated the noise, he saw, to his horror, that the sack in which he had buried Percy was now laying empty beside the opened grave. Next to it he saw Mickey, who was in a state of great agitation, tanding over Percy’s body, frantically licking his face, and nuzzling and poking at the limp form in what looked like a canine attempt to give the dead dog the kiss of life. Tears filled the man’s eyes as he watched this futile expression of hope and love. He sadly walked over to move Mickey away when he saw what looked like a spasm or twitch. Then Percy weakly moved his head and whimpered. It was his friendship with Percy that had kept Mickey close that night.
 
There was also something deep within him that had sensed that there was a faint spark of life in the little dog, combined with some mysterious instinct to return his companion to him that had told him what to do. He would not give up on his friend. Because of this bond between the dogs, they would be able to romp and play again, and once more share the warmth of life and their canine companionship. Two tabby cat siblings, Jesse and Jack, were separated when their family decided to move from their home in the southern part of Australia to a new home in the northern part of the country. Before the family could move, however, Jack disappeared. After several months the family feared the worst, and went ahead with their moving plans, taking Jesse with them. Losing Jack was hard on the entire family, including Jesse, as she and Jack had been inseparable. Shortly after moving, Jesse disappeared from her new home and the family once again grieved the loss of another pet. They were surprised to learn fifteen months later that Jesse had arrived back at her old home in the south. She had traveled 1,900 miles across the Australian Outback. In the meantime, Jack had returned home. When Jesse left her new home and headed south on her long and dangerous journey, it wasn’t her old home she was seeking, it was her brother Jack. Their bond was closer with each other than it was with their human family. Jesse and Jack are now happy as can be living in their original home in the south.

© 2016 by Australian Shepherds Furever

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