Thursday, July 3, 2014

Puppies get hiccups after eating, drinking or play. No cause for alarm. (Quite normal, quite funny.)
Puppies can go into a hypercharged energy state in which they run, jump, bark and spin as though jet-propelled. These episodes can last a few minutes and happen a few times a day. (Also quite normal—and funny!)
 “Buddha Bellies”
Puppies’ bellies can distend dramatically after they eat. This is not related to the dangerous bloated stomach of an adult dog suffering from “bloat” after eating. It is no cause for alarm if you notice a bulging little “Buddha Belly.” (Quite normal and adorable.)
 Eating Feces
Eating dog poop—their own or others—is probably the grossest thing that some puppies will do. (Quite common and revolting.) There are a few theories about why they do it—nutritional deficiencies is one—but for you the main thing is not why they do it but how to stop them. The simplest way is to clean up after your dog every time he poops, even if you happen to live in the country—just the way people do in a city. This lack of poop on the ground will also save you from the odor and the flies—and save people from eventually stepping in the stuff.
The other suggested remedy is to put something in the dog’s food that makes his poop unappetizing to him (you’d think it wouldn’t need any help, wouldn’t you?). The suggestions are to sprinkle either Adolph’s Meat Tenderizer or a vet-supplied product called For-Bid on the puppy’s food. These apparently make otherwise delicious-tasting poop not so tasty . . . but who are we to judge?
If you have multiple dogs and the puppy seems interested in eating any feces on your property, then all the above suggestions still apply.
 Puppy Won’t Go Down/Up Stairs
Puppies don’t have good enough depth perception to see the individual steps—the stairs look like one long slide to them. Some puppies just figure it out, one step at a time—other pups put their front feet one step down but then don’t seem to be able to figure out how to get their back feet down to join the front end—they just stretch way out across the steps.
To help your pup understand how stairs work, sit at the bottom of the stairs and put her on the first step. Clap your hands and when she jumps off, give her lots of praise. Next put her on the second step from the bottom and clap and call until she comes down the two steps to you. Then the third step up and so on, until she gets the hang of it.

If going up the stairs poses a problem for your puppy, do the same exercise in reverse.

Copyright © Tracie Hotchner – Originally appeared in The Dog Bible: Everything Your Dog Wants You to Know by Tracie Hotchner

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