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Dogs- Part II Small Animal
Selecting a Breed • Size- Large or small based on space requirements both for the dog and what you have available. Will it be inside or outside? Home with yard vs. apartment with no yard. Toy dogs like the Chihuahua, are fragile and best as apartment dwellers. A Mastiff may weigh 220 pounds and needs a yard for exercise.
Selecting a Breed • Temperament- Active or quiet breed- fox terrier is a small dog but is very active, while a Labrador and a Sheepdog adapts to apartment living well
Selecting a Breed • Hair coat- Type of hair coat (wired haired or curly haired, long or short) determines grooming requirements and should be considered along with time one desires to spend
Long hair considerations • More grooming time needed for brushing, detangling, and de-matting of hair. Long haired dogs are more prone to get skin diseases and parasites. They are also more likely to collect dirt, plant seeds, mud and feces in their hair to be taken out.
Short hair considerations • Not as much brushing required, if any, are not as prone to develop skin diseases, and bring less dirt inside
Selecting a Breed • Purpose of dog- is the dog for sporting, hunting, service, companion,show, guard, or racing?
Selecting a Breed • Price of dog- depends on demand, more common breeds are typically less expensive , while less common breeds can be more expensive
Selecting an Individual Animal • What source to buy from • Pet store- buys from local breeders • Kennel- purebreds and mixed breeds • Breeder- if wanting a purebred for show, hunting field trials, etc., excellent conformation, and pedigree should be considered
What source to buy from • Shelter- good inexpensive source for a companion dog or family dog • Friends and neighbors- good source of pets
Considerations when selecting the individual animal to buy • How is the dog going to be used? Affects all other considerations Companion, service, work, hunting, show • Cost of the animal. Common or mixed breed less expensive than a purebred animal with a good pedigree.
Selecting the individual animal • What is its pedigree or ancestry? Pedigree tells the line an animal came from and is very important for show and hunting field trials • Male or female? Will it be spayed or neutered? Do you want to use the animal for breeding?
Selecting the individual animal • How old? Puppy or adult, puppies need lots of training and will grow out of cute stage. Puppies may get bigger in size than expected, whereas adult is full grown so you know the size it is
Selecting the individual animal • Conformation considerations- general structure, look, make-up of animal, more important if animal is for show to meet breed requirements, will it be able to swim, run after game if for hunting or sporting?
Selecting the individual animal • Family history- deformities, temperament, show winners, field trial champions • Personal preference- what color you like, markings on animal
Grooming-Hair • Daily brushing is recommended to remove dead hair, distribute the skin’s oils, and remove dandruff
Grooming-Hair • Longhaired dogs may have matted hair. Tease out mats with a comb or cut out if teasing will not work. Longhaired dogs also need burrs cut out of their hair. To avoid injury to the dog’s skin, a comb should be placed between the matted hair or burr and the skin prior to cutting with scissors
Grooming-Hair • Terriers and wirehaired breeds accumulate dead hair which must be plucked. A stripping knife is used to remove dead hair and trim live hair. In plucking, a section of dead hair is grasped between the thumb and stripping knife and then pulled away with a twisting motion.
Grooming-Hair • Bath only when extremely dirty. Some good products to use are baby shampoo, mild soap, and coconut oil shampoo. Do not use detergent shampoos which can lead to skin reactions. Keep shampoo out of the dog’s eyes and use medicated shampoo to help prevent parasites. Use an ophthalmic ointment to soothe eye irritation
Grooming-Ears • Clean once a month and check for ticks and mites on a regular basis • To remove ear wax and/or mites use a cotton swab or soft cloth soaked in mineral oil, hydrogen peroxide, or alcohol, lukewarm water or approved ear cleaners • Only ear parts that can be seen should be cleaned • One may use a finger, but never a sharp or pointed object to clean the dog’s ears
Grooming-Eyes • Use approved boric acid or other eyewash solutions to remove any irritating substance • Check for any redness or puffiness
Grooming-Teeth • Clean once or twice a week to remove tartar and plaque, which may cause painful periodontal disease • When cleaning, use small toothbrush with soft bristles or a gauze pad
Grooming-Teeth • Use a mix of salt water and baking soda or toothpaste • Clean from the gum line to the tips of teeth • Hard dog biscuits, dibbled food, rawhide, synthetic bones, etc. help maintain healthy teeth and remove tartar
Grooming-Nails • Dogs that are kept inside need their nails trimmed with sharp clippers that do not crush nail when cutting • Avoid nail bed which will cause bleeding. Black nails present the most problems since the nail bed is harder to see. The nail bed is easily seen on white or clear nails
Grooming-Nails • Have styptic powder on hand to stop any bleeding • The dew claw should always be checked because it does not wear down • Never use sharp pointed scissors to trim nails. Injury may result should the animal move in an unexpected manner.