Discussion in 'Raising an American Bulldog puppy' started by Joe canales, Jul 23, 2016.
New baby first time having one any tips on rasing her right
Congratulations on your puppy!
Here's a quick primer on raising an American Bulldog puppy as it concerns vaccinations/deworming, food, and toys.
It is critical that the puppy is dewormed 10-14 days prior to each vaccination. If the puppy has worms, the immunity is weakened and the vaccines may not be effective because the puppy's organism may be unable to develop enough anti-bodies against the vaccine to actually make the puppy immune against the diseases being vaccinated against. In rare cases, a puppy with worms can lead to death. If worms are found in puppy's stool after deworming, then it is recommended to deworm again prior to vaccinations. Vaccinations should be administered to a healthy puppy!
8 weeks old - Following set of vaccinations (parvo, adenovirus, lepto, coronavirus, distemper, parainfluenza) must be done by the owner/breeder before exposing the puppy to the outside environment. Critical to do deworming on the puppy 10-14 days prior to vaccinations. If this is done by the breeder, be sure you get a health record from the breeder with physical labels taken from the vaccine bottles and the deworming medication. After this set of vaccinations, the puppy must be quarantined 10-14 days prior to introducing foreign environment/animals.
At 3 months, Rabies vaccine and another booster of the same set of vaccinations should be administered (parvo, adenovirus, lepto, coronavirus, distemper, parainfluenza). In the U.S., a 3rd booster of the vaccinations listed above (minus Rabies) are recommended by the vets to be administered 3-4 weeks later (4 months old). We disagree with this because at this age the puppy is going through the change of baby teeth to adult teeth and that may adversely affect the puppy's immunity.
Then follow the regular vet-recommended vaccine schedule. For example, some vaccinations are annual, some last for a number of years.
For proper development of the puppy, it is important that proper bowls are used. Do not place bowls on the ground. Purchase adjustable-height bowls for both water and food so that the puppy is always eating in the correct posture. Here's one we use, available on Amazon.com. The natural posture that the dog takes while eating/drinking is also helpful for the owner to immediately notice any stance issues that the puppy may be developing that may affect joint growth.
After 16 years of breeding, my conclusion is to use dry food of the highest grade. Cheap dog food does not contain the necessary balanced ingredients for proper growth of the puppy. There are debates of using raw vs. dry food. If a person is not an expert in the field of raising and feeding dogs, there is no way they will be able to provide a balanced diet using exclusively raw food. If an owner desires, they can add some raw beef or turkey (no bones) to the regular dry food diet. Some dog food that we've used with our dogs that we can recommend.
Hill's Science Diet Large Breed Puppy
Royal Canin Size Health Nutrition Maxi Puppy
Royal Canin Gaint Nutrition Dry food for Puppy
Pro Pac Ultimates Puppy
Orijen Large Breed Puppy is no longer recommended since their change of manufacturing this food out of the new Kentucky factory. Indigestion and loose stool reported by many owners.
Food regimen must be strictly followed. Quantity of dog food to be provided is usually listed on the dry food package.
2-3 months old - Feed the puppy 4 times a day on a set schedule. Also, have a set schedule for walking the puppy, ideally before providing food.
From 3 months old - Feed the puppy 3 times a day on a set schedule.
From 6 months old - Feed the puppy 2 times a day only on a set schedule - morning and evening.
Very critical not to overfeed the puppy from age 3-6 months. Ideally you want to be able to see 2nd and even 3rd rib on the dog. During this age, there is a significant growth spurt - bones, muscles, joints, cartilages, etc. are under significant stress and the extra weight of an overweight puppy may even irreversibly damage the puppy's structural health.
When the puppy is gnawing during loss/growth of teeth, cow ears or pig ears are helpful but be sure not to overfeed.
NEVER FEED A PUPPY OR A GROWN DOG BONES OR MEAT WITH BONES. American Bulldog's jaws are extremely strong and the smallest piece of of the bone may even cause death. Deer antlers, buffalo horns, and other such bone material has the potential to kill your dog. Further, bones, antlers, horns, etc. can permanently damage the teeth of an American Bulldog.
It is important not to forget that toys are not only for the gnawing period, but they are important for a puppy's education about the surrounding world and communication with the owner. A puppy is socialized through toys and therefore proper toys are very important.
Be sure to actually engage with the puppy when giving a toy and teach the puppy how to play with it.
Edible toys that do not contain bones or other hazardous material could be the first stage for a puppy.
Rubber squeaky toys. For a younger puppy, they can be softer and for an older puppy, they should be more durable. This one is pretty durable and we highly recommend it. We use this rubber squeaky ball for our pups and it is surprisingly durable and very fun. We also use tennis balls. The only toys we have found to be durable enough to withstand an adult AB are these:
West Paw Design Zogoflex Tux Guaranteed Tough Treat Stuffable Dog Chew Toy
West Paw Design Zogoflex Hurley Guaranteed Tough Dog Bone Chew Toy
Pull/tug toys should only be made available to a puppy after a full change of teeth after 6 months of age. These toys may cause irreversible jaw damage to a developing puppy. This type is great.
Important to pick toys not based on what you, the owner like, but what the puppy likes.
Ensure the toy is at least twice the size of the dog's open mouth and no smaller than a human's closed knuckle.
If the puppy manages to chew through a toy, do not buy the same toy again as the result will be the same. Find a different toy.
Keep clothes, especially socks, and shoes away from puppy's access.
DO NOT USE SOFT TOYS past a short initial period when the pup is very young. They often end up being eaten and can result in either death or a very expensive stomach/intestinal surgery if the problem is recognized in time. Further, a puppy that is used to soft toys can easily switch to other soft items around the house - pillows, socks, clothes, etc. There are too many cases of even incredibly famous American Bulldogs whose lives tragically ended by socks or rags.
Please feel free to ask any more questions you may have regarding properly raising an American Bulldog.
All content in this post - copyright © 2016 by @Olga Sushko & AmericanBulldoggers.com. No reproduction in part or in full without permission from the author.
Disclaimer: This is an opinion and not medical advice.
This is a contribution by a member of our community (Jessica Maxwell) concerning feeding puppy vs adult dog food to puppies:
We had this conversation with the vet two weeks ago. Dogs, especially large breeds should stay on puppy food until they are at least a year old. They must also be fed the proper amount depending on the size. That adult food fed to a puppy causes malnutrition because the needs of a puppy are different from an adult. That the energy that the puppies need is different from the adult dog. He instructed us to feed our pitbull puppy, puppy food until she turned a year old. Then we can switch her. By then she should have developed completely and will just be filling out the extra muscles.
He said dogs must be lean with a bit of the ribs showing when theyre close to feeding time. If their ribs dont show but they are skinny, it is perfect.
He said that puppies that are overfed( and they tend to poop more than 3x a day) will have arthritis and other problems as they age. Feeding a puppy, adult food will also malnourish the dog.
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