FEEDING: Until the age of one year, your puppy should ideally be fed two to three times per day with a premium brand puppy food. Your puppy has been raised on Pro Plan Puppy, Large Breed. The dry kibble is covered in warm water. It is highly recommended that the puppy remain on Pro Plan Puppy and continue with Pro Plan Adult after one year of age. This recommendation is not made lightly, this is a very good food and my dogs have done extremely well on it. Good coats, attitudes and weight. Remember to provide plenty of fresh water at all times. Adult dogs are fed Pro Plan Adult Chicken and Rice, two meals a day.
SUPPLEMENTS: My dogs currently are receiving the addition of Salmon Oil on their kibble. It is wonderful for their coats. The adults receive about 2 tablespoons a day, or I buy the capsules of 1000 mg and then I do not have to worry about the smell. My adults get 2/day. If you put your puppy on it, start very carefully a small amount at a time to prevent loose stools.
Puppies also receive Mega C Plus. I have found this to be an exceptionally wonderful supplement and since using it have seen no problems associated with growth such as Panosteitis (growing pains). This is an inflammation of the long bones associated with rapid growth in big dogs. I feed it until 9-12 mos. Old.
EYE CARE: Coonhounds are a scent hound spending considerable time with their noses to the ground stirring up particles of scent along with dust and dirt. This can sometimes become irritating to the eye. If you notice an accumulation of matter in the ear, remove it with eyewash and a soft cloth. If you notice a thick matter in the eyes which is yellowish looking and/or the white part of the eye becomes very red be sure to have your veterinarian take a peek to be sure the puppy does not have conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis is a simple eye infection, which is very easy to clear up.
EAR CARE: Due to the low pendulous ear set of the Black & Tan, ear can become a prime area for accumulation of dirt, wax and bacteria. A weekly check of ears and wiping with an ear wash (Epi Otic) or Zap Ear will help to prevent ear infections. Zap Ear is highly recommended. I can not tell you how happy you will be with it and it has kept my dogs free of ear infections with routine care. Do not introduce excessive moisture in the ears. Once you clean the ears make sure you dry them inside as well as possible with a cotton ball. Mitex occasionally applied to the ear after cleansing will eliminate any parasites. If your dog begins to shake his/her head excessively or scratch at his/her ears, more than usual it may be due to a parasite or infection and the puppy or adult dog should be seen by your veterinarian.
FOOT CARE: The foot of a coonhound is very important to maintain regardless of whether you own a show dog or a companion. The Coonhound should have a very compact foot with high arched toes and thick strong pads. To properly maintain the foot, nails should be trimmed regularly with nail clippers or ground with electric nail grinders. Weekly trimming is recommended, if you show. You may trim nails twice a month on dogs that are not being exhibited. IF you hear your dogs nail “click” on the floor they are too long!
COAT CARE: Shampoo your dog with a good quality shampoo being careful not to get soap into eyes and ears. Rinse thoroughly and towel dry. Some puppies will get a superficial Staph Infection (puppy staph), which will look like a rash with little bumps. They will scratch and will start to loose their hair. This is not an allergy and is a very simple and common skin infection which is easily cleared up. You should contact your veterinarian about treatment and to be sure it is not from a flea infestation. Coonhounds have good coats with a high oil content. They do not require frequent bathing. If your Coonhound gets muddy just wait until it dries and it will fall right off. They are “wash and wear” dogs.
TEETH: Provide your puppy/dog with plenty of things to chew on. Puppies’ teeth, as we all know, are very sharp and when teething are in need of something to sink them into. Coonhounds prefer soft toys to chew on and love to de-stuff them for the squeaky. They do not usually like hard things like hard bones, rawhides, etc. They do however, LOVE fresh marrow bones. They will work at the marrow inside and then leave the hard bone behind. It keeps them occupied for a long time. Be careful you do not give them a marrow bone they could swallow. You do not want to get a bone stuck in their esophagus. They love greenies, dental rings, and pressed rawhide chews. Marrow bones large enough that they can not swallow whole are a wonderful treat and equally wonderful at keeping teeth free of tartar buildup. Keep track of tartar build up on their teeth and if it seems to be getting noticeable your veterinarian should scrape and treat the tooth.
FLEAS AND TICKS: You should treat your puppy for fleas on a routine basis. Currently your puppy is flea free and you want to be sure it stays that way. It is far easier to prevent flea infestation then to treat it. When in an area of ticks you be sure to treat the puppy/dog, paying particular attention to his legs and stomach. Due to a problem of many fleas and ticks becoming resistant to many of the available product to treat fleas and ticks PLEASE consult your local veterinarian as to which would be best for you area. This is very important.
WORMING: Your puppy has been wormed with NEMEX 2. HEARTWORM PREVENTION IS A MUST.
LOOSE STOOLS: If you notice loose stools, you should take a fecal sample to your veterinarian. One of the most tell tale sign your puppy is not well is diarrhea. This needs to be treated right away by your veterinarian. Remember, it is not always worms that may give your puppy diarrhea. There are many types of bacteria that infest the bowel that puppies pick up out of the dirt that in large numbers can cause diarrhea and are easily treated with antibiotics. But, left untreated can be life threatening.
VACCINATIONS: Please check with your veterinarian regarding a vaccination schedule for your area. Each area of the country has specific needs regarding vaccinations and worming. Your veterinarian will know what is best for your area. Your puppy has received his/her first shots.
MICROCHIP: Your puppy has been microchipped. This is a small chip implanted between the shoulder blades and contains information about the puppy and who the owner is. In case your puppy gets lost and goes to an animal shelter or a veterinarian’s office they will scan for the microchip. IT IS CRITICAL that the information for the microchip is completed and sent in to register the number AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Keep the number handy so that you always know where to find it.
HIPS/EYES: It is important that your puppy has its hips x-rayed and obtains an OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.) certification when he/she is 2 years old. Please contact me when your puppy has its second birthday and I will be most happy to coordinate with you. Knowing that the puppies I breed continue to be free from hip Dysplasia is of vital concern. Only when I know about affected dogs can I remove their parents from my breeding program.