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Helpful Information

Here are a few things we learned along the way which you may find helpful. As we think of them we'll add more from time to time:
Choosing a Puppy
Whether you want a show prospect, a field trial dog, or just a good friend,if at all possible get your puppy from a well known breeder.  Visit the Kennel. For a list of breeders in your area check the AKC website. Attend an AKC dog show and watch some classes. Buy a catalog and get the name of the breeders. Ask lots of questions. You can find out a lot by not being shyWhen choosing a puppy be sure to find several AKC breeders who are well known for quality dogs. Ask if the parents are on site and check the pedigree.Check for temperment, agression,shyness. Be wary of a listless or or lethargic puppy.Make sure you see all the puppiesCheck to see that the puppy and/or the parents have been cleared for eyes (optigen and CERF) and hips (OFA) and there is no history of other genetic faults.  Remember you are going to have this baby for a long, long time.Do you homework. Ask a lot of questions. A good breeder will be happy to tell you what he knows. Get a guarantee.
  Pet Health - Dog Food
What to feed my puppy is a question that is nearly as personal as the  choice of the pup itself. There are nearly as many different brands of food as there are dogs. There are many excellent dog food brands and t hey are rated on the internet in various sites., such as Petadvisor and Dog food analysis. Check them out and find one your dog likes. If you have ore than one put them both out and see which one your lab goes to first. We feed TASTE OF THE WILD and WELLNESS Adult Stages to our adult dogs and Artemis Fresh Mix Puppy to our puppies  We feed it because Our dogs like it and because it is high in protein and  properly formulated. We feel a dog food should not necessarily be the most expensive, but should have the following things: a guarantee from the  manufacturer; an 800 number to call for questions and complaints, a nutritional adequacy statement, essential vitamins and minerals. We do not like animal byproducts,wheat or ground yellow corn and synthetic preseratives.There are some good websites that deal with dog food to help you evaluate and compare different types and  costs. Find some food that you  and your dog both like and use it.All dog foods  have a guaranteed analysis printed on the bag. To ascertain the real protein content of your dog food you subtract out the moisture content and multiply that remaining per centage  by the protein content.. For example a dog food with 10% moisture and  26.00% crude protein content has (100% -10% moisture content =90% x 26.00 protein content ) 23.4% crude protein.We think the higher the protein content the better (up to a reasonable amount 26-28% or so,) but if you have a really active dog you may want something more. Generally anything over 24% is acceptable to usYou also need to be careful when you look at the ingredients. Sometimes the same ingredient is listed in different forms for example you may see ground corn and corn meal or other forms of ingredients which are listed to reduce their prevalence or for other reasons.You want to avoid materials that are hard for your dog to digest but which serve as filler. You want to avoid a lot of preservatives.Fortunately,with a formulated dog food your puppy or dog should be getting everything he needs for good healthy growth and maintenance without additional supplements  With puppies you don't need to add anything and when you do, it can alter the formula. Check with your vet and see what he recommends. With adult dogs, giving them extras won't affect their growth rate and will make you feel good.We do not feed table scraps although it is hard to resist begging( and once in a while it doesn't seem to upset the dog's digestion.)We do not  feed raw products, i.e  chicken backs, eggs and the like. We are concerned with the presence of bacteria and infection from these raw products, although many people do do it with sucess.When it is hot or a bitch is in season or for other reasons, your dog may not eat as much or even eat at all for a while. Check with your vet to see what you can do. Sometimes we mix our dry dog food with a can of nutro canned to help them to eat but as a general rule we keep our tribe on hard dry dog food with a splash of water for dental health reasons.The long and the short of it is There is not a lot of difference between the many dog foods of high protein and guranteed formula. Brand loyalty may not be as important as price and most importantly taste. It really does not matter what a dog food cost or who made it as long as it is good for your dog and he likes the way it tastes.
Be Prepared.
We normally have our puppies by C section with our world class reproductive vet, but this time we delivered  early and although we were paying attention we had to scramble for the necessary supplies and medication, when our vet did not attend the birth at night in the snowstorm on the coldest day of the year. Fortunately, we made it with the good advice and kind help of our breeder friends, who assisted us in the whelping and saved several of the pups.  Our breeder friends have assisted us often with answers to questions and advice, and we are very grateful to all of them.With pets, as with humans, sometimes emergencies arise despite your best laid plans,and as we all know, the best time to prepare for them is before they come along. You should always have your vet's phone number, and know their policy about nightime and weekend assistance. You should know the location and phone number of any veterinary emergency facility in your area. You should keep on hand a few supplies for emergencies, and  have access to information on what do do. Call your  vet, breeder, pet club or friends; use the internet or  get  a book like Dr. Jean Pommery's "What to do until the Veterinarian comes" by Chilton Books. There are plenty of books around and they all have useful information. Stay calm and have plan. Do it in advance.