Being proactive by preventing and managing away from problems are the keys to a successful kennel. In 2017, we want to help you have the most positive kennel experience possible. That’s why we are sharing with you the five best kennel practices that we’ve heard from successful kennels in the past year.
1. Prevent Disease
Treating diseases like parvo and brucellosis is time-consuming, stressful on you and your animals and we risk losing them. By pairing your vaccination protocol with smart biosecurity practices, you can keep diseases like parvo and brucellosis out of your kennel.
Vaccination, disinfection and biosecurity are all components of keeping disease out. Protecting animals from harmful viruses and bacteria starts with strict guidelines designed to keep your kennel clean and free of pathogens. Posting signs designating biosecurity areas on your property lets outside visitors know where they can safely look at the puppies. Neonates lack a fully developed immune system and are highly susceptible to these diseases. Even if all your pups are vaccinated, litters born months from now could be compromised by pathogens that enter your kennel today. By controlling access and properly vaccinating you will be sending healthy, disease-free puppies to their next forever home.
2. Manage Dog Moms
Healthy dog moms give birth to healthy puppies. We find that healthy moms cycle regularly and have fewer milking issues when given proper nutritional support and vitamins.
If we do a good job feeding females by supplementing their diet, it helps keep mom healthy so she can do her job. Healthy females cycle again without issue at their normal six to seven month interval. Doc Roy’s Daily Care is a daily vitamin that ensures mom doesn’t suffer from a dietary deficiency, which is one of the top causes of heat cycle issues.
Keeping mom in the light also gives her a boost she needs. Dogs need about 14 hours of light a day to keep cycling regularly. In the winter months, extend the day length by putting a 100 watt light about 10 feet from her kennel to give mom the additional light she needs to stay regular.
And don’t forget about managing whelping and mom’s milk. Fenugreek and Chaste tree fruit are herbs that have been proven to reliably boost milk production. For planned C-Sections or mom’s that have had milking issues in the past, using Breeder’s Edge® Oxy Momma™ seven days before her due date can prevent milking issues and assure puppies get adequate colostrum the first 12 hours.
3. Prevent Puppy Loss
No one wants to lose a puppy. The most common times for puppy loss are during whelping, shortly after birth and within the first ten days of life. Slow-whelping puppies are short of oxygen at birth, which contributes to fading puppy syndrome. You can help mom have more efficient contractions during whelping by using calcium. Fast-absorbing calcium such as Breeder’s Edge® Oral Cal Plus at the start of labor and anytime mom is slowing down can help prevent puppy loss at whelping.
Chilling is the number one cause of death in newborns. When newborns are cold, their metabolism rate slows down and they do not nurse or digest milk. All chilled newborns should be warmed gradually. A sudden body temperature change will put them in shock and they will die. The best way to get their body temperature back up is to place them in an incubator at 100º F or cover a hot water bottle with a light towel and place inside a covered box with the chilled puppy.
Healthy newborns sleep, eat and seldom cry. But, if they are not well, they cry and crawl away from their mom and littermates. Malnutrition that first week is preventable but that prevention starts before the babies are born by giving mom adequate iron and prenatal vitamins.
4. Manage Parasites
Managing parasites is not about deworming more or with more products. It is about using the correct dewormer at the right time to get the biggest impact for your time and money. Internal parasites like coccidia and giardia don’t have to be commonplace.
Good disinfection practices and preventatives like Fenbendazole help ensure these pesky parasites stay under control. Get out a calendar and put together a deworming schedule. Males should be dewormed twice a year, and late in her pregnancy a mom should undergo deworming and get a good bath prior to whelping. The fewer parasites mom passes to the babies, the fewer we need to manage out of the babies.
When new dogs are introduced into your kennel, no matter what their history or age, assume they have parasites and start the deworming process immediately.
5. Be Proactive
You can decrease the time you spend treating health problems by preventing or managing them. Having a plan for how to keep these problems from happening in the first place keeps your animals healthier and you happier!
Congratulations! You are now armed with the secrets to a successful dog kennel. Our expertly trained Pet Care Pros have the knowledge to support you in 2017 and years to come. Give them a call at 800.786.4751. You can do this and we’re here to help!
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