Most nutritionists agree that reproduction is the most critical stress encountered by a female Labrador Retriever. While the healthy male dog can sire hundreds of puppies without any stress whatever, the female is called upon to use tremendous amounts of energy and nutrients during pregnancy and lactation. If her feeding program does not adequately supply these nutrients and energy, she will obtain them by using up her own body tissues. If neither dietary nor body sources of nutrients and energy are available, a multitude of problems will result.
The manifestation of an inadequate diet during early phases of reproduction may take on several forms. Those most likely to be recognized are:
1. An “out of condition” appearance of the dog. This may not become apparent until after the pups are born. An actual loss in body weight throughout gestation can occur, but is unusual in most instances.
2. An uncontrollable diarrhea following whelping and throughout much of lactation. This is most often seen when she must increase her food intake excessively to meet increased lactational demands because the food she has been eating is poorly digestible or low in calories.
3. The “fading puppy” syndrome. The puppy may appear normal at birth, but several hours to several days later it is found crying or whimpering and chilled. It is off by itself, obviously disowned by the mother. Attempts to reunite the two are usually met with failure. The puppy’s stomach will be empty and its body will be dehydrated. When weighed, it will weigh the same or less than the day before.
4. Anemias. When an anemia occurs as the result of a dietary deficiency during reproduction, it will be present in both the dam and pup. When both mother and pup are anemic, the first place to look for its cause is the diet.
Once pregnancy is terminated by the whelping of the pups, an inadequate diet during lactation is most likely to appear as:
1. Lactation failure (agalactia). This is a complete failure of the mammary glands. The Labrador Retriever dog produces no milk at all from which the pups can be nourished. These pups cry continuously, fail to gain weight, and unless immediate remedial feeding is started, the pups will die.
2. Lactation depression (dysgalactia). While the mammary glands are functional, they are unable to produce adequate amounts of milk to fully support the pups’ complete nutrient needs. The pups are restricted in growth rate and may become stunted.
3. Deficient milk. The milk, although it may be produced in adequate amounts, is deficient in one or more nutrients.
A healthy newborn Labrador Retriever may lose weight in the first few days of life but should start to gain weight by the time she is forty-eight hours old. In fact, she should double her birth weight in eight to ten days. A good indicator of a pup’s potential to put on healthy weight is to see if the mother is gaining weight, as this is a sign that she has the nutritional support available to pass on to her litter.
A Labrador Retriever puppy that loses 10 percent or more of her birth weight in the first two days of life and does not start gaining by three days probably will not survive unless she is hand-fed. Learning how to properly hand-feed your puppies is imperative, as mistakes in feeding can result in trouble. A puppy who at birth weighs about 25 percent less than her litter mates should be placed in an incubator and hand-fed. Many underweight puppies can be saved if quick action is taken and their weakness is not complicated by disease or hereditary defects.
CARY A quick trip to the pet store often becomes an irksome experience for Charlene Augello. As the Harvard resident walks though the store aisles with her pet pit bull, Maggie, mothers often give her the evil eye before they grab their children and walk the other way.
Readers share adoption tales
The Olympian asked readers to share their experiences with pet adoptions. Here’s a sampling of the responses. My husband and I adopted Sam, a Chihuahua mix, eight months ago from a local non-profit organization called Animals in Need. Sam was rescued from Puerto Rico where he was a stray.
Dogfest raises money for NEADS
EAST BRIDGEWATER For Larry Brennan of Boston, the saying, dog is man’s best friend holds true. Brennan suffered a spinal cord injury 15 years ago that left him paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair.
To a Labrador Retriever, a new baby entering the home is simply a new member joining the pack. Instinctively, most canines are tolerant of infants, whether they are puppies or human babies. What is the best way to handle a child’s arrival? Keep in mind that dogs are routine-oriented creatures. If your dog has been the center of attention for several years and suddenly has to play “second fiddle” to a new baby, the dog is likely to experience stress. Your actions and attitude can go a long way toward alleviating his anxiety.
Think about the routines you and your dog have together. If a morning walk after breakfast is a daily habit, make every effort to keep doing that after the baby arrives. Do you always play ball in the yard with your dog after work? Keep it up without fail. Even though your household routines changed dramatically when the baby arrived home, preserve as many old routines for the dog as you can. This will give him a bit of security when his world seems turned upside-down. If you have no “old” routine with your dog, establish one before the baby joins the household and stick with it.
It is advisable to socialize your Labrador Retriever with children before a new baby arrives. Take your dog to visit friends who have children. While supervising closely, evaluate your dog’s reactions and attitudes. Make sure that the visit is an agreeable one so the dog will have positive associations with children. Play with a ball, go for a walk together, and so on. Be sure that the children are not rough with the dog. Do not permit games such as tug-of-war or wrestling. Play should not be so vigorous as to inspire nipping.
When the new baby arrives, make sure that the dog again makes positive associations with the youngster. For example, sit the baby on your lap and give the dog a few treats. Take the dog for a walk at the same time you walk the baby in the stroller. Pet the dog while you feed the infant. This assumes, of course, that the dog is not going wild and that you have some control mechanisms over him. That’s why obedience training the dog is so important before you have your hands full with a newborn.
As the baby matures, the dog may become more assertive with him or her. The dog may try to maintain his position in the pecking order of the pack by growling or snapping at the youngster. An adult dog generally begins such assertive behavior when a child is about one- and-a-half to two years old.
Many people think that their Labrador Retriever is “jealous” of the child. I do not believe dogs are capable of feeling the emotion of jealousy. But I do know that they will compete for attention. An example of this would be the dog who is sitting by the owner’s leg, craving attention. Suddenly the two-year-old child climbs into the parent’s lap, and the dog growls or snaps at the child. The anthropomorphic dog owner will interpret the dog’s competitiveness for attention as jealousy. Whatever it is termed, this behavior should not be tolerated. Correct your dog immediately with a firm “NHAA” and make him lie down and stay. When you are ready, release him and then give lots of attention and praise.
A Didsbury man who protested an animal cruelty case outside a courthouse has been charged with mischief.
Ron Henry Strait: dogs and ducks are both at home on Lissie Prairie
The fog arrived on the Lissie Prairie about 5 a.m. Tuesday, just in time to scatter the light of a big, round moon and blur the faint shadows of the duck hunters slogging down the muddy trail.
Volunteer opens home, heart to rescued dogs
Clermont County - After retiring from her full-time job at UC Clermont, Lisa Haynes-Henry decided to give back to the community in a way that most people wouldn’t even think of. She is a foster mother - to dogs.
Allowing your Labrador Retriever to roam free will make training him much more difficult. The primary reason that humans can train dogs is because of the dogs‘ submissive instinct. As trainers, we develop a structured pack order and use the submissive instinct to condition each dog to think of us as the pack leader. The dog’s role in the pack is that of a follower. The dog who is allowed to roam free has a weaker submissive instinct. Roaming free - and doing whatever the dog pleases - is counterproductive to following direction from a pack leader.
Besides making training more difficult, allowing a dog to roam free is like playing a game of Russian roulette with the dog’s life. Visit any veterinarian’s office and ask for a tour. You will see the painful results of allowing a dog to roam free. You will see dogs who have been hit by cars, dogs who were attacked by other roaming canines, and dogs who had ingested poison from someone’s garbage pail. These are just a few of the hazards that roaming dogs are exposed to. There are many more. Consider the following:
There are a number of dogs with gunshot wounds. These wounds were inflicted illegally by people who did not like dogs and did not want them wandering through their yards. Every year dogs running in packs are shot legally by farmers who, in many states, have the right to protect their livestock.
Labrador Retrievers who roam free are sometimes caught in traps placed in the woods by hunters. dogs have been known to lose legs or to starve to death after what we can only imagine was an excruciatingly painful struggle.
In small hometowns there are many small ponds and lakes. Every spring roaming dogs drown by falling through the melting layers of ice. This tragedy can be avoided by not allowing your dog to roam. Injury or death can happen suddenly to any dog who roams. The dogs who make it to the veterinary hospital are the lucky ones - if they can be helped. Many never get that far.
Also, neighbors do not appreciate their yards being ruined by wandering dogs. Male dogs often mark territory by lifting their legs and urinating on trees and bushes. Both males and females urinate and defecate wherever they please when they roam. No one likes to clean up - or step in - defecation from someone else’s dog.
Every year pounds and shelters throughout the country put to death several million unwanted dogs. Roaming dogs - both males and females - bear much responsibility for the problem of canine overpopulation. Male dogs are uncanny about finding a way into the pen or fenced yard of a female dog in heat. Many unwanted puppies are born as a result.
In most towns and cities, it is against the law for dogs to roam free. Animal control officers can pick up roaming dogs. If your Labrador Retriever has been picked up, you will not get him back without first paying a fine - sometimes a very stiff one.
Did you know that your Labrador Retriever can live three weeks without food but will die within days without water? Water is necessary for all digestive processes as well as temperature regulation, nutrient absorption, and as a transportation medium, shipping things between organs and out of the body.
How much water your dog needs depends on his physical activities and the type of food he eats. Panting is your dog’s way of sweating. If your dog is sweating, he needs a drink. Dry food also encourages thirst. Because dry food contains only 10 percent moisture, your dog will need about a quart of water for every pound of dry food. On the other hand, canned food or home-cooked diets contain more water and require less to rinse and wash down. This quality of canned and home-cooked food does not necessarily make them a superior food source, however.
Water is vital for survival. Make sure clean water is always available for your Labrador Retriever. Provide clean water in a stainless steel dish and change it regularly. Each time you fill your dog’s bowl, rinse it to clean off dirt and other nasty particles that don’t belong in a fresh bowl.
It’s Adopt-A-Shelter dog month. Continue…
Eyes intent and haunches bunched, Trek watched closely for the signal that would send him tearing across the lawn to grab his target a white rubber chew toy. Continue…
ALBERT: I’m a 3-year-old male black Labrador retriever mix. I’m a sweet and loving Lab who likes to explore and play fetch, but my favorite is getting my chin scratches and loving pats. I also have had some training and can sit for a treat and do many other things as well. Come rescue me soon, and you won’t be sorry! My ID number is A017973. Continue…
As a Labrador Retriever owner, you probably know from experience that the most expensive dogs toys are the ones your dog creates herself from your furniture, shoes and other stuff. You know that by handing your dog a toy whenever her jaws wrap around your cherished belongings, you can redirect her efforts to something more acceptable. You know that dog toys are a bargain.
The last few years have seen an explosion in exciting toy design. Never before have such stimulating toys been commercially available for dogs. You can supplement those toys with equally stimulating homemade toys.
Different Labrador Retrievers need different toys. Some dogs can only be trusted with the toughest toys on the market, whereas others will treasure fragile toys with utmost care. Gentle dogs can play with squeaky toys; soft latex tends to be more dog-resistant than hard plastic. Gentle dogs can also have stuffed animal toys, but be sure to remove any plastic eyes or noses. You can buy bunches of these toys at thrift stores and just bring out a few at a time.
When evaluating the safety of any toy, consider:
1. The toy should not be small enough to be inhaled or swallowed whole.
2. The toy should not have parts that can be pulled off and swallowed.
3. The toy should not have any sharp parts.
4. Avoid linear toys such as pantyhose, strings, ribbons and rubber bands that can be swallowed; such toys can be particularly dangerous.
5. Use chewable toys with caution and under supervision. If your dog can swallow a big hunk of it, it’s probably not really safe. Bones and hooves are responsible for many cracked rear teeth, resulting in expensive dental bills.
6. If your dog is obsessed with dissecting toys to remove the squeakers, only give him squeaky toys when you can supervise.
7. Avoid children’s toys stuffed with unsafe fillings, such as beans.
8. Never give your dog a container in which the dog’s head could become lodged. dogs cannot pull these containers off and have suffocated when they became stuck.
9. Never leave a Labrador Retriever unsupervised with a toy that contains a battery.
Some toys require a person on the other end. Balls, tug toys and chase toys are some examples. Don’t think you can hand your dog a toy that requires a person and expect her to be entertained while you’re gone. She will turn to a toy that doesn’t require your presence in order to be fun, such as the arm of your sofa.