November 7, 2008, Newsletter Issue #20: Feed Your Puppy Right to Avoid Common Puppy Health Problems

Tip of the Week

One of the worst things someone can do is to bring home a tiny new puppy and change its food. Unfortunately, many people do just that, especially if the puppy is eating an inferior brand of kibble. With its small body, any change in diet is simply too much for the puppy to handle, which leads to one of the most common puppy health problems - diarrhea.

If your puppy gets into food belonging to your adult dog or your cat or gets a hold of some people food, he or she will probably develop diarrhea. This condition can be quite serious, since it is easy for such a tiny animal to get dehydrated. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your puppy has loose stools. If you can't get a hold of your veterinarian, you should:

Take a look at the stool. If there is blood in it, take your puppy to an emergency veterinary hospital. If you wait for the vet's office to reopen, you are taking a chance that your puppy may not make it.
Keep your puppy hydrated. While some water is a good idea, you should consider something that has some nutritional benefit as well, such as electrolytes or chicken broth. Feed a very bland diet of broth and rice until the puppy is stabilized. You should reintroduce food very gradually to avoid having the puppy suffer a relapse.

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