Fruit Valley Veterinary Clinic

New Puppy Care Suggestions

Male dogs:

We strongly recommend neutering. Neutering helps prevent prostate disease, urinary infections, various tumors, hernias, roaming, fighting, aggression and inappropriate urination. Neutered dogs tend to live longer healthier lives with less problems and cost less to license. Also, neutered dogs do not contribute to the pet overpopulation problem.

The neutering surgery can done on any male dog that is adequately immunized and doesn't have any concurrent skin infections or other health problems that would add risk to the procedure.

In large breed dogs, the procedure is less expensive if neutering happens when they are smaller (we charge by the weight over 50 pounds) but research suggests they are less likely to have cruciate ligament ruptures (lameness from an injured knee) if they are mature when they are neutered. If male dogs are neutered young it is important to keep them active and control their weight to limit their risk of knee problems.

In small breed dogs it helps to neuter them after all their grown-up teeth are fully, or almost fully, erupted (7 or 8 months). Having retained deciduous teeth (baby teeth that do not fall out) can cause serious dental problems, requires anesthesia to fix, and cannot be fixed until the permanent tooth is almost done growing.

Female dogs:

We strongly recommend spaying. Spaying helps prevent pregnancy, mammary cancer, uterine and urinary infections, various tumors, hernias, roaming, aggression and inappropriate urination. Spayed dogs tend to live longer healthier lives with less problems and cost less to license. Also, spayed dogs do not contribute to the pet overpopulation problem.

The spaying surgery can done on any female dog that is adequately immunized and doesn't have any concurrent skin infections or other health problems that would add risk to the procedure. The procedure is less expensive and better tolerated by younger dogs.

The spaying operation is usually an ovariectomy (where both ovaries are removed), but, if indicated by abnormalities, then an ovariohysterectomy (ovaries AND uterus removed) is performed. Ovariectomy is less invasive and may be less likely to cause complications than ovariohysterectomy. Both operations completely prevent heat (estrus) and pregnancy.

NYS Lemon Law

The Commissioner of Agriculture and Markets has prescribed a form for the certification that an animal is unfit for purchase which shall be provided to a consumer by an examining veterinarian upon the examination of a dog or cat subject to the Law. That form includes information which identifies the type of animal, the owner, the date and diagnosis of the animal, the treatment recommended, if any, and an estimate of the actual cost of such treatment. Such form also includes this notice.

The Law provides that a veterinary finding of intestinal parasites shall not be grounds for declaring the dog or cat unfit for sale unless the animal is clinically ill due to such condition. An animal may not be found unfit for sale on account of an injury sustained or illness contracted subsequent to the consumer taking possession thereof.

The Law provides that if a pet dealer wishes to contest a demand for a refund, exchange or reimbursement made by a consumer such dealer shall have the right to require the consumer to produce the animal for examination by a licensed veterinarian designated by such dealer. Upon examination if the consumer and the dealer are unable to reach an agreement which constitutes one of the options set forth in the Law within ten business days following receipt of the animal for such examination, the consumer may initiate an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover or obtain such refund, exchange and/or reimbursement. Nothing in Section 742 of the General Business Law, however, in any way limits the rights or remedies which are otherwise available to consumers under any other law.

For the purpose of the Law, "consumer" means an individual purchasing a dog or a cat from a pet dealer. A pet dealer shall not be considered a consumer. "Pet dealer" means any person, firm, partnership, corporation or other association which in the ordinary course of business engages in the sale of more than one litter of dogs or cats per year for profit to the public. Such definition includes breeders of animals who sell animals directly to a consumer but does not include duly incorporated humane societies dedicated to the care of unwanted animals which make such animals available for adoption whether or not a fee for such adoption is charged.

Suggested Reading

Good Owners, Great dogs, 1992, by Brian Kilcommons and Sarah Wilson. A training manual for humans and their canine companions. "The Kilcommons way to a perfect relationship."

How To Be Your Dog's Best Friend - 1978, Little, Brown-Excellent general texton training and disciplining dogs & puppies.

The Art of Raising a Puppy - 1991, Little, Brown - More detail on puppies.

Child-Proofing Your Dog, 1994, Brian Kilcommons & Sarah Wilson - A complete guide to preparing your dog for the children in your life.

Responsible Dog Ownership, 1994, Kathy Diamond Davis - Everything you need to know.

CANINESTEIN Unleashing the Genius in Your Dog, 1997, Betty Fisher & Suzanne Delzio - 100 Activities to Measure and Enhance Your Dog's Intelligence.

Warning Signs Before A Bite

  1. enjoying rough play (tug-of-war, wrestling, chasing, barking)
  2. ignoring your commands, especially "down"
  3. mounting behavior or jumping up on people
  4. bumping into people (may be trying to get somewhere first)
  5. defending his "bed"
  6. defending his food or toys (or stops chewing if you approach)
  7. hiding under furniture
  8. growling (except if only during play)

Working with a dog trainer in the early stages can help you have a better relationship with your dog so that you or someone else does not end up getting bit. You cannot punish a dog to prevent biting behavior, but you can reward appropriate behavior and set some limits.