Care and Maintenance

Integrity Labrador Retrievers 
Brenda Mazzaglia 
10 Shatagee rd Raymond NH 03077-1902 
(603) 432-0811 
www.integrityfarm.com  or   www.nhlabradors.com 

**MUST READ** Feeding & Care (Please I understand this is long, But Please Read it.) 
CARE AND MAINTENANCE  - Pro Plan 

1). Your puppy, when taken to his new home, will be under some stress as he just left his mother, littermates and familiar surroundings.  Do not expose him to too much activity for a few days until he adjusts to him new home.  Although, showing off your new pup is exciting, please keep in mind, that they have not completed the full series of vaccinations. I can not stress enough that It is very important that you realize that your new puppy has only had one set of vaccines and has no real immunity to things common to adult dogs. 
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You should not expose your pup to any other dogs or bring him or her to a pet store or dog play park.  Doing this could be detrimental to your puppy. 
•  IF you read this carefully you will see a few thing that I give information about but it will say: I do not recommend or I do not do this, it is because after all these years of doing this I realize many people insist on doing things we no not recommend to do.   So I add the information for those who insist on doing what they want to do but at least I give some guidelines.  
• We suggest you crate train him.  He will be confined to wire crate, the size of and adult Labrador, at night, during naps and when you cannot watch him.  Within a week or so, your puppy will love his crate and the security it provides him. 

2). ***  At Least twice a week, or even a 1-2 tablespoons each feeding, Give your new pup Yogurt, Yes supermarket Yogurt, just make sure it says with live culture or active culture, this is really good for your pups belly and intestines, helps sooth the belly during this transition time put good bacteria back were it is needed; I do my adults also several times a week. It is good for them. Live culture yogurt to help restore the good gut flora continue this for life is a good idea for life. 

3). Feeding when going home …. (Purina Pro Plan  Chicken &  Rice Puppy Formula). (I know they make a Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed Formula, I personally use the regular puppy formula Chicken & rice Puppy food for the first 6 mos of life.. I personally do not use the Pro Plan Puppy Large Breed Formula in these early months.) Which is mixed with equal parts, 3/4 of a cup to 1 cup of warm water; let it sit for about  20 minutes until the food softens. {If you wish you can add a few tablespoons of the same quality canned dog food. But I do Not do this) If puppy is finicky the first few days take the dry food in a blender Make a powder out of it. Add warm water makes a great wet gravy to spread on the food 
•  Your puppy is currently eating 3 meals a day.  Each meal consists of  ¾ of a cup to 1 cup of dry Purina Pro Plan chicken and rice. .} 
Leave food down no more than 20 minutes. If food is leftover for more than two meals in a row, you are feeding too much; if dish is cleaned too quickly, increase the amount a little. DO NOT OVERFEED LABS are big dogs and should not be allowed to get too heavy, especially while bones and muscles are not fully developed. This will contribute to dysplasia and arthritis.  Labs are big boned dogs and as with all breeds each has their own set of problems and with labs it is being big, growing fast, and over exercising and over feeding.        

4). • I recommend the Purina Pro Plan brand PET FOOD because of its high performance nutrition and it is scientifically formulated to help support a strong immune system, build strong muscles and promote healthy skin and a lustrous coat. For more information go to www.proplan.com Note:  I understand you will see Purina dog foods in the Supermarket Different formulas but you may think it is Purina so it is the same. It is not, it is a different formula. Please use the Pro Plan for at least One year before you change the quality of food, give your pup a good first year. 

5). If you and your vet decide to change your pups food the first month. For whatever reason he does not like my recommendations.  Please, Please, please Do Not Change your Puppy’s Food For at least 3 weeks after you get him home, This is why I send you home with food, Do not upset his belly any more, this little guy has gone threw enough right now. Give him time to adjust before you make more changes to his life. 

6). At 12 to 24 weeks, feed 2 meals a day, gradually increasing the amount of food to 1 to 2 Cups per meal. At 6 months your puppy will now start Adult chicken & rice formula.  You can free feed 4 +/- cups a day, depending on how your dog is growing.  The bag will have feeing directions.    

• If you feel you must give them something to eat.   Give them empty calorie snacks, such as carrots,or green beans., not necessary 
I DO NOT DO THIS it is only if you feel must give them something to eat.  Remember that any treats through out the day, especially when training with treats, as this is the best way to train your lab, should be taken into account when decided how much to feed them at each meal!! 

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By 6 mos of age, switch to an adult chicken & rice formula/ or adult maintenance formula if you have not already done so. You can discontinue adding water to the dry food.  (Although wetting food is good for dogs of all ages.) Please leave fresh water down for them at all times, once they are housebroken. Do not leave your pup on puppy food longer than 6 months of age. 

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A lot of the feeding is common since these are basic if your pup is to thin or to heavy do what you need to as far as amounts they are all individuals some a little pigs, some are a little fussy some are more active etc…. 

7). You must remember that a consistent schedule is VERY important to a puppy. You should try to keep feeding, walking & bed times consistent, this will help with training.  If you have any problems with vomiting or diarrhea, you can use Pepto Bismol and Yogurt, OR Yogurt and boiled Hamburg and Rice, to help settle the stomach. They should also be taking off dog food for 24 hours. When giving the just mentioned belly settlers.  If these symptoms persist you should call your veterinarian.    

8)Excessive growth and overweight in puppies is a major cause of hip or elbow dysplasia and the test results have been dramatic. Also jogging your puppy with you on hot top or pavement could increase the risk of dysplasia. So do not over feed your puppy.  Do not give table scraps as a rule.  After a couple of weeks, if the stools are good, you can add, instead of canned dog food, a little cottage cheese or yogurt.   Do not give milk unless it is canned but there is no real reason to even give that.  Homogenized milk tends to give diarrhea absolutely NO reason to give milk to your pup. I do not give milk I just add this information for those who feel the need to do it. BUT IT IS NOT RECOMMENDED.  

9). Give the puppy 20 minutes to eat his food and them pick up the dish.  Do not offer food again until the next feeding.  The main meal is fed in the morning and a Very light meal at night.  The amount of food should be increased as the puppy grows and can vary according to size of the pup, amount of exercise, time of year, type of food, etc.  Do not feed chicken bones, beef bones or chocolate.  Small puppies, usually up to 3 or 4 months of age, do not know when to stop drinking water and an unlimited amount of water should not be available to them at all times unless they only drink a small amount when they are thirsty.  Otherwise, offer them reasonable amounts of water between meals.  AT 6 MONTHS FEED YOUR PUPPY ADULT FOOD TO AVOID EXCESSIVE GROWTH. If your switch brands your puppy may have a little gastric upset until he/ she adjusts.

10). My veterinarian has given a routine check up and Health Certificate that I provide to you before going to his new home. Your pup has been wormed and vaccinated. Take this information to your Veterinarian and receive his approval on your new puppy. A stool sample may be requested for your puppy’s first visit.  Heartworm medication should start 3-4 months and Rabies should be given at 4-6 months.  Puppy should be spayed or neutered at this time. ALWAYS, FOLLOW YOUR VETERINARY ADVICE. 

11). If you do want to give vitamins, we suggest Pet Tabs by Beecham 1 a day for life after 8 weeks of age. Again I do not give them this is only for those who feel they have to do something. 

12). Toys, do not give them golf balls – they contain lead and can cause seizures. DO not Give Chocolate or Grapes to dogs or puppies. Give them their own toys, dog safe toys. And NOT toys that look like human objects they wont be able to tell the difference later of a toy that is shaped like a sneaker or your real sneaker.  

13). If your dog is not outside enough to wear down his nails, a nail trimmer and file can be purchased at a pet shop.   Cut the tips off and file to a smooth edge. Make sure you also get “ Quick Stop” or something equivalent to stop any bleeding. Nails can really bleed.  

14). DO NOT PLAY ROUGH WITH YOUR PUPPY! Don’t let the puppy develop bad habits such as jumping up on you or the children, biting at clothing, etc.  You need to start from the beginning with the rules that you want for later don’t try to change rules later.  You must remember that your puppy will grow to be a large dog at maturity.   Some of the bad habits that he develops as a small puppy will certainly not be desirable when he grows older. DON’T LET HIM GET BY WITH ANYTHING AS A PUPPY THAT YOU WONT’WANT HIM TO DO WHEN HE IS OLDER AND LARGER. 

15). It is recommended that you use some means of permanent identification for your dog, such as tattoo or microchip “ this is a tracking devise implanted in your dogs shoulder area.  Your vet can provide you with information. I prefer Microchip it is small and easy to do in a regular vet office visit. In the stat of NH it is a law that any animal that is brought into the Humane Society or dog shelter must be scanned for a microchip before anything is done to the animal. This could save your dog. 

16). For crate training, we recommend a wire crate, which is completely collapsible.  After the crate is set up, put 3-4 thickness of newspaper on the bottom of the crate.  Before going to bed take the puppy outside where you want him to go; after he goes let him run back to the house.  Then put him in his crate.  First thing in the morning, take your puppy out to go potty and after every meal.  If he doesn’t go when you take him out, bring him back in and put him in his crate.  After 20-25 minutes, take him out again and he should go.  Watch him closely after he’s been in the house for 15 minutes.  Anytime you can’t watch him, put him in his cage especially when a visitor comes or you receive a phone call.  The fewer mishaps in the house, the faster he will go to the door.  Always praise him for going outside never spank or push his nose in his mishaps, as he can’t identify 20 seconds after he has had and accident.  If you have trouble house breaking call me!  If you want the puppy to sleep in a crate, no matter how hard they cry leave them in it.  If you let them into your bed you will teach the puppy if they scream loud or long enough you will give in. 

17). The word “COME”. The most important thing you can teach your pup.  If your puppy doesn’t come when called, DO NOT CHASE HIM. If you start to chase your pup, it will soon become a game he enjoys. This will not do you any good when your pup is running towards the road and thinks your cry of the word come is a game. Things to remember when he is a pup is, he soon will out run you and it will strengthen in his mind that he doesn’t have to come when called.  If he is busy doing something, do not call him, as he probably won’t come.  Instead, quietly go over and pick him up or snap a leash on his collar and say, “come”.  Also, you can raise your voice, go the opposite way and when he sees you leaving he should run after you.   You do not want to continually tell him to come and not have him respond.  The fewer negative responses the better.  Try a treat during training that usually helps. 

18). Sometimes a puppy will have loose stools and occasionally some blood in them, but if he is playful and eating well do not be alarmed.  It can be caused by chewing on a sticks, etc., and when swallowed it can irritate his intestine.  Call me if this occurs or see # 6 of this document. Always remember if you have any questions on your puppy’s health or training you can call me. 

19). Do not do strenuous activities until your pup is threw its growth period, which is in most cases at the age of 2 years. If the pup is used for field triling, open obedience, hunting, or any other strenuous activity (including "roading/jogging on hot top"), Hiking or even forcing them to do long walks, when they have to run to keep up to your walk, jumping up in a truck etc… this is strenuous on them; If any of this done prior to its being 1or 2 years of age, environmentally induced dysplasia and other joint problems may develop. As I say over and over they are like children, the only difference is children can tell you they are tired of walking or they ask you to carry them. BUT your pup will injure themselves because they want to please you so much. So please understand your pup needs limits. 

20). The buyer should also educate himself to proper nutrition of the dog so as not to induce joint problems by either lack of nutrition or by causing an overweight condition in a developing dog. In pet owning love is not enough, you must be a responsible pet owner.    *Before you take up boating you would learn all there is about swimming and boating please learn proper pet care… 

21). Spay / neuter:  There are numerous benefits of performing this surgery at 6 months of age or younger. An unsprayed female is subject to mammary cancer and pyometra (an infected uterus), which is definitely life threatening.  Spaying/ Neutering is performed under a general anesthetic and is easy on the young dog.  As you might expect it is a little harder on the older dog.  Neutering the male at a young age will inhibit some characteristic male behavior that owners frown upon.  I have found my boys will not hike their legs and mark territory if they are neutered as six months of age.  Unneutered males are at risk for testicular cancer, perianal fistulas, perianal tumors and fistulas and prostatic disease. Neutering is part of the preferred treatment for all gender-related medical conditions.  Overall, spaying/neutering will make your pet more even-tempered and highly trainable. Be responsible. 

22). Flea, Tick and Parasite control: It’s very important and we strongly recommend your dog be on a Program. If you live in an area where tick are a concern, we recommend that you vaccinate your pup for lyme disease.  We recommend that you discuss this with your Vet. Your puppy should receive 3 or 4 sets of vaccinations before 18 weeks of age, then once yearly thereafter. Because young immune systems haven’t been exposed to contagious diseases and aren’t fully developed, puppies are vulnerable to various diseases. You should consult your veterinarian about a vaccination schedule. Here are guidelines on suggested intervals for vaccinating. 
• 6 TO 10 Weeks. Distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza, parvovirus and coronavirus (DHLPPC). 
• 10-12   and   14-16 Weeks. DHLPPC (described previously) booster. 
• 16 Months.  DHLPPC, administered annually from this date. 
• 5-18 Months. Rabies, Lyme disease and kennel cough vaccinations also may be recommended. Your veterinarian can advise you about other possible vaccinations that are suggested, or required, for your area. 
• Vaccinations:  Your dog should be vaccinated once a year to ensure continued immunity against Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus, and Parainfluenza.  Rabies vaccines are done every 3 years.  Vaccines are especially important in puppies and older dogs. Your vet will give you the most recent information and scheduling. 

Snacks and table scraps; Dogs need hard chew food to keep their teeth clean. Biscuits can be used occasionally, but do not give too many. Labs LOVE food and get overweight easily. Scraps are not my choice but if you are going to do this make sure they are not too rich or fatty. Again I do not do this it is only for the people who insist on doing this type of feeding.  Raw as well as cooked vegetables and fruits are also good for your dog. Again I do not do this it is only for the people who insist on doing this type of feeding.  
**** Again I do not do this it is only for the people who insist on doing this type of feeding.  I figure if people are going to do this a little guide would help but my dogs only have there dry food puppies have there dry food wet down. 

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Allot of people believe this to be true, not only for you, but for your companion animals too. Some people believe in nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables can help him live a healthier, longer life, even reducing the risk of certain diseases, including cancer. 

Choose orange, red, yellow, and other brightly colored fruits and vegetables to support your animal companions’ daily diet. Buy organic produce whenever possible, and say “no” to dyed, waxed, irradiated and genetically engineered items. This is particularly important because the skin on fruits and vegetables is usually the most concentrated source of nutrients, so you don’t want to have to remove it. 

Our animals do not have the necessary enzymes to break down cellulose walls, which are indigestible carbohydrates found in the outer layers of fruits and vegetables like apples, broccoli, green beans, and carrots. We have to break down the walls for them, so these powerpacked foods become as bio-available as possible. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways: 

•A food processor, blender, or grinder can quickly create a wonderful purée for your feline and canine family members. Most fruits just need a fast spin in a processor. 

•Cooking and steaming vegetables will also break down the cellulose walls. 

•Juicing produces lots of fantastic pulp. Visit your local organic juice bar or health food store, and ask if you can have some of their extra pulp. The pulp freezes beautifully, so you always have something on hand when you can’t do the work yourself, and you can use it as a base for wonderful frozen treats and biscuits. 

The following ten fruits and vegetables are major players when it comes to the health and well being of our feline and canine family members. 

1. Carrots 
the carrot is one of the kings of the vegetable patch. There are over 100 varieties, from deep purple and white to the brilliant orange we are most accustomed to. Each is a storehouse of nutrient power that’s good for our canine and feline friends. 

Carrots contain pro-vitamin A (beta-carotene), vitamins B, C, D, E and K, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, magnesium, manganese, sulphur, copper, and iodine. They support the immune system, aid digestion, and are also recognized as a glandular tonic, skin cleanser, and eye conditioner. 

For your feline friend, try some cooked puréed carrot. Consider parboiled carrots for a teething puppy. For trips on the road, you can even try Frontier 100% organic carrot powder. 

2. Broccoli 
Broccoli, a phyto nutrient-dense member of the cruciferous family, is a low glycemic vegetable king pin. This means it does not cause a rapid rise in blood glucose levels. Broccoli contains lots of vitamin C and beta-carotene, as well as vitamins A and D. It is one of the most important cancer fighting vegetables. It contains no fewer than three cancer protective biochemicals, including sulforaphane, which boosts the immune system. 

Other members of the cruciferous family include Brussels sprouts, caulif lower, cabbage, rutabagas, kohlrabi, bok choy, kale, Swiss chard, collards, and turnips. Clinical studies are currently examining the role of cruciferous vegetables and their possible link to lower cancer rates. Broccoli should be fed in moderation, because it can depress thyroid function if fed in large amounts. When it comes to the cruciferous family, try cooked rather than raw, because cooking releases indole, a cancer-fighting enzyme. 

3. Green Beans 
Green beans are considered one of the world’s healthiest foods. They are an excellent source of vitamin A because of their concentration of carotenoids, including beta-carotene. Green beans also include vitamins C and K, calcium, copper, fiber, folic acid, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, protein, riboflavin, thiamin, and Omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin K stands out because it is important for maintaining strong bones. Vitamin K-1 activates osteocalcin, the major non-collagen protein in bone, and acts as an anchor for calcium molecules inside bones. Green beans are heart smart, too. 

**** Again as far as the fruit and Veg above.  I do not do this it is only for the people who insist on doing this type of feeding.  I figure if people are going to do this a little guide would help but my dogs only have there dry food puppies have there dry food wet down. 

Toys hard (large) rubber balls, large booda toys, nyla bones, and rope bones, and Kong toys are needed as well as a stuffed animal or 2 as long as they do not eat them.  Never leave a tennis ball or anything your dog can swallow in the crate with them.  Use the Kong toys, stuffed with a bone or treats, a flavored gumabone until they start eating that and then switch to a flavored nyla bone.  Robe bones are safe.  Rawhide, long rolled sticks are usually safe as long as you supervise them when they are chewing on them.. 

Your pup will need a 12-16 inch adjustable nylon collar to start with, check daily too make sure it is not too tight, you will be checking the collar as you take it off to put puppy in his crate. You will need a 6-foot leather lead for walking and training. 

HOUSETRAINING 
Pup will relieve them self almost immediately upon waking and shortly after eating. They should be let out every hour for the first week or so until they start asking for the door. They will rarely soil the sleeping area, If you keep them confined to this area except for short periods after taking them out, you should find training fairly easy, If they make a mistake reprimand immediately or not at all, as they have very short memories and will not know why they are being punished. Never reprimand your pup until you know they know what is expected of them.  NEVER put a pup’s nose in his urine or feces!!!! 

A young puppy, 9 -16 weeks old, usually has no problem accepting its crate as its own special place”. Any complaining is caused, not by the crate, but by the puppy’s resistance to the controls of his new unfamiliar situation. Remember to keep the crate in the room you are in for the first few weeks, really all the time, as they want to be with you. Until the puppy is past the chewing stage, old towels which can easily be washed, and some freshly worn article of old clothing such as a t-shirt or sweatshirt can used as bedding.  This will make the puppy feel comfortable in your absence. 

DO NOT leave food or water in the crate (a Med/Large crate 38’Lx24”H x 26”W) this encourages spilling and elimination. You can feed the pup in their crate to get them to like their crate but always leave the door open and stay right their so you can bring them out as soon as they are done eating. Then remove the bowl. Be sure to remove anything from the pups’ neck, I.e. collars, which might get caught. Establish a crate routine immediately and stick to it as close as possible. A puppy should be taken outdoors to a specific bathroom spot after every meal, nap, and at regular intervals in between. A good rule of thumb is to keep the puppy in the crate any period of time when the puppy isn’t being directly supervised by you. Let the pup outside every hour if he is not sleeping.  So not wake them up to go out.  Unless you are leaving and want them to go pee before you leave. Never leave your new pup alone more than 1-2 hours the first 2 weeks you and he are bonding.  Do leave him alone for short periods though,  5 minutes at a time to help him establish independence. 
Be consistent. be firm, and know that a puppy needs to be kept out of trouble when left alone, It will make your time together much happier in the long run. Studies have shown that puppies that are crate trained are 75% less likely to have behavior problems during the first 3 years of (heir life. A good beginning with a puppy can mean a lifetime of happiness. 

Medical Care 
See health record for immunization schedule. First Shots and physical will be given by my vet @ 6-7 weeks, next are due at 12 weeks and 16 weeks. I not use the leptospirosis vaccine on puppies as several have had severe reactions to this vaccine. Please check with your vet!! 
Puppy should have an annual health exam which should include booster shots, a heartworm check and an exam of stool for worms. Accidents can be prevented if you keep your dog confined to a safe yard. This will also prevent puppy from becoming a neighborhood tramp, getting into fights with other dogs or hit by cars. All pet dogs should be neutered or spayed. 


Labrador Retriever puppies are normally a very easy breed to work with. They are bred for their brains as well as their beauty. Do not let this adorable pup get lost in the shuffle. Make them part of everything possible in your lives. Try your best to make every experience a positive one for your pup. Proper behavior as well as improper behavior is learned not instinctive. 

Exercise is another issue for most.
 Too, much versus too little. I suggest no rough housing with other dogs, no jumping in and out of trucks, no jumping off stair landings, no jumping high to catch the Frisbee. Lots of supervised playing and a lot of training at the same time. Leash walking is a must learn activity and you can start that as soon as you get home with your pup. But  remember do not push the exercise if they are tied let them rest . No not push them. 

Put the collar on your pup, when they are not in their crates and put the leash on them and let them lead you around the first few days.  Never let them pull you around. Just plant your feet in and do not move when your pup gets bigger and decides he is going to take you for a walk. Resume your walk once your pup has sat at your side and you have given him a treat, one piece of kibble is a treat/reward. 

After a few months of age 6 mos. to a year…remember when you go to the mall and the little child is tired and raise there hands for you to carry them, same with your pup do not push the exercise if they are tied let them rest . No not push them. 

Swimming is the one exercise that cannot hurt your pup so go ahead and let him swim and fetch in the water all you can take, but do watch your pup constantly. Always pay attention to either the heat or the cold with your dog. Check the pads of their feet, their teeth and ears, and clip their nails at least once a week. Once your pup is teenager, which is at about 9 months old you can start to increase their exercise. Longer walks and loose exercise, running freely off lead as long as you are in a fenced in area and you have control of your lab.  Do not be a lazy lab owner. I spend an hour a day walking around in the winter with all my labs just to give them exercise.  They love this, anything you want to do with them, they will love to do. Obedience classes and socialization are all individual depending on you and your pup. I do recommend that you socialize your pup with other dogs and people early on, you do not have to go to class to do this. If you have doubts about whether to call a trainer or go to a class you should probably do one or the other. However, you should be able to teach your puppy sit, heal, stay, to walk on their leash, down, off,  no and their name, all too some degree before theystart class which is about 16 weeks, once all vaccines are given. 

Any problems or questions please call Brenda at 603-432-0811 

*The Art of Raising a Puppy by The Monks of New Skete   *Mother Knows Best by Mary Rutherford    *The Book of the Labrador Retriever by Anna Katherine Nicolas  *Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook by Delbert G. Carlson, DVM and James M. Giffin, MD  (This book has saved more than one of my dogs, it is a must in your dog library!) 
I have read and understood all the above pages. I will keep these  pages for reference material; if I need help I can call Brenda. If I am pretending I have read this, I will give Brenda $10,000000000000.00 hahaha  because Brenda hates to type and feels this is very important information. The money amount is a joke…If you have any questions or concerns Please feel free to call me or e-mail me with your phone number so I can call you back. We are always here for you for advise or help. Thank you for taking a Labrador from us Good Luck.
 Love and enjoy your puppy, and remember that I am always available to answer your questions.