Pupdate | Henry’s Hips

Towards the end of last year our spunky little pup went from bouncing around our house to limping and spending afternoons with little play. At about 8 months old Henry was diagnosed with hip dysplasia. Our vet gave us a run-down of the diagnosis and what Henry’s life may look like from that point on. Heartbroken by this news, we hoped that Henry could still live a long and healthy life.

Fortunately, Henry’s vet felt his case was not severe and since he was healthy and young, he would likely adapt and grow just fine. We were instructed to keep Henry away from dog parks {due to potential rough play}, not allow him to run on concrete, and to start him on joint supplements. His vet said joint supplements may be the only treatment Henry would ever need. She also advised us to ensure he maintained a very healthy weight and an active lifestyle. Good thing Henry is a skinny guy to begin with.

The Back Story

Henry’s symptoms started after he had emergency surgery to remove something he should not have eaten {and would not have passed safely on its own}. Fortunately, the object did not do any internal damage and the surgery was successful. We were actually amazed at how quickly he healed. Within the week of his surgery, we noticed that Henry started limping and eventually stopped walking completely. Seeing Henry suddenly struggle was devastating.

We took him back to his vet to discuss his current state post-surgery. Even though he was limping, he wasn’t showing signs of pain when the vet examined his leg. When dogs undergo surgery, their legs are strapped open in stirrups to help keep them positioned properly. Henry’s vet felt that he was experiencing a little discomfort from the surgery due to the stirrups. His vet prescribed him an anti-inflammatory to take for a few weeks and suggested we keep his activity limited. She gave us instructions to ween him off the medicine and to check back with her in roughly four weeks.

Henry seemed to be back to himself after a few weeks, but after being weened completely from the anti-inflammatories, his limping and discomfort started coming back. Henry was due to have few teeth pulled {read more about there here} and his vet recommended he have a hip x-rays taken at the same time. Both the dental work and x-rays would require him to be under anesthesia. The x-rays ultimately confirmed that Henry was suffering from hip dysplasia.

The Treatment

After his diagnosis, his vet sent us home with a main stream brand of chewable joint supplements. As we neared the end of that bag, I began researching other options. Since I knew that Henry would likely be on joint supplements for the rest of his life, it was important to me that he was taking a high quality product. I started looking for an alternative joint supplement that had simple, easy to read ingredients.

My research led me to Doggie Dailies. Since about February of this year, Henry has been taking Doggie Dailies Advanced Hip and Joint Supplement for Dogs. Within about two weeks, my husband and I noticed a huge change in Henry’s mobility. His limp and any hesitation he had in his hips were gone. After a few months, we could not believe how much strength he gained. Our wood floors had previously been a bit of a challenge for him, but with his new found strength he was finally in total control of his movements. Henry recently had his hips x-rayed again and I can happily report his condition has not progressed at all since his diagnosis!

Doggie Dailies has had a huge impact on Henry’s life. He is happy, healthy and loves a good run around the yard. My husband and I often joke that Doggie Dailies’ supplements have help Henry sprout a new leg {just kidding of course!}. I whole heartedly recommend Doggie Dailies joint supplements to all pet owners I meet. But remember, every dog is different, so your dog’s results to Advanced Hip and Joint Supplement for Dogs may not be the same as Henry’s. Our vet told us that certain products “click” better with certain dogs. For Henry, that product has been Doggie Dailies.

A big thank you to Holly at Doggie Dailies for sending Henry a box of goodies and providing him with a discount code to share with our followers! Shop through this link or use code REDROSE15 for 15% all Doggie Dailies products.

One Year Puppy Update!

About one year ago we brought home our F1b goldendoodle, Henry! He has been a handful at times, but we love having him as our dog. We saw his litter the week before we actually took him home and were not sure which puppy would be ours. I had my heart set on a girl pup, but Henry won us both over. I will always remember the day we brought him home. It is one of our most memorable moments during our 1st year of marriage. Becoming puppy paw-rents was kind of a big deal.

Taking Henry home!

Rewind to our puppy planning. Around Christmas of 2017, Mike started throwing around the idea of getting a puppy. Although I had grown up with a dog, I wasn’t really sure I wanted another. Don’t get me wrong, I think dogs are great, but with our busy schedules, I wasn’t sure it would work. We had also recently renovated the majority of our house, so the thought of it being destroyed by a puppy made me cringe. That feeling didn’t last too long because soon enough I was researching puppies.

I knew that if we were going to bring a puppy into our home I wanted to be overly prepared. My research included carefully considering breed {including size, health and temperament}, crate training and house training. I even took it as far as calling local vets and training facilities to get an idea of 1st year expenses. I also asked friends and family if they could recommend any dog walkers. We are fortunate that Henry now has the best dog walker ever! She walks him every weekday and it is so comforting to know that he is getting extra love and play time.

Henry’s first 4th of July

I loosely narrowed my search down to three breeds; goldendoodles, cockapoos and wheaten terriers. We were hoping to find a medium sized dog that would not shed. We were open to both adoption and breeders, but we went down the adoption route first. I signed up for petfinder.com and joined dozens of local Facebook and Instagram groups. In the spring of 2018, we found a few great dogs that we attempted to adopt, but none worked out. Honestly, the process was a little discouraging because one of the organizations I tried to adopt through made us feel very unworthy and unfit to own a dog. We knew that was far from the truth!

As summer quickly approached, I started to lose hope and thought we would wait until the following year. Mike is a teacher, so were hoping to bring a new dog or puppy home at the start of summer vacation. One of my cousins remembered that a friend of hers had gooldendoodles that happen to be from a local LI breeder. I debated calling for a few days because I just thought a puppy wasn’t in our cards. On my way to a work event, I figured I would just try calling the breeder. I wasn’t sure if she would have any puppies available or if she was still breeding at all. To my surprise, she lived in a nearby town and expected to have puppies in need of homes by the following week. My jaw dropped! After all this time, there was a puppy 1) near by, 2) available and 3) fit our criteria. At the end of that week, Mike and I planned to meet her and her puppies. It all seemed too good to be true, so I figured that once again our puppy plans would unravel, but I was wrong.

The woman we got our dog from was very friendly and kept a tidy home despite raising puppies and a few dogs of her own. There were nine puppies in Henry’s litter. We looked at each other and immediately knew one of them was going to be ours. We decided to leave a deposit and went straight home to start getting our home ready for a puppy. To read more about our puppy planning click here and here. I cannot stress enough how important it is to prepare yourself for bringing a puppy home. It is a big commitment.

We went back to the breeder’s home on a Sunday {it was actually Father’s Day}. There were three puppies left to choose from; 2 boys and 1 girl. It took us a little while to decide, but Henry ultimately won us over. I couldn’t believe after dreaming of a girl puppy, we were taking home our little guy. I’ll never forget having him crying on my lap the whole car ride home. When we got him home, he settled into his new house very quickly.

After being home for about an hour, we knew that we needed to decide on a name for the puppy. My husband and I met while at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. We always knew that if we were to ever get a dog her or she would be named after our school, which is located on the Hudson River. After making a list of potential names from around the campus, we narrowed down our puppy name options to Henry or Hudson. You all know which one we chose.

Now jumping into where we are today. Looking back on the last year, I can’t imagine life without a dog. There’s nothing better than waking up or coming home to a happy pup wagging his tail for you. However, it has not been easy. In fact, there were many times it has been more difficult than we expected. I grew up with a dog, but she was a fraction of Henry’s size. He is currently weighing-in at 43lbs. Most people assume he weighs 15-20lbs more than he does based on his size. When we were looking into getting a puppy, I thought 30lbs would be a good size, but I knew Henry would be bigger. Big dogs have also intimidated me a bit because I grew up with a 15lb shih-tzu. His size has definitely made some of the typical puppy traits like jumping and biting more of a challenge.

Since the day he came home, he’s been very mouthy and thinks his mouth is how he shows affection or gets attention. Honestly, this was not the behavior I expected from a goldendoodle based on everything I’ve read about the breed. We’ve tried many different approaches to correcting this problem, but none have yet to resolve the issue. I have also worked with trainers on correcting the behavior. Mouthing aside, he’s also very tall and can swipe things off our counters. He has also recently started jumping up on guests. To work on this problem, we always keep low calorie treats in our pockets and constantly ask him to “sit.” Henry knows this command, so that is where we try to focus his attention. A trainer told me that focus is actually Henry’s #1 issue – he doesn’t have any! He’s 100% still a work in progress when it comes to obedience.

In addition to a behavioral issues, Henry has had a few health concerns. Henry was diagnosed with hip dysplasia at 6 months old. Fortunately, he has responded extremely well to daily joint supplements. Our vet said that joint supplements could be all he needs for a long time. We will focus on keeping him at a healthy weight and active daily. His only limitations are that he is not allowed to go to dog parks (potential rough play could injure him) and he can’t run on concrete. Since taking the joint supplements, his progress has been amazing. He has become very strong and has excellent control when he turns and pivots (disclaimer: I am not a vet or an animal expert).

Henry was also diagnosed with a few dental issues early on. He didn’t show signs of pain or discomfort, but our vet kept a close eye on the development of his teeth. Without getting too much detail, Henry’s bite was off and his dental development was slow. Our regular vet actually sent us to an animal dentist who we saw for check-ups over 3 months. Henry had surgery to remove 2 adult teeth that were misplaced and a few baby teeth that were not falling out on their own. The vet also “opened up” his gum were an adult tooth was impacted which helped it drop down. Since that surgery, he’s been totally fine in the dental department. Now, I am trying to get him used to me brushing his teeth.

On the positive side, Henry took to both house and crate training really well. He hasn’t had an accident in our home since August or September. Overall, he really didn’t have many accidents. We were very focused on following a strict schedule to house train him — and it worked! He also still sleeps in his crate when we’re not home and at night. Even when we’re home, he goes in on his own to nap. Henry picks up on new commands quickly. Most recently we’ve taught him how to “catch” toys or treats and to go to his “spot” (outside bed) and his “bed” (living room bed). I am hoping by the end of this summer I can teach him how to catch a Frisbee. Overall, he’s an extremely happy, goofy pup. He loves to play, run around and snuggle once he tires himself out.

Henry requires a fair amount of exercise which includes at least 1 walk per day and play time in our yard. We also keep a variety of toys for him, including puzzles, for him to have in the house. He has a ton of thick hair, so I comb and brush him every week. The Safari brand brush and comb are my favorites for keeping his coat knot-free. If you want to keep your doodle’s coat on the longer side, it does require a fair amount of upkeep. We take him to the groomer every 6-8 weeks because his hair grows fast and it’s difficult to bathe him at home. I am really happy with our groomer! The first time I brought him in, I showed her pictures of goldendoodle cuts that I liked and a few that I did not. I always ask to keep Henry’s nose/snoot full and round, not trimmed and pointy.

Now that we have Henry, I can’t imagine having a small dog! I love Henry’s size. He is the best snuggler and fun to play with. I am so happy to be Henry’s puppy mama.

If you recently brought home a puppy or are thinking about it, be sure to follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and read my previous puppy blogs! And, if you have any questions about Henry or his training, leave them below.

Our Goldendoodle| Puppy’s First Day Home

Welcome to my first puppy blog! Five weeks ago today we brought home our 8 week old ‘medium’ goldendoodle, Henry. His expected weight as an adult is between 40 and 50 pounds. Before bringing Henry home I did months of research on puppies. I wanted to make sure I knew as much as possible. I grew-up with a shih-tzu and now my parents have a havenese. My parents used potty pads with both dogs and they were difficult to house train.

I researched different breeds, breeders and also considered adoption. However, most of my research was focused on crate and house training. I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle long-term puppy accidents, so I was determined to train him well! I am not a dog expert and have no education as a dog trainer, but I thought it would be helpful to share what has worked well for us. Here are a few tips that made Henry’s first night home a successful one.

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Tip #1

Setup your puppy’s area and puppy-proof your home before you pup comes home.

In our home, we have an office with its own door to the backyard. This room became our designated puppy room for two reasons: 1) It is small and was fairly easy to puppy-proof; 2) The door to outside would always be in his sight and help with house training. We setup Henry’s crate in this room with his toys and bells on the door to outside. A few days after bringing him home we bought a baby gate to put on the inside door. For about his first two weeks home he rarely left this room. Remember, giving your puppy too much space puts him further away from his “potty place,” which increases the likelihood he has an accident where he’s not supposed to. He has a tiny, weak bladder and is easily confused in his new home.

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Tip #2

When you arrive home, take your puppy directly to his “potty place,” before brining him inside.

Henry’s “potty place” is right outside the office, so he hasn’t been more than 5 feet outside the back of our home. This area is very close to ‘his room.’ From day one, we’ve taken him outside on a leash to do his business. Fortunately, he went potty right away on that first day. We gave him lots of verbal praise then took him inside. I believe his first memory {do dogs have memories like this?} of his new home is where he goes potty.

At the guidance of his breeder, we chose to not use “potty pads” to house train Henry. Each time he comes inside we wipe his paws with a wipe because he does not have all of his vaccine boosters. We’ve gone through a lot of wipes! I know there are some risks taking a new puppy outside before he’s fully vaccinated. I have spoke with a few veterinarians on this topic and suggest everyone do the same. Taking Henry outside to go potty was the right choice for us. We are very lucky that Henry picked up on house training pretty easily and didn’t have many accidents {more to come on house training in another blog}.

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Tip #3

Make his crate inviting and don’t force him in.

When Henry entered his room his crate was setup with the door open. Inside we had a crate pad and the towel he sat on in the car during his ride home. I was a bit nervous about the crate situation because neither of my family dogs took a liking to their crate. We let him explore his new room for a bit and before we knew it, he walked into his crate on his own to lay down. From that moment on, he loved his crate! I originally planned to move his crate into our bedroom next to my side of the bed. I read that this closeness helps the puppy to adjust during their scary first days/weeks in their new home. Since Henry easily went in and out of his crate on his first day home we decided not to move his crate. Our bedroom door is right next to the office door, so we are close enough to hear him at night.

A puppy’s crate is supposed to be his safe place and his natural instincts should prevent them from having accidents in it. I totally understand that this is not the case for every pup! When we took Henry home he was about 9lbs and he started with a 24 inch crate. As most sites suggest, he had enough room to turn around, but not enough room to play. Too much extra space in the crate may cause puppies to go potty on one side and sleep on the other. The crate should only be big enough for relaxing – not relaxing AND potty.

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Tip #4

Stick to a schedule. Day and night.

We brought Henry home on a Sunday afternoon and I was able to stay home the following two days. Starting on the first night we set alarms to wake up every two hours to take Henry outside. I know that some sites suggest not waking your puppy up, but this is the method that we chose and it worked very well for Henry. We chose this method because we wanted him to understand that night time is for sleeping and going potty – not playing. By waking him up we felt were inconveniencing him, not the other way around. For the most part, he was always sleeping when we took him out until he woke up for good around 5am.

We followed the 2 hour approach for about five days then increased to 3 hours. After about another five days we increased to 4 hours. Within three weeks, Henry was sleeping through the night {and so were we} with no accidents. He has never had an accident in his crate and can hold it for 8-9 hours at night. Henry eventually started sleeping later and now wakes up between 6 and 6:45am.

For the first two weeks, we also wrote down every time Henry ate, drank and went potty. This sounds crazy {and like we had a human baby} but it really helped us understand how long he could hold it. During the first two days, we peed 14 times before dinner. We constantly took him outside – whether we thought he had to go or not – to reinforce his “potty place.”

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Tip #5

Be patient.

Patience is not my strongest venture. My husband on the other hand, has the patience of a saint. Brining home a puppy is without a doubt stressful and exhausting. The first few weeks are especially tough, but hang in there! I promise it gets better. Your little guy was taken from his mama and siblings then placed in whole new world. It is going to take some time for him to learn, but he will learn. During the first two weeks Henry went nuts for food and water. I couldn’t imagine that he’d ever sit still or not jump. Here we are 5 weeks out and he plops his little butt down when we bring his food over. Don’t lose hope! The calmer you are, the calmer he will be too. Our next goal is to tackle puppy biting – check back soon!

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