Puppies lose their “baby or first” teeth during the ages of 3 to 7 months of age. Just like children, they are occasionally suffering from intense pain in the jaw area, and will have a tendency to chew on everything in sight. We recommend large cooked beef bones and nylabones, however, here are a few more ideas…………….
DO NOT give pigs ears or rawhide bones as chew toys or treats. Most dogs swallow these in large chunks and the rawhide and pigs ears continue to swell in the stomach. The dog (if you’re lucky) will throw these back up or, worst case scenario, painful stomach or intestinal blockage can occur resulting in surgery to remove the obstruction.
Bagels in the plastic bags, cut them into fourths, replace them in the plastic bag, and return them to the freezer. This is a very special treat for the puppy who is trying very hard to be good (and not chew the chairs, furniture, or your shoes). Giving the puppy one of the “quarters” of a frozen bagel is soothing to
His/her gums, and they can chew harmlessly for quite a while. Another good treat is to take the bagel quarters, bake them to rock hard status and offer them as treats. They go nuts over these (and you will like them with butter too-even the cheapest brands taste good this way).
Here are some other nourishing teething treats. The same can be done with carrots….. cut them in half, remove the stem end… put in a plastic bag and FREEZE!!! Also, most of our dogs eat pieces of apples, (core removed), broccoli, and even peelings from potatoes. You can also soak a clean washcloth, wring slightly, KNOT in the middle and then FREEZE!
REMEMBER – your puppy can ONLY reach his/her optimum potential with “your” help. The proper nutrition will enhance his/her genetic potential!
We highly suggest that you read the dog food labels, and beware the advertising propaganda which can be extremely deceiving and devious. Unfortunately, some ads infer that they are “CHICKEN & OATMEAL,” however, after reading the label you will find that these ingredients are NOT the first or sometimes even the second ingredient. ALWAYS REMEMBER the QUALITY of the food will show on your puppy's skin, coat, and growth. The higher quality, concentrated premium dog foods are STRONGLY RECOMMENDED…they may cost a little more per bag, but they are concentrated, have a higher digestibility rate, and the puppy will have firm to soft smaller stools…PLEASE DON’T SKIMP ON THE FOOD.
We prefer that you use the CHICKEN & OATMEAL or CHICKEN & RICE formulas, and ask you to AVOID PRODUCTS with corn as a 1st-4th ingredient;corn because it is nothing more than a filler, high in sugar with no nutritional value and wheat because some puppies (and adults) are allergic; or basically products containing chemical preservatives; maintain protein levels at 21%-25% and fat levels at 15%+. Keep your puppy on the “adult formula” once you have your new family member at home. The reason we use this method is because the Bullmastiff is a fast growing breed which means that they are susceptible to “Panosteitis” or “wandering lameness,” which can affect puppies between five and twelve months of age. We recommend that you keep the protein levels as close to 22% up until 18 months of age. At this point in time you may increase the protein levels up to 25% if the dog is an active dog, show dog, etc.
As an additional note, because of the high incidence of cancer in the breed I have taken to feeding a grain free diet after the age of one year. I use “Taste of the Wild” but there are many good grain free foods out now. Many breeders suggest feeding a “Raw” diet. If you do it right, this is an excellent diet but I am not good at managing it myself so do not do it. If you can, go for it.
Feeding Amounts & Preparation:
When it comes to feeding our bully-babies we are very careful and a bit “over-protective” , but for a good reason. We still recommend to soak their food with either warm water or a mix of watered down condensed milk and yogurt to soften the morsels to prevent gagging or choking on the food. There was an incident where a breeder watched helplessly while a 12-week old puppy died from strangling on a piece of “dry” dog food, this is why we advise that the puppy’s food be softened by the above method. It takes a little bit more preparation time when feeding, but is well worth the time and effort.
PLEASE, PLEASE always use an actual “Measuring Cup” when measuring out dry dog food. There many advantages from using this method, one is that a measuring cup is “ACCURATE!” You will always know the puppy’s food for the rest of his/her life, and you will always know “EXACTLY” how much food your dog is getting, eating, or leaving in the bowl. There is no “WILD GUESSES.” Other obvious reasons for using a measuring cup are: (1) Is your puppy or adult dog losing weight ?, (2) gaining weight ?, (3) vomiting ?, (4) diarrhea ?, (5) bloating ?, (6) illnesses ?
FOR THE NEXT FEW MONTHS:
THREE (3) meals per day with TWO (2) Intermediate “treats.” Your puppy will “eliminate” his/her mid-meal at approximately 5 to 6 months of age. Then, it will be TWO (2) meals per day for LIFE!
BASIC FOOD PREPARATION:
Until 3 ½ months of age “OPTIONAL”: Basic Meal (3 times a day): 1 cup dry food mixed with an equal amount of warm water. Let mixture sit for five minutes or until soft with slightly crunchy center.
You can also give him some warm milk or other optional snacks as a treat during the day. Some puppies develop loose stools with “milk.”
3 ½ MONTHS TILL PUPPY ELIMINATES MID-DAY MEAL:
Gradually increase dry food to 1 ½ cups plus any other additives from the following chart. DO NOT SOAK the dry food at this time. The milk may or may not be continued as the intermediate treat. If the puppy enjoys his/her milk after eating then continue as long as the stools are firm or slightly soft. Some puppies develop loose stools with milk. As the puppy approaches 4 ½ to 5 months, gradually begin increasing from 1 ½ cups dry food to 2 - 2 ½ cups of dry dog food per meal. Use your judgement-puppy should be trim with a slightly rounded belly after eating-never looking like an engorged tick. You should never let a Bullmastiff puppy get fat as that could put too much stress on his growing bones, causing problems later in life.
OPTIONAL ADDITIVES-------SELECT ONE (1) PER MEAL:
¼ CUP of ANY of the following
Low fat cottage cheese Cooked FRESH vegetables
Cooked beef, pork or chicken (1) Cup cooked Oatmeal (No sugar added)
CONTINUE WITH OPTIONAL ADDITIVES:
All of our dogs love any of the optional additives from the previous page. Some other supplements that we recommend are:
1 ESTER “C”- This is a must in our book. The reason being is that ESTER “C” helps
the puppy with periods of stress. Leaving its littermates, entering a new environment, and adjusting to his/her new family, surroundings, and lifestyle. There is the added “stress” of merely “GROWING”…. The first year of life is very stressful and Bullmastiffs are known for “immune-mediated disorders.” This type of vitamin C costs a bit more, but has extra benefits. It is a non-acidic and non-irritating to the stomach lining, as well as having enhanced cellular uptake of vitamin C which remains in the body approximately 7 hrs. Our dogs use Tablet form as an adult, but at a young age use powder form. Puppies start with approximately 325mg. with each meal and by a year of age are up to 1000mg (2) times a day with each meal.
2.FLAXSEED OIL- This again is a must in our book. Puppies start out with liquid form, poured onto to each meal, and adults (6 months or older) can use capsule form. Again, puppies start with 325mg and work their way up to 1000mg with each meal.Flaxseed Oil is rich in source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 essential fatty acids. It adds shine to the dogs coat, and helps with the elimination of scratching and feet-licking due to dry or dandruff coat. Flaxseed Oil has been found to stimulate the immune system, assist in calcium absorption, anti-tumor properties and anti-oxidants that help keep cells younger.
Puppies, like children, need to be on a “ROUTINE” schedule for feeding and all daily functions. Please try to keep to a set pattern of feeding times for LIFE. Here is one example:
BREAKFAST (puppies and adults) 7:00 a.m. MID-MORING “TREAT” (puppies only) – Milk 10:00 a.m. LUNCH (puppies only)12:00 p.m. MID-AFTERNOON “TREAT” (puppies only) – Milk 3:00 p.m. DINNER (puppies and adults) 6:00 p.m.
Based on your “work” or “family” schedule, you will have to adjust the times, remember though, the last meal is the one that “sets” the pattern for housebreaking a puppy. Example: Any meal/fluid consumption after 6:oo p.m. only leaves a few hours for elimination before “bedtime” (his/hers and yours)! Keep in mind that it may take several weeks for your puppy to learn to “HOLD” everything through the night. If your are having difficulty, remember to remove all fluids by 7:00 p.m. Also important to consider is that most puppies have to relieve themselves almost IMMEDIATELY following a meal.
(1) It is important not to elevate their food and water bowls, so that the puppy/dog has to reach into the bowl to eat or drink. Large breeds are subject to bloat and recent studies have found that lower food bowls seems to help with food digestion.
(2) The type of bowls that we have the puppies/dogs eat and drink out of are stainless steel rounded bottom (5) quart mixing bowls. The Bullmastiff has a square muzzle with a slight under bite making it is difficult for them to eat out of a flat bottom bowl. The lowered feeding system help with the development of their bites, neck and shoulder muscles, as well as, their front pasterns for tight cat-like toes. Even more importantly, it helps with digestion and in the prevention against bloat due to the decreased intake of oxygen when eating or drinking.
(3)Although not destructive, a Bullmastiff loves toys. They can never have enough so give them some or you will find that they make their own, including shoes, children’s toys, remote controls, etc. You get the idea.
(4)If you Bully develops gas you can give him Simethicone tablets or drops. These are perfectly safe and they work. Keep some on hand at all times.
(1)Close supervision is essential any time your puppy is not crated indoors (or confined to a small area covered with newspapers) It only takes a few seconds for your puppy to have a house soiling accident, so watch for signs that your puppy may need to eliminate, such as sniffing the floor, circling, or running out of sight suddenly.
(2)Crate training or area confinement are recommended for puppies and most adolescent dogs when left unsupervised alone in the house. If properly introduced and used appropriately, crate training is an efficient and humane way to prevent housetraining accidents as well keep your puppy safe when you can not watch him (or when you leave the house/apartment without him). The crate should not be used for excessive periods of time and should not be used as a punishment (although brief "time outs" in the crate are fine). Sufficient daily companionship, interactive playtime and exercise are very important to all puppies and dogs.
[Note: Crate training and other forms of confinement must be balanced with sufficient exercise and companionship. Excessive periods of isolation can be very detrimental to your puppy, and can contribute to numerous behavioral problems including hyperactivity, destructive behavior, digging, self-mutilation, and excessive barking.]
(3)Puppies need to urinate shortly after the eat, drink water, play, chew, or sleep. For most puppies over 10 weeks of age, that means somewhere between 5 and 10 times a day! Adolescent dogs (from 6 to 11 months old) will need 4 to 6 walks a day. Adult dogs need 3 to 4 walks a day, and elderly dogs need at least 3 to 4 walks daily (incontinent dogs will need more).
(4)Lavish praise, a trigger word (ie: "potty", "get busy", "business", "bombs away", etc.) and a treat reward immediately following his eliminating in the right place (newspapers, backyard, or outdoors) will help you to communicate to your puppy that you are pleased with his behavior. Delayed praise is not effective, so witnessing him going in the right spot is important.
(5)Many puppies and dogs prefer certain areas or surfaces to eliminate on, such as rugs, carpeting, etc. Keep your puppy away from risky areas or surfaces whenever possible. If your puppy suddenly runs out of sight (ei: out of the room), he may be looking for a secret spot to eliminate, so close doors to rooms where he may sneak a quick pee or poop.
(6)Generally speaking, it is advisable to take up your puppy's water bowl after 6 PM, unless he seems very thirsty or weather conditions are exceedingly hot. (But a couple of ice cubes are OK)
ADDITIONAL HOUSETRAINING HINTS:
(1)Diarrhea will prevent housetraining success!! Your puppy or dog cannot be expected to be reliable if he has diarrhea. Loose, liquidy or mucousy stools will hinder any housetraining success.
(2)After the fact discipline doesn’t work!! Never ever discipline (verbally or otherwise) your puppy or dog after-the-fact for house soiling accidents that you did not actually witness. (Even if you should see your puppy eliminate on the floor or carpet, harsh physical punishment is never recommended.)
(3)Never discipline a dog for submissive urination!! Submissive and excitement urination are completely involuntary, so never discipline your puppy for this. Eye contact, verbal scoldings, hovering over, reaching out to pet your puppy's head, animated movements, talking in an exciting or loud voice, as well as strangers/ visitors approaching your puppy, may all potentially trigger your puppy to piddle. Disciplining your puppy for involuntary piddling must be avoided or the problem will simply get worse.
There are different vaccination schedules out there, so first talk to your vet what schedule they use. We use: 6 to 8 weeks (but no sooner) - Distemper-Measles-parainfluenza-Parvovirus 8 to 9 weeks - DHPP 11 to 12 weeks - DHPP 15 to 16 weeks - DHPP/RABIES
OTHER ESSENTIAL INFORMATION:
(1)Your Bullmastiff is a family companion. This breed should not be left outside in a kennel, chained or tied outdoors. It must have a fenced yard or play area of adequate size to exercise, play and eliminate in.
(2)Your dog should be socialized and obedience trained from early puppyhood to the extent that he/she is not a threat to other animals, people or property.
(3)Obedience training from the age of 4 months is recommended. It is important to remember that you own your dog, he doesn’t own you.
(4)Burning Wood Bullmastiffs will always take back your dog should a situation arise rendering you unable to care for it.