Care Feeding, Home Remedies, and FYI !
Care and proper nutrition is essential for owning a happy and healthy dog. We believe in keeping it simple. There are many myths that circulate about what to feed a dog and how to treat issues that arise with your purebred. This page contains recommendations, home remedies, and guidelines for our Polarbear owners.
Food and Nutrition
We cannot stress the importance of allowing your puppy or dog to "free feed". We recommend automatic feeders. Our dogs are so intelligent... think "human with fur". When they are hungry, they need to eat. Think , dieting, and eating disorders.. that is what we do to our dogs when we limit their food! Dogs that overeat tend to be dogs with owners who rationed out their food from the time they were puppies and dogs that have had to compete with other dogs for food. Americans are way too obsessed with food and that goes for many dog owners too! Our message is to "Keep it simple". Look on the outside of the bag... make sure the first ingredient is meat and it is 26% protein. Puppies don't necessarily need large breed puppy formula as long as you check the label. Puppies will go through a stage where they may be finicky. In that case, they love meatloaf style canned dog food.
White shepherds, like most shepherds, usually need additional enzymes in their diet. This is partly because our processed dog foods lack natural enzymes they would ordinarily get in the wild. Our solution is to give our dogs eggs on a regular basis, and one egg a day is good for them.
Our dogs love treats. No need for the store bought kinds that come from China! Head to your local butcher or grocery and ask for Beef Knuclebones. Dogs, big and small, will love the gristle and it will be a treat they can chew on all day. Microwave them a few minutes to make them even juicier and bacteria free and they will love you! Our dogs also love dehydrated pig ears and beef hide. Another treat is fish skin! Bottom line with food, don't obsess over it! Simple is better. If you fuss over your dog, they will become fussy, just like human toddlers. Sometimes they will be ravenously hungry, other times they will not eat. Don't worry about it, they will be fine. If you need to know the ingredients or quality of your dog food, check out the link below.
Fur & Shedding
One of the first signs of a well-bred American White Shepherd is the quality of the dog's coat. A high quality coat will be smooth and relatively shed-free and consistent throughout the year. A low quality coat will have a mangy and dull appearance and the dog's fur will come out in chunks. This has nothing to do with diet and everything to do with genetics. Coat quality is one of the many issues we considered when refining our brand of shepherd. Whatever the quality of coat, Salmon oil is a product that helps to reduce shedding and promotes a shiny coat , if this is an issue. Our dog Casper, in this photo, has an exceptionally high quality coat. The white color is not a genetic abnormality, it is just a color like black.
Upset tummies & Loose Stools
Dogs have nervous systems much like humans and our Polarbears are highly empathic. When they become emotionally upset or something does not agree with their tummy, they may vomit or develop diarrhea. This is sometimes the case when a puppy arrives home for the first time. If this is an issue with your dog, young or old, rule out illness by taking their temperature with a regular thermometer, normal range is 101-102.5. Loperamide is an over the counter medicine, Imodium or Kaopectate, which works well to soothe tummies and stop the diarrhea. We recommend Loperamide regardless if the dog or puppy is being treated by a veterinarian. Once diarrhea sets in, dehydration is something serious and can lead to further problems. Doseage is 2 cc(ml) per pound. We've attached a calculator below which works great. Use a plastic syringe on the back of the tongue.
Puppies or dogs will quickly improve, become perkier, and stools will become firmer.
Polarbears are very intuitive beings. If they sense that someone in the family is upset or angry, our dogs will completely shut down. Any kind of negative environment that is on-going will affect the health of your dog. When eating and drinking habits change with your dog and you rule out everything else, take a time-out and ask yourself if you are communicating with your partner or family members. If you love your dog, communicate and create a loving home where your dog can thrive and be there for you!
Spay & Neuter
The best age to spay a female is closest to the puppy’s first year birthday. This is usually just prior to the onset of the first heat for females which occurs on average with Polarbear White Shepherds at 11 to 13 months of age. If the surgery is done at this time, it can greatly reduce the risk of health problems later in the dogs' life. Having the surgery done earlier than twelve months is not necessary or recommended according to the experts with whom we consult. It is even more important to wait to neuter in males. Without exception, we advise to delay this surgical procedure.
We totally understand how beloved our dogs become in the hearts of our Polarbear family. Without fail, our Polarbear family tell us that there is no other dog for them. Sometimes the love is so overwhelming that they entertain the thought of breeding their dog. This is not allowed by our contracts for many reasons, primarily because of our concern about the 17 diseases prone to our breed and we want to maintain control over which of our dogs are bred. Unless we have a good relationship with you, we have never modified a contract and it would be unwise to consider hiding anything from us. We take our mission seriously. We totally are in agreement on a second dog, once your first has properly bonded, no sooner than a year a part and we don't plan on ending our amazing lines anytime soon!
We maintain a commitment for the life of all of our Polarbears. We wish do this by maintaining relationships with those in our Polarbear family. This is why our contract explains that ownership is non-transferrable. If a client must give up ownership of their dog, they must either return the dog to us or allow us to re-home the dog to any of our Polarbear family who are usually eager to step in to help.
Vaccinations & Veterinary Care
We consult with several amazing research and development veterinarians around the country. In fact we welcome it and veterinarians are a reference for anyone intending on purchasing a dog from us. One of our advisors, Dr. Ben Hatler of Neotech Vaccines, LLC, has helped improve the health of our puppies with the latest research he has done towards preventative medicine and immunization. We follow his schedule here: http://neotechvaccines.com/vaccination-schedule/
Many veterinarians will completely disregard our vaccination regime and give "routine" vaccinations once a Polarbear Puppy has his or her first puppy exam. This is the first indication to new owners that they need to find another veterinarian. Over vaccination can be harmful. Like-wise, if a veterinarian does routine spay and neuters as young ages, it is reason to find a new veterinary care. Our advise is to find veterinarians who are open to an owners deferral to us, as a breeder and expert of our breed, and not necessarily performing routine procedures in order to "pad" their bills and bottom lines. Other veterinarians we appreciate are Dr. Ronald Schultz', DVM, professor of veterinary medicine in Pathobiological Science at University of Wisconsin and author of numerous studies on canine immunology, and Dr. Jean Dodds, DVM. We also consult with Dr. Harmon Rogers, DVM DABVP.
By all means, follow your veterinarians advise if residing in "high risk" areas for heart-worm, ticks, fleas, and any other pests or parasites and diseases. We want our dogs to live into their teens! The great genetics of our Polarbears is just the beginning. Trustworthy veterinary care is essential to good health of your dog for a lifetime! Below is the minimum protocol for vaccinations. Our area is prone to infectious Parvo Virus and we vaccinate separately for it.