Maintaining the Nutritional and Orthopedic Health of Your Puppy
We very carefully screen our dogs to rule out genetic predisposition for hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. But recent research shows that genetics are only about 25% of the picture, and environmental factors are responsible for about 75% o the risk for dysplasia, with the majority of the risk happening in the first 18 months of a puppy's life, which are all factors that you have a great deal of control over.
Environmental factors for dysplasia include diet/nutrition, proper exercise, and physcial environment. The Institute of Canine Biology has an excellent article on the environmental aspects of hip dysplasia in dogs and what can be done to help prevent it. Weight management, proper nutrition, and appropriate activity types and levels are the three most important environmental factors.
These important health factors are covered below, along with our recommendations for products we are confident enough in to endorse. We recommend a select few brands as a result of many years of research and experience in the field coupled with recommendations from our veterinarian. All brands we recommend are made in the United States, which is important to us as Americans and informed consumers. Other brands may also be suitable for your dog, and we would be happy to discuss those with you if you have any questions.
Puppy Environmental and Orthopedic Support
Another very important factor in puppy health is physical and environmental protection of their joints and bones. We all know that dogs like to lie on cool surfaces in the summer, but they should always have a soft place to lay when so choose. Hard, cold surfaces produce too much stress on growing joints if that's the only surface a dog has access to.
Most soft yet supportive dog beds will provide protection for your puppy's growing bones and for your dog as she ages. To help protect the joints and bones of our puppies and dogs, we use Kuranda Pet Beds. We call them our "doggie hammocks." We like these beds because they are easy to clean and disinfect, keep the dogs cool in the summer, and keep them off the hard, cold ground in the winter. They are also virtually indestructable and made in the USA.