Having just gone through Hurricane Irma, I wanted to post important issues which all dog, and cat, guardians, should do as well as other issues.
First of all , during emergency situations, if you need to evacuate to an hotel, they cannot refuse the entry of your pet (s). Depending on the size of your dog, always have a collar or harness with ID. I send my puppies to their new home micro chipped so those who have my puppies have no worries on that account. If your pet doesn't have a microchip , please invest in them. It helps trace them to you and, very important, proves ownership. I don't know about other states, but in Florida if you care for a dog, feed him, vet him, for 30 days or more, you can claim him as yours and it's difficult to prove ownership if pet isn't micro chipped.
To another item all together. In the past year, I lost 4 puppies, not newborns, for no apparent reason. At least that was the veterinarian's opinion. My pregnant girls are fed a special diet for pregnant bitches and always have fat, white , healthy puppies so I was devastated by these 4 unexplained deaths. The last one was necropsied (autopsied) and it turned out she had coccidia. Coccidia is caused by bird poop. Dogs don't eat it; they step on it and then lick their paws, so now I not only put them on a high protein liver/bone broth diet, but give them a tad of Albon which is an antibiotic against coccidia and other bacteria. You can only get it via prescription but if your baby is exhibiting lethargy and diarrhea, this is a condition you can bring up to your veterinarian as they don't always think of it. Not one vet thought of coccidia in all 4 cases but that was the problem. Often, like in human/physician relationships, you need to take a proactive approach; don't think that the vet will always get it right. For example, unless they are reproductive veterinarians, they know very little about breeding, care of puppies, recipes for fading puppy syndrome, etc. Breeders, good breeders, are a wealth of information because we have seen it all and learn through more experienced breeders, such as my friend, Lydia Moll who breeds gorgeous Maltese and has for 49 years.
Nutrition is essential. Like humans, canines get cancer at the same rate as we do, which is very high, about 50% of humans/canines will get cancer. I have had it twice in spite f the fact that I eat vegan/organic but as a child, when visiting my grandmother in California, I was exposed to DDT, very common in the 50's , 60's and 70's. Good, organic, non grain kibble is the most convenient but I do make a topping to mix with the kibble, usually beef heart, cleanest part of the poor animal, organic carrots, red or orange pepper, sweet potato, barley. When it is cooked, I blitz it with fresh organic parsley and other good greens, chard, kale, spinach and add garlic. You will say that many people say garlic is forbidden for dogs because it's related to onions which dogs cannot have but I do give my dogs garlic because it discourages ticks and doesn't affect dogs adversely. I also add brewer's yeast, diatomaceous earth which helps with internal parasites and if you spread it on your dogs' coat, helps with ticks and fleas; probiotics, you can buy human probiotics, buying specially for dogs is just way more money and is unnecessary. I recommend L. Reuteri probiotics , for both you and your pets as it contains human milk which helps fight cancer. Also add some wild salmon oil or coconut oil for their hair , eyes and skin. You add a tablespoon or teaspoon of this toppiing to the kibble and mix it. I also add homemade yoghurt because commercial yoghurt has very little to offer and making your own is simple if you have a dehydrator or do it in your oven on the lowest setting. You buy a gallon of milk, one yoghurt container. Bring milk to a simmer. When it is 120 degrees fahrenheit, you need a candy thermometer, add the room temperature yoghurt and mix with wooden or plastic spoon, gently as yoghurt is living and doesn't like to be jostled. I add agar agar, a natural plant that is like gelatin except gelatin is cruel, it is made by boiling hooves of horses, donkeys, cows, etc. Put in glass containers with plastic lids and place in dehydrator with yoghurt setting for abut 6 hours or in oven, without the plastic covers, on a low setting for same amount of time. When you get the toppiing, mix yoghurt in it then put on kibble and your dog will have optimum nutrition. It is also important that you give your pets filtered water, preferably through a Berkely filter, they are the best. I fill gallon jugs of filtered water and put a capful of organic apple cider vinegar in each to reduce the tear stains Apple cider vinegar, like yoghurt and sauerkraut are probiotics and excellent for you and your pets' overall health. In white dogs, it helps reduce the ugly tear stains but you may also want to have plain, unscented baby wipes to clean your baby's face every day. Never use hair or other bleach! Some show dog people do this, and other nefarious things, but it is very irritating and cruel. Make sure to keep the hair around the eyes short as it can cause immense irritation and annoyance. Cut from top to bottom holding your dog's head securely. Get a second person to help you if you cannot do it by yourself. I have a bunch of tricks to do it alone but it would be a long chapter in itself.
Pests: If you live high above sea level you are fortunate enough to not have these problems, at least not fleas.
White dogs are very sensitive to topical flea/tick pesticide control products. They can have convulsions, salivating, shaking etc. I use Nexgard and haven't had any adverse reactions but have read that many dogs have had a bad reaction to Nexgard. Last time I used Nexgard was 3 months ago, and I live in Florida, pest country, and they are still free of pests but I keep my lawn and shrubbery very short as ticks tend to stand on the highest level waiting for a warm, hairy body to walk by and jump on. Research the flea/tick product you intend on using and only use it every 2 months, the product says every 30 days because they want you to buy but it is unnecessary. Brush/comb your dog daily and you will know if your dog has any pests. Keep a small vial of pure alcohol and , when you see a tick, dab a q tip dipped in alcohol or pour a teeny bit on tick. It will die immediately without harming your baby. Fleas are harder to get.
In any case, if you truly trust your veterinarian to give you an unbiased opinion, ask him/her. You can also email me at email@example.com with any question which I will be happy to answer.