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Puppy first aid and minor ailments

Minor illnesses and injuries can be cared for at home. Whenever in doubt, call your vet.


One of the first things a vet will ask in most cases if you call with an illness is the body temperature of the dog. Your dog’s temperature can be taken with a human rectal thermometer or an ear thermometer. Normal temperature for a dog is 100.5 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Poison control

If your dog eats anything not specifically indicated for dogs, immediately call the poison control hotline. Time is often critical for poisons.

· 888-426-4435


Insect stings or bites

If your dog is bitten by an insect and his face swells, immediately give her Benadryl, even if you are heading for the vet.

Suggested Benadryl dose is 1 mg per pound of body weight, so that would be 25mg (one tablet) for a 25 lb dog. When in doubt, call your vet.


Loose stool is common in dogs who eat something they shouldn't, are sick, whose food has been changed too fast, or are under stress.

Loose stool also happens if you overfeed your dog. After untreated parasites, this is the most common reason we find for loose stool in puppies.

When your dog’s stool is unformed or watery, you will need to prevent dehydration, particularly in puppies and older dogs.

If your dog has loose stool, you can fast him for 24 hours (12 hours for a puppy) to see if that helps “reset” her tummy.

Feed a small, bland plain chicken and rice meal.

If the diarrhea doesn’t resolve in a few days (two days for a puppy), call your vet.

Sharp objects

If your dog eats a sharp object, like glass or metal shards, call your vet immediately. This is a medical emergency.

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