Balanced diets are crucial to the cell growth, maintenance, and overall health of your dog. Dogs should be able to get all the nutrients they need from a high quality kibble, and with a quality kibble it is not necessary to overfeed. Nutrients are substances obtained from food and used by an animal as a source of energy, apart of the metabolic machinery necessary for maintenance and overall health. 6 nutrients essential for healthy living include;
Water: 60-70% of an adult dog's body weight is water. Water deficiency leads to dehydration which can lead to serious illness or result in death.
Protein: Main component for cells, tissues, organs, enzymes, hormones and antibodies, and are essential for growth, maintenance, reproduction and repair within the body.
Fats: Most concentrated form of food energy, providing your pet with more than twice the energy of proteins or carbohydrates. Fats are essential in the structure of cells, needed for the production of some hormones, and are required for absorption and utilization of certain vitamins.
Carbohydrates: Provide energy, and play huge roles in health of the intestine and reproduction.
Vitamins & Minerals: Vitamins are necessary for normal metabolic functions. Minerals are structural constituents of bones and teeth to maintain fluid balance and involvement in metabolic reactions.
Health testing is an important part of ethical dog breeding. When dogs are health tested, breeders are decreasing the likelihood of the produced offspring to develop preventable diseases. Reputable breeders understand and value the importance of health testing guidelines by AKC breed parent clubs. Early detection of hereditary conditions in breeding pairs is important, as it can allow breeders to prevent producing affected offspring or allow for early medical intervention if needed. Health testing is not always dependable, however it does provide breeders with data to make the best, most ethically compatible breeding pair to avoid health conditions later on in life. American Bullies and French Bulldogs are known to have various breed-specific health related conditions that it is important to test for and breed out. Diseases can destroy puppies and young adults, and significantly shorten their lives; when dogs are bred to avoid these breed-related diseases they are less likely to develop them and live longer, healthier lives.
Common health tests include hips, elbows, eyes, heart, thyroid, hearing, DNA and temperament. Routine health care includes vaccinations, wellness exam and brucellosis testing but it is not completed health testing. Temperament tests serve as a guide for the type of lifestyle, family and environment a puppy is most likely to flourish in. Health testing is most commonly certified by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) or University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program (PennHIPP), and done at specialty vets or health clinics at dog shows.
Dogs have to be 12 months old or older in order to receive certification for most OFA/PennHip health testing, so it is crucial breeding stock is health tested prior to breeding. Puppies are not health tested, but do have an updated examination by a licensed vet, fecal and first set of vaccinations.
Oftentimes, we are asked what are some MUST HAVES for new French Bulldog and puppy owners. In our puppy packs, we include multiple guides to help you pick the best products that will work. Below we have listed some of our favorite products as French Bulldog owners.
French Bulldogs, American Bullies, and other brachycephalic (short nosed/flat faced) breeds are known to be difficult, pricey breeds of dogs. Newborns are delicate, and often need c-sections. Oftentimes, there are a variety of reasons that a litter can not be naturally whelped, from the number to size of puppies, the nares/breathing on the female, how active the mom may be, genetics, size/shape of hips, etc. Females who can naturally whelp are incredibly hard to come by, and reasonably many breeders just opt for a c-section not even taking the risk of loosing the entire litter or bitch.
Natural whelping is a large part of Gaia Canines foundation lines, we believe as breeders it is important to better the breed as a whole. Technology has given our society incredible advancements, but it is important to let nature do its work in order to maintain sustainability within the breed. Truly, how can a breed continue on if they can not even give birth without human intervention? As breeders continue with French Bulldogs, it is important to inform and spread the knowledge on naturally whelping dogs and breeding females with excellent breathing and activeness (in addition to health testing) to give a better chance at naturally delivering.
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