Australian Shepherds are one of a kind. This fun and loyal breed are incredibly intelligent and need lots of playtime to get their energy out. If you are a new Australian Shepherd owner or considering getting an Australian Shepherd here are all the tips and tricks for caring for your new pup!
Australian Shepherd pups, six to eight weeks, should be fed at least times a day. Shoot for one cupful of hard dog food. When selecting a dog food go for a brand with natural ingredients and high in protein. Avoid “free feeding”, refilling the bowl whenever it is empty. This can lead to overeating. As your puppy ages, you can go to one and a half cups three times a day. Two cups should be the most you provide each feeding time to avoid unhealthy weight gain. If you need to introduce a new brand of dog food or type, do so gradually. Mix in the new brand or type with the brand they are currently eating to ensure their digestive system can handle the change in diet.
One of the best things you can do for your Australian Shepherd is to establish a routine. This breed is highly intelligent and trainable so they will catch on quickly to daily expectations. Feeding three times a day is a great step into establishing a routine. Next, a routine to establish is exercise. Australian Shepherds are high-energy dogs. Exercise is vital to keeping them happy and healthy. This breed needs to be physically and mentally stimulated to avoid boredom and bad behavior. Plan for at least one to two hours of exercise daily. Frisbee catch, obstacles, tug of war, or any other purposeful exercise is ideal.
Training and Housing
Boundaries are so important when bringing home a new dog. As mentioned before, Australian Shepherd is an intelligent breed so it will not take them long to understand what is allowed and expected of them. When housebreaking, it’s a good idea to have a dog crate for your pup to sleep in at night. This gives you peace of mind that they can’t get into something unsafe for them and gives your pup a space that is their own. Establishing this routine at night will help keep you and your pup happy. Consider getting professional dog training or sending the pup to obedient school. This will save your stress and hassle as they get older.
Australian Shepherds shed especially during warmer seasons. Brushing daily will help diminish the shedding and matting of their fur. When brushing looks for fleas and ticks. Grooming also involves maintaining healthy teeth and nails. Brush their teeth at least twice a week. If your pup starts to have worse dog breath than usual, this may be a sign of something more serious going on. It could be a dental issue or liver, intestinal, or diabetes may be to blame for the unpleasant change. For healthy nails, you may consider taking your pup to the groomer or vet to have their nails trimmed since this is a bigger breed.
Consider getting pet insurance with this breed. Accidents and old age happen to any breed of dog. Pet insurance can offer security and protection when unexpected accidents happen. Australian Shepherds are more susceptible to certain ailments. This is important to know so you can look for signs of any of these ailments. Hip dysplasia is where the hip socket deteriorates or doesn’t fully form to cover the ball within the joint. Mild cases can be treated with medication and physical therapy.
More severe cases require hip replacement surgery. Cataracts and other hereditary eye diseases are common with Australian Shepherds. This can greatly obscure their vision depending on the severity and progression. In mild cases, anti-inflammatory eye drops can be prescribed while more severe cases require cataract surgery. Epilepsy is another common ailment of this breed. Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that leads to odd behavior and recurrent seizures. Epilepsy in dogs can be mitigated with anti-seizure medicine which can be costly and have adverse side effects. Lastly, Lymphoma is one of the most common cancers that Australian Shepherds can suffer from.
Lymphoma is cancer that begins in the immune system and is systemic as opposed to localized cancer. Systemic cancer in dogs is generally treated with chemotherapy. Symptoms of chemotherapy include lethargy, weight loss or loss of appetite, or swelling in the face and legs.
- Large Food and Water Bowl
- Leashes and body Harnesses
- Large Dog Bed
- Dog Tag
- Plastic Poop Bags
- Toys (Frisbees, balls, agility toys)
- Tooth brushing Kit
- Nail Trimmer
- Dog Crate