Despite their muscular bodies and murky past, Staffordshire bull terriers are tender pooches that have an ultimate soft spot for kids. This dog breed deserves the same love and cares just like any other dog. To help you in pampering your Staffie, we made a list of care tips for you and your Staffordshire bull terrier puppy.
1. How to prevent hereditary and common health issues in Staffordshire bull terrier puppy?
Staffies are well-known for being healthy pooches with muscular and heavyset bodies. But just like other dog breeds, Staffordshire bull terriers also have a few common health issues and hereditary illnesses.
Hereditary health conditions may sound very alarming. However, it does not mean that your Staffordshire bull terrier puppy will encounter these problems. It means that he might be more susceptible to these diseases compared to other dogs.
We have listed the most common Staffordshire bull terrier puppy problems and give you some handy tips to prevent and decrease the probability of your pup from contracting it.
It is a serious health problem for Staffordshire bull terriers. Staffies’ obesity may lead to other health complications such as back pains, digestive and metabolic disorders, joint problems and worst of all, heart disease.
As stated in the American Kennel Club Staffie standard guide, a healthy weight for an adult male Staffie should be between 13 to 17 kg. For an adult female Staffie, it should be between 11 to 15.4 kg. Keep your pooch’s weight in check from a young age through following these tips:
Tip 1: Switch from dog treats to vegetables and fruits
Store-bought dog treats usually contain lots of sweeteners that can be the primary cause of your pup for gaining weight. Thus, it is better to choose a better and healthier alternative, vegetables, which contain a wide variety of nutrients and minerals and can cut down weight. These are some of the very healthy veggie treat options for your Staffie:
- Sweet Potato
- Green Beans
Tip 2: Track his calories.
Refrain from directly giving your Staffie puppy a bowl full of dog food without measuring the right amount for him. It would only lead to weight gain. Therefore, it is crucial that you know the correct calorie count that your Staffie puppy needs for every meal. Contact the vet to get accurate and trusted information about it.
Tip 3: Measure your Staffie’s meals.
Use a measuring cup to accurately give your Staffie the right amount of food. By doing so, you are able to precisely divide the calories into portions to fit your pooch’s diet. You can use the guide on the packaging of the particular dog food to know how much calories a cup may contain and then proceed from there.
L-2-Hydroxyglutaric Aciduria (L-2HGA)
It is a neurometabolic disorder that primarily affects the Staffie’s nervous system. L-2HGA is a hereditary disorder which is considered rare yet extremely severe. The gene that causes this condition must exist in both of the parents during breeding for L-2HGA to manifest on the Staffordshire bull terrier puppy.
- Muscular cramps especially on hind legs
- DNA testing must be done before breeding. This is to ensure that both the male and female Staffies are clear from L-2HGA.
- Infected dogs need to be neutered to avoid passing L-2HGA to another pooch.
Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD)
It is a joint problem that affects the movement of your Staffie’s hip joint. CHD is a result of a deformity of the hip’s socket itself and the ball on top of your pooch’s leg. This health condition affects both adult and Staffordshire bull terrier puppies. It would lead to excruciating rubbing and grinding within the joint. CHD can also cause arthritis.
- Clicking or grinding sound when walking
- Muscle increase around the front legs
- Loss of muscle around the hind legs
- Unusual walking pattern e.g. hopping style
- Experiences difficulty when attempting to stand up
- Hesitates to do physical activities e.g. running, jumping, walking
- Avoid exposing your Staffordshire bull terrier puppy to high-impact exercises on their first year as it could impair the natural growth of their bone structure.
- Give your Staffie pup the proper diet and nutrition that would facilitate in maintaining his joints to be flexible and sturdy.
2. How to keep your Staffordshire bull terrier puppy’s coat and skin healthy and clean?
Staffordshire bull terriers generally have smooth and short coats that do not need an excessive amount of brushing. Since Staffies are not heavy-shedding canines, they only require thorough brushing at least once a week to remove the dead hair.
Why brush your Staffordshire bull terrier puppy?
- Brushing also prevents your pooch from contracting skin diseases.
- It allows you to check if your Staffie pup has parasites, lumps, scratches, cuts and other alarming signs of wounds or infections.
- By doing so you are also making them feel more comfortable. Loose shed hairs tend to be itchy.
What are the ideal brushes to use on your Staffie puppy?
When choosing the right brushing tools for your pooch, you must keep in mind that it should aid in clearing away dirt and loose hair from your Staffie’s skin and coat.
It must also hinder loose hairs from moulting everywhere and mats from appearing. Take note of these brushes that could come in handy when grooming your pooch.
It is useful for lengthy grooming sessions with your Staffordshire bull terrier puppy. It does not only eliminate loose hair on your pooch but also allows you to treat him with a soothing massage. Grooming gloves prevent mat however it does not remove it.
It is an ideal daily brushing tool for your pooch. Since the bristles are closely packed, it can easily penetrate into the dog’s coat. Thus, it avoids mat from forming and assists in removing dirt and loose hairs.
This brush is fitting to use on a Staffie that tends to have mild-to-moderate mats. It is not a brushing tool that is needed to be used frequently during your grooming sessions with your pooch. However, if the regular grooming tools do not efficiently remove the mats even though you consistently brush it, pin brush might be a better option.
This brush is an excellent mid-week choice in the middle of more meticulous grooming sessions. It effectively removes shed hair and grime from your Staffie puppy’s coat. Moreover, it is a good option for a finishing brush after using a pin or bristle brush. It clears away any shed hairs left behind. Like the grooming gloves, it also gives your pooch a relaxing massage-like experience.
When it comes to grooming, Staffies tend to be low maintenance. However, it is still important to bathe him to keep his coat free from bad odour and properly moisturised. Bathing your Staffordshire bull terrier puppy once every three months is enough. However, if you are unsure that it is appropriate, you can consult your vet to give you the right frequency in bathing your pooch.
What are the good choices of dog shampoos for your Staffordshire bull terrier?
There are several pet shampoo products available for your pooch. To effectively choose the appropriate one to use, you must consider your Staffie’s skin and coat type.
Furthermore, Staffordshire bull terrier breeds are known to have skin allergies. To assist you in narrowing your choices, here are some dog shampoos that may work for your Staffie.
- Organic This is recommended for Staffordshire bull terriers that are prone to experiencing skin irritation. Since it is all-natural and chemical-free, it may help prevent unwanted irritation on your pooch.
Dry skin is another skin problem that needs to be avoided. It can cause pain to your Staffie because it can cause inflammation and irritation. Sometimes dry skin may crack which can leave excruciating open sores on his skin making it susceptible to infection. Moisturising shampoos contain ingredients which can facilitate in healing, cooling, and moisturising your pooch’s skin. It includes oatmeal, aloe vera, and shea butter. By using a moisturising shampoo, it can alleviate the pain due to skin irritation and restore your dog’s skin.
- Hypoallergenic Most hypoallergenic shampoos are free from strong and harsh chemicals that may damage your dog’s coat and skin. It is recommended for Staffies with sensitive skin that frequently experience skin allergies.
If you want your Staffordshire bull terrier puppy’s coat to be moisturised and shiny, you can add dog conditioners on your list. It is a supplemental hair product which is beneficial in keeping his skin and coat healthy.
3. How to take maintain your Staffordshire bull terrier puppy’s teeth healthy?
Dental health is crucial to a dog’s grooming routine and must not be overlooked especially for Staffies. This breed is more prone to suffering periodontal disease compared to other canine breeds which makes them more susceptible to these dental problems:
- Tooth loss
- Inflammation of gums
- Bad breath
- Bacteria may affect the kidney, lungs, and heart
There are many ways to prevent your Staffordshire bull terrier from contracting periodontal disease. Follow these simple and easy tips to efficiently keep your pooch’s dental health in tip-top shape.
Tip #1: Brush your Staffie’s teeth.
This is the most effective method in preventing dental diseases from afflicting the dog. It is recommended that you brush his teeth at least once a day after his last meal of the day to prevent tartar build-up. [Suggest other product such as dental wipes as many dogs don’t like having their teeth brushed.]But if your pooch does not love getting his teeth brushed, do not give up! Instead, consider other alternative options such as dog dental wipes.
Tip #2: Use Dental care solution.
It is a water solution that you can add to your Staffie’s drinking water. It will keep his teeth healthy because it contains chlorine dioxide which kills the bacteria. This is an ideal alternative for Staffie owners who are busy and cannot find time to brush their dog’s teeth.
Tip #3: Use dental chews.
Letting Staffordshire bull terrier puppy munch on dental chews is almost as effective as brushing his teeth. It is an efficient method in eliminating plaque and debris from his teeth and stimulates mechanical abrasion. It also freshens up your Staffie’s breath. Most pooches love to gnaw on dental chews which are easier to use.
Tip #4: Choose Quality Dog Food
One way to effectively keep your Staffie’s oral health in excellent condition is to feed him high-quality food. If your pooch eats good food that contains the right nutrients, it will not only strengthen his body and bones but also his teeth. Choose whole foods that contain natural ingredients. It usually has enzymes and other supplements that assist in breaking down tartar build-up on teeth.
Grooming your Staffie is worth it.
There may be times that your Staffordshire bull terrier puppy will not cooperate with your grooming routine. Take your time and be patient with the training; trust us nothing can compare to the satisfaction and happiness when seeing your pooch clean and healthy.