My Dog’s Life Update

Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to give you a quick update and let you know about some exciting changes that will be happening shortly. After several years in it’s current form we’ve decided it’s time for ‘My Dog’s Life’ to undergo a revamp and redesign, so please bear with us if things go a little quiet whilst we make these new changes. It will of course remain useful, user friendly and informative for all dog and puppy owners to enjoy and we will of course still be reading and replying to your comments and questions.

It would also be great if you could share any likes and dislikes about the current site, and also tell us if there are topics or items you would like us to add or consider for the new site. Please feel free to leave your comments or feedback on this post, or alternatively use our contact form.

And please remember ‘My Dog’s Life’ wouldn’t be here without all of you, so thanks for your ongoing support and friendship, it makes it all worth while.

Love JoJo xxx

Puppy Paws for iOS Now Available

Puppy Paws – Helping you and your new puppy every step of the way…

Further to my recent post, I’m very proud and extremely happy to be able to confirm that Puppy Paws for iOS is now available to download from the Apple App Store.

As I’m sure many of you will agree finding a puppy can be quite a task in its self! Let alone when you add all of the preparation that is needed in order to be ready, and that’s of course before the real work begins once you and your new puppy are at home together.

Puppy Paws has been designed and developed to…

  • help potential puppy owners to compile and compare a list of puppies that may be suitable,
  • prepare for the home coming day so they and their new puppy get off to the best start,
  • offer ongoing support as you and your puppy settle in to a daily routine together,
  • it also provides information to help educate new owners about the awful use of puppy farms and traders with an aim to help eradicate this practise whilst promoting better dog breeding in general.

Using the following five key stages, Puppy Paws allows users to…

  • Puppy Search – Add details such as the puppy’s breed, birth date, colour, location and parents’ health tests. Take or add photos and videos, and share with your friends puppies you’re considering.
  • My Puppy – Select your chosen puppy and set their coming home date to activate the built-in countdown.
  • Puppy Preparation – Complete checklists including puppy proofing, shopping and general set-up so you and your home is fully prepared for your puppy’s arrival.
  • Puppy Pick-up – Ensure that the pick-up day goes as smoothly as possible and that you remember to ask important questions.
  • Puppy at Home – Then once your new puppy has arrived home, store important information such as vaccination, worming and flea treatment brands and dates, set reminders directly to your calendar so you don’t miss anything, and record the progress your new puppy is making including their weight and height in their own diary.

So whether you are looking to adopt a young dog or puppy from a rescue shelter or you are considering buying a puppy from a reputable and responsible breeder, Puppy Paws helps every step of the way.

I also just wanted to say a big ‘thank you’ for all of the incredible support and kind messages I’ve received since I first announced Puppy Paws. It’s truly comforting to know that there are so many like minded people in the world, who simply have the well being of puppies and dogs in their hearts, and want to help ensure puppy farms are stopped as a priority, and that better dog breeding including adequate health testing becomes normal practise. Obviously this is something that means a great deal to me, and I’m really hoping Puppy Paws can help make a difference, both now and as we develop it further in the future. So please help to spread the word and share Puppy Paws with any canine loving friends, colleagues and family members, and of course responsible breeders and rescue centres who obviously want to help their new puppy or dog owners get off to the best start.

Love JoJo xxx

Download Puppy Paws for iOS


Other useful Puppy Paws resources

Puppy Paws Website
Facebook Page
Twitter Stream
YouTube Channel

My Dog’s Life and Puppy Paws

As many of you know I started My Dog’s Life in 2011 as I wanted to share my love of dogs with others. It has evolved a fair amount in the past 3 years from its initial starting point when it was really about me and my dogs, on to all things Cockapoo, and then more recently to a more general and informative puppy and dog ownership blog which will hopefully continue to help many new and existing puppy and dog owners.

I’m not planning to breed many more litters as my own dogs will retire from breeding naturally, but I have managed to fulfil a dream by experiencing breeding first hand which I will cherish for the rest of my life. It has also allowed me to gain a lot of knowledge, hands on experience of quality puppy care, socialisation, and of course training, all of which as many of you will know are true passions of mine, and which I feel gives each and every puppy I’ve bred the very best start in life.

My Dog’s Life continues to help puppy and dog owners of many different breeds each week and I truly value the wonderful feedback I get from its readers, followers and my dog loving friends. I especially enjoy the ever growing amount of questions I receive each week, as it allows me to help others with tips, support and sometimes just a bit of reassurance about puppy or dog ownership, which we can all do with every now and then.

However as I mentioned previously, things have moved on and I am very excited (as well as a little nervous) to tell you about the launch of my new ‘Puppy Paws’ website, blog and in the very near future iOS app, which has been designed to help both new and existing puppy owners every step of the way.

Puppy Paws for iPhone

After searching for my own dogs over several years, I realised that finding the right puppy really isn’t an easy task. I found myself preparing paper lists of potential puppies and the parents’ health tests which soon became spreadsheets that got bigger and bigger. Then once I’d found the right puppy the same process started again as I prepared for them coming home. So when I started breeding I decided that I would aim to help the owners of my own puppies as much as possible, ensuring they were fully prepared for when their new puppy came home, and then of course by being there to help them once they were at home together. Somewhere along the line, someone in my family (probably my hubby) said I wish there was an app for this! So the seed was sown. After much talking, planning, dog walking, re-planning, more talking, walking and prototyping, we finally managed to keep the ball rolling long enough to convert Puppy Paws from that seed to the fully functioning app that we are releasing shortly!

Puppy Paws for iPad

Puppy Paws has been designed and developed to help puppy owners at every step, promotes rescue shelter adoption, better breeding practises, and aims to hopefully help educate new owners about the awful use of puppy farms and traders, which needs to be eradicated as an absolute priority!

So please help spread the word by sharing, liking and telling other dog and puppy owners, groups, forums, communities, breeders, rescue shelters about the new Puppy Paws website and blog, and of course the forthcoming iOS app.

Love JoJo xxx

Visit the Puppy Paws website

Register for notification of the Puppy Paws app launch

Differences in Bitches Heat Cycles

Bitches are all individuals and although their body goes through the same changes when entire (unneutered) and experience a season (heat), they may not all cycle in the same way or have the same experience with each season. Here are a few common differences that some bitches may experience during their cycle.

Length of Cycles

The length of a cycle from one season to the next can vary between breeds, each bitch and each season. For example a bitch can start to season at any age but the most common time for maturity and a first season is approximately 5-12 months of age. A bitch may have long cycles which may be a year between each season (heat), a short cycle of 4 months between each season, or a varied cycled no established timing between cycles which can be harder to predict.

Split Season

A split season may also be known as a split heat and can be very confusing for the owner when it occurs, as your bitch will show many signs of coming into season which can be very convincing, but then all the symptoms disappear and it will all start over again a few weeks later with a full season. The split season occurs because for whatever reason the bitch did not have enough hormones to bring her into a full season. This can be seen in first and consecutive seasons, also a bitch may only have this once on her cycle but it may happen with later seasons or even every season.

Light or Shallow Season

A light or shallow season may occur in any season whether it’s a bitches first or subsequent seasons. It is basically a lighter bleeding, possibly less swelling and seems to come and go rather quickly at times. Some bitches may have a light season for their first season only or have a few light seasons as their cycle develops but some bitches just have them with every season and are lighter bleeders than other bitches. It is still a full season with all the hormones and changes of a regular season, but it may seem to be lighter to humans when looking for symptoms and signs.

Colourless Season

A colourless season can be difficult to see in some bitches as the bitch will have no bleeding or blood loss at all, hence the name colourless season. She may be swollen which is an indicator she’s in season and her mood may change. She can still attract males and be mated to produce puppies, but she will not have any blood lose which can make timing difficult for some owners or breeders. It may also be more difficult to notice the start and end of the season when a bitch experiences a colourless season.

Dry Season

This is similar to a colourless season but without the swelling so there really is minimal signs when a bitch has a dry season. The bitch may change in behaviour and may attract male and show signs of flirting around her optimum mating time but a dry season is hard to predict and difficult for some owners to notice. This may be more common in certain breeds which makes breeding and expanding the breed further more difficult.

Prolonged Season

A prolonged season may be seen on any season which basically means the bitch can bleed for longer or be swollen for longer than expected, and although each bitch is an individual there is always a possibility that one season will be 3 weeks from start to finish and the next may last almost 5 weeks with more bleeding and swelling.

Phantom Pregnancy

Phantom pregnancies are also known as false pregnancies and are very common in entire bitches as a bitches hormones go through the same changes whether they are pregnant or not. A phantom pregnant may occur but be unnoticed by owners as the signs are not effecting their bitch but in some cases the changes of a phantom pregnancy are quite alarming for owners as a bitch can act very differently, be withdrawn, be less active, display nesting behaviour and generally show all the signs and symptoms of being pregnant without actually being pregnant. It is the severity of the phantom pregnancy that is the concern rather than the hormonal changes that every bitch naturally goes through, and a bitch suffering a realistic phantom pregnancy can be upsetting to some owners if their bitch is withdrawn or acting unusual. A phantom pregnancy can happen on a first season or later seasons, and a bitch may suffer from a phantom pregnancy each season. If a bitch experiences a very realistic and concerning phantom pregnancy some vets will recommend spaying as the next season may bring on another phantom pregnancy with even more realistic symptoms. A vet may also prescribe medication or give a hormone injection to help if your bitches is having a worrying phantom pregnancy.

Stages of Your Dog’s Life


A newly whelped puppy has much development to do over the coming months let alone the first few weeks, which start very early on when learning how to feed, opening their eyes and ears, as all new puppies are born blind and deaf until approximately 2 weeks old when their ear canals and eyes begin to open. All the puppy’s senses are important and their sense of smell is used constantly throughout a dog’s life.

A puppy will learn canine social skills from their mother and siblings including sharing, gentle play, bite inhibition which includes being corrected by their mother as this is an important parts of a puppy’s development.

As a puppy grows they become more adventurous, love to investigate and will be exposed to so many different things which builds confidence and reassurance for a young dog.

A puppy will respond to early house and obedience training and soon enjoy walks outside which are all good for a puppy’s mental and physical needs. Puppies will build a bond with their owner, enjoy the one to one training and care that only a loving owner can give and learn to trust humans from a very early age.

Puppy teeth may be present at birth and are easy to feel in the first few weeks of a puppy’s life. These puppy teeth are like sharp little needles and will be replaced with adult dog teeth at approximately 5-6 months in age.


A puppy can reach their adolescent stage anytime between approximately 6-18 months old. The larger breeds tend to reach adolescence later than medium or small sized breeds. An adolescent puppy may also reach his/her sexual maturity around this time therefore many changes may be happening both physically and mentally. A puppy may start to reach sexual maturity at around 6-18 months but this differs greatly on the breed and the dog as an individual. If owning an unneutered female, around this time may be the time to expect her first season (heat) as she will be developing with maturity.

Some young dogs don’t have many changes during this stage whereas others may have changes which are clearer for owners to see. Basically a dog may become more challenging during this stage and owners may see a few changes or differences in behaviour. Some of the common things that owners may notice is that your well trained puppy is not responding to commands, is ignoring recall when out on walks and generally pushing the boundaries and rules in the home. This is just a stage and all stages come to an end, as the adolescence stage seems to be come and go very quickly if owners continue to be consistent with all forms of training and stick to the rules and boundaries already in place. Your teenage dog is just trying their luck and pushing the boundaries.


Your dog may begin to reach their adult stage at between 1-2 year of age and at this time your dog will be well mannered, physically and mentally mature and in a good routine. Your adult dog will be well trained and know the boundaries, although freshening up on any training will be on going throughout your dog’s life.

During the adult years it is important to provide your dog with a healthy diet and exercise to suit their needs. Your dog’s weight should remain an average for their breed and type, plus grooming care will be required to keep your adult dog in excellent condition.

An adult dog will require regular worming, flea prevention, annual booster vaccinations and trips to the vets may be required if you notice any changes or have any concerns about your dog’s health.

Your adult dog will bring you much pleasure as all the puppy training and bond will be clear to see in your mature dog. You have a loyal, loving companion at your side that you can enjoy.


In the later years of a dog’s life there are a few things you may like to consider as a caring owner which include, love, attention, comfort and your dog’s wellbeing. Your dog may start to reach their senior stage at approximately 7-10 years but this is only a guide as each dog is different and some breeds will have much greater lifespan than other breeds.

A dog in their senior years may suffer from problems with their teeth, eye sight, mobility, toileting behaviour so much care may be required as your dog ages. Your vet may be able to help with certain medication and on going care.

Your dog may become slower and calmer due to mobility issues therefore require less active walks and enjoy taking things at a slower pace, which you may also enjoy as an owner too! A supportive and comfortable bed may help your aging dog when resting and sleeping.

Trips to the vets may be required if you have any concerns regarding your dog’s health and behaviour, you will know your dog and will know when they are under the weather or simply not themselves.

A dog in their senior years may be slower and needier, but will be just as loving, loyal and continue to be a very special part of your life.

Puppy Vaccinations

A newborn puppy usually gains protection from infections and viruses from its canine mother’s milk, and the mother should be fully up to date with her vaccinations. This type of protection may not be gained if the mother has trouble feeding her litter for various reasons, or if her milk does not come in. This level of protection will only last for the first few weeks of a puppy’s life so therefore protecting a young puppy from dangerous and potentially life threatening infectious diseases is highly important.

In the UK your puppy will require 2 sets of puppy vaccinations at around 7-8 weeks and then again at around 10 weeks old, but of course this is a guide, however at around these ages the vaccinations will be given by most veterinary professionals. Your puppy is not fully covered until the two sets of vaccinations are given and had time to work, so much care must still be taken after your puppy has had only the first vaccination and your puppy should not be walked outside until your vet advises.

Your Puppy’s Vaccinations covers and helps prevent the following infectious diseases spreading:

Canine Parvovirus

How Canine Parvovirus may be caught?

Canine Parvovirus may be caught by contact with an infected puppy’s or dog’s faeces. The virus is difficult to contain at times as it lasts in the environment for months.

What symptoms may your puppy have?

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea (possibly containing much blood)
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargic

How it can be treated?

A weak dehydrated puppy or dog may be put on a drip, given medication to help with the sickness and vomiting plus possibly given antibiotics to help or prevent any further infections as the virus also leaves puppies and dogs susceptible to other virus and infections. If spotted early and with these forms of treatment a puppy or dog may survive, but in some cases a young puppy may suffer from heart problems or die, also a dog may die if undetected or treated.

How can it be prevented?

Adult dogs and breeding dogs to all be fully vaccinated with yearly boosters being a priority, plus much care with cleanliness when breeding and raising newly whelped puppies, plus all puppies to be given both sets of puppy vaccinations.

Canine Distemper

How Canine Distemper may be caught?

Canine Distemper can be passed between dogs via saliva, fresh urine and blood. It doesn’t last long in the environment to therefore it can only be caught from direct contact with an infected dog. Young puppies and dogs can be affected by canine distemper and the outcome can differ from dog to dog.

What symptoms may your puppy or dog have?

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Coughing
  • Discharge from eyes, ears & mouth

Puppies and dogs may have differing symptoms therefore these symptoms are just a guide and if you feel your dog is unwell then your vet is the best person to diagnose any conditions.

A mildly affected dog or a dog that is treated quickly may recover well, however some dogs do suffer neurological problems later in life after having canine distemper which may include seizures, muscle problems including possible problems when walking or may have thickening of the skin on their nose and paw pads, which is why canine distemper is sometimes referred to as ‘hard pad’ as the dog’s paw pads will harden as an effect of distemper.

How it can be treated?

A puppy or dog may be given intravenous fluids to help with any dehydration and also be given medication to help control any possible seizures, but there is no specific treatment for distemper.

How can it be prevented?

A puppy or dog that is vaccinated and given yearly boosters will help protect dogs against canine distempers, which is why vaccinating your dog is a vital part of puppy and dog ownership.

Canine Hepatitis

How Canine Hepatitis may be caught?

This virus can be caught via saliva, urine, faeces, blood and nasal discharge. The virus can survive in the environment for months and the urine of an affected dog can be infectious for approximately up to a year which makes this virus hard to control and contain from spreading.

What symptoms may your puppy or dog have?

The symptoms may differ between dogs depending on the severity of the infection but these are things an owner may like to look out for, however always consult your vet if you puppy or dog is acting differently of seems unwell.

  • Lethargic
  • Coughing
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Diarrhoea
  • Jaundice
  • Abdominal Pain

How it can be treated?

The symptoms can be treated however there is no specific treatment for this virus. A dog can be given intravenous fluids, antibiotics, pain killers and in severe cases possibly a blood transfusion.

How can it be prevented?

Vaccinating your puppy and dog will help eradicate this virus from the canine population as infected dog not only suffer but will pass it on to other unvaccinated dogs.

Canine Leptospirosis

How Leptospirosis may be caught?

Leptospirosis can be caught via infected dog’s urine and also from contaminated water such as canals, ponds and lake, therefore dogs drinking or swimming in stagnant water may catch this infection. Rats are also affected by Leptospirosis which is why certain canals and ponds may be more susceptible if the area is known to have rats. Humans are also at risk from Leptospirosis and it can be fatal.

What symptoms may your puppy or dog have?

  • Fever
  • Increased thirst
  • Diarrhoea (possible containing blood)
  • Lethargic

How it can be treated?

Antibiotics may be given and possibly a dog may require intravenous fluids to keep them hydrated and to prevent further infections if the dog is weak. In severe cases a dog may experience kidney and liver problems which can potentially be fatal. A dog can recover from this if spotted early and given the right treatment, however the bacteria will remain for possibly months so much care must be taken as an infected dog’s urine can still pass the harmful bacteria to other dogs.

How can it be prevented?

Puppies and dog to be fully vaccinated throughout their life’s and also much care when letting your dog swim in or drink from stagnant water, as this water maybe contaminated with Leptospirosis.

Vaccination Tips

  • A puppy should be fully vaccinated with two sets of puppy vaccinations in the UK, and an adult dog should be given a yearly booster.
  • Ask your vet for a reminder letter or a phone call in advance of your dog’s next vaccination date. Set a reminder in your calendar to ensure you don’t forget.
  • If your dog maybe visiting kennels, doggy day care or a place where he/she mixes with many other dogs then a kennel cough vaccine would be recommend. This is given to your dog via their nasal and protects them against parainfluenza virus and bordetella bronchiseptica.
  • If you’re planning on travelling aboard with your dog then some countries require you to have a rabies vaccination. A pet passport will also be required when travelling with your dog, so please speak to your vet about this well in advance of your trip.