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Handrearing puppies & facing our fears

Handrearing puppies & facing our fears
By May Yean  • Issue #2 • View online
Hey friends,
This week I’d like to share one vetty/ vet-related thing I’ve learned and one life thing that will hopefully be useful or interesting to you.
One vetty thing - Puppies are generally kept with their mum up to 8 weeks old to ensure they receive enough colostrum, maternal antibodies and to facilitate proper social and behaviour development. However, in the event that the pup becomes an orphan before that age, when handrearing pups, it is important to teach the pups self-control or how to deal with ‘frustration’. For example, after feeding the pup its first meal, wait for the pup to get hungry for its second meal and start ‘crying’ for food. At this point, try not to be tempted to feed it, the squeals will be painful and you’ll feel like a horrible person, but instead set a timer for 30 minutes, make yourself a cup of tea and feed the pup after the timer is done. This is to mimic how the pup is reared by the mum, as she doesn’t always feed the pup when it cries and hence teaches ‘frustration’ naturally. Failure to teach the pup how to handle its own tantrums can lead to behavioural aggression later on in life. This is explained better by the late Dr. Sophia Yin, an amazing vet and applied animal behaviourist, on her legacy blog here.
Seeing the rise in puppy ownership during the pandemic, I hope that more people are aware of this (if they are handrearing their pups) to prevent any unwanted consequences in the future.
One life thing - Dealing with burnout. Since graduating from vet school, I have been recharging by spending time at home with family and catching up on sleep. As a person who tends to worry about the future and tries to plan for everything, I am trying to put measures into place to avoid getting burnout when I start my new job. It’s as if the YouTube algorithm can hear my inner thoughts and recommended this video to me. The key takeaways for me were:
  1. When I feel overwhelmed, anxious or suddenly having a bad mental-health-spiral moment, asking myself ‘What am I afraid of and why’ and writing it down on paper can help me actually define what problems I am facing clearer, and work towards a solution (instead of it just nagging away at the back of my mind and interfering with my daily activities). “The things that we are afraid of are usually the things that make us uncomfortable but can also help us progress.” I try to think of it positively, so the sooner I can identify and confront with what’s actually bothering me, the quicker I get to help myself progress!
  2. The Eisenhower Matrix - although not a new idea, but a useful reminder on how to prioritize my tasks as I can foresee life getting much busier in the following months, and if I want to keep up these side hobbies (YouTube, newsletter), I would have to plan and prioritize in advance. This framework is pretty useful to know especially if you’re a student starting university in Autumn, terms do get busy quite quickly and I’d highly recommend investing in a physical planner or using your phone calendar app to make sure you stay on top of things!
PS: If you are applying to vet schools in the UK, I hope you’re aware of this article. It comes with a guide containing information vet schools wished applicants knew!
PS: I am still figuring out the format of this newsletter, so if you have any feedback on how it could be better I’d love to hear it! Just hit reply and let me know what you think.
Hope you are staying safe and getting vaccinated (if you haven’t already), see you in the next issue!
May xx

😻 My favourite things
  • Bubble Tea/ Boba - Brown sugar milk tea, half sugar and ice. Haven’t had one in ages and devoured it in 13 minutes, 😂 promise I am ok.
  • This song - I can’t stop singing her whole album in my head to be honest, am I considered a Gen-Z yet? 😛
💡 Quote of the week
Don’t take yourself so seriously. You’re just a monkey with a plan.
From The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness
📹 My latest video
Did you enjoy this issue?
May Yean

Hey I'm May, a recent veterinary graduate from the University of Cambridge, here to share veterinary insights, interesting studies and practical tips on how to be a better version of ourselves. Learn and grow with me :) !

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