How to Keep Your Dogs Healthy
Dogs are man’s best friend, and they should be treated as such. Sure, a dog will keep you company and keep you entertained, but they also need to be cared for. Such things you do to care for yourself should also be done to your dog. Giving them baths, getting them vaccinated and feeding them properly should all be part of the life of owning a dog.
It is always best to have your dog neutered, vaccinated, micro chipped and insured. In case you want to get offspring out of your pet, you have to do research beforehand and take necessary actions like health testing before you have them mated.
Another important aspect of dog care is having your four-legged friend registered with a vet so that they can receive regular treatments to keep them healthy and keep the quality of their life good.
Regular grooming, dental care and frequent checks on their health should also be done frequently.
Should you register with a vet?
Whether you get a puppy or a new dog, it’s always important to have them registered with the nearest local veterinarian straight away. You should make an appointment at the soonest possible date to have them checked. From there, your vet can advise you on a dog care programme that you should follow.
Even better, you can also list your own questions and concerns and ask the vet about them. It’s for your own peace of mind and additional knowledge.
Vaccinating your dog
Having your dog vaccinated is not a question of “Should you?” but “When?”. There’s no question that you should have your dog vaccinated because it’s one of the best ways to protect them from various diseases. The only question you should be asking is “When is it appropriate to have them vaccinated?”.
This is a question that your vet can answer for you. Although some dogs can be vaccinated as early as six weeks.
The vaccination process
When you get a new dog or puppy, they should receive a primary vaccination. After that, they should have regular booster vaccinations throughout their life. The primary vaccine varies depends on the type being used on your dog. It can be given as young as six weeks then followed up by another in two to four weeks.
A booster vaccination is needed because the immune system of a dog falters over time. Depending on the vaccine given, this could be given every year.
IMPORTANT REMINDER: It is best if you have your dog vaccinated as early as possible before allowing them to meet other dogs. It is important to socialise your dog with other animals in your household or neighbourhood, but it’s best if they are protected first.
The benefits of vaccination
By having your dog vaccinated, you are protecting them against the following:
- canine distemper
- canine parvovirus
- infectious canine hepatitis
- kennel cough
Fleas and worms on dogs
You should always give your dog regular treatment from worms and fleas. Not only are these parasites harmful for your dog, but they can do damage to you as well. This is why you should ask advice from your vet on the right kind of treatment to use.
Although you can buy treatments over the counter, it’s always best to ask your vet which ones are the appropriate ones to purchase so that your dog will never have to suffer.
How to know if your dog has fleas?
When your dog has fleas, you will notice them scratching, chewing or licking more than usual. When they do this, their skin may become red and inflamed. This is why you should start treatment do alleviate them from what they’re feeling.
Another thing you might notice are small dark flecks on their fur and skin. These are “flea dirt” and if you notice them, go see your vet to ask advice on what actions you should do.
What to do when your dog has fleas?
First of all, you should take your dog to the vet so you know what to do. After that, you should begin treating your house. Keep in mind that if your dog is infected, your house is a potential nest for larvae and eggs. It’s important to start the cleanup process straight away to get rid of them. Pay particular attention to areas where your dog usually hangs out, and concentrate on carpets and rugs too.
You can also clean up warm areas like the one near the radiator because it might be breeding ground for fleas.
Removing a male dogs testicles is called castration while removing a female dogs ovaries and uterus is called spaying.
Benefits of neutering
One of the primary benefits of having your dogs neutered is the prevention of unwanted puppies. There are lots of dogs that are abandoned because their owners don’t know what to do with them, and it’s best not to add to this dilemma.
Spaying a female dog
Spaying your bitch has several benefits which include preventing her from having unwanted puppies and reducing the chances of breast cancer. Not only that, she can also be saved from developing pyometra, which is a life-threatening condition that infects the uterus.
Although you can always ask your vet for the right time to spay your dog, it can usually be done when she is under a year old.
One concern that owners have about spaying a dog is that they might gain weight. While it does slow down the metabolic process – meaning your dog will burn energy slower – you can always feed your dog the right amount of food to prevent weight gain. Not only that, you should also ensure that she gets the right amount of exercise.
Another concern that owners have is whether a female dog should have a litter before being spayed. If the purpose of the dog is not for breeding purposes, then there is no reason to delay the spaying process.
Castrating a male dog
Castrating has a number of benefits for male dogs which include preventing him from developing testicular cancer, as well as reducing his risk of developing prostatic disease, which is the disease of the prostate gland.
By having your dog castrated, you can prevent them from fathering unwanted puppies, which is one of the main reasons for the castration process.
Another benefit of having your dog castrated is that it helps with some types of aggression.
Although you can have your dog castrated as young as under a year old, it is always best to ask your vet first for advice.
Dog health care
There are signs you should always look out for to determine whether your dog is sick, and these are:
- diarrhoea or sickness
- change in weight, whether an increase or decrease, over a short period
- appetite loss
- lack of energy or being asleep more than usual
- unusual swellings
- skin conditions
- unusual bleeding
- drinking more or less than usual
- runny eyes or nose
- being sensitive to touch or any form of pain
Dog care involves spending money, a lot of it. Having pet insurance can help cover the costs. Keep in mind that a dog needs regular vaccinations as well as regular grooming. Having an additional helping hand surely lifts a weight off your financial load a bit.
Dog insurance is also beneficial during times of unforeseen expenses. For example, your dog might need an operation because they ran into an accident. Having insurance helps lighten the financial load on your part.
Grooming your dog
Whether you have a long-haired dog or a short-haired haired one, grooming is extremely important.
If you have a dog with long hair, their coat needs to be brushed daily. If you have a short-haired one, brushing their coat once a week is good enough. You should also keep in mind that having the right type of brush for their hair type is also key to good dog grooming.
Microchipping your dog
Even if you’re confident that your dog will never run away, there’s a chance that they might stray away from you – whether they got loose or a natural disaster occurred. Having them microchipped increases your chances of reuniting with them if they do get lost.
How does a microchip work?
A microchip is a very small device that is injected into the skin of your dog. It contains a unique identification number that can be matched to your contact details. So, when your dog is scanned and the data match, you can rest assure that the dog found is exactly your own.
Interesting statistics about dogs
- There are millions of dogs not getting the preventive care they need
- 30% of dog owners do not clean their pets’ teeth
- When it comes to preventive care, an older owner scores much more higher
- 34% of dogs are not neutered
- 30% of dogs are not microchipped
- 10% of dogs are not registered with a vet
- 18% of dogs have not been vaccinated
- 29% of dogs have not been treated for fleas