Easy Tips on
Taking Great Care of Your Dog
With spring here, you're
definitely going to want to spend more time outside with your
dog. This is the perfect time to begin getting both you and your
dog ready to take full advantage of the upcoming seasons.
Taking care of your dog is a year round
responsibility. So by taking note of these few tips I have for
you, you will be ready to prevent or catch problems before they
become serious (such as heartworm and parasite control, which
are recommended as the weather turns warm), and give your dog
the gift of health.
One keynote is you should keep a detailed
medical file on your pet(s) to remind you when vaccines are due,
when the last fecal sample was checked and what special seasonal
events are required, such as a trip to the groomer or obedience
Let’s explore some of the common areas that
you should focus on learning all you can so you’ll be best
prepared for whatever comes you and your dog’s way!
No doubt about it, warm weather equals lots
of parasites lurking in those places outdoors where our dogs
love to stick their noses, chew, and even roll themselves in.
But with a little planning and some medical help, your dog can
be kept parasite free. Ticks, fleas, heartworms and intestinal
worms are the primary culprits you need to be on guard against!
Your veterinarian has medications available to prevent these
parasites from infesting your dog and eliminate the parasites if
already present. If you’ve become proactive and taken out pet
insurance for your dog, check your policy to see what treatments
are covered. Most seasonal applications are covered under even
the basic plans.
There are topical and oral medications
available to prevent and treat tick infestations. And it’s just
a good habit to build to give your dog a “one over” to see if
any such parasites have jumped on him during your outing. If
you do find a tick , carefully remove it with tweezers or tick
removal instrument. Be gentle but get that sucker off!!!
Preventing fleas is much easier than treating an already
established flea infestation. Topical and oral medications are
very effective in keeping your pet's flea problem to a minimum.
If fleas are allowed to proliferate, the environment, home and
yard, must be treated in addition to the pet, and that’s just a
royal pain in the butt!!!
Heartworm, or more precisely, canine
heartworm disease, is a potentially fatal infestation of worms
that travel throughout the body until maturity, when they take
up residence in the dog's heart. Transmitted by the bite of an
infected mosquito, heartworms are a threat to the dog population
throughout most of North America. Microscopic larvae from an
infected animal's blood is ingested by a mosquito, and then
passed on again in the same fashion, to a new animal. If you
have mosquitoes, you need to worry about heartworms. Common
- Lack of energy
- Weight loss
- Fur texture
changes: rougher, more coarse
Preventing canine heartworm disease can be
quite simple, as there are a variety of over-the-counter
treatments that are very effective and easy to use.
It seems as though our dog’s diet is
“what’s on the menu” when it comes to conversation right now.
Mainly due to the tragic pet food recall last year, we’ve begun
to really look at what’s in our dog’s food, not what is on the
price tag. As with maintaining our proper health, diet is a
cornerstone that can make the world of difference for your dog.
Many people like that dogs are simply carnivorous. Well the
truth is they do not just need to eat meat. Contrary to what
many people think, they also need carbohydrates. A diet
consisting of 50 percent of protein or meat and 50 percent of
carbohydrates is preferred for dogs. Making sure they get foods
with a good supply of minerals, vitamins, and essential oils and
fats is crucial. It will help them look healthier and be
healthier. And ever wonder why your dog runs to eat grass?
They do need dark, leafy greens also! They naturally understand
the value of its fiber in helping digestion and clean their
system. Be sure to stay away from the well-known “people”
poisons of chocolate, raisins, and grapes, but in all honesty,
my dog is still vibrant and spunky at the ripe old age of 14 and
we’ve not been shy about feeding her some of our food from the
table on regular occasion. Nutrition is nutrition.
A regular groom is recommended. Dog’s ears
should be cleaned, removing the wax and dirt every week. Ear
cleaning also helps you detect the presence of ear mites or
infections. The dog should also be bathed weekly with warm water
and dog shampoo.
3. Veterinary Care
It is a good idea to make sure that a vet
sees your dog regularly.
Dogs are prone to a wide array of illnesses
and diseases and it is best that he gets vaccinated against
Aside from their health, dogs exercising
will prevent them from retrieving and chasing, digging, and
chewing on various things. Exercises depend on your dog’s sex,
age, and health level. A dog likes to jog, fetch, and race a
lot. One warning however, start slow in exercising your dog.
Unfortunately, some dogs enjoy themselves so much when they do
these exercises, they won't know when to stop.
In the spring, outdoor activities tend to
increase. Some people don't realize that after a long winter of
being cooped up, exercise must be started slowly. Your pet is
not prepared for long excursions outside. If your dog exercises
too quickly, his muscles, heart, lungs and internal heat control
cannot keep up. Be aware that due to this lack of understanding,
springtime is the most common time for heat related illness,
including heat stroke.
The popularity of dog parks is increasing. When properly used,
dog parks are great fun for you and your dog. Without
appropriate preparation, dog parks can result in illness or
tragedy. In addition to exposure to contagious diseases, dogs
without proper obedience training can be a threat to other dogs.
In an attempt to join a pack or play, some dogs become
aggressive and a fight may ensue. Springtime is an excellent
time to begin obedience training or take a refresher course. An
obedient dog is a happy healthy dog.
Having a dog does not end with just putting
the money down, it is a really big responsibility. Although it
may be quite a bit of work and frustration sometimes, the amount
of joy and fun your puppy will bring into your life is amazing.
And it only increases when you see your dog is healthy and loves
you for it.
read more of Brandon James’ articles in past issues of The Scoop
The Scoop Archive.