Important Health Precautions For Your Dog
(Provided by DVM Patricia Mahoney, Full Circle Veterinary Care)
Giving your dog the things they need is important. In fact, it is our responsibility to know important health precautions for your dog’s best interest. If you want your dog to be healthy, feed it the best quality food you can. Keep your dog at an ideal weight. Help them be mentally stimulated as well as physically happy and see that there is enough social and physical stimulation in their life. Check them once a week, feeling for any lumps or bumps. Take time to look in their ears, eyes, mouth scanning for subtle changes on a regular basis, so they can be addressed more quickly. You are now well on your way to understanding important health precautions for your dog.
Preventative medicine includes de-worming and fecal checks, immunizations and once a year health check with the veterinarian. Flea and tick treatment and heart worm prevention are all considered core measures for wellness of dogs. I like to see most of my patients annually. Once they get to the age of seven and older, then the ideal visit schedule changes for every six months. Dogs age, so much faster once they reach seven years.
Good dental health is also important. Dental care is one important health precaution for your dog that is often overlooked. Keeping the mouth healthy and clean has an overall impact on their well being. An animal fed kibble will need more routine dental cleaning because carbohydrates alters the pH of a dog’s saliva which allows for plaque and tarter to develop. A raw diet results in a better pH level.
Dental cleaning frequency is determined by the breed as well as by the individual dog. Some dogs can go years between cleaning where other breeds may need it every six months. You want to look for plaque and tarter as well as watch for redness of the gums indicating gingivitis.
You can see signs of illness through a change in appetite, a change in urination and defecation patterns as well as varying in weight. If you start to recognize these changes, imagine it was yourself and consider how soon you would go to the doctor. Our animals have retained the ability to hide illness well, because being sick would make them a target for predators in the wild. Since animals tend to hide illness, you want to have them seen immediately when you identify these kinds of changes.
Hip or elbow dysplasia can be avoided by looking at the dog’s line. If a puppy seems sore after what could be considered routine exercise, or develops a limp in one of the back legs, then you will want to have them routinely looked at if you have concerns. If you aren’t seeing clinical signs, and want to know how their hips are doing, an x-ray can begin at the age of two to look for this.
Osteoarthritis is a common problem with hip dysplasia There are nutritional preventives for arthritis as well as supplements that can increase synovial fluid in the joint as well as medication to help with inflammation and pain that helps treat an animal suffering with arthritis.
By educating yourself on the many important health precautions for your dog, is a great proactive approach in your dogs care. In applying these useful tips you will save money in preventative veterinary care.