Dog Health Care Advice

As a responsible dog owner it’s only natural that you’ll want as much dog health care advice as you can get. Although I can’t provide a comprehensive guide within the confines of an article, I’ll attempt to cover the most important points.

First of all, a healthy dog will be lively, quick to react to his name and show interest in his surroundings. He’ll have clear, brighteyes and a healthy coat. His skin will be clean and free from parasites, as will his ears.

You weekly grooming regime is a good time to give your dog a general home health check. Run your fingers through his fur, working them right down to the skin, feeling for any unusual lumps and bumps. Look at the skin for any signs of discoloration or parasites. Check his eyes and ears for any discharge. Look at the pads of his feet to check there are no sores and clip his nails if necessary.

Although a dog whose coat is wet will give off an unpleasant smell, if your dog develops a general offensive odor there may be a skin problem that needs to be dealt with. This can be a symptom of several conditions, all of which will need professional treatment.

Should your dog starts to scratch more than usual he may be infested with fleas. Look for small, dark insects on the skin, especially around the base of the tail, beneath his collar and around his armpits. Fleas move quickly so it’s important to be thorough when looking for them. If fleas are visible, ask your vet for advice regarding treatment as fleas have built up resistance towards most off-the-shelf products.

If no fleas are found the problem may be mange, in which case a vet will need to see him as skin scrapings will need to be taken before a certain diagnosis can be made. Other skin ailments may also be present.

Feeding is an important part of your dog’s care; it’s therefore important you find a product that contains the correct balance of nutrients to suit your dog’s size and age. Never be tempted to buy the cheapest alternative as these rarely contain what your dog needs to maintain healthy bones, muscles and organs.

Although all dogs will cough from time to time, a persistent cough should be seen as reason to consult as vet as it could be a symptom of kennel cough, a condition that needs specialist treatment.

Most dogs will vomit occasionally, most often after eating grass or unwanted matter found in the yard or during walks. However, if his vomit is projectile or contains blood, it’s important you contact your vet immediately as this could be a symptom of several serious conditions including distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis and bloat, a condition that can lead to death within hours if not treated promptly.

As you get to know your dog you’ll also learn to know his behavior patterns. As such, you’ll be in the best position to judge whether or not he’s feeling down, is in pain or in any way reacting unnaturally. Your own intuition is often the best indicator of a problem and should you feel anything’s amiss, contact your vet for professional advice.

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