What Your Dog Needs, A Helpful Guide For Dog Owners
Dogs are curious, affectionate and giving animals, but just like young children they can get into lots of mischief and require a lot of care and attention. Below you will learn all the things you need to know in order to keep your dog, safe, healthy and happy.
Did you know that dogs left alone all day can suffer from anxiety and depression just as we humans do.
Many things left lying around our homes and gardens can be extremely toxic and dangerous to the canine members of our families; e.g. chocolate, various plants, fertilizers, pesticides, cleaners, medicines and even small toys can be ingested by our dogs and cause serious harm or even death.
Another common problem vets see with dogs, is a serious lack of general dog health care. For example, dogs who live in areas where there are ticks, must be checked over thoroughly, on a daily basis. Just a single tick can quickly cause paralysis and kill a dog.
Another area of neglect is grooming. Lack of proper grooming can cause skin problems and infestations by fleas, mange and ticks. Long-haired dogs who are not regularly brushed will end of with painfully, matted, fur that will pull on their skin and can cause sores and skin irritation and infections.
A lack of daily exercise and proper discipline, often leads to unwanted behaviours, even aggressive behaviour, which sadly sees a great number of dogs end up in animals shelters and many of them will ultimately be euthanized.
We are all very aware and conscious about what sort of things should be kept out of reach of our children. We also generally know what is poisonous to humans, but if we choose to have animals as part of our family then we have a duty of care to them as well.
FOODS THAT ARE POISONOUS TO YOUR DOG & CAN EVEN KILL
- Never feed your dog the following, even if it is a tiny piece! – chocolate, mushroom, onions and garlic, grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, xylitol (a common sweetener), anything with caffeine in it, any products that produce Ethanol; e.g alcohol or uncooked, yeast dough. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1659&aid=1030
- People often give dogs food scraps, which is fine if the scraps are fresh. Moldy or rotten foods can make a dog (as it would a human) seriously sick. Remember just like us dogs are susceptible to food poisoning and gastroenteritis.
- Be careful with bones, cooked bones of small bones can splinter and break and corn cobs can be dangerous and get stuck also. If a bone gets stuck a dog can choke or if a bone gets swallowed in a big piece it can lead to a bowel obstructions, which requires surgery and can be fatal.
- Foods high in fat, sugar and sodium should be avoided. If you want to cook for your dog, seek a veterinarians advice about a balanced meal plan.
- Check with your vet about what plants and flowers may be toxic to your dogs. Some plants can be extremely toxic, while others can cause major skin reactions. Poisonous Plants and Pets
Please also read – These Foods Can Kill A Dog – Learn What Is Safe & Healthy To Feed Your Dog
Why Dogs Need Annual Vet Checks
Visiting the vet on a yearly bases is a must for all dogs, even the healthiest ones. All dogs need to be vaccinated annually, have their teeth checked for cavities and gum disease, which if left unchecked can lead to other major health issues, that can even be life threatening. In area’s where heart-worm is an issue, then your dog needs monthly heart-worming tablets, or a vet injection for heart-worm prevention. Your dog also should be given regular all round dog worming treatments, as your vets prescribes him.
This yearly vet visit is an important precautionary measure, as your vet can check over your dog from top to toe and ensure that your pet is in optimum health.
When To Take Your Dog To The Vet
Many dog owners for some reason often delay taking their best four-legged friend to the vet when they notice something amiss. NEVER DELAY, it could mean the difference between life or death! If your dog is weak, having difficulty breathing, coughing, limping, whimpering when touched, vomiting, has diarrhea, blood in the urine or feces, if he has a suspicious lump, a cut that won’t heal, a rash or infected or weepy eyes, ears or skin, if he is off his food, or scratching at an area of his body obsessively then get to the vet.
If somehow despite all your best efforts your dog has eaten something he should not have, be it a food or something else; e.g. socks, medicines, plastic, a long piece of string, a pencil etc, don’t wait for him to pass it out the other end, as this may not happen, instead take him to the vet pronto!
How To Properly Care For Your Dog
Treat your dog as you would any other human family member of your home when it comes to protecting them and looking after their health. Know what things are poisonous to dogs and know what vaccinations and health care your dog requires and when. Also learn to read your dogs body language and if he seems “off” or unwell, then visit your vet. Do not self diagnose conditions your dog may have; e.g if your dog has an unusual lump, growth or skin irritation anywhere on its body, then see a vet straight away.
Also please if you are not a registered breeder, PLEASE DESEX YOUR DOG, it healthier and safer for him and will help reduce the amount of unwanted litters. Here are some other important things that you should do to keep your four legged buddy safe.
How To Keep Your Dog Safe & Healthy In Your Home
- All cleaning products and cosmetics and personal care items should never be left lying around, the smells can prove very tempting.
- Lock away all medicines
- Brush your dogs teeth regularly with a dog safe toothbrush.
- Invest in good, durable and safe, natural rubber and natural and if possible, organic fabric, dog chew toys and avoid cheap and toxic vinyl dog toys, as these contain PVC which release carcinogenic phthalates. Be sure to dispose of any dog toys that show wear or tear.
- Do not leave small objects or children’s toys lying around, where a puppy or young dog who chews things can get to them.
- Eating small bones or corn cobs, they can choke a dog or cause a life threatening bowel obstruction.
- Wash your dog regularly in natural and safe shampoo that is cruelty- free, such as Organi Pet and be sure to rinse the soap our thoroughly.
- Do not use talcum powder or perfumes, these may make your dog smell pleasant but are not healthy for your dog. See my article Avoiding Toxic Ingredients in Dog Shampoo…
- If your dog has a long coat be sure to brush it regularly , to remove tangles, dander and loose hair and this gives you a chance to check your dogs fur for signs of fleas, ticks and skin irritations or lumps.
- Regularly run your hands all over your dogs body to feel for any lumps or bumps that because of a dogs fur may not be noticeable to the naked eye.
- If you have a dog that tend to eat anything and everything, beside learning how to re-train this behaviour, it is important to remove any items that prove tempting to your dog.
- EXERCISE your dog every single day. All dogs, even the tiniest of dogs need to be walked daily and have stimulation and interaction. Obviously big dogs require longer walks and active dogs will benefit from runs, swims and ball games.
- Invest time to train your dog properly and humanely. An obedient and well-balanced animal is a happy and secure animal and will not display unwanted behaviours, such as aggression, dominance, destructiveness and obsessiveness.
- Never walk even the most obedient dogs off lead in places where there are cars. It only takes one time for even the best trained dog to be distracted and dart in-front of a car.
- Take your dog to enclosed dog parks to interact with other dogs.
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