How do you identify a healthy dog?
You care for your dog to the best of your abilities because you want it to lead a long and healthy life. Good food, enough exercise and proper care can help achieve this, although you can’t control everything. These tips will help you keep track of your dog’s health.
Vaccinating your dog
Prevention is better than healing, so it is important that you vaccinate your dog against a number of dog diseases. Vaccinating your dog protects it against parvo, dog’s disease and Weil’s disease, among other things. This is especially important for pups because although they do get their mother’s antibodies in the womb, their numbers decline rapidly after birth which means the pup needs a helping hand.
Titration involves drawing blood to see how many antibodies your dog’s blood contains. The objective of vaccination is to have the immune system respond by producing antibodies. But the success rate is not 100%. Vaccinations may cause side-effects which you want to prevent. Titration and checking the body of your dog for antibodies allows for prevention of unnecessary vaccinations.
Combating fleas and ticks
Your dog may get infected with nasty parasites, such as fleas or ticks. Fleas occur year-round and can cause an annoying itch. They can also transmit tapeworm. It is a good idea to inspect your dog regularly for fleas and ticks. This is done by checking its ears and skin folds and brushing your dog regularly. You may run into flea excrement while brushing. These are black dots that turn red when wet. Several types of anti-flea agents are available. Pay close attention to which one you pick and how to apply it. Found a tick? Use a tick remover to prevent pieces of the tick from staying behind inside your dog’s skin.
Deworming your dog
Puppies are almost always born with roundworms. It is important to deworm your dog on a regular basis. Pups are more susceptible to gastrointestinal parasites, but adult dogs can suffer from roundworm, whipworm, hookworm, tapeworm or heartworm just as well. The latter can even be life threatening! Pups need to be dewormed every other week throughout the first eight weeks, then every other month and after six months four times a year.
Castration involves removing the dog’s testicles or ovaries in order to render it infertile. This can be done at quite a young age, but this does increase the risk of incontinence in females. For that reason, it is recommended to wait until three months after first heat before castrating your female dog. Males are usually castrated after a year, though it can be done sooner as well.
Castration will cause minor behavioural changes. For example, a dog may become a bit less active. This means it will also need less food. The packaging of Yarrah Adult Kibble provides a precise measure of how much you should be feeding your dog in this case.
Want to know more about how much food and water your dog needs? Read the article about how much food your dog should get and how much water it should drink.
The body and coat of your dog says a lot about its health. it is important to know what signs to look for and how to best care for your dog.
A coat with bald spots, felted hair or scales is an indication of health problems. Brush your dog regularly and give it proper food without artificial additives. This contributes to healthy skin and coat.
Inspect your dog’s ears regularly. Ticks like to crawl in, but ear infections and ear mites always pose a risk as well. Signals that there is something wrong with your dog’s ears are: frequent head shaking, slanting of the head or regularly rubbing the ear with its paw.
Healthy eyes gloss and have clean white sclera. Keep a close eye on your dog’s eyes. Pay attention to excess tear fluid; this may turn into an inflammation.
When pups are born, they don’t yet have teeth or molars – they appear after about three weeks. Between 13 and 21 weeks, a dog’s baby teeth make place for their permanent teeth complete with incisors, canines and molars. It is important to have your pup’s teeth checked by the vet on a regular basis. This can help prevent issues later in life. Brush your dog’s teeth with special toothpaste for dogs to prevent plaque and dental tartar.
Tip: Want to treat your pup to something tasty to chew on? Opt for the organic chicken necks by Yarrah. The cartilage is tough enough to remove loose baby teeth and provides alleviation as your pup’s new teeth and molars come in. Plus, it contributes to keeping the teeth clean.
Make sure your dog gets enough exercise
Exercise is important for a dog, but how much a dog exercises depends on its age and breed, among other things. Pups also need exercise but taking them on long walks right away might impair their growth. It is better to gradually increase the length of your walks. It is recommended to take them on a short walk 4 to 5 times a day. As a rule of thumb, have the walk last 10 minutes times the age of your pup in months. So, a three-month-old pup can walk thirty minutes each time.
Pay close attention to any signs of fatigue and shorten the walk if necessary. You can cycle with your dog after no less than nine months, but once again make sure you gradually increase the length of the session and make sure your pup doesn’t get fatigued. Want to practice sports with your dog, such as skill training? Wait until it is one year old.