Dogs have earned the title “man’s best friend.” Understanding and following basic care procedures for your dog will help to ensure a long, happy life together.
Regular Veterinarian Visits
Taking your dog to the vet each year is an important step in preventing illness and injury. Annual visits should address vaccinations, parasite control, dental examination, and health screenings as well as nutrition and weight management.
When choosing a veterinarian, visit the American Animal Hospital Association’s website for a list of accredited vet practices in your area and ask for recommendations from friends and family—especially those who take skilled care of their dogs’ health and welfare. Additionally, you may visit any of Petsway’s VIP Pet Clinic events for micro-chipping, vaccinations, Rx flea and tick control, heartworm prevention, testing and deworming.
Proper parasite control is essential to the health and comfort of your dog. Fleas can cause irritated skin, hair loss, and infection, and can also lead to tapeworms if your dog swallows just one flea. Heartworms are another common parasite among dogs that can be fatal.
Talk to your vet about regular flea, heartworm, and intestinal parasite control. It is very important that products intended for cats not be used on dogs.
Obesity is a common problem among dogs and can lead to diabetes, arthritis, cancer, joint pain, and liver problems. Overfeeding plays a large role in many cases of obesity. Many dogs need fewer calories than they consume.
Speak with your vet about your dog’s ideal weight. Always consult your vet before starting your dog on a diet or exercise regimen.
Spaying or neutering your dog reduces the number of unwanted litters and provides several health benefits. Spaying female dogs helps to prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, and prevents them from going into heat. Neutering male dogs will cut down on your dog trying to roam away from home and from “spraying” to mark territory.
Contrary to popular belief, spaying and neutering will not make your dog become overweight. Getting your dog spayed or neutered also helps cut down on the overpopulation of dogs in shelters.
Grooming & Bathing
Regular brushing will ensure your dog has a healthy coat and skin.
When bathing your dog, wash the dog’s head, neck, and ears first. Any fleas that are on the animal will take refuge in those areas while you wash the body if they are not washed first.
During winter, make sure to rinse off the bottom of your dog’s feet. Your dog can pick up salt and chemicals from the street that can hurt its feet and be harmful if consumed.
Examine your dog’s feet on a regular basis to make sure they are free of foreign objects and nothing has become embedded in the paw. Clean any small cuts and apply antibiotic cream.
Gum disease is one of the most common problems seen in dogs. Avoid this by brushing your dog’s teeth daily or weekly.
Keep your dog’s ears dry, clean, and free of foreign objects. Give your dog’s ears a complete cleaning weekly or monthly by moistening a cotton ball with mineral oil and gently wiping the inside of the ears.