How do you know when your dog needs medical treatment? If you’re not making regular trips to the vet, there are a few important physical things to look out for, since she can’t exactly tell you when she’s hurting. A little routine maintenance will give you the peace of mind that she’s happy, clean and healthy. Plus, you’ll take less trips to the Vet. Here are a few things you can check off below because secretly, everybody want’s to be a veterinarian. 😉
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Your pup’s paws not only help your dog get around, but also protect his bones and joints from shock by providing extra cushion. These paw pads take quite a beating depending on how active she is, so it is important to check up on them.
1. If her nails are clicking as she walks across the floor it’s time for a pedicure! Her nails should NOT touch the ground.
2. Her paws can become cracked and dry, especially during the hot summer. Be sure to moisturize them with special moisturizer provided by your Vet when you can.
3. Make sure to brush and trim the hair between her toes and around the paw so that it doesn’t become matted and sharp. Check for foreign objects stuck in her fur.
Ears are difficult to maintain because of their curvy, twisted structure making them a common host for bacteria and parasites. Dogs with floppy ears are especially vulnerable, but routine care can help immensely.
1. If your pup’s inner ear appears to be dirty, gently clean them with a cotton ball, and some mineral oil or hydrogen peroxide.
2. NEVER insert anything (q-tip) into his ear canal.
Our pets can’t tell us if they are in physical pain, so it’s important to lookout for certain signs. Common remedies for joint health in dogs can be provided by your Vet. Reach out to him if your dog experiences any:
• Trouble getting up and down or climbing stairs
• Joint swelling
• Slow or stiff
• Tendency to favor a leg, or limp
Regular at-home eye exams will keep you alert to any cloudiness, tearing or inflammation that may suggest a health problem. Here are some steps to help keep that sparkle in your pup’s eyes.
1. With your thumb, gently roll down his lower eyelid and make sure the lining is pink, not red or white.
2. There should be not crust surrounding the eyes and when you look at him his eyes should be clear and bright.
3. If your dog constantly suffers from runny eyes and discharge, your pet may have an infection. (Or it could be the breed. Contact your Vet either way to find out.)
Keeping your pup’s mouth clean can usually be done just by brushing his teeth, providing a healthy diet and giving him some chew toys once in a while. However, it’s important to examine his teeth and gums just in case. Brushing his teeth once in a while definitely helps. Consult your Vet if your pooch has any of the following:
• Excessive drooling
• Inflamed gums
• Tumors in the gums
• Cysts under the tongue
• Loose teeth
Heart health is extremely important and just like in people, it’s dependent upon diet and exercise. However, Heartworm can happen to any breed, and can also be prevented with regular dosage of an inexpensive, chewable pill. Consult your Vet for more information about risk of Heartworm.
Your dog’s skin is a good indication of his overall health. If he is constantly biting scratching or itching, that’s his way of telling you that something is wrong! For healthy skin and a coat that shines take these tips to heart.
• Always use hypo allergic shampoos made just for dogs
• Brush your dog regularly to prevent a matted coat
• Provide your dog with a healthy, balanced diet
Our fur-legged friends rely on us to keep them at their best condition, so it’s our responsibility as owners to keep a watchful eye.