Dog Health Care
Flea and Tick Control, Heartworm Prevention, Intestinal Parasites, and other aspects of dog health care.
Jul 30, 2006 Charla Dawson
Many people do not know how to care for a dog and meet all of its needs; the top 6 are outlined.
There is no doubt that we love our dogs, dogs continue to be a favorite family pet. Unfortunately many people do not know how to properly care for their dog and ultimately many of its needs are not met. I've outlined the top 6 dog health care needs to meet, in no particular order:
Heartworm Prevention - Heartworms are parasites that are spread by mosquitoes, once the heartworms are in your dogs heart they grow and reproduce causing damage to the heart. Heartworms are easily prevented with heartworm prevention medications that are now availabe through your veterinarian.
Vaccinations - Vaccinations are what keep your dog from getting sick; your veterinarian will let you know when they are due and what vaccinations are recommended for your dog. I've outlined different dog vaccinations and puppy vaccinations that might be recommended by your veterinarian.
Flea and Tick Control - Using a good flea and tick control is the key to preventing fleas and ticks from being a problem for our pets. Fleas and ticks are tough to control once we have an infestation, the key of course is prevention. Don't let the little buggers in to begin with. If you use a good flea and tick preventative on a regular basis then you won't have to worry about fleas and ticks on your pets or in your house. There are a lot of options out there, I've outlined the products I would (and do) use. Another thing to remember is to treat all the pets, indoor and outdoor, in order to rid all the fleas from the area, otherwise you'll continue to be re-infested with the little buggers.
Spay/Neuter - Although there are risks involved with any surgery the health benefits to having your dog spayed or neutered outweigh the risks. There are many benefits to spaying or neutering your dog. The dog spay surgery eliminates unwanted pregnancy, messy heat cycles, and risks of pyometra and mammary tumors. The dog neuter surgery eliminates testicular cancer, decreases the chances of developing prostate cancer, and your pet will not be out roaming looking for chicks, thereby decreasing the chances of being hit by a car or being picked up by animal control. Your pet will not become fat and or lazy from this surgery. Obesity in dogs and cats comes from overfeeding and lack of exercise. In some cases a thyroid problem or genetics is to blame but the spay surgery is not to blame for a fat dog.
Intestinal Worm Control - Dogs can be victims to several different intestinal parasites or worms, but roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms are the most common. I've outlined the common intestinal parasites and facts to keep in mind for preventing parasites. It is important to know what kind of parasite your pet has so you can de-worm accordingly. De-wormers will generally not kill all parasites so it is important to use the right one. If you keep your pet on monthly heartworm preventative your pet should be protected against most of the intestinal parasites. Just one more good reason to use heartworm prevention.
Proper Diet and Exercise - Walking your dog is good for you and your pet. The walk is great exercise physically but it is also good for the mental health of your dog. (Imagine if you were trapped behind the same four walls day in and day out, or trapped in the same back yard). Might get a little boring, huh? Also, our pets are overweight due to overfeeding and lack of exercise. Obesity in pets is a growing concern. Having excess fat on their bodies can lead to joint problems as well as diabetes. Luckily for us we now have some options for getting this problem under control before it leads to a life threatening illness. Here are some points to help you get some of that weight off of your fat dog or cat.