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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.

Dog Care | Transitions: 1041 | Added by: Charla Dawson | Date: 2010-05-04

The Importance of Proper Dental Hygiene & Care for a Dog's Teeth

Apr 30, 2010 Amanda Griffith

Dogs need sufficient dental hygiene to prevent plaque and tartar build-up, cavities and gum disease. Learn the best techniques, including what tools to use.

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Just like their human counterparts, dogs also need to have clean teeth, not only to prevent cavities but to avoid dental conditions like gingivitis and periodontal disease. But how does a pet-owner go about ensuring proper dental care for her four-legged friend?
Dental ExaminationsMost dogs visit the veterinarian twice each year for well check-ups. During this time, the staff will check his teeth and gums. The doctor is looking for buildup of plaque or tartar, reddened gums (gingivitis), bleeding, broken teeth, and other problems.
If pet owners notice problems like breath odor, drooling, or difficulty eating, though, a dog should be examined right away. The sooner that dental disease is identified and treated, the better the outcome. Common Dental Problems Faced by Dogs quotes an American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS) statistic that 80 percent of dogs show oral disease by age 3, and it is the most common health problem treated in small animal health clinics today.
Two common problems dogs with poor hygiene have are loose tooth and abscesses. Studies also show that 98 percent of dogs with bad breath suffer from periodontal disease that is caused by plaque build-up.

The buildup of bacteria in a dog's mouth may cause more than just bad breath; according to research presented at a recent conference on Companion Animal Oral Health, bacteria are also the cause of oral disease and diseases in other organs of the body. If left untreated, this can lead to a bacterial infection, which can enter the bloodstream and spread to a dog's kidney, liver, heart and even brain, according to Dog Breed Info Center.
What Type of Toothpaste Do Dogs Use?Dogs cannot use human toothpaste because human toothpaste is not edible. Because dogs can't spit, they will end up swallowing fluoride which can be harmful.
Dog owners can, however, purchase an edible toothpaste, just for dogs, at the pet store. There are a variety of flavors available, from maple to beef, which can serve as a delicious treat for a dog.
Five Simple Steps to Brush a Dog's TeethBrushing a dog's teeth is really quite easy, once a pet owner gets the hang of it. By following a few simple steps, the process becomes even smoother over time. Select an appropriate time - start when the dog is relaxed Acquaint the dog with the process - for the first few sessions a toothbrush isn't needed. The owner need only gently stroke the outside of the dog's cheeks with a finger. After she becomes comfortable with that, place a dab of toothpaste on a finger and let her taste it. Introduce the toothbrush - with a small amount of toothpaste, in a slow circular motion, brush one or two teeth and the adjoining gum line. Begin brushing - over the next several of days, gradually increase the number of teeth brushed Ensure the experience is a pleasant one - make the experience relaxing and fun. Praise the dog after so she looks forward to the next time. How Often Should a Dog's Teeth Be Brushed?

A dog's teeth should be cleaned at least twice a week. Feeding him dry dog food and giving him plenty of hard bones to chew on is one way to help keep his teeth healthier between brushing. Treats, Chews and Other Dental Products

The PurinaCare Pet Health Library notes that a variety of products are marketed to help keep a dog's teeth clean at home. These include dental care diets, plaque reducing treats and toys, and solutions that are applied to dogs mouth.
Before using a commercially available product, pet owners should always check with their veterinarian because some may be unsafe or may interfere with other treatments a dog is receiving. In general, dogs should avoid very hard chews such as natural bone or cow hooves to prevent damage to the teeth and gums. It is important to remember, too, that although treats and chews may be of some benefit, there is no substitute for regular tooth brushing. Taking Care of a Dog's Teeth Long-Term

Understanding the importance of keeping a dog's teeth healthy and bright, of ensuring fresh breath and healthy gums is critical to the long-term health of a canine.
Pet owners should remember that consistency and thoroughness is key. In just a few minutes each week, it is easy to maintain a simple and effective teeth cleaning ritual through teeth brushing, proper food and supplemental treats.
Sources:"You Want Me to Brush My DOG's Teeth?," Dog Breed Info Center website
"How to Care For Your Dog's Teeth,"
"Caring for Your Dog's Teeth," PurinaCare website
"How to Brush Your Dog's Teeth," Placerville Veterinary Clinic website

Dog Care | Transitions: 1203 | Added by: Amanda Griffith | Date: 2010-05-04

How to Stop a Dog From Scooting
Take Care of Dog's Anal Area to End Scooting

Nov 19, 2008 Kelli Roche

If your dog is scooting on his bottom like a bicycle "popping wheelies", it may be time to have him checked out for impacted anal glands or other problems.

Although a scooting dog usually has impacted anal glands, it could be due to a variety of other conditions including the dog having fleas, tapeworms, ulcers, a back injury or other issues. It is important to take your dog to the veterinarian for an exam if you notice this behavior for a proper diagnosis. Why Do Dogs Scoot?

Anal Sacs are two glands on both sides of the dog' anus. They contain a foul-smelling oily substance that is supposed to coat feces that is expressed when a dog defecates. This oily substance may play a role in communicating a "scent" from one dog to another. Most dogs go for a lifetime without having any problems. If a dog is unable to express this substance from the anal glands when it defecates, they can become impacted or full. This can be painful for the dog and it will scoot, chase its tail or lick around their anal region to get relief. If left untreated, these glands can abscess and rupture. What Can Be Done To Relieve Impacted Anal Glands

For the dog to get relief from scooting, a veterinarian will need to manually express impacted anal glands. Few pet owners may want to do this at home, but most prefer to schedule an appointment to bring the dog to the veterinary hospital. Once the anal glands are expressed, there is a very bad odor associated with it. Most dogs feel relief from the impacted glands and scooting stops immediately after this procedure. For prevention of this condition in the future, some dogs need an increase in fiber to bulk of stools, exercise or a change in diet. A veterinarian can offer the best advice. Tapeworms: Another Common Cause of Scooting

Tapeworm segments look like small grains of rice. They attach around the anus underneath the tail, so they may go unnoticed. If your dog is licking the anal area and scooting, this could also be a sign the dog has tapeworms. If you do see these segments, try to remove some, place them in a container and take them to the veterinary clinic for proper identification. The dog will be dewormed and the pet will recover within a short time. if you dog has tapeworms, other symptoms may occur. Look for decreased or increased appetite, weight loss, diarrhea and a rough coat.
Check your dog regularly for anal problems to prevent him from scooting. It will keep your dog less frustrated and provide you with nice smelling, clean carpet.

Dog Care | Transitions: 1088 | Added by: Kelli Roche | Date: 2010-05-04

Basic Dog Care
Proper Care for Your New Dog
Mar 30, 2009 Jennifer Wagaman

New pet owners need to understand the basics of proper dog care in order to provide their pet with a long healthy life.

Taking proper care of your dog is important. In order to provide the best home you can for your dog you must provide food, water, exercise and a safe environment. There is a lot that goes into proper care for a dog, but the rewards of a loyal family pet are vast. Choosing the Right Food for Your Dog

Just as there is healthy and unhealthy food for people, there is also healthy and unhealthy food for dogs. First of all, most human food is unhealthy for dogs. Avoid giving your dog table scraps as there are foods that can be dangerous to dogs. In addition, feeding your dog from the table can create behavior problems.
Dangerous foods for your dog: Grapes and raisins Chocolate Onions Products with Caffeine Macadamia nuts/walnuts Tomatoes Nutmeg Bones (chicken, turkey, etc) The core/pit of fruits Alcohol Mushrooms
Human food that is generally okay for your dog: Carrots Green beans Lettuce Yams Apples
When choosing a dog food, it is important to do your research. There are a lot of choices on the market today, but just because something is popular in the stores does not mean it is healthy for your dog. Foods that contain animal by-products are unhealthy for your dog. According to, by-products include "lungs, spleen, kidney, brain, liver, blood, bone… [chicken] heads, feet, and internal organs.” [accessed March 30, 2009] It is best to find a food that contains the actual meat instead of by-products.

Providing Food and Water for Your Dog

It is important to provide your dog with food and water each day to meet nutritional needs. Your veterinarian can recommend the proper feeding schedule for your dog, and there are guidelines listed on bags of dog food as well. In general, a healthy adult dog should be fed once or twice daily. Exercising Your Dog

It is important that your dog receive daily exercise. Daily walks and other types of exercise provide numerous health benefits including weight maintenance, cardiovascular health and a healthy metabolism. In addition, providing your dog with daily exercise will help curb and prevent numerous behavior issues. Providing a Safe Environment for Your Dog

While a fenced yard is not a requirement for owning a dog, it does help. Your dog needs a safe environment to go to the bathroom, whether in a fenced yard or on numerous leashed walks throughout the day. Your dog will also need a safe place to get out of the weather if left outside, whether a covered porch or doghouse.
Dog proofing your home will help prevent your things from becoming chew toys, and keep your dog out of potentially dangerous situations. Proper supervision is important and it may be prudent to crate train your dog to provide a safe environment inside your house. If you decide to crate train your dog, it is vital that you do not leave your dog crated for long periods of time. Routine Veterinary Care

It is important that you take your dog for all routine veterinary care visits. This includes a series of puppy shots followed up by annual or tri-annual boosters. In addition to basic vaccines, your pet will need an annual exam to ensure that he is healthy. Your veterinarian should be your first stop whenever you have questions regarding the health of your dog.
It is important to provide proper care for your dog from day one. Do your research to find the best food for your dog and take the time to provide the things that your dog needs each day including water, exercise and a safe environment.

Dog Care | Transitions: 513 | Added by: Jennifer Wagaman | Date: 2010-05-01

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