Dog Healthcare: How to Care for Your Furry Friend

If you have a puppy or a dog, you know that they too need proper care, regular vet visits, suitable food and medicine that will keep them in great health and happiness.
Your puppy age will determine the type of healthcare it needs. For instance, your puppy of several weeks will have to take a few vaccines that will keep their health in good shape. Senior dogs may need a regular blood sample check.
It’s important that you educate yourself about the type of dog healthcare your furry friend needs. From the earliest age, you should take them to the vet and follow their recommendations when it comes to diet, hygiene and also medicine (if needed).

Health Care for Puppies

puppy at the doctor
source: hillspet.com

In the first months of your puppy’s life, you should take care of the vaccines. When you take your pup to the vet, they will get their first vaccine (in a series of puppy vaccines). Young dogs need booster vaccination every three weeks until they reach the age of four to five months.
The vaccines are important since they will protect them from illnesses such as leptospirosis, hepatitis, distemper, parainfluenza and rabies.
When it comes to early dog health care, you should consider spaying or neutering. If you aren’t planning to breed your dog, spay or neuter them before they reach the age of six months. The early spaying or neutering will prevent accidental pregnancies or health problems or behaviour issues such as mammary cancer or marking.

Health Care for Adult Dogs

Your dog is considered a puppy till the age of two. In these two formative years, you should develop good dog healthcare habits such as getting a vaccination, keeping them clean from fleas and heartworms, dental health and clean fur.
From age two to seven, the dog is considered an adult dog. During this dime, the dog’s health revolves around keeping them healthy and treating health issues. It’s important to take your furry friend to the very every year for a regular physical exam. This way the vet will look for things that you couldn’t spot at home. They will tell you about any issues, vaccinations, special diet and so on.
Rabies vaccination should be given every one to three years and your vet should determine if your dog needs other vaccinations as well.
Your vet will likely repeat heartworm tests just to make sure things are all right.

doctor checking on a dog
source: akc.org

Health Care for Old Dogs

Senior dogs are considered dogs that have reached seven years of age. This is when your vet will recommend starting getting a yearly blood test to see any potential disease processes such as kidney diseases. In case your dog develops any health problems, you will have to visit the vet more than once a year.

Feeding

It’s important to know how to feed your dog. If you have a puppy that is eight to twelve weeks old, you’ll have to feed it four times a day. Puppies that are six months old need three meals a day and puppies between six months and one year of age need two meals per day.
Once your dog turns one, they will need one meal a day.
If you have a larger dog that tends to bloat, you can feed them two smaller meals.
It’s important to get a premium-quality dry food to keep their diet balanced. You can mix it with water, canned food or broth. Adult dogs love cottage cheese, cooked fruits, veggies and eggs, but make sure not to give these foods in more than 10% of their daily food intake.
If you have a puppy, feed them with high-quality food made from a well-known brand and make sure to limit “people food” even as treats. Your pup will love it, but you should be disciplined and not fail for those “puppy eyes”. Giving “people food” to puppies may cause disbalance in vitamin and mineral content, bone and teeth issues and of course can turn your dog into a peaky eater. You also risk making your puppy obese.
Make sure to provide clean and fresh water at all times. The dog dishes must be washed frequently

Grooming

Keeping your dog clean and reducing the shedding is an important part of your dog health routine.
Get a suitable brush for your dog’s coat and check for fleas and ticks (this should be done on daily basis in the warm weather). Most dogs don’t need bathing more than a few times a year. But, when it’s time for that, make sure you comb and cut out mats from the coat before starting the bathing. Wet their coat, apply dog shampoo, massage well and then rinse the entire soap off their coat.
If you fear you won’t be able to do this, you can always take your dog to a professional.

grooming dog
source: pawsgr.com

Medicine

The first rule when it comes to dog health care – never gives them medicine that wasn’t prescribed by your vet. This especially goes for the medicine you use (your cold medicine won’ treat your dog’s cold and may cause some serious issues and allergic reactions). If you suspect your dog has ingested a medicine or a poisonous substance, call your vet immediately.

Fleas and Ticks

fleas nad ticks on dogs
source: dogwoodvethospital.com

Dogs love snooping around and roll in the grass. When the weather is warm, the grass is full with nasty little critters that will attach to your dog’s coat. Inspect your dog on daily basis for fleas and ticks. Having a flea comb can make things easier to remove them. Also, there are certain methods, tools and shampoos to remove the tick and fleas and keep your dog’s coat under control. Before getting anything, be sure to talk to your vet about the suitable products (also be sure to ask every question you think it’s important on how and when to use certain tools, tick and flea treatments or medicine).

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