Keep Your Dog In Good Health

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Keep Your Dog In Good Health

by Eric Hartwell

Taking your dog to the vet can be a harrowing experience for you and your dog. However, it is necessary to ensure your dog of a healthy, happy and long life. Your dog should see the vet once a year for annual checkups, shots and a blood test for heartworm. Always take your dog to the doctor immediately if it is sick or injured.

Puppies will need to be vaccinated with a ?5 in 1? combination vaccine at 2, 3 and 4 months old, followed by annual shots. This vaccine inoculates your pup from hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, parainfluenza and distemper. Larger dogs such as Doberman Pinschers, American Staffordshire terriers/pit bulls and Rottweilers will need the combination vaccine up until five months of age. An unvaccinated dog that is older than four or five months old will be required to have a series of two vaccinations administered two to three weeks apart. After these shots, be careful that your puppy does not walk outside or sit or walk on the floor of an animal hospital until a few days after the last vaccination is completed, thus avoiding infection. Some states require a rabies vaccination for your puppy which should be given annually for two years and followed up by boosters every three years. If your animal becomes sick and was not properly vaccinated, be sure to administer the vaccine once the animal has fully recovered.

Heartworm is a common and deadly parasite. It lives in the dog?s heart and is transmitted by mosquitoes. Every spring, it is a good idea to get your dog tested for heartworm. This test will determine whether or not your dog was infected the year before. During mosquito season, you can give your dog a once-a-month pill to protect it. If you travel out of your area and weather to a tropical or warm place where there will be mosquitoes, your will want to give your dog or puppy preventative heartworm medication for the duration of the trip. If you live in a warm climate all year long, it is advisable to constantly monitor and administer heartworm medication.

Roundworms and hookworms are also on the roster of disabling doggie diseases. Dogs can be exposed to these infections through microscopic eggs in another dog?s infected feces It is common for puppies to contract hookworms or roundworms and this can be treated by your trusted veterinarian.

Whenever you kiss or get licked by your dog and you inhale the ?dog breath? this may not just be a case of gingivitis. Your dog?s bad breath is an indication to you that your dog may have a serious liver or intestinal disease, diabetes, kidney disease or just needs to go to the dentist. A regular dental check-up and cleaning will determine if your dog?s mouth has bacteria and plaque which would require professional treatment. You can maintain your dog?s good dental health by brushing the teeth on a regular basis and feeding it dental treats to chew on. With a child?s soft toothbrush, the owner can clean the canine?s teeth with dog toothpaste or baking soda and water paste weekly. If your dog?s bad breath is accompanied by other symptoms of ill health such as depression, loss of appetite or vomiting, take your dog to the vet to get a full check-up.

Always check your dog for fleas and ticks and never feed your dog medication that has not been prescribed!

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