Preventative Care for your Pet
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Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation… and almost as good for the soul as prayer.” – Dean Koontz
Although dogs are about as keen to visit the vet as humans are excited to visit the dentist, preventative care for your pet is extremely important.
Many devastating canine diseases are entirely preventable, and in all instances the cost of prevention is far less than the financial and emotional cost of treatment.
Listed here are necessary preventative steps owners should take when caring for their dogs.
Annual Vet Visits
Even if your pet is not sick, it is still important to take your dog to the veterinarian for annual checkups.
Your vet will notice things that you may have grown accustomed to, such as Fluff Butt’s growing waistline or presence of noxious odors.
You will also be able to develop a baseline for your pet’s normal behaviors and vital signs, which is crucial should an emergency ever arise.
As your dog grows older, these annual visits are even more significant.
Keep your dog (and others) safe by remaining current on all vaccinations.
If you have fallen on hard times and vaccines are not feasible in your budget, contact local animal shelters as they may be able to help you cover this important cost.
Worms are gross. Worms in your dog’s digestive system are even more disgusting.
Worse, if your dog gets worms, they can be spread to you or your family members.
Puppies should follow the deworming schedule set forth by your veterinarian (typically every 2 – 4 weeks), and adult dogs should be dewormed every 6 – 12 months (chosen worming tablet dependent).
IDK about you, but I would much rather pay to prevent worms in my dog than have to go to the doctor and try to explain how my child contracted roundworms!
Year-round Parasite Prevention
Other parasites that can be prevented in dogs include heartworm, fleas, and ticks.
Heartworm prevention is especially important for anyone living in areas where mosquitoes are bad, such as Northern Queensland, Australia or the American south.
A main danger of heartworm is that dogs may go years with the disease before showing symptoms, at which point treatment is very difficult and often leads to animals becoming even more ill.
An inexpensive preventative can keep your pet from a lengthy hospital stay and painful treatment process.
Fleas and ticks are another common nuisance for dogs (and their owners) that can be easily prevented.
A simple flea collar, topical gel, or monthly oral tablet can keep these pests from burrowing in on your dog and in your home.
Fleas can cause tapeworm infections, excessive itching and scratching, and hotspots (oh my!).
As anyone who has ever tried to rid his or her home of fleas can attest, an ounce of prevention is worth way more than the months of work that goes into ridding your house of these insects.
Ticks are hosts for disease that can be spread to your pet, such as Lyme Disease, Ehrlichia, and Rocky Mountain Fever.
Again, simply preventing the infection before it begins can save time, money, and heartache later.
Finally, don’t let your dog become the member of the play date that everyone avoids because of her bad breath and matted fur.
Keep your dog’s teeth clean by providing regular dental cleanings, teeth brushing, or dental chews.
Especially for certain breeds, poor dental health as a puppy can lead to serious problems as an adult, and sadly canine dentures do not yet exist.
Your pup’s ears should also be cleaned regularly, especially if your dog has long, floppy ears that trap dirt, moisture, and debris.
Finally, keep your dog’s coat clean.
Regular baths and brushing are important, as the development of mats can decrease your dog’s circulation, causing severe skin problems.
A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself whether you would allow company to come over without first sending your pet to the groomer.
If the answer is no, it might be time to work on your dog’s hygiene!
Overall, keeping your dog healthy depends on taking the proper steps toward preventative care.
Regular vet visits, staying up to date on vaccinations, keeping your pet parasite free, and maintaining proper hygiene are all necessary steps for preventing illness.
After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and according to VetStreet, treatment costs can add up quickly!
Pup Update – 1-2 Years
Jerry has become quite the social butterfly. He loves our walks, and is quite the adventurous, interested type. Recently we’ve been exploring a little further than our usual ‘local’ stomping ground, even sussing out the new light-rail station and neighbouring doggie parks. Cocker Spaniels are water dogs, retrievers in the true sense, so his instincts are to chase and retrieve…lucky for the trusty lead on occasion where I am sure he could easily have ended up several suburbs over. He’s recently also started to love chasing the little Miner birds in the park or, should I say, they taunt and dive bomb Jerry and he is like – in for the chase. It’s a little amusing to watch him chase and turn, chase again and never tire…even although he doesn’t realise they are laughing at him from afar. There is no way on earth he could ever catch them! I’m loving this active Jerry. His body is strong and in it’s prime. At nearly two he is mature, a sweetie, and loved by all who meet him.
Ash Sukhwani a.k.a. Mother of Jerry
Jerry – Born ‘Royoni Naughty-on-Arrival’ June 17, 2017
Follow Jerry’s adventures on Instagram @jerrythecockerspan
Now that you have preventative health care in the forefront of your mind, the next topic of discussion will be canine socialisation.
Watch this space – Chapter Twenty-Seven – Coming Soon
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Photo Credits: Bailey – @baileyb767, Arlo – @arlothecavoodle, Calvin – @calvinthecockerspaniel, Maisie, FADM, Barry, Jax, Bella, Jerry – @jerrythecockerspan