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Pet Health Tips

Basic Pet Health tips from Homely Petz – Home checking your pet.

Doggy Hygiene

Washing your dog is important, but not as important as some people think. Healthy dogs actually don’t need to be washed all that often, but humans prefer to bathe them so that they have a more pleasing smell and appearance. Doggy bath time is a good time to spend with the dog, however. Although most of them don’t like to be washed, they will appreciate the contact and attention that they receive from their owners during a bath. It is also a good time to perform some other necessary “dog maintenance” such as cleaning the ears, checking for ticks and fleas, and brushing the teeth. Since many dogs do not like to sit still for any of these activities, it can be a good idea to do them all at once.

Brushing Dogs’ Teeth

Brushing your dogs’ teeth is just good dental hygiene. Most vets recommend that it be done at least twice a week to ensure your dog maintains healthy teeth and gums. If you’ve not been doing this (and, unfortunately, many people don’t) it’s never too late to start. The dog should have its own toothbrush and special toothpaste designed for dogs. Make sure you brush the back teeth in small circles, the same way you would your own, and brush up and down the length of the “pointy” canine teeth. Dog toothpaste is made to have a pleasing taste (for the dog, don’t try it yourself) and this should make the dog willing to let you perform this activity.

Checking for Ticks & Fleas

Ticks are nasty little arachnids (they’re eight-legged creatures like spiders, and therefore are not insects) that will latch onto your dog’s skin and make its blood their meal ticket. They are most common in wooded areas, but your dog should be checked for them regularly because they can carry a number of diseases. The best place to look for these bugs in under the collar or on the dog’s underbelly, buried in the fur. If found they can be removed with tweezers, although consult with your vet on how to remove them as you can do it wrong and cause a bigger problem.

Fleas can be found in the same places, under the fur. The presence of fleas can be betrayed by the sight of their droppings on the dog’s coat. They look like flecks of pepper. The fleas themselves look like bits of brown rice. They’re about an eighth of an inch long. They can’t simply be picked off of the dog like ticks can, but finding them will let you know its time to start the dog on a program to control and eliminate the insects. Although fleas are not as common as ticks in Dubai it is still important to regularly check your dog and ensure you have a regular (usually monthly) parasite control regime in place with a “Spot-on” being applied to the back of neck, ask your vet for more details.

Cleaning the Ears

Reputable veterinary clinics sell special solutions for cleansing a dog’s ears. Dogs can easily get ear mites, small insects which live in the ears and feed of the waxy secretions there. Over time the bodies of these short-lived creatures build up and form a black, dirty substance. Using a cotton swab dipped in a bit of this solution, gently clean the inner ear. It may be difficult to hold the dog still for this procedure, but it doesn’t take long. And the result will be clean ears and the avoidance of potential infection and earaches in the dog.

Signs of Ill Health

Signs of ill health are the most important signs of the health status in your dogs. For example, if your dog has continuous nasal discharge, it indicates the presence of nasal congestion and if the discharge is thick it may be an indication of something more serious.
If your dog vomits one or two times occasionally, this may not be taken as a serious sign of ill health but if your dog continues this vomiting, then this is something significant to be looked into.

If your dog has continuous itching, then you need to check your dog first by closer observation and examination of his skin by separating the hair especially in the case of long haired breeds. You may come across ticks or lice on skin, which may look normal at a distance.

If your dog passes a loose stool a couple of times this need not be given more emphasis but if there is continuous passing of loose stools, then your dog maybe suffering from a bowel disorder.

Just patiently observe your dog’s walking movements and rule out any abnormal movements in your dog. If your dog is limping, he may have an injury or foot lesions. Similarly, if you have an elderly dog who is reluctant walking and eating much less a veterinary visit is recommended.

You know your dog the best, his usual behaviours and mannerisms; you know his routines and what his expectations are throughout the day. As well as observations if you feel that your dog is not well then you are probably right, do not dismiss your own gut instinct with your pet and make that call to the veterinarian, best be safe than sorry don’t you think.

Looking for a vet?  Check out our Veterinarian Directory.

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