What you need to know about your Dog’s Health

Like people, dogs need to be healthy to enjoy life. Dogs are our friends, companions and often our guardians, but since they are also totally dependent on us for their well-being, it is our responsibility to look after them properly.

One of the most prevalent ‘diseases’ in dogs these days is one that also affects humans. Obesity. A fat dog is an unhealthy dog and is likely to suffer from arthritis and heart failure. Remember, in the wild dogs eat fresh meat that they have killed themselves. They also eat certain types of grass and may eat wild fruits like berries if these grow in their natural habitat.

Milk, custard and cake are the worst things you can give your grown dog and, though a puppy may benefit from the calcium in milk, there are commercial milk products available that are especially formulated for a puppy’s needs.

Dry dog food, or kibble as it is sometimes called, is said to have all the nutrients that your dog will need for health, but the dearer brands are often better. Dogs fed on cheaper brands may constantly chew grass to supplement whatever is missing from their diet.
A healthy dog should have a smooth, shining coat, clear eyes and a moist nose. If your dog’s breath is disgusting, it could be due to the tartar on its teeth. Chewing on a big bone will help to clean your dog’s teeth.

Regular worming will also help to keep your pet in top condition. Shots for distemper, heartworm, parvovirus and kennel cough are a must. Kennel cough is not likely to be a problem unless the dog is kept on cement. Your vet will need to administer the shots, but you can worm the dog yourself. The tablets should be pushed down the side of the dog’s mouth until he swallows. If this is too difficult, crush the tablet into some tinned dog food and offer when the dog is hungry. Luckily, it is not transmitted to humans.

Symptoms of distemper include runny eyes and a dry nose. If your dog drags itself along the ground in a sitting position, suspect worms immediately.

Fleas, which will happily jump from dogs to humans, can be another problem. These bloodsuckers can actually kill a tiny cute puppy, simply through blood loss. Always be sure to keep kennels and yard clean to reduce the flea problem.

If you live in a tick prone area, be sure to keep a tick collar on your dog at all times. Your pet’s life may depend on it! Grass ticks cause itchy lumps that can become infected when scratched. LuckilyFree Articles, the tick vaccine works well and quickly and can save a dog that looks like it is gasping its last breath.

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