Keeping your dog happy and healthy is an important part of responsible pet ownership. Here are a few things you can do to help keep your best friend in tip top condition.
Choosing a vet
Choose a vet in your local area and be sure to make regular visits for check ups. A good vet will give your dog a complete health check and ensure its vaccinations and worming routines are up to date. If your vet seems disinterested or doesn't take the time to adequately explain things to you, try another one - a good, trusting relationship with your vet is an integral part of maintaining your dog's health so don't be afraid go elsewhere if you feel you are not getting the level of care it needs.
In the past, infectious diseases such as those caused by parvovirus and distemper virus have been a significant cause of illness and death in dogs. Vaccination against these and other diseases has proved to be a very effective means of stopping these diseases. A suitable vaccination programme will often involve an initial course of injections followed by booster injections at various times throughout your dog's life. For the best advice on vaccinations, talk to your vet.
Most pets will become infected with worms at some stage during their lives – particularly Roundworm, Hookworm, Whipworm, Tapeworm and Hydatid Tapeworm. Dogs pick up intestinal worms in many ways, some by transmission from the mother during pregnancy or following birth, others by ingestion, skin penetration or from another animal. But while these worms can cause serious illness in your pets, the good news is that they are simple to control by regularly using a preventative product such as EXELPET® EZY-DOSE® Intestinal All Wormer for Dogs.
Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitos and is a painful and debilitating condition that effects thousands of Australian dogs every year. But while heartworm disease is extremely difficult to treat, it is very easy to prevent by regularly using a heartworm prevention product. PEDIGREE® recommends EXELPET® EZY-DOSE Monthly Heartworm Treatment for Dogs.
All dogs scratch but if your dog seems to scratch excessively it may have a flea problem. The best way to keep your little one flea-free is to implement an integrated flea control program. That means destroying all visible adult fleas, using an ongoing flea prevention product and treating your dog's surrounding environment. If you live in an area where ticks are a problem you should regularly check your dog for these parasites, particularly in the warmer months when ticks are most active. If you find a tick, contact your vet immediately for advice.
EXELPET® offers a wide range of effective products that can prevent fleas and ticks from appearing on your pooch
Like us, dogs need to keep their teeth clean to remain in top condition. Without proper dental hygiene, your dog's teeth will experience a build up in harmful plaque and tartar which can lead to bad breath and gum disease. One option is to have your dog's teeth cleaned on a regular basis. Ask your vet to examine your dog's teeth whenever you visit.
There are also special foods such as PEDIGREE DENTABONE® which can help prevent the build up of harmful plaque and tartar on your canine's canines. You can learn more about this PEDIGREE DENTABONE here.
The amount of grooming your dog needs will largely depend on its breed. Obviously longhaired breeds will need brushing almost every day while shorthaired breeds may only need a quick brush once a week. When grooming your dog, remember to start from the head and work the brush down the body, always in the direction of the hair growth, and concentrating on those areas where hair can easily become tangled such as the legs.
Many people consider their dogs a part of the family and love taking their pets with them on holidays. Travelling with your dog can be great fun and helps reinforce car trips as a positive experience.
Before you start your journey, ensure your dog is properly restrained so they can't move around the car. This is particularly true for dogs that are new to car travel and may be feeling a little nervous about the whole experience.
NEVER leave your dog unattended in the car. Even on cool days, cars can become extremely hot which can be fatal to your dog.
Lost dogs are an unfortunate part of life, but there are things you can do to ensure your best friend is returned to you as quickly as possible. Microchips implanted under a dogs skin are now quite common and used like barcodes as a means of permanent identification. In some areas, microchips are compulsory so talk to your vet about your obligations as a dog owner.
It is also important for your dog to wear a lightweight collar with an identification tag attached. This will be invaluable should your dog become lost. You will also need to attach a registration tag available from your local council.