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Helping your dog stay healthy throughout its life

How can you help your dog stay healthy throughout its life?

Today we are looking at things which we as owners can do to help our pets stay well. We have to however accept that there are some illnesses which are, although not necessarily breed specific, do tend to affect certain breeds more than others. Remember when buying or rehoming a dog that you should have the correct environment for the breed you choose.

As a responsible pet owner it is essential that we ensure that our pet’s vaccinations are up to date.

Like all animals dogs need a well-balanced diet, plenty of fresh water, and exercise.

Many signs of potential problems should be easily noticed by the dog’s owners, I know that last year when stroking Toby I noticed a lump on his ribs which wasn’t there before. We went to the vets the next day and it was just a ‘fatty lump’ which was reassuring, however having lost our beloved Labrador Sam to cancer a few years ago, my first reaction was to think the worse. The experience also made me realise how much the veterinary profession has progressed in the year’s in between. Twenty years ago a sample was sent off and we had to wait for the result, this time the vet numbed the spot, took a sample, put it on a slide then went into the back room to check, no lengthy wait this time I am pleased to say.

A caring owner should also check the ears regularly for signs that they are hot or notice if their pet is shaking their head. You should also watch for sore paws and signs that parts of the body are painful, and get them checked out by a vet immediately. Running your hand over your pet each day will ensure that you get to know how he or she feels, and you will quickly notice any changes.

Sickness or diarrhoea should always be checked by the vet. At this point I would stress that you should never give human medicines and pills to your pet, they ae human specific and will be dangerous and possibly fatal.

As your dog gets older it may, like humans suffer from a long term illness like diabetes, these diseases are just as treatable for your pets as they are for you.

With age your dog may slow down considerably, perhaps he or she will not want to walk so far, well listen to what they are telling you, it is not kind to take an older dog out for an hour if it is torture for it, a gentle stroll where they can have a sniff and a wee will be appreciated a lot more.

Teeth should be kept an eye on as well as time goes by. A the yearly vaccination appointment they should be checked, however, if you notice your pet is not eating well, it could be in pain with its teeth and they may need a clean, or to be removed.

Remember a change in your dog’s behaviour could be an indication of ill health, and it is better safe than sorry.


Susan Keefe

Award Winning Author


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