My Number One Dog Health Tip (and a few extra…)

I’m an owner of a basset hound and have been for almost two years now. At first, I thought caring for a pet would be a piece of cake, but I was wrong. Having a pet is like having a child—a big responsibility. You always have to keep in mind his health, his food, and his hygiene. My most valuable dog health tip came from the vet after some unfortunate visits.

Once during the first year of ownership, he suffered from dehydration. I was afraid he was going to die at the time as he lost his energy and enthusiasm.  I took him to the vet who confined him there for quite some time, which resulted in a surprisingly large medical bill.

Then more recently, he began to vomit for no apparent reason. He seemed really ill and I was very worried. It even came to the point where he didn’t want to eat any food or even drink water. I was afraid that he would suffer from dehydration again and so I hurriedly took him to the vet the next day. The diagnosis was that he had worms and needed treatment. He stayed in the clinic for a while again for a few days. The bill was less but nevertheless, expensive. What I hadn’t thought of previously was that if I had only taken him to the vet regularly, I wouldn’t have had to fork out so much and he wouldn’t have suffered nearly as much from those two bouts of illness.

Therefore, prevention is the best dog health tip in caring for your dogs. What this article will tackle is the most important aspect of all: your dog’s hygiene. Like humans, they too should always be looked after.

What should you do?

Many pet owners don’t know the proper treatment for their dogs: hygiene is very important here. A few pointers on how to maintain your dog’s hygiene:

  1. Teeth. Brush their pearly whites regularly, about two or three times a week. You could always ask the vet next time you are dog-health-tip-2there to have them brushed. There are also dog treats that are useful in cleaning their teeth.
  1. Nails. There are dog nail clippers readily available at most pet stores. Dog nail clippers are quite different from those used by humans, and you should be careful in clipping their nails; a little mistake may do them great harm. The nails may bleed, and since they are always exposed to the ground, they may get infected.
  1. Ears. Like our ears, theirs are also sensitive. The eardrums are protected by hairs called cilia. These hairs catch dirt and pollution so they must be cleaned regularly. Using cotton buds is undesirable since it might damage the ears. Check them at the vet instead.
  1. Hair/fur. Some breeds have long, furry coats. These should be combed regularly as they get tangled and matted easily. When this happens, you have two choices: demitting or shaving. Shaving is much less expensive than demitting. The coat may grow back after a few weeks.  Trimming should also be done regularly for pets with long fur.
  1. Body. Bathing is also necessary for dogs, albeit less often and only if they are really dirty. After bathing, you should dry them off with a towel or else they may get smelly.

This dog health tip, along with a good diet, dog health food and regular exercise will go a long way to ensuring your pet a long and healthy life. Even so, be sure to visit the vet once every 6 months or so for check-ups, vaccinations and treatments such as deworming etc to be on the safe side.

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