Taking care of a dog is a big responsibility. Like infants, they are unable to communicate what is bothering them, so it is up to the owner to be proactive when regarding canine health. Initiating a heartworm medication regimen, preventing skin parasites by using flea and tick medication, and being wary of signs of arthritis in older dogs are three important things to do in order to keep your dog in good health.
Get Your Dog on Heartworm Medication
One of the most difficult afflictions to recognize is a case of heartworms. The main issue with detecting the disease is that very few dogs show symptoms of the infestation before the worms mature; even then, the warning signs are subtle at best. This is why the best way to fight heartworms is to prevent them. Get your dog on a structured heartworm medication before he or she starts showing signs. Talk with your veterinarian about the best medication for your dog and how often the pill should be taken. Don’t forget to ask the best method to give it to your dog. If your canine is stubborn, you may find it difficult to feed it to him.
Look for Signs of Arthritis
If your four-legged friend is getting up in years, check for signs of arthritis, like labored walking. There’s no cure for aging, in dogs or humans, but that doesn’t mean that man’s best friend has to suffer daily with joint pain. If you suspect your dog is suffering from arthritis, it would be wise to put him on anti-inflammatory medication to help ease the swelling of the joints. Changes in your dog’s lifestyle may also be a good idea. If you have a lot of stairs in your house, it may be time to limit your pooch to the bottom floor. He may want to follow you to the second floor, but it’s for his own good.
Check for Skin Parasites
If your dog spends a lot of time outside, they run the risk of becoming hosts to skin parasites. Even if you have a dog that lays around the house a majority of his time, you want to take preventative steps to assuring he doesn’t bring any of these microscopic vermin into your home. Flea and tick treatment comes in different forms and the right one for you may depend on what type of dog you have and the time it spends outside in the yard. If you have small children, it would also be wise to research which treatments are best to use around them, as some may cause irritation. Also remember that skin parasites may only be affecting your pooch right now, but it may not be long before one of your family members comes down with an itch they got from your dog.
Having a dog can be a joyful experience, but you must remember that you are responsible for the health of your canine. Regular checkups at the vet coupled with vigorous preventative measures for afflictions like heartworms can make sure your dog’s tail is wagging for many years to come.
- License: Creative Commons image source
For more writing by Jillian Johnson follow her @MissWritey.