You know that your puppy is in good health. You feed it properly, and have it vaccinated, wormed and treated for parasites according to plan: fine ... You can still show all your love, in various little ways of daily care and comfort. You alone can save it from the dangers of life; Its health and well-being depend on you.
Brushing, for your dog´s pleasure and your own
Brush every day, if you have a long- or medium-haired dog (Yorkshire terrier, collie or golden retriever), twice weekly for woolly or tough fur (poodle or fox terrier), and once a month for short-haired dogs (dachshund or boxer). Talk to your dog during these moments of conviviality, and finish up with a reward.
If your dog spends more time walking on carpet than on hard floors, teach it to give you its paw to have its claws cut or filed. Your vet can advise you as to the right tool, and how far to go.
When you find mucus in the corner of your dog´s eyes, or even a slight watering, you need to take a sterile compress soaked in a special ophthalmic solution for dogs (or cats). Press your hand, with the compress, against the skull and clean directly. In case of blood-shot eyes or persistent watering, consult your Vet without delay. Eyes are precious jewels.
So far as possible: always at the same time of day, regularly ,and at least three times a day, take your dog out on its lead. The lead can become a symbol of enjoyment. More-or-less always take exactly the same route, for the sake of habit and the dog´s intellectual comfort: they hate change.
So long as your dog´s ears are clean and odourless, leave them alone and they will stay perfect. Some dogs do have too many hairs in their ears, and gentle depilation is required (done by your Vet, your groom- or yourself: they can show you how). Many puppies have too much black or dark brown earwax, causing them to shake and scratch their heads. If your Vet diagnoses ear-mange, you will be told what course to follow so as to clear up this form of parasitosis once and for all within a month.
Shining white teeth.
Scales, of mineral salts contained in the saliva, all too quickly form on the dental plaque, especially in certain small-sized races.
Use a brush or special finger-stall to brush the teeth with a special dogs´ toothpaste. No joke! It´s the one way to ensure healthy adult teeth which will last all life long, with sweet breath and better health into the bargain.
If scaling occurs all the same, the teeth risk coming loose. Regular de-scaling- by ultrasound, of course- is the optimal solution.
Generally speaking, you need quite hot water, at around 39C, and to get it all over with in 5 minutes, then dry your dog thoroughly (towels and hair-dryer).
Some dogs do not need washing more than once a year.
Shampoos for humans are a little different for those carefully developed for dogs. Your Vet will advise as to the rhythm and special product to use in case of problems: sebum or allergy, for example.
Finally, don´t forget that, during most anti-parasite treatments (for fleas, or tics, etc.), it is recommended not to bathe the dog for 48 hours prior to and after treatment.
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Acorn House Veterinary Surgery
Linnet Way, Brickhill, Bedford, MK41 7HN