Health & Well Being
We have put together a few helpful tips to keep your dog safe and in tip top condition.
Teeth - It is very important that you keep your dogs teeth clean; just as in humans a build up of tartar can lead to swollen gums and infection. This can be painful to the dog and expensive to treat. It is possible to buy a special dog toothbrush and toothpaste (these are meat flavoured and dogs love them); it is important you get your dog used to having their teeth cleaned from an early age.
Ears - The ears are generally forgotten about in dogs, most people think there is no need to clean dog’s ears, but they are wrong. Dog’s ears are one of the most sensitive and easily affected parts of a dog’s body. Dirt, water and debris can collect in a dog’s ear and block the canal; this in turn can cause otitis. To prevent this regularly clean you dogs ears with solution and cotton wool or wipes. There is also a mite which can invade your dog’s ears – these need treatment ASAP from your vet as they can be very uncomfortable.
Skin and coat - Although a dogs skin and coat looks very tough, they are in fact very sensitive. Your dog will benefit from regular washing with an anti-itch shampoo available from most chemists or vets, be careful not to wash your dog too often as this will remove essential oils from there coat. You should also apply an anti-flea remedy to your dog every 3-4 months; this is a small sachet you apply to the dog’s neck. The skin should also be checked regularly for cuts, flea bites, mites, blemishes or rashes; we recommend a visit to the vets for any of these symptoms as they can be very painful and uncomfortable.
Worms - Your dog should be treated via oral (tablet) medication from a puppy for the prevention of worms. It is essential that you keep up this course of antibiotics for your dog – not just for their health, but yours too. Dogs and cats carry worms and these can be dangerous to your health as well (symptoms include eye damage and upset stomachs). The following table shows what worms your pets can be infected by if not treated:-
So, as you can see it is essential you keep up worming treatments.
Walking - Exercise is the most important and enjoyable part of your dog’s life, regular walks will keep him fit and healthy. But the lead you choose can have a big impact on their safety. You might wonder how a lead can do this?
Traditionally people would use a chain, fabric or leather lead, which was about one metre in length. This is the type of lead we recommend – your dog is at your control, you can dictate what your dog does and where it goes, with no slack lead the furthest they can go is one metre away from you. In modern times, as people try to improve and innovate new ways of walking their pets the extendable lead has been invented. This is a great idea in a big open field, you can train your dog to come back, you can let them explore whilst still being able to have a moderate amount of control over the dog, some of these leads have 10 meters worth of extendibility, plenty of space for your hound to run around but still staying close.
The problem occurs on roads, we have heard too many horror stories about dogs on extendable leads. The problem is, the average pavement is 1-1.5 meters wide, if your lead is extended anywhere past this point you have no control over your dog. If a cat runs out from a house over the road – who is going to follow? If a motorbike back fires on someone’s drive which way will your beloved pet jump? It’s a natural instinct of dogs to chase and be startled. We have also heard stories of the mechanism, which locks the lead at a set distance failing. So please, for your dogs sake only use extendable leads in big open spaces. Use a proper lead where there are dangers.
Accidental dog poisoning - As dog owners we should try to keep all poisons and medications out of a dogs reach, just like children they like to explore. Unfortunately dogs don’t have hands so they use their mouths – if it tastes good (sometimes even if it doesn’t) they’ll eat it. Some common household products can have devastating effects on a dog’s health and could even cost them their lives. Below is a list of products that should be kept well out of doggies reach.
Chocolate - This is very poisonous to dogs, even ice cream, cookies and cakes can have devastating effects. Unfortunately dogs have a great sense of smell and like humans are naturally drawn to chocolate. Chocolate contains a natural occurring stimulant called theobromine found in the cocoa bean plant Theobroma cocoa, the bean that makes chocolate. Theobromine is the poison which affects the central nervous system, if your dog has had chocolate – get to the vets ASAP.
Anti-freeze - Automobile antifreeze is exceptionally lethal to dogs and all animals, even in small amounts such as a few licks. It is particularly dangerous because most dogs enjoy the sweet taste and will not hesitate to try it, again get to the vets ASAP.
Onions - Onions are a poison if consumed in large quantities or on a regular basis; they cause the red blood cells to burst out of the bloodstream. Noticeable signs are blood in urine or gastroenteritis. Again, vets ASAP.
Garlic - Large amounts of garlic can be dangerous to dogs – but if a small measured amount is given it can actually repel fleas.
Grapes and raisins - Large amounts can be fatal in dogs as these two can cause acute kidney renal failure.
Broccoli - Again large amounts can be a health risk, but in small measured amounts can have a positive anti-cancer effect.
Turkey skin - Dogs cannot digest this in their stomach and they can cause diarrhoea.
Mushrooms - Dogs cannot digest this in their stomach and they can cause diarrhoea and even further medical problems.
Human medication - Never give your dog ANY human medication. Human medication comes in a much bigger dosage than a dogs – this can potentially be deadly. If your dog does consume any medication intended for humans get to the vet ASAP, and take the bottle or packet with you.
Slug, snail, ant, insect and rodent poisons - These products do exactly what they say on the tin – they kill the intended animal, if your dog consumes enough, the product will have the same effect. Our advice is, always buy pet friendly products if available. If not think about where you are placing the poison, can your dog reach it? If the answer is yes – do not put it there, dogs will naturally explore and taste. This could be FATAL. If your dog consumes any of these poisons – get to the vet and take the product they have consumed in the bottle ASAP – this could potentially limit the damage done by the poison.