5 Common Dog Health Care Questions Answered

If you're a new pet parent, chances are you have lots of questions about dog health care. You want the best for your dog and you want to make sure he has all that he needs to maintain a healthy and happy lifestyle. Fortunately, dog health care is simple if you have the right answers to the most common dog health care questions. The questions below represent some of the most common questions and concerns pet parents face today. Should I have my dog spayed/neutered?

While spaying/neutering is not required by law, there are several benefits. Spaying/neutering eliminates the chance of a unwanted pregnancy, which in turn, helps decrease the unwanted pet population, it prevents behavior issues such as aggressiveness and trying to escape the home or backyard, and it can also prevent certain cancers from developing. In the end, the choice is yours. What types of vaccinations should my dog receive?

Rabies vaccinations are required by law. Some rabies vaccinations require boosters every year, while others require boosters every 2-3 years. While not required by law, vaccinations that protect against distemper, advenovirus, parainflueza, and parvo should not be avoided. Vaccinations are usually administered in the first 6-9 weeks of the dog's life while the rabies vaccine is usually administered at around six months old. How can I keep my dog trim and fit?

If your dog is overweight, the potential for a number of conditions from arthritis to canine diabetes increases. Extra weight can be taxing on your dogs organs and his skeletal system. To combat weight gain, take your dog out to exercise regularly, do not overfeed your dog, always provide plenty of fresh water, and opt for high-quality food products with a 40/50/10 ratio (40% meat, 50% veggies, and 10% carbohydrate). Should I be concerned about worms? Worms are common in dogs, especially puppies. At any given time, your pet could be infected with any number of different types of worms such as the hookworm (only a half inch in length) to the tapeworm, which can grow to more than three feet. Roundworm and hook worm are also common as well as heartworm. Heartworm is the only worm that lives in the pets heart and lungs, the others live in the dog's intestines. Fortunately, your vet can administer certain heartworm preventatives, which are also effective against intestinal parasites. In most cases, your vet will recommend twice yearly worm screenings. How often should I take my dog to the vet?

The number of visits to the vet each year will vary depending on the age of your dog. Puppies tend to visit the vet more often during the first several months of life. After the first few months, a 1-2 times a year is adequate. Senior dogs tend to visit the vet several times a year for checkups, mainly because their health begins to decline in the later years.