Canine FAQ: The 5 Most Frequent Dog Health Questions

Dog owners will inevitably have dog health questions and the desire to avoid episodes of dog illness whenever possible. Having an organized list of pet health questions can make the first trip to the vet efficient and pleasant. The following 6 common vet questions can help you prevent dog illness and help you feel more knowledgeable about your dog.

How Often Should I Take My Dog To The Vet?

When you first adopt your dog, it's wise to schedule a visit to the vet within the first week. Various factors will then determine how often your dog needs to visit the doctor. If free from dog illness, vaccinations will be one of the main reasons to visit the vet. Initial vaccinations might require an appointment every 3 or 4 months and yearly thereafter. A healthy dog then only needs a regular check-up once every 6 months.

How Will I Know If My Dog Is Really Ill?

Your dog's energy level and general behavior are the 2 most important barometers for health and well-being. It is cause for immediate concern if your dog is suddenly lethargic, and you can't spark his interest with a favorite toy, treat, or taking out the leash for a walk. If a change in energy doesn't return to normal within 24 hours, your dog may be seriously ill. Take note if your normally friendly and obedient dog becomes irritable, aggressive, or won't follow simple commands. If your dog's elimination habits change suddenly, i.e. he is going in the house or on his bed and straining and whining while peeing, he may have a urinary infection which requires medical attention.

How Can I Prevent Fleas, Ticks and Heartworms?

Even a dog living in a clean house with no other animals can develop a flea problem, and many areas have mosquitoes and other factors that can lead to heartworms in dogs. It is most responsible to give your dog a monthly flea treatment that will also kill ticks and chewing lice. The medication to prevent heartworms usually comes in a chew that dogs love. If a dog gets heartworms, it can be fatal to them, so it is necessary to give the chew each month without fail.

Should I Brush My Dog's Teeth?

A dog will develop tooth and gum disease without proper cleaning. You should brush the dog's teeth at least once every day if at all possible, but even a weekly cleaning will help tremendously. There are specially formulated toothpastes for dogs that have a taste dogs enjoy. You can get the dog used to tooth brushing by starting early and providing rewarding treats before and after the tooth brushing. You can also keep your dog's teeth and gums healthy by also providing hard chew toys and safe bones from the pet store.

Should I Trim My Dogs Nails?

A dog will begin to walk improperly if the nails are too long. This can lead to back, hip, and joint problems. You shouldn't be able to hear the nails as they hit a hard floor and the nails should not stick out much beyond the meaty part of the claw. Learn the correct method for cutting the nails at a 45 degree angle so as to avoid injury to yourself and the dog.