An Introduction to Dog Health Care

An educated approach to dog health care can save the dog owner money as well as preventing some dog health problems in the future. Pet health care companies offer affordable dog health insurance which can make older dog and puppy health care in particular less expensive. In keeping your dog as healthy as possible, it's important to seriously consider getting dog health insurance and to also consider aspects of dog health care that require veterinary attention as well as routines at home that will help keep your dog healthy.

Dog Health Insurance

Dog health insurance is very similar to human health insurance. You can choose a range of plans at a range of costs. Some plans only provide coverage in emergencies while others provide basic costs such as regular check ups and emergencies. Many plans exclude serious dog illnesses such as cancer, kidney disease, or diabetes. Most plans will have an exclusion for pre-existing conditions, i.e. any prior vet visit or symptoms related to a specific diagnosis. Starting pet health care for your dog when it is young and healthy will avoid this problem, and it is important to read the plan thoroughly before enrolling. All health plans require good record keeping, i.e. saving all paperwork and receipts from a vet visit or any purchase of medications.

Veterinary Puppy Health Care

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.

Knowing If Your Dog Is Really Ill

Your dog will show you he is ill through physical changes as well as changes in energy level and behavior. A sudden decrease in energy can indicate a variety of issues that have become systemic, i.e. a skin infection, heat stroke or pneumonia. Severe lethargy or fainting can indicate heart problems. Sudden changes in abdominal appearance or sudden weight changes can indicate bloat or worms. Increased whining and crying usually means your dog is in some sort of pain, usually abdominal pain. You can locate the pain by touching the dog in different areas of the body and he will whimper when you hit the sore spot. If you notice frothing at the mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, or convulsions, your dog may have ingested something very poisonous. Changes in elimination, i.e. straining to pee, or crouching and scooting on the rear end, can indicate a bladder infection or obstructed bowels.

Routine Dog Health Care

There are 4 primary home pet health care routines to keep your puppy as healthy as possible throughout the lifespan. Regular flea and heartworm medication can prevent many problems ranging from skin irritations to heartworm which is very serious. Finding a flea medication that also addresses ticks, mites, and chewing lice can greatly reduce the risk of skin problems and infection. Regular bathing for a dog helps reduce the risk of skin problems and even urinary tract infections. Using dog conditioner in addition to shampoo will help keep the skin healthy.