Owning a dog can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life, but it does come with responsibility. Making sure your dog is in tip-top shape with a good pet care routine will mean a healthy and fulfilling experience for both you and your dog. Today our Kennesaw vets will provide you with information on good pet care routines.
Routine Care Checklist For Dogs:
Many things will need to be managed at home and North Cobb Animal Hospital with our vets. It is good to know what needs to be done, and how often.
These are things that will need to be taken care of by a professional:
- Ticks and fleas
- Worming (intestinal and heartworm)
- Dental hygiene
These are things that will need to be taken care of at home.
- Exercising -- your dog needs a lot of exercise like daily walks, and plenty of outside time
- Feeding -- your dog will thrive if they have a consistent feeding schedule
- Cleaning -- it is important to clean your dog at home in between professional grooming to maintain their clean coat.
Maintaining Your Dog's Teeth
Your dog's oral health is an essential element of its overall health and well-being. Our canine companions often begin showing signs of periodontal disease (gum disease) by the time they reach three years of age. This early start to dental disease can have serious negative consequences for their long-term health.
Get Professional Cleanings
To help prevent your dog from developing tooth decay and periodontal disease, our Kennesaw vets at North Cobb Animal Hospital recommend bringing your dog in for a dental appointment at least once each year (or more frequently if your canine companion is suffering from more severe or recurring dental problems).
When you bring your dog to North Cobb Animal Hospital for a dental checkup our vets will perform a full oral examination for your dog and check for signs of dental issues, such as:
- Extra teeth or retained baby teeth
- Bleeding around the mouth
- Swelling or pain in or around the mouth
- Plaque or tartar buildup on teeth
- Discolored teeth
- Loose or
- Broken teeth
- Bad breath
If you detect symptoms of periodontal disease in your pet, such as reduced appetite (which can be an indication of tooth pain), abnormal chewing, drooling, dropping food from the mouth, bad breath or other symptoms be sure to contact your vet right away to schedule a dental appointment for your pet. Oral health issues can become severe if left untreated and cause your pet a great deal of pain and discomfort.
Once your pet is safely sedated, we will perform a full tooth-by-tooth examination, complete with charting, (just like your dentist does during your examinations).
While we have your dog safely and comfortably under anesthesia, we will thoroughly clean and polish your dog's teeth, both above and below the gum line. We probe and x-ray the teeth, then to help protect against future decay and damage we use a fluoride treatment before applying a dental sealant to prevent plaque buildup.
If your dog is suffering from advanced periodontal disease, we will work with you to develop a treatment plan to help restore your dog's mouth to a pain-free and healthy state.
Whenever your pet undergoes a procedure that involves anesthesia there are risks involved. That's why our vets assess all pets to ensure that they are healthy enough to handle anesthesia and we conduct additional diagnostics (if required) to ensure that a dental exam while anesthetized is safe for your four-legged friend.
Meet Your Dogs Nutritional Needs
Your dog's well-being will greatly depend upon the quality of the food they eat. To help keep your dog healthy, speak to your vet about the best foods for your dog based on age, breed, and lifestyle. Your vet will be happy to offer tips for finding just the right food to meet your dog's nutritional needs. Whether you want to feed your dog the best food to achieve optimal health or to treat existing conditions through diet, a nutritional consultation with our vets at North Cobb Animal Hospital in Kennesaw can help.
Help Your Dog Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity has been linked to several serious conditions in dogs including diabetes and joint pain, so keeping your dog at a healthy weight is essential for optimal health. Once you have chosen a nutritious food for your dog, your vet will be able to calculate the optimal number of calories your dog should consume each day. Once you know how many calories are appropriate for your dog, you will be able to easily work out exactly how much you should be feeding your dog each meal.
Make Sure Your Dog Gets Plenty of Exercises
Different breeds have different exercise requirements. While some dogs can stay healthy with a quick walk around the block, high-energy breeds may need an hour or more of vigorous exercise once or twice a day. Adequate physical activity not only helps to keep your dog's body in good condition, but it can also help to prevent mental boredom which can lead to destructive behaviors or anxiety. Be sure to ask your vet or breeder about the appropriate amount of exercise for your dog. Walks, backyard games, and social time at dog parks are all great ways to ensure your dog gets plenty of exercise.
Take Your Dog for Annual Wellness Exams
Diagnosing and treating conditions in the very earliest stages helps to ensure the very best treatment outcomes. Annual veterinary exams, when your dog seems healthy, are all about prevention, monitoring your pet's overall health, and checking for early signs of developing issues. Your vet will discuss your dog's diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors with you, ask if you have any concerns about your pet's health or behavior, then perform a comprehensive physical examination. Once the exam is complete your veterinarian will discuss any findings with you. If anything concerning has been detected your vet will make recommendations regarding diet, diagnostic testing, or treatment.
Keep Vaccinations Up-To-Date
Our Kennesaw vets believe that vaccinations are essential for helping your pet live a long and healthy life. Regularly scheduled vaccines help to protect your dog from many highly contagious, potentially life-threatening diseases. Most states require by law that all pets be vaccinated against rabies, but there are several other serious conditions that vaccines protect dogs against including parvo, distemper, and panleukopenia.
Provide Parasite Prevention
Ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes can all carry organisms that lead to a range of diseases that seriously threaten the health and longevity of your dog. A bite from one of these parasites could cause your dog to become gravely ill if not protected. Speak to your vet about the most effective ways to protect your dog against a full range of tick-borne diseases, heartworms, and other parasitic conditions common in your area.