Pet owners usually want to do their best to protect their pet’s health. The hope behind this is to spare the animal suffering, but also to avoid the high costs that can arise from illnesses. What are the areas that promote animal health to look out for in a dog?
Even if no symptoms of illness have appeared, you should still have the equipment and take protective measures so that the dog stays healthy for a long time and can be cared for directly in an emergency.
Most people have a medicine cabinet or a small supply of pills, band-aids, hot-water bottles, and other medical aids at home. In the event of illness, they do not necessarily have to go out to visit a doctor or a pharmacy, but can react directly. For the same reasons, it is also worth using a pet pharmacy that offers the basic equipment for the usual minor complaints.
Important elements are for example:
- Tick tweezers & tick repellent
- wound care material
- care products for dry noses or paw pads
- medication for common ailments (diarrhea, pain, fever…)
Depending on the size of a dog, it is also worth buying a muzzle, which can be used to stop the dog from snapping when it is in pain and you try to help it.
This is the basic equipment of a first aid and emergency pharmacy, which is also good for vacations. In addition, many dogs have ailments that need support. This may include eye or ear drops and dietary supplements.
Vaccination & parasite protection
Vaccination and deworming are two treatments that are necessary for all dogs and should be repeated regularly to ensure continued protection. No herd immunity protects the dog from other vaccinated dogs.
Leptospirosis, distemper, or parvovirus are three of these infections that can have serious consequences and can be ruled out with timely and consistent vaccinations. Overall, there are recommended basic immunization and booster vaccinations.
- From the 8th to 12th week of life, dogs should be immunized with the basic vaccines. These include vaccines against distemper, parvovirus, leptospirosis, rabies, and canine hepatitis.
- There are also other optional vaccinations, for example against leishmaniasis, canine herpes, kennel cough complex, Borrelia burgdorferi, Babesia canis, and dermatophytes.
Which vaccinations are necessary for a dog depends on its breed, size, and environmental influences. Previous illnesses or a weakened immune system can be reasons for exclusion from vaccinations.
To maintain vaccination protection, these repeat vaccinations are recommended:
- Every 3 years: rabies, parvovirus
- Annually: leptospirosis, distemper, hepatitis
Worms in dogs
In areas with a high risk of contact with worms, such as the fox tapeworm, the vet recommends regular deworming. The worms draw blood and nutrients from the dog’s intestines. In aggressive forms such as hookworm, the resulting anemia can even be fatal. The worms can also spread to humans and harm them as well.
Dogs infected with worm infestations have developmental disabilities, shaggy coats, cloudy eyes, and are underweight. This poor general condition is a first indication. The worms can sometimes be seen directly or as eggs in the feces or vomit. However, some are too small to be seen with the naked eye. In this case, the veterinarian will confirm the infestation and prescribe medication for deworming.
In a dangerous environment, a deworming treatment 4 times a year at 3-month intervals is recommended. Dogs that eat fresh meat or have a tendency to eat carrion are particularly at risk.
As a dog owner, you can carry out regular checks on the dog to identify problems at an early stage. In addition to the general condition and coat quality, these areas are taken into account:
- Mouth: Inflammation, rotten teeth, plaque
- Eyes: Cloudy eyes, red conjunctiva, yellow discharge (signs of inflammation)
- Ears: heavy secretion, crusting (signs of inflammation)
- After: adhesions (signs of diarrhea)
If the owner notices unusual behavior, this can help to make an initial assessment before going to the vet.
With the right vaccinations and parasite protection, we can protect our dogs from sometimes fatal infectious diseases and worm infestations. A medicine chest for dogs, which contains supplies for the most common minor ailments, is also useful.