Your Dogs Health is in Your Hands Learn How to Spot the Warning Signs

Owning a dog can be a truly rewarding experience if you take the time to educate yourself on the proper care of dogs. There are two main areas of focus when examining dog health, disease preventative care and recognizing signs of potential problems. Preventative medicine is paramount in effective dog care. At six weeks old puppies should begin a series of four DHLPP/CCV vaccinations three or four weeks apart. Puppies should be de-wormed often and started on heartworm preventative at four months old. This program should be maintained indefinitely.

An annual visit to a local veterinarian is necessary to maintain your dog's health. In addition to administering vaccinations, the vet will examine the dog's teeth and stool, and look for any obvious maladies. What kind of dog health problems should I be on the look out for? It is also important for new pet owners to be able to recognize any signs of potential dog health problems. Skin problems are quite common and can present themselves in a number of various ways. Skin allergies are very common in many dogs and can cause hair loss and 'hot spots'. These 'hot spots' are sores on the skin surface that ooze and become easily infected.

They are also very painful and hard to deal with because of the dog's constant licking. The skin allergies that cause 'hot spots' are often mistaken for flea infestation problems; an easy way to tell the difference is by watching the dog. Chewing the top of his rump is a good indication of fleas, while scratching his head, neck and front legs indicate allergies. Signs of potential health problems also present themselves in the dogs stool. If the stool appears runny or discolored you may need to visit the vet. Parasites or a change in diet are usually the culprit and most often easily remedied.

Another less common but very serious threat to your dog's health is Gastric Dilatation Volvulus. Large, deep crested dogs are predisposed for this condition which causes their stomachs to flip if they exert themselves after ingesting large amounts of water. Your dog's health is not something to be taken lightly. It is a huge responsibility you have chosen to bear, but it doesn't mean that is has to be hard. Just make sure you take him for a check up every year and be attentive to any imminent health problems.

If you follow your veterinarian's advice your dog should have a happy, healthy, and long life.

Mike Long runs a dog training website that focuses on educating people about the different ways of training your dog or puppy. If you would like to learn more, including additional articles, and training tips, tricks, and ideas, check out his site at


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