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Having Healthy Pups: A Few Tips on Keeping Your Dog Healthy

by David Riewe

The responsibility of a new pet is sometimes overwhelming. One of your new duties as a dog owner is to take care of your pet's health. Here are two pointers for you to follow in taking care of your pet.

- The Veterinarian Is our Friend

Part of your duty as a dog owner is to know when to call for the vet. Don't take a "wait and see" attitude when it comes to your pet's health. Sometimes, that approach is fine but most often professional help is needed to treat your dog's sickness. Depending on the dog's condition, there are many ways a veterinarian may help.

There are several instances when it is essential that you call your veterinarian:

a) Always call your vet when your dog has been in an accident. If your regular veterinarian is not available, look for the closest emergency vet clinic.

b) Always call your vet when you suspect your dog has eaten something that may be poisonous or something inedible.

c) Call your vet immediately when your pet is in obvious distress. Sudden weight gain or weight loss should be a warning sign for you to take your dog to the vet.

d) If your dog is coughing, vomiting or having seizure, call the vet immediately.

- An Ounce of Prevention Is Better Than A Pound Of Cure

Of course, going to the vet should be the last recourse. Preventing your dog from being hurt or getting sick is your primary responsibility.

Remember, that good food and a lot of exercise equates into a long life for your pet. A balanced diet and a regimen of exercise helps prevent sickness and strengthens your pet. Monitor what your pets eat. Clean your dog's cage regularly to get rid of any disease-causing bacteria. Check your dog's water supply. Make sure it's clean and healthy for your pet.

Keep your dog on a leash. Running in front of a car is not very good for your dog's health and heaven knows where your pet may end up if you just let it wander around.

Give your dog a regular bath. Fleas and ticks can give your dog extreme discomfort and are often carriers of disease.

Of course, keeping your dog in tip-top shape goes beyond these pointers. It's always advisable to ask a veterinarian for additional health tips and as your experience with your pet grows, you'll think up of a couple more rules that are special to your beloved hound. Just remember that when your pet's health is in question, it's always better to be safe!

Taking Care of Your Dog's Gums
by: Jack Russell

Clean teeth and gums are very important of the overall health of your dog. Here are some information on the most common dental problems of dogs and ways in treating them.

Dog's common dental problems

- Periodontitis

It is very common among dogs to have gum disease. At the age of two or three, many dogs have either periodontitis or gingivitis.

The most common dental problem for canines is periodontitis, also known as periodontal disease. The disease is caused by various factors: plaque, food debris, cell mucus, and a mixture of bacteria. This results to a film characterized by milky-white on the dog's teeth as well as the gums. When this film gets combined with saliva, the plaque it causes becomes tartar, and very hard to remove.

- Gingivitis

Gingivitis, also known as gum disease, happens when gum tissue suffers from an inflammation. Without treatment, it can lead to periodontitis, teeth loosening, bone less, and ultimately, loss of teeth.

- Tooth fractures

Tooth fractures occur when dogs chew hard substances, such as hard rocks and cow hooves. The fractures result to infection inside the broken tooth, which is known as the endodontic disease.

How to prevent dental problems

Your dog can fight off these dental problems by removing the plaque before it actually develops as tartar. How to do it? The most effective way is by brushing the teeth of your dog in a mechanical fashion. The brushing would reduce much of the bacteria presence in the mouth, not to mention making your dog's breath smell sweeter. Make it a habit of brushing your teeth on a daily basis.

Toothpaste. There are toothpaste products made especially for dogs. Brush your pet's teeth using dog toothpaste. Human toothpaste is specifically designed for humans to spit the paste washings out. Dogs cannot do that, so pick a dog toothpaste that is safe enough for dogs to swallow.

Toothbrush. Using a toothbrush in its teeth would take some time for the dog to get used to. Let your dog be acquainted and get used to this is by putting some garlic salt, mix the salt with water, and dip the solution in an old toothbrush. Hold the old brush, and let your pet taste and chew it. Your dog will start to realize that chewing a toothbrush is and tastes good. Make it a habit a few times, until it feels comfortable brushing with it.

Finger brush. You could also use a finger brush instead of a toothbrush. A finger brush is a good alternative, although nothing could replace the good ol' toothbrush. The finger brush just fits onto one's fingertip and can let you brush the dog's teeth without the dog knowing it. Well, at least almost. The disadvantage of getting a finger brush to clean your dog's teeth is that its bristles are quite large for the brush to go under the gumline's margin as effectively compared with regular toothbrush.

Professional cleaning. If you don't want to do the cleaning by yourself, you could take your dog to a veterinarian and have its teeth professionally cleaned. A good veterinarian will take additional measures in ensuring your dog's clean teeth by anesthetizing your dog, scraping the buildup of plaque from all over the gumline areas, and polishing the teeth for a sparkling finish.

Home checkup. Try to make it a regular habit of checking the teeth of your dog for any cracked or broken teeth. If you see some problematic teeth, check promptly with the veterinarian.

Home safety. Of course, cleaning your dog's teeth does not mean you should disregard other areas of concern. Tough substances, such as bones, rocks, hard nylon, or cow hooves should be removed from areas where your dog could see. Buy your dog chewing toys that are safer like rubber-made toys. You could also provide bones that are soft enough for your dog to chew.

Mouthwash. There are some products in the market that deal very well in helping to kill the bacteria in your dog's mouth and could actually help heal damaged gum tissues. Do not forget to ask your veterinarian on the best products in the market.

Dental problems do not only happen to humans. Dogs also have dental issues as well. It is up to the owners on how to help their pet dogs overcome their dental problems.

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