Keep Your Dogs Healthy With These Basics

Keeping dogs healthy

All loving owners of dogs know that you need to go out of your way to keep them as healthy as possible, and the more loving the owner, the healthier the dog tends to be. If you have dogs of your own, then you might well be wondering about some of the things you can do to keep them healthy. The truth is, it is a fact of achieving a few basic things which ensures that your dogs will remain as healthy as possible. As long as you are bearing these essentials in mind, your dogs should live long and healthy lives. Let’s take a look at what those things might be, so that we can better understand how to achieve great doggy health.

Balanced Diet

Many of the things you need to consider for your pooch are exactly those which are just as important for you, and this first one is a great example. You need to ensure you are feeding your dogs a decent, well-balanced diet in order to keep them as healthy as they can be. This means that along with feeding them dried biscuits, you should also ensure that they get plenty of actual meat, as this is the sustenance which keeps them going for real. With a decent diet, your dogs are much more likely to be healthier – and you will notice the difference in how happy they will suddenly look as well.

The Coat

Looking after the coat is not just an aesthetic concern – it is actually relevant to their overall health too. One of the major things that you need to do is to keep the coat trimmed and brushed, as not doing this can lead to a variety of issues. You should also make sure to use a flea treatment for dogs, so that any fleas they might have are dealt with in no time at all. When you use this treatment, be careful not to get it in their eyes or anywhere else, as this could cause some severe irritations which could then lead to further problems. Keeping an eye on their coat for future fleas is always a good idea, too, so make sure that you do just that.

Regular Walks

This is one of those absolutely vital aspects of dog care. You simply can’t have a dog and not take it for walks, as this is exercise which they absolutely need in order to thrive physically. There is a lot of debate about how much exercise is ideal, but as a rule it is tempting to say that more is better. You would be hard pushed to exercise a dog more than they can handle, so don’t worry about overdoing it. Do, however, be concerned with a lower amount of exercise, as this could easily result in several serious health conditions if you are not careful. As long as you are taking your dog for regular walks, you are taking care of their most basic needs, and you can be sure that they will live long and healthy lives.

Caring For Your Old Dog

Caring for your old dog

It’s hard to exactly how long your beloved pooch will live because it all depends on breed, care and background. However, on average, dogs live to around 12 years old (in human years, that is). Of course, some can live much longer than this, twelve is the average age, with seven years old being classed as middle aged. So how do you make sure your old dog gets the best care in his old age and lives a long and happy last few years. Well, we have compiled some advice to help you achieve a healthy and happy existence for your maturing best friend.

Comfort

Dogs are a bit like humans in this sense. The older they get the more comfortable they want to be. As such, you should make sure your dogs has a gorgeously comfy bed that is away from the humdrum of the house and away from any draughts that could give them the shivers. Imagine where you would want to be, and go from there. The other thing you should take into consideration is the floor surrounding their bed. If it’s slippery, then rethink the positioning or buy a nice thick and stable rug that will allow them to maneuver without issue.

The other area of similarity between old dogs and old people can be made in their changing toilet needs. Old dogs will start needing ‘to go’ a lot more frequently as they grow old. As such, it is important you make note of any changes and discuss these with your doctor so that they can inform you of how to best address the issue.

Accessibility

This is such an important change to make. You need to adapt to your dog’s requirements, and that means ensuring they have everything they could possibly want and need close to their bed. Food, water, and toys are the main three things in this respect.

Feeding Habits

As a dog matures, you will need to consider how their dietary requirements may change. The best way to address these new needs is to speak to your vet, who will be able to advise you based on breed, weight, activity and health. But a pretty solid rule of thumb is, when your dog reaches middle age, start thinking about a putting them onto a diet designed for older dogs.

Other things you should be addressing are their dental hygiene. Dogs need strong and healthy teeth, so do your due diligence on what dental treats are out there for your doggy. It is also important to take into consideration any other dogs you may have in your home. For example, if you have a puppy, who is sprightly and full of energy, make sure your older dog doesn’t have to compete with him for food. This isn’t fair on them. The same goes for water. You should have a separate water bowl for your older dog, which you should monitor closely. Any concerns you have about their water intake should be discussed with your vet.

What doctors don’t want you to know… (Day -200)

What doctors do not want you to know

Growing up I always believed in doctors knowing everything. Actually it was more like doctors were not human being only doctors and living in the hospital and that was all they did. For me this applied the same to dentists. One time going to the dentist for a morning appointment, and the dentist arriving in their street clothes looking normal actually made me nervous about my treatment that day.

How could someone that looked so normal carry out treatment on my teeth?

I was thinking about this today whilst I was visiting the doctor at the human hospital for my rabies booster.

By thinking of doctors like this it is possible to remove the fear from the visit as doctors knowing everything would prevent anything going wrong. Actually I started to realise that it wasn’t just thinking of them as doctors, we start to elevate them to gods and miracle workers. We need that hope to protect us from the fear of what is going to happen as when we go to hospital we are vulnerable and not in control.

We need that doctor to be in control – and to do this we need to elevate them to a superhuman status. Where we will be safe under their care, where they will not make a mistake, where they will fix any problem.  We need to do this to trust them with our life, especially when it comes to surgery where we are absolutely helpless.

I then realised the same thing happened when I put on my scrubs and step into clinic. Especially when things go wrong – people look at you and expect you to have an answer.

Even when you don’t have an answer you have the responsibility of finding one. Sometimes it is logic, sometimes it is common sense, a lot of the time it is having support there from others and then sometimes it’s a combination of all three.

I remember the first time I was in this position was a couple of years ago. It was lunchtime and I was alone in recovery with a patient that had just come out of surgery, and there was the patient from the previous surgery whose owner was sitting with them whilst they recovered. The next thing I know the owner is saying something (I didn’t understand Slovak back then) however looking at the dog I see the eyes are flicking side to side.

I’ve no clue why however the first thing I do is check the breathing and heart. I see there are no muscle tremors. I’d read about nystagmus which is the random movement of eyes side to side, I thought this may be nystagmus, however I did not know why this dog had just started showing this. However I didn’t think that the dog was going die in the next few moments and my recovering anaesthesia patient was stable so I decided I had time to run to the staff room to get a doctor.

It was only a few minutes, however it felt like eternity. I had no clue what I was dealing with, I was not sure if it was even nystagmus. It turned out that it was positional nystagmus from the anaesthesia drugs that only happened because the dog was laid on its side. Knowing that my book knowledge was a little bit correct didn’t take away the feeling that I had got really lucky.

It was the first time that I felt like an imposter. Since then I’ve learnt that it is not just me that feels like this. Apparently it is a very common feeling that doesn’t completely go. No matter how much you learn, there is always more to keep learning. The really scary thing here is when you have something that you try to find out more about to only learn that there is no answer.

This is where you just start to realise just how human doctors really are. That no one has all the answers. Then you start to realise that doctors can make mistakes.

Then you realise that they really are no different to you, they are only human, people. Maybe they have studied a lot, maybe they have worked for many years…

The white coat or scrubs is almost a protective barrier to remove the human element. Remove this and they really are just another person.