Wednesday, June 15, 2011

You Should Know...

Some things every dog owner should know BEFORE it's too late:

A dog is not a little human in a fur suite! Dog brains work like dog brains, human brains work like human brains, and elephant brains work like elephant brains. Fortunately, human brains are complex enough that we are able to understand many of the workings of a dog's brain, if we choose to make the effort! Doing so is the most important step to a good relationship with your dog.

Aspirin and Pepto-Bismol don’t mix! The recommended doses of each, when mixed, can be toxic!

Many canine parasites are transferable to humans, especially young children. This is a darn good reason to keep a regular deworming schedule! Benadryl can be a lifesaver in the event your dog gets an insect bite or bee sting. Talk to your vet about a dose next time you have a visit.

Rimadyl, even though it is prescribed often by vets, should be taken very seriously. Rimadyl can be extremely hard on your dogs liver, and in the case of a dog with failing liver functions can even cause death. NEVER give your dog Rimadyl (or any other NSAID, for that matter) without first having blood work done to evaluate liver function, and in the case of long term prescriptions regular follow up blood panels should also be done. Ask a lot of questions of your vet so you know EXACTLY what you are getting into BEFORE giving your dog drugs. Find out more here.

Every house with a dog should contain a bottle of hydrogen peroxide. In the event your dog ingests something and he needs to be induced to vomit, hydrogen peroxide is a fantastic tool. Administering 1-3tsp of peroxide every ten minutes is the recommended dose. ( I find measuring something like this is next to impossible, but it sure does work)  DO NOT induce vomiting if your dog has swallowed: acids, solvents, heavy duty cleaner, petroleum products, or sharp objects. Also, do not induce vomiting if your dog's consciousness is compromised in any way, or if the ingestion occurred over 2 hours ago. An event of induced vomiting always should involve a phone call to the vet, if not a visit.

Excessively long nails and matted fur are painful for your dog. Imagine what it's like to have your toe nails too long in a tight pair of shoes. That's exactly what it's like for a dog who's nails are too long and are being pressed into the floor every step he takes a step. Matted hair is like a pony tail tied too tight, and pulls your dogs hair with every move she makes. Just because your dog can't easily express his discomfort, doesn't mean he's not experiencing it - watch for things like these that people often overlook.

Clipping your dogs nails is not impossible, and learning to do it yourself is in the best interest of your dog. Any dog who has a fear of a nail trim is capable of learning to accept it. Any person who does not know how to give one is capable of learning. All it takes is commitment and training/conditioning. By bringing your dog to the vet, groomer, etc and having 5 people pin her to the floor for a nail trim every time she needs one will only reaffirm her fears and make them worse. Doesn't she deserve better?