Things your dog needs every month and every year!
Hello again! Today we wanted to share some tips and information on your dog’s care needs. We’ll be covering monthly and yearly requirements, giving background on why these treatments are necessary, and discussing costs saved by being proactive! As they say, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” 🐾🐾 MONTHLY:
Heartworm Prevention Heartworm disease is caused by a parasitic worm that passes from infected mosquito to pets. The worm lives in an animal’s heart, lungs, blood vessels. This infection can be deadly, as it takes months to detect-- and treatment is costly! But prevention is simple and cheap. Pet MD has a great article listing out the costs of diagnosing and treating heartworm disease, if not prevented. Overview of Cost of Heartworm Treatment | PetMD TLDR: Anywhere from $600 to $2500. (if surgery is required, add another $3-6000) So, please do us all a favor and get the monthly preventative… You can get a 6 month supply for about $30, depending on brand and size of pet.
Flea/ Tick Prevention Fleas and ticks are common pests for all manner of animals. They spread disease and can make your pet sick. For example, dogs are often allergic to flea saliva which is why their bites cause such intense scratching. Did you know? If a dog swallows a flea it can lead to tapeworms-- causing further illness and malnutrition. Bites from ticks can cause Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. To avoid the above, you can give your pet flea & tick prevention in the form of pills, topical applications, or collars. Each one has pros and cons and your vet can help you decide which is best for your pup.
Grooming Most may think of grooming simply as combing hair, a bath now and again, and MAYBE trimming nails. All of which is correct and great. But honestly, there’s a lot more to consider for some dog breeds and the difference can save your pet so much discomfort and health concern.
Hair/ Skin Regular brushing can prevent tangles and mats, and remove extra hair that they’d otherwise shed. Matted hair can be painful and irritating pulling at your dogs’ skin. Bathing every few weeks/ once per month is a good routine. But bathing too often can be overdrying. Also, please only use specially formulated shampoos for pets.
Feet Nails- If your dog walks on concrete often and can file nails naturally, this won’t be needed often. But for most indoor animals regular/ weekly nail trimming is necessary. Snip a small bit at a time to avoid cutting the blood vessel inside the claw. Or ask your vet or groomer to do this for you! Paw pads- On the bottoms of your pets’ feet are pads that they walk on. These need to be checked regularly for injuries or irritants like burrs or thorns, hair overgrowth/mats. Checking for swelling or discoloration can be important as well, especially if they are showing tenderness when walking or being touched. Weather conditions can harm your pet’s paw-pads. Drying or cracking in winter from cold and salt, burns in summer from HOT pavement. You can protect your pet with booties or paw wax/ moisturizer. Teeth Dental care is important for pets, to avoid decay and disease, just like in humans! Good dental care prevents plaque buildup which causes pain, inflammation, gum infections, tooth loss. Simple ways to keep those teefers and gums healthy is by feeding dry foods, giving dental treats/ bones and chew toys, and creating a routine of brushing and/or dental cleaning at home or at the vet’s office. Ears Pet ears are about as varied as the animals themselves! Some are smooth and hairless, stand up tall. Others are FURRY and droop low. And many others are some combination. All of these factors impact your pet’s ear health-- dirt and wax buildup, tangles, smell, etc. Please be mindful that your critter can get debris in their ears, mites, and infections. All of which is harmful and must be treated by a trained professional. You should also be checking for excessive head shaking and scratching. If this occurs frequently it’s likely time for a clean-- or trip to the vet. At-home ear cleaning is inexpensive and simple. Often a simple wipe out during bath time will suffice. But many stand alone products like pre-soaked pads are readily available as well. Eyes A dog’s eyes, similar to ears, may or may not be much of an issue. If your dog has much hair growth or excessive tearing, allergies or certain health conditions (like eye proptosis in brachycephalic dog breeds. *Bulgy eyes, short snouts, shallow eye sockets). You will want to pay special, close attention to avoid irritation and infection and eye loss. The safest bet here is to regularly groom your pet’s eye area with specially-formulated cleaners and wipes, follow a vet’s recommendations for added treatment, and be on the lookout for cloudiness, buildup, and/or excessive pawing and rubbing.
Annual Vet Check ups and Annual booster vaccinations Regular check ups are key for pets. They age quickly, much faster than humans, so health issues can happen and progress in a short amount of time. Annual checkups give your vet the opportunity to screen for many common issues as well as update needed booster vaccines. The cost of a yearly visit isn’t much at all and will protect your pet from a plethora of ailments. PetCareRx has an article on typical costs, if you’d like to see an idea of costs. The Annual Vet Visit Cost: What to Expect | PetCareRx However the only way to know exactly is to call your local veterinarian’s office. TLDR: Basic yearly services cost around $200 for the office visit, immunizations and testing. Note: Well-visits/ check ups when your pet looks healthy, may seem optional... But they aren’t! These visits allow doctors to catch life-threatening problems early enough to save your pet and treat the condition before it progresses into a larger, more costly concern AND protect your pet’s health via administering booster shots. That isn’t optional at all. It is essential. 💗
Microchips Most adopted pets nowadays come with a microchip implanted. This little device is injected via a syringe around the back of the neck, between shoulder blades. Microchips are commonly used to help get a lost pet home. Microchips are NOT gps tracking devices. They are only “useful” when scanned. Animal shelters can scan the chip when a dog is brought in to quickly call the pet-parents for pickup. This avoids expense for the shelters of housing, treating, re-homing or euthanizing lost dogs. If an animal is found deceased they can be scanned to notify the family for that reason as well. Microchips are devices built for peace of mind. Having your pet receive one and making sure it is up to date is a wonderful yearly consideration.
Tags/licensing Lastly, most states require pets to be licensed. The license must be renewed each year (typically via mail) and displayed on the dog to avoid fines. The fees often support local shelters and a dog can’t be licensed without being vaccinated fully-- so it helps to make sure that pet owners are responsible, too! This step is easily forgotten or overlooked, so do your best to be an overachiever here. 😉
Nice! You read the entire list. It’s obvious you are a great person, ready to do right by your furry friend.
Feel free to refer back to this list often & Take care! Xx