Our kids, our wives, our husbands, our roommates and anyone else has, probably, at some point, begged and begged you for their own little puppy for Christmas. And each year, you let them down. Maybe you should be the one with coal in your stocking? Nonetheless, PuppyMatch4You.com has the best ideas on surprising your family with a cuddly puppy this holiday season!
Archive for November, 2009
Many dog owners do not put too much thought into the bowls for their dogs. Whatever is cutest, cheapest or the last one on the shelf will do. And we have all done that at some time or another. Believe it or not, your dog’s bowl is very important to his health and digestion.
You just came home with this adorable little puppy who is perfect…except that he has teeth. These tiny teeth can cause havoc for you, your home and especially your puppy! PuppyMatch4You.com has the best tips on puppy proofing your home to keep everyone safe and happy.
Here at PuppyMatch4You.com, we like to tell you of problems your puppy may have, how to fix them and how to avoid them. It’s rare for us to blame ourselves for some things but we decided to switch it up today!
As a dog owner, the health, well-being and overall comfort of your pup is completely and totally in your hands. It is your responsibility to ensure your dog is safe, well cared for, fed, loved, etc, etc. But there are those little things that some dog owners don’t do or forget to do and we have them here to be sure you’re not one of those owners!
1. Leaving Out the Nutrients. Many dog owners do not know of the importance of feeding their dogs a well-balanced diet. Dogs need regular nutrients just as we do so it is very important to be sure the dog food your dog is eating is of the highest quality. While these foods are a bit more expensive, it is more than worth it in the long run not only to cut on vet bills but to have a longer, happier life with your puppy.
2. Regular Monitoring of Your Dog. Seeing your dog every day makes it difficult to notice those subtle changes that could be health related. It is important to always keep an eye on your dogs urine, feces and drinking and eating habits to ensure there is nothing amiss. Animals hide their illness so well that, by the time we notice, it may be too late. Knowing your dog and their behavior can be the best way to keep him healthy.
3. Mo’ Running, Mo’ Problems. Even if your dog is well-trained and doesn’t ever leave the yard, it is not safe to let your dog run loose. It just takes one rabbit to lure them out on to the road or one spilled bottle of anti-freeze to put your puppy in harm. Always keep your dog on a leash or in a fenced in yard. This will limit his chances of getting struck by a car or ingesting toxins.
4. Dog Proofing. Those dog owners that have notoriously destructive dogs have their house locked up better than bank security to make sure their belongings are not within reach of their little devil. Many new dog owners do not take these precautions into consideration. All medications, cleaning solutions, chemicals, small items and toys and anything else your dog can ingest should be set up or locked away. It only takes one small pill or chewing the wrong bottle to spell out serious danger for your dog.
5. Missing Yearly Vet Exams. You may think, “Oh, my dog is perfectly healthy. He doesn’t need to be checked out by the vet. I’ll know if there’s something wrong”. This is not always true. Yearly exams are important to your dog’s health to check blood, bones, joints, eyes, teeth and other things you may not notice or think of. Their vaccinations are also very important. You never know if a quick trip to the pet store will end in a terrible case of kennel cough.
6. No Tags. Believe it or not, some dog owners do not have current, or any, tags for their dogs. We always think our dog will never run away or get lost, but it happens. Having current and up-to-date tags or a microchip is the best and most effective way of being reunited with your pup. No tag or microchip can mean your pup is stuck in a shelter with little chance of being found.
Moral of the story – don’t just be a dog owner, be a smart dog owner. Our puppies can’t tell us when they don’t feel well or that they’re missing something in their food or that they ate that entire chocolate cake you were saving for later. Our dogs are our responsibility and we need to be sure they are in the best hands.
Unfortunately, or fortunately for those dogs with bigger mouths, our dogs cannot communicate to us in words. They can’t tell us when they’re hot or tired or want to play or if something hurts. This is why it’s so important for us as dog owners to know the most common signs of illness. And PuppyMatch4You.com has them!
There are plenty of different signs of illness, some more apparent than others. But these listed below are the most common and, sometimes, the most crucial to pay attention to if you notice them in your puppy.
- 1. Bad Breath – Some dogs just inherently have terrible breath. And we still love their kisses which says more about us than it does them. However, if your dog’s breath seems to have a little more kick than usual, this could be because of a dental disease. Dogs need clean teeth just as much as we do to prevent disease, infection and tooth loss. It is best to have regular dental exams with your vet to determine if a cleaning is necessary or a more serious issue is at risk.
- 2. Less Grooming – Dogs do not groom themselves as much as cats but they still like to maintain a certain appearance by licking their feet and other unmentionables which causes us to wonder, again, why we love their kisses so much. If you notice your dog not grooming himself as much, this may be a sign that something is amiss. Keep an eye on his grooming habits to be sure there is a decline in this behavior. Also, if you notice any changes in your puppy’s coat such as dullness or significantly more shedding, make an appointment with your veterinarian to ensure there is not a more serious condition causing this change.
- 3. Lower Activity Level – Some dog owners think that less activity is because of their dog’s age but this is not always the case. A decrease in activity may be caused by not feeling well. It is best to have a check up to ensure everything is just right before you decide he’s just “getting old”.
- 4. Weight Loss – Losing weight can be a definite sign of sickness as well. It is hard to notice a slight decline in weight when you see your puppy every day. If your dog is at a healthy weight, you should be able to feel his ribs with slight pressure as you stroke him. If you notice your dog losing weight suddenly, check with your vet to determine if an increase in food is necessary or if your dog is ill.
- 5. Increased Thirst – Drinking an entire bowl of water on a warm day is understandable. Drinking an entire bowl of water over and over again is not. Increased thirst can be a sign of diabetes or kidney disease. Check with your vet immediately if you notice this excessive behavior in your dog.
- 6. Lethargy – Loss of interest in his environment, toys, food and interaction is a sure sign of lethargy. This can mean your dog is just exhausted because he is sick and doesn’t have the strength to care about his favorite chew toy. See your vet immediately if this behavior becomes commonplace for your dog.
- 7. Weakness – Some older dogs show signs of weakness in their legs because of things such as hip dysplasia. If you notice your dog having a hard time getting up and down, limping or favoring a leg, having less activity or displaying loss of balance or coordination, see your vet. It may be that his joints and bones are just not as they used to be but it could also be a more serious condition as well. Catching diseases early is the best bet you have against treating them.
- 8. Lack of Appetite – When your dog has a constant food supply, it is hard to notice how much they eat each day or when they are eating. That is why it’s best to have scheduled feedings for your dog. Loss of appetite is a sure way to tell your dog is ill. If you notice your dog not eating as much, or at all, see your vet immediately to see what may be causing the problem.
The best way to ensure your dog is healthy is with regular visits to the vet for check-ups, exams and shots. Any changes in weight and activity can be discussed with your vet at this time to nip the problem in the bud, if there is one. Be proactive to keep your dog healthy and happy for years to come.
With regular vet exams such as check-ups, vaccinations, teeth cleaning, flea medications and everything else, we start to imagine how great it would be to have insurance for our pets. Whip out their little insurance card, dish out a small co-pay and you’re out the door. With some pet insurance companies, it’s not that easy.