Tag Archives: dog diet

Dental Health Tips for Your Canine Companion

Dental health is an important part of your dog’s care regimen—in fact, dental problems are some of the most common health issues that veterinarians see in dogs. Keep your canine companion’s teeth and gums in tip-top shape with these tips from a Georgetown, IN veterinarian:

Home Mouth Exams

Once a week or so, sit down with your dog to give the mouth a quick check-up at home. Gently peel back Fido’s lips to check out the teeth and gums; look for any inflammation or redness, swelling, cracked or misaligned teeth, excessive plaque build-up, or anything else that seems out of the ordinary. Let your vet know right away if you find something that warrants concern.

Great Diet and Fresh Water

One of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your dog’s oral health in peak condition is to feed them a great diet, supplying them with the essential nutrients for healthy teeth and gums. A steady supply of fresh water is also important for keeping the mouth clean and washing away loose plaque.

Brushing

Pick up a canine-formulated toothpaste and a pet toothbrush at your pet supply store. Start by letting your dog smell and taste the paste, and try rubbing your dog’s teeth and gums with a finger at first. Slowly, introduce the paste and brush until you can effectively brush the outer tooth surfaces. It’s a great way to keep harmful plaque and tartar at bay!

Chew Toys

Chew toys are about more than good plain fun. They give your dog’s teeth and gums a healthy workout day after day, and they help to scrape plaque off of the teeth and gum beds, removing it before it can harden into tartar. Supply your dog with plenty of fun toys, both for his entertainment and oral health!

Dental treats and chews are another good option for keeping your dog’s teeth and gums healthy. They also help to freshen the breath. Ask your vet to recommend a great choice.

Professional Cleanings

Remember: there is no substitute for professional dental cleanings at your vet’s office! Pro cleanings get at the nooks and crannies that home brushing simply can’t. If your dog is due for a cleaning, or if you have questions about the procedure, call your veterinarian to learn more.

Your Georgetown, IN animal hospital is here to serve all of your veterinary care needs. Make an appointment today!

Winter Care for Dogs

Winter is approaching fast! As the weather changes, you may need to make a few adjustments to your dog’s care routine, in order to keep Fido happy and healthy. Winter can be very dangerous for our canine pals! Here, a Georgetown, IN vet discusses winter care for dogs.

Food

Some of our furry friends need to eat a little more in cold weather. If your canine companion is a working dog, puppy, nursing mama, or just spends a lot of time outdoors, he may need bigger portion sizes in winter. Follow your vet’s nutritional recommendations.

Clothing

Fido might need doggy clothes to help him stay warm on frigid days, especially if he has thin fur. When shopping for your pooch, always take his measurements with you. (Tip: text them to yourself, so you always have them.) Avoid anything itchy, tight, or constricting. Also, stay away from items with zippers and/or small pieces that your furry pal may try to eat, such as buttons.

Activity

While you may not relish the thought of going to the doggy park on a freezing-cold day, it is important to keep Fido active. You can play Fetch or Tug-o-War with your pet inside, though you’ll of course want to choose areas without a lot of breakable objects. Stair runs will also give your furry buddy a great workout. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Paw Care

Snow, salt, sand, ice, and chemical de-icing products can all hurt your dog’s sensitive paw pads. If your canine buddy doesn’t like wearing booties, use paw balm or wax to protect his feet. Also, remember to choose pet-friendly de-icing products. Last but not least, keep Fido’s claws trimmed: this will make it easier for him to gain traction on slippery surfaces.

Walking

Since the sun sets so early in winter, you’ll probably be walking your four-legged friend after dark quite a bit. Get Fido a reflective leash and collar, and wear a reflective jacket yourself. Wear shoes with good traction, and bring a phone and flashlight with you. Keep an eye on the ground, as the snow can hide dangerous objects, like broken glass. Also, don’t bring your pooch near frozen bodies of water, riverbanks, or other dangerous areas.

Please do not hesitate to contact us, your Georgetown, IN pet hospital, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We are dedicated to providing excellent care!

Is Your Dog Obese?

Have you noticed your dog becoming, well, a bit pudgy? Man’s Best Friend does have a habit of packing on the pounds. In fact, by some estimates, well over half of our canine buddies are overweight or obese! While Fido may look cute if he’s a bit chubby, being overweight or obese can bring some very serious health risks for your beloved pet. Read on as a Georgetown, IN vet discusses obesity in dogs.

Health Risks

Those extra pounds are very bad for your four-legged buddy’s health. Dogs that are overweight or obese have higher chances of developing many health problems, including heart disease, liver problems, diabetes, reproductive difficulty, skin trouble, and complications after surgery/anesthesia. Being overweight can also lead to or aggravate painful bone/joint conditions, such as arthritis. Those extra pounds can even shorten Fido’s life expectancy!

Diet

While sometimes age, breed, or medical conditions can cause dogs to gain weight, more often overfeeding, combined with a lack of exercise, is the culprit. You’ll want to feed your canine pal a nutritious, high-quality diet, but don’t overdo it with fatty treats. Ask your vet for specific nutritional advice, including portion sizes.

Begging

We really can’t discuss canine obesity without at least touching on the topic of begging. Fido is very, very good at convincing us to hand over yummy snacks. We know, that sad puppy-dog stare can be very effective, but don’t fall for it! Begging is bad doggy manners, and is a major factor in canine obesity. If you just can’t resist your pet’s theatrics, offer the furball a carrot instead of a cheeseburger.

Exercise

All dogs need some form of activity, though the exact type and amount of exercise Fido needs will depend on his age, breed, health, and weight. Most dogs require at least a daily walk, but some of our canine buddies need quite a bit more activity than that. Making sure your furry pal is getting enough exercise is very important! Check with your vet before starting Fido on a workout regimen, however, as vigorous exercise isn’t right for every pooch. If Fido is more active than you are, engage him with fun games like fetch, which will keep him moving but won’t tire you out.

Do you have questions or concerns about your dog’s health, or care? We can help! Please contact us, your Georgetown, IN animal hospital, anytime.

Is Your Dog’s Shedding Becoming Excessive?

Shedding is a natural part of life for most dogs, but an excessive degree of shedding isn’t normal. If you’ve noticed an increase in the amount of dog hair on your furniture and in your carpets, use these tips from your Floyds Knob, IN veterinarian to address the issue.

See Your Veterinarian

Before doing anything, make an appointment to see your veterinarian. Various medical issues could be linked to your dog’s excessive shedding, including parasites, allergies, infection, and many more. This is especially likely if it seems as though your dog’s shedding amount has increased dramatically in the course of a few days or weeks. Your vet can tell you if anything is amiss; even if it isn’t, you can move on to other options without worrying about your dog’s health.

Provide a Great Diet

What goes into your dog is very important for how he or she looks on the outside. A proper diet is essential for great skin and fur health; ensure that you’re feeding your canine companion a nutritionally balanced, high-quality dog food that is appropriate for his or her age, breed, weight, and overall body condition. A senior dog, for instance, needs quite different food than a puppy. If you’d like a recommendation on what to feed your pooch, call your vet’s office.

Brush

Daily brushing sessions can do wonders to cut down on the amount of fur that your dog sheds, thereby preventing it from winding up on your carpets and living room chairs. Use a dog-specific brush and run it through your dog’s coat every day. This will remove loose and dead fur, smooth out tangles, and moisturize the fur with essential skin oils. Of course, it will also keep your dog looking and feeling like a million bucks!

Bathe

The occasional bath can also be useful to remove loose fur, keep your dog smelling fresh, and have them look their best. Use a canine-formulated shampoo—available at vets’ offices, pet supply shops, and some retail outlets—as human shampoo may be too strong for your pooch’s sensitive skin. Be careful not to over-bathe, though, as bathing too frequently can actually backfire and dry out the skin, leading to more shedding instead of less.

Would you like recommendations on a great pet brush or dog shampoo for your canine companion? Want more advice on reducing your dog’s shedding? Contact your Floyds Knob, IN vet.