Preventative Care

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Keeping your dog well groomed and giving them proper medicine will help prevent illnesses and cut back veterinary spending. Read on to learn what you can do to keep your canine healthy.

Eyes

Check your dog’s eyes for gunk and discharge build up. To remove, dampen a cotton ball and gently wipe from the inner corner of the eyes outward. Avoid touching his or her eyeball.

For long-haired dogs, also make sure that fur is out of their eyes by trimming their fur.

Ears

Prevent parasites, bacteria and yeast from damaging your dog’s ears with some basic maintenance. Check for excessive earwax and keep inner ears clean by gently wiping dirty ears with mineral oil or hydrogen peroxide dampened cotton balls. Refrain from inserting objects into your dog’s ear canal and only clean the ears when they are dirty.

Teeth

Dogs should have their teeth brushed on a daily basis. Using only toothpaste designed for dogs, introduce your puppy to dental care by familiarizing him or her with the taste of the toothpaste. Put dog-toothpaste on your finger, hold your puppy gently and touch his or her teeth for a second and release.

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Practice 3 times a day. With each session, try to open your puppy’s mouth ever more wide until you can see their teeth. Over a week, aim to increase the time that you are able to hold your dog’s mouth open. When you and your pet are ready, use a dampened soft-bristle toothbrush instead of your fingers.

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Begin brushing with short sessions, as you did with your fingers. Gradually build up comfort and increase the length of your sessions until you can brush all of your canine’s teeth per session.

Fleas and Ticks

Lower the risk of a flea or tick infection by applying medicine to your pet. Ask your veterinarian on what medicine to buy and how to apply it to your dog.

Heartworm

Chewable heartworm medication such as Heartgard are available for preventing your dog from contracting heartworms. Ask your veterinarian for selecting the proper medicine for your dog and carefully follow instructions on administering.

SOURCES:

“Healthy Dogs.” Guide: Preventive Care. http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/guide/preventive-care (accessed June 3, 2014).

“Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth.” ASPCA. http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/virtual-pet-behaviorist/dog-behavior/brushing-your-dogs-teeth (accessed June 3, 2014).