How To Have A Healthy Dog Header

Table of ContentsIntroduction                                                                           3
Chapter 1. Does Your Dog Have Allergies?                     4
Chapter 2. What is Canine Distemper?                            8
Chapter 3. Selecting a Proper Diet for Your Dog             12
Chapter 4. What is Kennel Cough?                                   16
Chapter 5. Dental Hygiene for Dogs                                 19
Chapter 6. Eliminating Heartworm                                    22
Chapter 7. Intestinal Parasites in Your Dog                      25
Chapter 8. What breeds are prone Hip Displasia?          30
Chapter 9. How to Control Fleas                                       33
Chapter 10. Parvovirus Is Deadly                                      36
Chapter 11. How to Give Your Pet CPR                           39
Chapter 12. Do Dogs Get Hepatitis?                                 42
Chapter 13. Protect Your Dog From Leptospirosis          45
Chapter 14. Regular Vaccinations And Your Dog            49
Chapter 15. The Best Toys For Your Dogs                        53

Introduction

After our family, nothing comes closer to stroking our heartstrings than our pets. Both felines and canines are the favorites for most folks. But for our discussion today, we are going to help you determine whether you have a healthy dog.

“Fido” can’t speak for himself and relies on you to be his eyes and ears for everything in his or her world. That means everything from what is the best diet to reading the signs of illness.
In How to Have a Healthy Dog you will find answers to the questions that your pet isn’t able to ask. Hopefully our input will create a long and healthy life for your revered pet. Let’s get started!

Chapter 1. Does Your Dog Have Allergies?

Constant scratching, tail-chasing, coughing and wheezing, eye and nose discharges – if these symptoms can be observed on your pet dog, chances are very likely that he/she is suffering from allergies.

Yes, dogs, just like their masters can suffer from allergies. Roughly about 20 percent of the dogs living in our homes suffer from some allergy type. Major classifications of canine allergies are atopic dermatitis, flea allergy, food allergy and inhalant allergy.

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is skin allergy disease caused by hypersensitivity developed by your dog’s immune system to several and very common substances like molds and dust mites.

If your dog scratches and licks himself very often (particularly licking and chewing the paws, abdomen and legs), and his/her ears are hot to the touch, he/she may be suffering from atopic dermatitis.

Check to see if your dog’s saliva causes stains. A red to brown stain is another indicator that your dog is atopic. In persistent cases, the skin on the abdomen changes color from pink, to a bright red then to black.

Flea Allergy

Flea allergy is the most common form of canine allergy. However, it is not the flea but the flea’s saliva that your dog may be allergic to.

To find out if your dog has flea allergies, a skin allergy test is preformed. If it he/she is tested positive, a strict control regimen can reduce symptoms. Consult you’re your vet as to what type of treatment is best for your pet. There is a wide array of choices ranging from pills to sprays to shampoos

Inhalant Allergy

Just like their masters, dogs are susceptible to allergens inhaled from the air. Pollen from trees, grass, and flowers, dust mites and molds are just some of the common culprits.

However, unlike their masters who exhibit inhalant allergies through sneezing and coughing, dogs show their reactions through scratching and biting as well as chewing of feet and licking constantly. A less common reaction is recurrent infections in your dog’s ears.

You can help alleviate the allergy by vacuuming frequently and dusting the areas your dog spends much time in (like his sleeping area).

Food Allergy

Dogs also exhibit allergies to the food they eat. And this is perhaps the most tedious to diagnose because food allergies can mimic any of the other allergies mentioned in this article.

First thing to do is to remove all possible allergy causing ingredients from your pet’s diet. You can do this by using a homemade meal of a protein and starch source your dog has not had before. Add gradually (one at a time for about a week), more ingredients into it. If symptoms return after adding a particular ingredient, then the possible allergen could be identified.

However, allergic reactions may not appear for about a week after consuming the allergen so be sure to confirm your findings with your vet. Once it has been verified, avoid the ingredient in the dog foods you’ll subsequently feed your pet with.

Other symptoms of food allergies are vomiting, diarrhea, wheezing and sometimes, even changes in behavior.

Relief

You can help your pet and alleviate his allergy woes by bathing and conditioning your dog regularly. Contrary to what most people will tell you, you can never bathe your dog too often. Water helps to relieve your dog’s skin and keeps it healthy. It also rinses off allergens from their body. Different kinds of shampoos are available to treat allergies, depending, of course, on your pet’s particular condition.

Treatment

Corticosteroids are also a useful for controlling allergies by reducing the inflammation in your dog’s skin. Although it will weaken the immune system a bit, it is often necessary in order to treat the allergy. Some side effects are increased appetite and drinking, and higher chances of developing infections. It is therefore not recommended for long-term use. If a longer duration of use is necessary, your pet has to have regular check up on his/her blood and urine.

Prednisone, a short-acting steroid, can be used orally and is safer than the long-acting steroids. Taken with antihistamines and Omega fatty acids and frequent bathing, these short-acting steroids can be used effectively in the least amount used.

An allergy injection, also called immunotherapy, is a series of treatments meant to produce immunity to substances your dog is currently allergic to. Skin and blood testing is performed to find out what substances causes your pet’s allergies. These substances then are given to your dog in small but increasing amounts via injections. Over a period of time, the dog becomes desensitized to the substances and no longer exhibits allergic reactions to them.

Finding out what allergies your pets are suffering from and the allergens that cause them may be a tedious, pain-staking process. But it is worth the effort especially as you see the relief you give your dog translate to a pet that’s in a better disposition and mood, perhaps in gratitude for the time you’ve spent to understand and take care of their ailments.

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