The Animal Welfare Act states that animals should be kept free from pain, suffering and disease. We can’t control everything, however preventative care can help to alleviate the most common ailments.
These come in many shapes, sizes and severity to the pet. The most common are Ectoparisites, parasites that live outside the body; the main ones being fleas, ticks, mites & lice. Obvious signs indicating parasites include:
- Itching; mild-to-severe
- Hair loss
- Red spots
- Inflamed skin
- Dull & dandruffy coat
Ensure your pet is up to date with their vaccinations. Dogs coming/going abroad must be vaccinated for Rabies and boarding kennels usually insist against Kennel Cough.
Not only ensures no unwanted little ones, but can also help prevent certain cancers.
Regular treatments prevent lungworm, roundworm & tapeworm.
Only your Vet can diagnose and prescribe treatment for your pet.
A well balanced diet is essential for good health. Most commercial dog foods include all the necessary food groups. Supplements aren’t always a good thing, unless prescribed by your vet. The amount to feed your pet is dependent on:
- Activity level
Consider giving a little extra to:
- Working dogs
- Puppies/growing dogs
- Pregnant & lactating bitches
…and a little less to old and overweight dogs, although this should be reduced in a controlled way.
Food intolerance and allergies
These are hard to pinpoint. They can manifest as weight loss, diarrhoea, vomiting, itchy skin amongst other symptoms. Salmon and rice can sometimes help, but seek veterinary advice if symptoms persist.
Physical & mental exercise is essential for all dogs, although again the level of which is dependent on the factors above.
Young dogs should not be over-exercised and can be stimulated instead through games and training.
Always have fresh water available.
Regular health checks
Health checks can also help identify any problems early:
- Eyes are clear and bright
- Ears have no odour or wax
- Toilet habits are normal
- Feet and in between toes are sore free
- Nose is cool and damp
- Gums are pink
- Teeth are tartar free
- Weight: you should be able to see their waist but not see ribs
- Check any abnormal movement
- Check genital areas for discharge or swelling