Montreal dog medical needs. Your dog’s good behavior has a lot to do with his good health. Take your new puppy to the veterinarian as soon as possible for a checkup. When the puppy is six to eight weeks old, he should begin getting vaccinations to guard him against distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza, canine hepatitis and leptospirosis.
At three to six months, he will need his first rabies shot. The vet will also introduce medication to prevent heartworm disease. Good grooming is essential to monitor your dog’s health. Check him daily for evidence of ticks or fleas.
If you do encounter fleas, enlist the help of your vet immediately to combat the problem before it becomes monumental.
GROOMING YOUR PET
No matter what kind of coat your dog has, he will benefit from regular grooming.
Hopefully you took grooming into consideration when you chose your pet.
Smooth-coated dogs such as Doberman pinschers, Labrador retrievers, and beagles are easy to groom. Occasional brushing and bathing are all that is required to keep this type of dog well groomed. Keep the ears clean with a weekly swipe of cotton ball dipped in alcohol. Long-haired dogs with an undercoat-German shepherds, collies, and Old English sheepdogs-have a long outer coat of “guard” hairs and a soft undercoat for warmth.
If your dog has this kind of coat, comb him daily from the skin outward to prevent tangles.
Bathe this type of dog twice annually, in spring and in the fall.
SILKY-COATED: dogs, cocker spaniels, Afghan hounds and Pekingeses- also need daily combing. They should be bathed monthly, and may require cream rinses to prevent their hair from tangling.
WOOLY-COATED: dogs, poodles and Bedlington terriers-need brushing every few days, and professional trimming or clipping depending on breed type.
WIRY-COATED: dogs, such as some types of terriers, schnauzers and Airedales, need professional clipping every six to eight weeks as well as frequent brushing.
CORDING-COATED: dogs such as the komondor and the puli, both Hungarian breeds, are best left alone. Consult a professional groomer about how to bathe and care for this type of dog.
NAIL-TRIMMING: can be done at home. Use special clippers, and ask your groomer or vet to how you how to trim your pet’s claws safely. Clip ONLY the curved part of the nail, cutting just below the bloodline.
BATHING YOUR DO: always use a dog shampoo, and make the experience as pleasant as possible. Remove all tangles and mats from the hair first, then put the dog in a bath tub on a rubber pad to avoid slipping.
Gently wet your dog’s hair, and apply the shampoo. If it is a flea preventative, you must leave the shampoo on for about five minutes. During this time, massage your dog, and talk to him to keep him distracted.
Use warm water to rinse off the shampoo, and make sure the water runs perfectly clear, leaving no trace of soap on your dog. Do not get soap in his eyes or ears.
Clean these areas with a washcloth or cotton dipped in water. You may use a little baby oil to swab out his ears, especially if he is a floppy-eared dog, to prevent infection. Dry your dog thoroughly with a towel and comb-do not brush-his coat to hasten drying.
TRAVELING WITH OR WITHOUT YOUR DOG
Ideally you should get your dog used to traveling with you. However, there will be times when taking him with you is not practical. Airline travel is hard on a dog, and driving around the country with a hungry, thirsty or tired pooch is certainly no vacation.
What are your options? You may board him in a reputable kennel, leave him at home asking a neighbor to come and check up on him, hire an in-house sitter or send him to camp
Most kennels are reputable but cannot offer the individual care and attention your dog may be used to receiving. There is also the danger of spreading airborne diseases when so many dogs are confined within a space.
If you can leave him at home with someone you trust, that is your best solution.
Julie Diehl, of Pompano Beach, Florida, who has made canine boarding her profession, offers a genuine alternative. She houses a limited number of dogs in her home and gives them lots of exercise and “hands-on” care. Here are her suggestions on how to find a good boarding facility for your dog and how to make the stay pleasant:
- Check the facility yourself WITH your dog. You will soon get the “feel” of the environment, and so will your dog.
- Check the credentials of the boarding master with your humane society and your vet.
- Make sure that all dogs boarded have their inoculations.
- Ask about emergency care. Your dog may need emergency care in your absence.
- Make sure you sign a release permitting the caregiver to take your dog to the vet for treatment.
- Make sure someone is on the premises 24 hours a day. Many dogs develop “bloat” in the early evening, a condition that can prove fatal by morning.
- Ask about the flea and tick policy. Many good dogsitters will not take an animal who has fleas. Some kennels require mandatory flea baths before and after boarding.
When you leave your dog:
- Be positive. Hide your anxieties so that your dog will not pick them up and be anxious himself.
- Bring all medications or special food he may require. Write out any pertinent information about eating and bathroom habits as well as personality quirks that may help the dog-sitter.
- Leave a telephone number where you can be reached in case of an emergency. Let your vet know that your dog will be boarded at suchand-such a place in your absence.
- Above all, include some article or item of clothing that belongs to you. Since dogs are ruled by scent, having your odor near him when you are gone is most reassuring.