Although we all have great intensions, sometimes mistakes are made when caring for our dogs. These mistakes can seem harmless; however can be very critical for our pup. The following is a list of the most common mistakes dog owners make.
Dog Health Mistake 1: Not Getting Preventive Care
Although annual exams may coincide with needed vaccinations, simply getting your dog vaccinated isn’t the same as a full physical exam. Among other things, a comprehensive checkup may include:
- Blood work
- A fecal examination for intestinal parasites
- Examination of a dog’s gums, heart, lungs, teeth, eyes, and ears
Talk to your veterinarian to learn more.
Dog Health Mistake 2: Neglecting Dental Care
As on human teeth, plaque forms on a dog’s teeth after eating. If left alone, the plaque builds, causing inflammation, decay, and eventually bone and tooth loss. And while this silent war goes on in your dog’s mouth, she’s probably experiencing pain you don’t notice because dogs, like cats, instinctively hide pain.
Gum disease is actually five times as common in dogs as in people. But it’s easy to prevent and to treat with dental care that includes:
- Daily brushings
- Good quality food
- Regular oral X-rays, exams, and cleanings
- Safe, teeth-cleaning treats and chew toys
Dog Health Mistake 3: Overfeeding
It can be difficult enough to balance our own diets, much less that of our dogs. So talk to your vet, who will help you select a good, high-quality food for your dog and give you tips on exercise and treats. That’s right — you don’t have to stop sharing occasional goodies with your pooch, as long as 90% to 95% of your dog’s diet is healthy and well balanced.
Dog Health Mistake 4: Sharing Medication
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, are the most common cause of pet poisoning in small animals, according to the ASPCA. Even small doses can be toxic. Antidepressants, muscle relaxers, decongestants, vitamin D derivatives, oral diabetes treatments, and other common human drugs can all pose risks to pets, from seizures to coma to death.
Dog Health Mistake 5: Delaying Critical Care
We often delay medical care for ourselves, waiting for a bump, pain, or rash to go away. So it may seem natural to do the same thing with our dog.
There’s a problem with that, however: Dogs don’t have the words to let us know exactly what they’re feeling. Your canine companion could be in pain, sick, and even gravely ill — and chances are you wouldn’t know it because of dogs’ instinct to hide infirmity.
Don’t wait to see if a health problem in your dog gets better on its own. Call your vet if your dog isn’t eating or is eating less, vomiting, lethargic, has diarrhea or fever, or just doesn’t seem well.