Your Dogs Vet Visits Are Necessary
Ten reasons your puppy needs to visit a vet.
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Food for Thought
The number and types of dog foods on the market can be overwhelming. Your veterinarian is an indispensable source of information on the topic of nutrition and can often answer questions and offer sound opinions regarding your puppy's nutrition. Consult your vet about which commercial brands are better than the rest, whether your puppy would benefit from a prescription diet, whether wet food is better than dry food and what to do if your puppy is allergic to specific ingredients.
Your veterinarian and the people who work in the veterinary office are a rich source of information regarding puppy behavior. Veterinary technicians and many members of the hospital staff are often well versed not only in normal training issues, such as housebreaking, but can offer solutions to abnormal behavior problems, such as separation anxiety, destructive chewing, excessive barking, aggression, fears and phobias. Your veterinarian is also an excellent source of referrals to licensed dog trainers and can advise you where to enroll your puppy for basic obedience classes.
A variety of internal parasites can infect your dog, many of which cause diarrhea and rob your puppy of essential nutrients. Your veterinarian will analyze a fecal sample to make sure that your puppy does not have roundworms, hookworms or whipworms. Coccidia and giardia are other internal parasites that can be detected in a fecal sample. Depending on what is detected, a dewormer or other medication may be prescribed. Fortunately, most intestinal parasites are easily treated. Hookworms and roundworms are especially important to diagnose and treat, as these parasites can be transmitted to humans, especially children, if a child's play area is frequented by free-ranging pets.
Scratch the Itch
Today, we can treat fleas and ticks with once-a-month topical or oral medications that protect your pet against fleas or ticks for up to 30 days or longer. Different products have different age restrictions; be sure you know what they are.
Only purchase these once-a-month products from your veterinarian. Many over-the-counter flea-and-tick-control products are designed to resemble the once-a-month veterinary products. However, some over-the-counter products are merely small tubes of concentrated insecticide that, if used improperly, may make your puppy very sick and can be fatal if accidentally applied to cats or kittens. Read and follow package directions closely. Your veterinarian can guide you toward the proper decisions regarding the best way to control fleas and ticks on your puppy, in your home and in your yard.
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