We love our dogs. They make us smile. They keep us from being lonely. Some of them are even the primary recipients in our wills! But despite our obvious connection to our dogs, the fact is, they can’t talk to us, and we can’t talk to them. This means that sometimes, when our dogs are in pain or uncomfortable, we don’t know! Fortunately, there are a few things you can do for your dog beyond the obvious vet visits and medications that will leave them feeling not just functional, but comfortable and beautiful to boot.
1. Invest in pet shampoo and other natural pet products.
Natural pet shampoo isn’t an extravagance. It’s a vital addition to your dog’s weekly routine. For one thing, skin irritation on dogs is quite common even if they’re not suffering from fleas or ticks. In fact, there are over 160 skin conditions that can effect dogs beyond the go-to parasitic suspects. Getting dog shampoo for itchy skin can help with some of this. What’s more, the dog shampoo for itchy skin is also usually dog shampoo for sensitive skin. This means less scratching, blotch, and hair patches. (Not to mention, dog shampoo for itchy skin will help save YOU a load of work dealing with the shedding that comes along with all that scratching).
2. Clip your dog’s toenails every few weeks.
Much like people, dogs need to keep their toenails short and neat to avoid troublesome conditions like ingrown toenails and discomfort while walking. Use your common sense when deciding when to clip the dog’s toenails. Unlike dog shampoo for itchy skin, toenail clippers are a purchase that won’t be so easily signaled by scratching. Look for a limp, curling toenails, or unusually destructive scratch patterns on the couches or surrounding furniture.
3. Check your dog for bites, bugs, and burrs regularly.
Many people feel that taking the dog to the groomers is doing due diligence when it comes to looking for fleas, ticks, and other irritants. But for senior dogs, the stress and stimulation of the groomer may not be the best idea. Even younger canines are probably better off in hands they trust (without four other dogs in line before and after them). If you have the time, it’s best to do a thorough tick check yourself every time you bath your precious pooch.
4. Make the vet check-ups count.
Well, the first way to do this is to make sure the vet check-ups happen! Don’t just go to the vet when Fido eats chocolate or steps on a pine cone. Once a year vet check-ups are the best way to keep your dog happy and healthy. And if you’re thinking that’s expensive, we’ll tell you the same things we tell humans; preventative medicine is ALWAYS less expensive than emergency medicine. One productive thing you can do at the vet check-up is have your dog tested for allergies. Its’ estimated, for example, that fully 40% of all dogs are desperately allergic to fleas which can lead to compounding symptoms other than itching.Your vet may be able to relieve some of these symptoms.
5. Don’t smoke around your dog.
We typically think of cancer as a human problem. Well, what if we told you that dogs exposed to second hand smoke are twice as likely as dogs who aren’t to develop some sort of cancer? That’s right — smoking kills pets too!