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Spaying your dog is one of the most responsible things you can do as a dog owner. Spaying your dog will allow them to live a longer and healthier life. It also cuts down on the number of animals needing homes, which is a big problem in today’s society. Responsible pet owners will have their dog spayed before they go into heat for the first time. Here’s what you need to know about how to care for your dog after they have this procedure.

Restricting Activity

It is generally recommended that for the first day after surgery your dog remain in a confined area, usually kept to one room. This helps to limit their activity. You will actually need to try to limit your dog’s activity for 7 to 14 days, meaning no rough play and discouraging running and jumping. In order to restrict your dog’s activity, you might have to primarily keep them indoors and away from other pets and children.

dental cleaningRoutine dental cleanings are extremely important for your pet. Just as your dental health is important to your overall health, it is just as important for your pet. Getting regular dental cleanings and exams will ensure that your pet remains healthy and pain free.

A Thorough Clean

Even if you are one of the few pet owners who actually brush your pet’s teeth every day, you are not likely to get your pet’s mouth as clean as a veterinarian can. Most pet owners rely on chew toys and other pet chews that are meant to clean teeth. These are good, but they are not a replacement for a routine cleaning. A good clean mouth for your pet means a long healthy life without losing any of their teeth.

When you get a new pet from a shelter or adoption agency, they will likely already be neutered. Yet if you adopt a pet from a responsible breeder or other location, your pet will not likely be neutered before they arrive in your home. There are some very good reasons to neuter your pet right away without waiting.

Prevent Testicular Cancer

Neutering your pet eliminates their risk of developing testicular cancer, which is one of the leading causes of death in unneutered pets.

Spaying your pet is the responsible thing to do as a pet owner. Thousands of kittens, puppies, bunnies, and other pets find their way to shelters or on their own in the wild due to rampant breeding. Pet owners who have their pets spayed at a young age, avoid the stress and mess of a pet in heat, as well as avoiding litters that may not be able to find homes. Yet many pet owners are not aware of what age they should spay their pet. Here are the basic guidelines.

Dogs

Female dogs should be spayed before their first heat in order to get all of the health benefits of the procedure. The age at which a dog goes into heat for the first time varies greatly by breed. Smaller dogs usually go into heat earlier and more frequently. Most dogs are able to be spayed anytime after they reach eight weeks of age. It is a good idea to spay your dog as soon as they reach this age, or as soon as you can after they are adopted if they are older.

spayYour pet has many needs, and as a responsible pet owner you want to make sure that all of their needs are being met. One of the things that you really shouldn’t put off is your pet’s grooming. Many dogs need to be groomed in the springtime, and other pets may need to be groomed as well. There are several good reasons why you should not put it off any longer.

Control Shedding and Matting

Many pets will get a thicker coat in the wintertime, then shed severely when the warmer weather comes. These pets should be groomed early in the spring to minimize the shedding that is occurring in your home. Excessive shedding is uncomfortable for your pet, and it can make your home appear very dirty. It can also contribute to allergies. Other pets do not shed in the springtime, but their fur continues to grow thicker and longer without grooming. As fur gets longer and thicker, it becomes prone to matting. Matts in your pet’s fur can cause them extreme discomfort and may lead to skin conditions. It is important that you get your long-haired pet groomed early in the spring to avoid this from happening.

Just like humans, pets can have allergies. Some pets may have insect allergies, food allergies, or environmental allergies such as pollen or mold. While most allergies can be effectively managed by limiting exposure, some allergic reactions require immediate care. If you suspect that your pet has allergies, you should have them examined by a veterinarian as quickly as possible for an accurate diagnosis and treatment. Here are some signs that your pet has allergies.

Itchiness

If your pet is constantly scratching but doesn’t have fleas or another cause, it could be a sign of allergies. Your pet may be itchy all over, just on or in the ears, or in their eyes. Frequent scratching, especially scratching that could lead to injury or infection, should be addressed quickly.

Severe Allergic Reactions

Some pets may have a severe allergic reaction to food or environmental factors. You will know if your pet is having a severe allergic reaction because they will get hives or they may have swelling of the face, particularly around the snout and eyes. Your pet may also appear to be uncomfortable and breathe shallowly. These severe allergic reactions require immediate care.

pet-examYou have probably heard in the past not to give your pet candy or chocolate, but many people are completely unaware of why candy and chocolate are dangerous for pets. There are a number of reasons you should keep these things away from your pets.

Theobromine

Chocolate contains theobromine. This is a chemical that can build up to toxic levels. While it can be toxic in humans as well, it takes much less of the chemical to cause health problems in pets, particularly small dogs. The human body can process theobromine much faster than a small pet can. This means that the chemical builds up in the pet and can cause diarrhea, vomiting, or sometimes even seizures and death.

Xylitol

Many candies, gums, and some diet foods are sweetened with xylitol. This is another chemical that can be harmful to your pet. In pets, this chemical can cause their blood sugar level to drop and even cause liver failure. You will notice your pet vomiting, having diarrhea, or being lethargic.

pet-examWe all have probably heard of acupuncture at one point or another. You might remember it as the procedure that people receive that involves little needles sticking out of their bodies. Well, acupuncture is more than being poked by needles a few times. It is a natural form of treatment that is based on the idea that all things are connected, and that there is a balance within these things. Acupuncture, combined with other forms of holistic therapies, can be used to create this balance in veterinary care. What Conditions Can Acupuncture Treat? Acupuncture can be used for pets in all stages of life. Acupuncture for pets is being used to treat a variety of conditions such as:
  •      Chronic Arthritis
  •      Kidney Disease
  •      Liver Disease
  •      Heart Disease
  •      Seizures
  •      Pain Management
  •      Thyroid Conditions
  •      Separation Anxiety
In addition to acupuncture, one of our Veterinarians might also implement a few more holistic approaches such as the use of herbal formulas. Some experts say that by combining both these treatments, it further enhances the effects of acupuncture.

Kim HashYour dog is your best friend for a reason! His companionship isn’t just comforting - it is scientifically proven to improve your health and longevity. Just in case you needed a few more reasons to love your pup, check out these great benefits of pet ownership. Your Dog Helps Your Stress Evaporate You look forward to greeting your dog at the door at the end of a long day, and you grin when you tell your colleagues funny stories about your dog’s mischief. These fond interactions immediately lower your stress levels and encourage better health. According to research, a mere 12 minutes with a canine companion can significantly lower stress and anxiety. It is for this reason that many hospitals and clinics keep a steady rotation of dogs in their facilities to boost patients’ spirits. Decreased Heart Disease Risk Factors You know your dog can bark to alert you of an intruder, but he even has the power to decrease your heart disease risk factors. The CDC and NIH both completed studies that concluded that pet owners have lower pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels than non-pet owners. Considering that blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglycerides are the three factors that most heavily influence your risk of heart disease, this is a very significant finding! Even if someone has already suffered a heart attack or other heart health issue, patients with pets demonstrate quicker recovery times.