When it comes to your dog, its physical health is just as important as its mental and emotional well being. Without regular vet check-ups, proper vaccinations, and appropriate monthly medications, many canine conditions can go unnoticed. These diseases such as Lyme disease from a tick, or heart worm disease can be extremely painful and often fatal. The most important thing to know is what medical supplies your dog will require. This often varies by dog, some may even have special needs, but there are some basic supplies that generally all dogs should have.
A good veterinarian
First start with a veterinarian that you trust. You will need to take your dog to the vet for regular check ups, vaccination updates, and any emergencies. Its good to have a doctor that you can trust, so you feel confident in any recommendations they may make. Otherwise, you make think they are trying to scam you out of money, and end up skipping a treatment that your dog may really need.
Ask other pet owners that you know who they use and trust, or who to avoid. This is often the best way to find someone that you and your pet will feel comfortable visiting.
Pet care can often be just as expense, if not more than, the amount you normally pay for human care. To offset this cost, consider purchasing pet insurance. This can save a lot of expense and heartache in the long run, especially if you have an older dog, or a dog with special needs. Many people are not even aware that pet insurance exists. Educate yourself on the options as pet insurance can be just as tricky as human insurance. Make sure you know what your policy will and will not cover so you don’t get stuck with any surprise bills!
Flea & Tick Medication
Flea and tick medication is important for dogs to prevent the infestation of fleas, either from outside or from other dogs. It will also prevent ticks and other harmful insects from biting or taking up residence on your dog. This is not only bothersome to your pet, but the diseases that insects carry can easily be transmitted to your animal, just like they can be transmitted to humans. These include Lyme disease, Chagas’ disease, and even a neurological disorder called tick paralysis. Keep your friend from these, and other nasty critters by giving them a flea and tick medication once per month. This medication often comes in the form of a liquid applied to the dog’s skin, but it is also available in a more convenient pill form.
Heart worm Medication
Heart worms and other parasites can affect your dog in very serious ways. Heart worm disease is spread by mosquitoes, and dogs usually do not show symptoms within the first six months of contracting the disease. Some dogs won’t show signs at all even after the incubation period. But this disease will eventually progress to cause severe weight loss, fainting, coughing, and congestive heart failure. This is why heart worm medication is so important. This is also typically given once per month in a pill form.
Most medications are available from your veterinarian, but medication is expensive and can add up very quickly. To reduce the cost of your monthly medications try ordering them in bulk as a one year supply. This will ensure that you have the medication on hand for an extended period of time, and won’t your dog won’t miss its dose! On-line pet pharmacies generally offer a lower price than local veterinarians. You can get the same medication, and they often offer a greater variety, allowing you to choose which brand is best for your wallet and your pet. Don’t be put off by generics. Like human medications, you will often find that these have the same ingredients and are just as effective as the brand name medications.
The above information is just basic advice to help get you started with the right medical needs for your dog. We all want your pet to live it’s longest, healthiest life. Keep in mind to consult with your veternarian before making any major medical descisions (including giving any over the counter medications).