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in Health & Wellness // Basic Care

Taking care of Your

Dog’s Health


Health Dog article 1Some dog owners might wonder when their pets need a visit to the vet.
After all, many of them only go when it’s an emergency – but that’s not
enough. In fact, once a year, every year, your dog(s) should see a vet for
a full checkup and all the necessary shots and vaccinations for his or her
age and your geographical environment. If your dog is sick, injured or
behaving strangely (uncharacteristically lethargic, struggling to
breathe, not eating or drinking water, whining, scratching consistently,
etc.) then make an appointment with your vet immediately.


It is important to frequently inspect your dog for ticks and fleas, especially from earlyHealth Dog article 2
spring. If you notice a problem, there are various reliable tick and flea control products for
dogs. Opinions on which ones to use vary according to beliefs, needs and affordability.
One of the very effective, yet costly, options is a chewable tablet that keeps dogs tick-and
flea-free for up to three months. For maximum efficiency, it’s important that the dog
receives the right dose, based on his or her weight. Puppy schools, doggy daycares and
kennels often require dogs to be on a specific tick and flea control product before entry is


Health Dog article 3

Health Dog article 4VACCINATIONS

Canine vaccinations help protect your dog from common, contagious illnesses and
diseases. As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure you give your pets all the
protection they need. Be sure to get a vaccination card from your vet, dog breeder or
animal shelter and keep it updated.

One of the most important vaccinations is DHLPPC. It consist of components that protect
against the following illnesses: Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza,
Parvovirus and Coronavirus.


Health Dog article 9Hepatitis: viral liver disease
Parainfluenza: infectious bronchitis
Parvovirus: viral intestine disease
Corona: viral disease of the intestines
Leptospirosis: urinary tract bacterial disease
Rabies: fatal viral disease; can be contracted by humans and animals
Distemper: airborne viral disease affecting the lungs, brain and intestines
Bordetella: aka kennel cough; bacterial infection of upper respiratory system

Health Dog article 10In South Africa, puppies and adult dogs usually require the following vaccinations and/or tests:

Heartworm Test: Adult dogs annually
Bordetella (Kennel Cough): Adult dogs annually
DHLPPC: Adult dogs annually; puppies 6 – 8 weeks, 11 – 12 weeks and 15 – 16 Weeks
Rabies Shot: Puppies aged 4+ months, then one year after that, then biannually after the 2nd
shot (frequency may vary based on your geographical location; consult your vet for details)

Additional shots include Giardia and Lyme disease. Inform your vet where you live and explain
your dog’s lifestyle (day care, kennels, etc.) to help the vet recommend all the required
vaccinations, shots and tests. Most decent kennels will only accept dogs with current, up-to-date


Dogs experience pain just like people do.
Pain medication can reduce pain and increase comfort.

PainControl button dogs


Dogs should not eat or have access to any of the following:

Xylitol | Avocado | Alcohol | Leaves, Stems and Roots from Tomato & Potato Plants | Onions &
Garlic | Coffee, Tea & Other Caffeine | Grapes & Raisins | Milk & Other Dairy Products |
Macadamia Nuts, Almonds, Walnuts, Peanuts & Pecans | Chocolate | Fat Trimmings & Bones
(Raw or Cooked) | Persimmons, Peaches & Plums | Raw Eggs | Only Raw Meat & Fish | Salt &
Salty Snacks | Sugary Foods & Drinks | Yeast Dough & Hops | Human Medicine | Baking
Ingredients & Spices | Excessive Coconut Milk/Oil/Flesh | Apple Seeds & Cores | Chamomile |
Cherry Stems, Leaves & Pits | Mustard Seeds | Rhubarb | Citrus Fruits | Licorice | Marijuana in
any form

Only give your dog medicine that has been prescribed by a qualified, certified vet and keep
rodent, insect and other poisons in a safe place, always out of reach. If, for any reason, you think
your dog might have ingested any poisonous substance, call your vet immediately.



Health Dog article 6
Be sure to deworm puppies as often as necessary and adult dogs yearly. Many humans,
whether pet owners or not, make use of deworming medication as a precaution.
Dogs, even healthy, happy ones, can be exposed to worms, even in urban areas.

Roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms are not uncommon in puppies (or even older
dogs), but diagnosis is key and fast treatment is very important. Make sure you use the
right medicine (for the right worm), prescribed by a vet, to get rid of these intestinal



This can be a sensitive subject, but it’s increasingly recommended that non-breeding
females should be spayed (removal of ovaries and uterus) before reaching maturity (6
months) to reduce the risk of breast cancer and/or an infected uterus. Non-breeding males
benefit from being neutered (removal of testicles) before maturity to help prevent testicular
and prostate diseases, certain hernias and some types of aggression.

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