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Cats and dogs

About your dog

Having a dog is a beautiful adventure, but you have to get ready for it. A dog needs enough space to exercise, has to go out regularly, eat regularly and have its own space to sleep. Here are some recommendations for a good start.

Nutrition

It is essential to feed your dog according to the stage of its life, its breed and physical condition.

Unless you have a specific recommendation from your veterinarian, it is useless, and can even be harmful, to give your dog supplements or vitamins.

Food and water bowls must be kept in a quiet place.

It is not recommended to feed your dog bones or table scraps.

Raw food

For more information, consult the petfoodnutrition.com.


Pet insurance

Pet insurance has been available in Canada for several years. Any cat or dog can be insured (any breed and at any age). Different protections and options are available.

For a free estimate without obligation, visit www.petsecure.com


Training and behaviour

 

Whether you have a puppy or an adult dog, patience is key when it comes to training. Like children, dogs need time, practice, positive reinforcement and rewards to learn.

There are many canine educators and schools specialized in canine training. Obedienceclasses are worth the investment of time and money. Even an experienced person can learn a lot from these classes. But you have to make the right choice of school and ask questions to meet your needs.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any question on training or behaviour.

Separation anxiety


Regular examination

If you have a new dog, a visit to the veterinarian and a good physical examination are recommended. The veterinarian will evaluate the dog’s health condition and you will be able to ask all the questions you need before you get attached.

Afterward, an annual examination is necessary to follow up on the dog’s health condition and give it all the prevention it needs (vaccines, deworming, heartworm, fleas and others.) In a year, your dog will have changed and its needs might be different.

Your veterinarian will be able to detect conditions that might deteriorate in time. He will also be able to recommend appropriate diagnostic tests if needed.


Reproduction
  • Dogs usually come in heat twice a year.
  • Bleeding lasts from 10 to 21 days. The ovulation happens at the end of the bleeding.
  • Gestation lasts from 63 to 65 days.
  • The signs before giving birth are:  loss of appetite, reduced activity, mucus plug, nesting, lower body temperature.
  • Sterilization is strongly recommended by veterinary doctors. It is also possible to sterilize an animal during gestation.

Should you breed your dog?


Security in the house
  • Put household products, paints and solvents in a safe place;
  • Avoid access to poison products for rodents;
  • Put toxic plants out of reach;
  • In the garage, store antifreeze and other oil products out of reach;
  • Never leave your puppy without supervision;
  • If your dog is very active inside, close doors, windows and cupboards;
  • Keep the toilet lid closed;
  • Disconnect electrical cords or cover them because a dog could chew them and electrocute or burn itself;
  • Put away all the small objects that the dog could put in its mouth;
  • Plastic bags and other plastic packaging are also dangerous. They could choke your dog, get stuck in its digestive system or your dog could get its head stuck in them;
  • Avoid putting ribbons around its neck.

Accessories needed
  • A dog needs a cage, which he can use as a “den”, to sleep and feel safe. This cage has to be big enough for the dog to stand up in, lie down comfortably and turn around easily. However, the cage should not be too big as to allow the dog to go to the bathroom at one end and sleep at the other end.
  • Collar and leash. For the size of the collar, measure the dog’s neck and add 5 cm. The ideal length for a leash is 1.8 m (6 feet). Choker collars are not recommended.
  • An identification tag.
  • Ceramic or stainless steel bowls.
  • For grooming, you can choose accordingly: a comb is good for a long-haired dog, a soft brush or a grooming glove is recommended for short-haired dogs.
  • Toys should be tear-proof, unbreakable and too big to be swallowed.


Parasites

Dogs are not just pets; they are often treated like family members. And like any member of your family, it’s important to keep your companion healthy and free of parasites.

It is fairly common for a dog to become infected with an internal or external parasite at some point in its lifetime. Parasites can affect your pet in a variety of ways, ranging from simple irritation to causing life-threatening conditions if left untreated. Some parasites can even infect and transmit diseases to you and your family.

Your veterinarian is there to help prevent, diagnose and treat parasites that can affect your pet.


Sterilization

Veterinarians recommend pet neutering for many reasons:

  • Reduced health problems – Studies show that a fertile female dog runs an increased risk of mammary tumours (breast cancer) and uterine infections as it grows older. By spaying a female dog before its first heat, these health problems can be avoided. As for the fertile male, it can have testicular tumours or prostatic hyperplasia.
  • Signs of heat and spotting in females – Spayed females stop having heat cycles thus eliminating spotting.
  • Wanderings – Since sexual drive is suppressed, the search for a mate will no longer be a priority for your pet. Consequently, there will be less wandering, risks of accident and of developing a contagious disease.
  • Territory marking – Since your animal is no longer sexually active, it will not feel the need to defend its territory.
  • Aggressiveness and fighting risks – Since your animal does not feel the need to defend its territory, it is possible that the number and the intensity of fights subside.

Female

For the female dog, sterilization consists of removing the ovaries and the uterus. The intervention requires general anesthesia. The veterinarian has to open the abdomen to have access to the organs, which leaves a 5 to 20 cm long surgical scar located near the umbilicus. The female will be hospitalized for one night and will go home the day after the surgery with specific instructions to follow. Anti-inflammatories or pain-killers are administered for the intervention and have to be administered at home for a few days after surgery.

Male

For the male, sterilization is less invasive, as it doesn’t require the veterinarian to open the abdomen. The intervention requires general anesthesia. The surgery consists of removing the testicles and leaves two small incisions on the scrotum. Male dogs can go home the same day with specific instructions to follow. Anti-inflammatories or pain-killers are administered for the intervention and have to be administered at home for a few days after surgery.


Grooming

The Importance of Grooming Your Dog

Grooming plays a vital role in your dog’s health and well-being. Different breeds have different grooming needs. Grooming should be done every 8 weeks to every 4 months, depending on the breed. Regular grooming can leave your dog with a bright shiny coat and can cut down the unwanted shedding in your house by removing dead hair. A groomer can also inform you of any problems he or she may find on your dog during the groom so you can see a vet and possibly prevent the problem from worsening.

Brushing your dog is very important. Brushing stimulates blood flow, prevents matting, and removes the undercoat, leaving fur shiny and healthy-looking. A matted dog is not only uncomfortable but can also be in pain and this can lead to health problems. Sores, lesions and parasites can all go unnoticed under a matted coat. Also, matted coats never fully dry, especially in the winter months, which causes the skin to stay damp all the time. This would be like living in a damp wool sweater, you would be colder, not warmer. Many breeds, such as the Golden retriever, Labrador, and Husky have an undercoat which they shed at certain times of the year. It is important to remove the undercoat during these times to keep it from building up. Dogs use their undercoat to regulate body temperature and a buildup of undercoat can prevent proper regulation and also cause excessive shedding.

Cutting a dog’s nails is also important in the grooming process because it prevents the nails from getting too long. Long nails can catch on rugs and blankets, scratch people and floors, cause physical problems, and in some cases, grow into the pad of the foot. Some dogs don’t walk correctly when their nails are too long, they shift their weight to get more comfortable. This can lead to hip and leg problems. When a dog’s nails are cut, they can only be cut to the length of the “quick”. The quick is the vein inside the nail and it will recede with frequent nail trims. But if the nails are left to grow long, so will the quick.

Plucking and cleaning the inside of the dog’s ears is a part of grooming that is not to be forgotten. Plucking the hair allows airflow and cuts down on the moisture in the ear. Clean dry ears are less likely to become infected.


Toilet training

Here are some basic rules:

  • Give your dog a balanced diet;
  • Feed it 2 or 3 times a day, at regular hours. Your dog will need to go out soon after he eats;
  • Always take it to the same spot where it can go to the bathroom;
  • Ask it verbally to go to the bathroom;
  • Congratulate it when it is done. You can also caress it or give it a reward.

Vaccination

Vaccination protects your dog from many common infectious diseases, which can be serious or even fatal. By helping avoid diseases, vaccination enhances your dog’s quality of life.

In addition, some infectious diseases, like rabies and leptospirosis, also affect people, so vaccinating your dog also helps protect you and your family.

During a consultation, your veterinarian will discuss with you of your pet’s lifestyle and will determine which vaccines should be given to your dog.

Find out more about canine leptospirosis here: www.leptoinfo.ca/

Find out more about canine lyme disease here: www.lymeinfo.ca/