If you want our dog to live to a happy, healthy old age and enjoy all the days from puppy to senior companion, then the person responsible for proper care is you.
In many ways, dog health issues are a lot like human health issues. Dogs are a lot more like humans than most of us know.
One dog health issue, for instance, is allergies. Your dog can develop serious pet health issues from exposure to certain foods, bacteria, fleas, inhalants (like chemicals and pollen) and materials contacting his skin. A dog with an allergy can vomit, lose hair and develop skin sores, sneeze, cough and have watery eyes, all depending on what the allergy is.
Health issues dogs face sound like what we humans come up against as we age: diabetes, cancer, eye problems, heart problems, arthritis and obesity. It is important that when your dog comes home for the first time, you are prepared to start him on a road that will tend to avoid dog health issues.
Puppy shots are important dog health issues. Your dog will be able to get first shots as early as five weeks (parvoviros), but generally the shots are scheduled for when your puppy is six weeks, nine weeks and 12 weeks old. Booster shots will follow every year. The vaccinations are for distemper, canine adenovirus (causes dog hepatitis), rabies, kennel cough (a viral and bacterial infection), and coronavirus (highly contagious intestinal disease). Depending on where you live, your veterinarian may also suggest innoculating your dog against Lyme disease and leptospirosis (a liver and kidney infection). Most vets urge that your puppy has all his shots to get the immune system up to speed before visiting with other dogs.
Specific dog health issues that require attention include hip dysplasia, which causes arthritis in the hips and can easily immobilize and animal that used to love to run and chase things with you. A happier dog health issue is pregnancy. If your dog is going to have puppies, she needs a whole extra layer of care before she gets pregnant and is in heat, while she is pregnant, and during delivery. You’ll need to prepare a place for delivery, and have your vet on call if something goes wrong.
Dog health issues are as important to you as they are to your dog because ultimately, your dog is in your care…even though your healthy dog will spend years of taking care of you.