Dog Care

Dog Beds
Dog Grooming
Dog Care—Chewing
Dog Care Services
Dog Dental Health
Dogs and Benadryl

Pain Management for Dogs Using Aspirin
Senior Dog Care

Tip #31: Dog Beds

Dogs need a comfortable place to rest because they can spend up to 16 hours a day sleeping! When you look for a dog bed, there are several things to consider:

Shar-Pei dog sleeps
  • First, you should buy a bed that fits the size and sleeping habits of your dog.
  • If your dog likes to curl up in a ball and "nest" inside the bed, then a round bed with sides is probably the best choice.
  • Other dogs like to stretch out when they sleep, so in this case a pad or large bed would be ideal.
  • Think about the covering of the bed. It should be soft and washable.
  • If your dog is older he may need an orthopedic or heated bed. 
  • If you use a crate as a sleeping area, make sure it has a comfortable pad inside for your dog to sleep on.

Tip #32: Dog Grooming

Dog sits by bath

If you own a dog that needs a lot of grooming, look for grooming packages that include all the supplies you'll need for your specific breed. Many catalogs and Web sites carry these packages to make it easier for owners to care for their dogs’ coats. These packages are available for just about any breed, long- or short-haired.

Surprisingly, it's not just the long-haired dogs that need specific grooming supplies. Breeds with extremely dense, thick coats like Akitas require more grooming than other long-haired breeds because their coats tend to shed and mat. Investigate dog grooming supplies to keep your dog's coat in tip-top shape!

Tip #33: Dog Care: Chewing

It's hard to get mad at your dog for chewing because it's normal dog behavior. However, you can control your dog's urge to chew with training, providing the right dog chewing toys and discouraging chewing on other items.

Puppy pulls on rope
  • Choose a variety of chew toys and see which one your dog likes best. Then, reward your dog with treats when he chews on the toy.
  • To discourage chewing on other items, you may have to confine the dog during the day while you are away from home. You can also use a variety of preventive spray products on the market that taste bad and discourage chewing.
  • Hard rubber toys (Kongs)  and nylon bones are an excellent choice and available at most pet shops.
  • Encourage your dog to chew on appropriate items, but don't punish him excessively, as anxiety and harsh punishment methods can actually cause him to chew more.

Tip #34: Dog Care Services

Dog walker

If you have to leave your dogs home alone, there are some great alternatives available that will keep them happy and healthy while you're working or traveling. Many dog care services will send sitters to your house to walk, feed and administer medications to your dog. Most of these dog care services are licensed and bonded, and have a veterinarian on call in case of emergencies.

In addition, many cities and towns now have doggie day care centers, where your dog can spend the day while you work. Your dog can play and interact with other dogs and get the vital exercise he or she needs. Dog care services are becoming more varied and available every day as more people bring the joy of dog ownership into their lives.

Tip #35: Dog Dental Health

Dog sits by toothbrush

Dental care is essential to your dog's overall health and well-being. While your dog's teeth will be routinely examined during bi-annual checkups, veterinarians recommend that annual dental cleanings begin at age five.

You can also provide at-home dental care to ensure your dog has healthy teeth year-round. Use a brush, sponge or pad made especially for dogs to brush the teeth. Choose a brush that fits the size of your dog's mouth and is easy for you to use. Only use dog toothpaste because human toothpaste can upset your dog's digestive system. How can you train your dog to look forward to having his teeth cleaned? Always have a tartar control treat ready for your pet as a reward. 

Tip #36: Dogs and Benadryl

Two dogs run with a stick

Has your dog ever been stung by a bee? Does your dog have allergy problems resulting in itchy skin? Veterinarians often recommend Benadryl or baby Benadryl to relieve these symptoms, but there are some important things you should know before taking the responsibility to dispense medications to your dog. In the same way all dog supplies are not created equal, over-the-counter (OTC) medications also have many variants. Do not give your dog any medication without first consulting your veterinarian.

Some OTC medications can be toxic or poisonous to your dog, such as Tylenol or Ibuprofren (found in Advil and Motrin). Always consult with a veterinarian before using OTC medications. You need to know if the medication is appropriate for your dog's condition and the proper dose for your pet's size. Without proper dose calculations you could unintentionally overdose your dog. Learn what's right for your specific animal and you can care for an ailing dog with confidence.

Tip #37: Pain Management for Dogs Using Aspirin

Collie sits with e-collar on

Adult dogs with joint problems such as arthritis can get relief from a small dose of aspirin, but it is very important to know the limits of aspirin, proper doses according to body weight, and other factors. Dogs can't handle prolonged use of aspirin; a condition called ASA Toxicosis (acetylsalicylic acid toxicosis) occurs when dogs get too much at once or smaller doses over an extended period. Symptoms include sluggish behavior, vomiting blood, weakness, and an unsteady gait.

Treatment options for overdoses are limited, especially if liver damage has occurred, but if you catch the problem early enough the dog may be able to recover. Never administer aspirin to a puppy or a pregnant dog, and always check with your veterinarian for advice before trying to medicate with aspirin. It's very important to know that when aspirin is allowed, you cannot substitute with other pain relievers such as Motrin or Tylenol. These alternative pain medications are toxic to dogs. Ask your veterinarian about the latest dog care information to learn of new developments in dog pain management. You may pay more for a dog-specific pain medication, but you may find a more appropriate long-term solution.   

Tip #38: Senior Dog Care

Elderly golden retriever

As your dog ages, his nutritional needs change. You may have to switch to a senior dog food formula so your dog doesn't gain weight, and you may notice a change in your dog's activity level. Watch for other signs of aging: a change in eating and drinking habits, limping, bumps, sores on the skin and under the skin, decreased activity and mobility and hair loss.

If you notice any of these symptoms, take your dog to your veterinarian immediately. These could be signs of other serious diseases that can afflict a senior dog, such as arthritis, kidney disease, diabetes, and even loss of mental function. Never assume these symptoms are simply a normal part of the aging process; seek professional advice.

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