Dog Owner Essentials
Dog Owner Essentials and Veterinary Resources
Getting Your Dog to the Vet:
Is it stressful for you and your dog when getting ready to go to the vet? Here are some dog owner essentials and tips on getting your dog prepared for a trip to the veterinarian. Get Your Vet Visit Checklist
Check out these links for seasonal and holiday pet safety tips!
- Disaster Preparedness
- Lost Pet Prevention
- Top Toxins
- Spring Hazards
- Summer Hazards
- Fall Hazards
- Winter Hazards
- Healthy Holiday Gifts for Pets
- Toxic and Non-Toxic Plant Guide
Canine Tick-Born Disease:
High Risk Tick Area:
We live in an area where ticks are prevalent. These parasites can transmit many diseases including Ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever and Lyme Disease. Symptoms of these diseases can include lameness, fever, anorexia, swollen joints and possible kidney impairment. As you see in the map, our region has one of the highest incidences of Lyme disease in the country. Year-round flea and tick preventatives are dog owner essentials. There are topical, oral, and collars to choose from, and your veterinarian can help you select the best choice for your pet and family.
Another line of defense against Lyme disease is the Lyme vaccine. The veterinarians at Longwood Veterinary Center recommend the annual vaccine for all dogs. It is also recommended that our canine patients perform an annual blood test to detect for exposure to Lyme, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma. Diagnostics and treatment vary and will be discussed with you upon results.
Canine Heartworm Disease:
Mosquitoes transmit heartworm larvae. If pets are not given preventatives, those larvae can develop into adult worms. This can lead to heart failure, lung disease, and sudden death if left untreated. Signs include cough, exercise reluctance, reduced appetite, etc. Treatment is available but is costly and uncomfortable for the pet. Talk to your veterinarian about heartworm prevention options to include in your dog owner essentials toolkit.
Recommended Yearly Preventatives:
- Heartgard (chew) — Heartworms and some Intestinal Parasites
- ProHeart 12 (injection) — Heartworms
- ProHeart 6 (injection) — Heartworms
- Simparica (chew) — Fleas, Ticks, and Intestinal Parasites
- Simparica Trio (chew) Fleas, Ticks, Intestinal Parasites, and Heartworm Prevention
- Nexgard (chew) — Fleas, Ticks, and Intestinal Parasites
- Advantix (topical) — Fleas and Ticks
- Seresto Collar — Fleas and Ticks
- Drontal (tablet) — Intestinal Parasites
What To Feed Your Dog:
There are so many choices in dog food available to us, the task of finding a healthy and safe diet may seem daunting. Our recommendations for choosing a food are actually quite simple; we recommend you choose a label that has validated its nutritional adequacy claims using feeding trials. This is well explained in the statement below:
Click here to learn more
“Nutritional Adequacy Statement or “AAFCO Statement:Every pet food label must contain a statement and validation of nutritional adequacy. AAFCO regulations allow two basic methods for pet food manufacturers to substantiate claims. Formulation Method — Requires the manufacturer to formulate the food to meet the AAFCO nutrient profiles for dogs and cats. This method is less time consuming and less expensive because feeding trials with pets are not required, only a calculation of the nutrient levels. An example of an AAFCO statement using the formulation method would be: “Brand ABC Cat Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO Cat Food Profiles for maintenance of adult cats.”
Feeding Trial Method — Requires the manufacturer perform an AAFCO-protocol feeding trial using the food as the sole source of nutrition. Gold Standard or preferred method. Documents the pets’ performance when fed the food. An example of an AAFCO statement using the feeding trial method would be: “Animal feeding tests using AAFCO procedures substantiate that Brand X Dog Food provides complete and balanced nutrition for maintenance of adult dogs.”
Companies that validate nutrition information via feeding trials include Royal Canin, Science Diet, and Purina.”
Generally speaking, we also recommend you feed a diet formulated for puppies until your dog is approximately 10 months of age. After this time you may slowly transition to an adult formula over a 4-6 week period. Dogs over 7 years of age may benefit from a senior formulated diet that contains supplements like glucosamine and omega-three fatty acids.
Dietary recommendations will be discussed at each health visit while we assess your pet’s weight and assign a body condition score. Our hospital believes in the benefit of nutritional management of disease and we carry prescription diets as part of a multi-pronged approach to disease management.
Risks of Grain Free Diets:
Read our blog post written by Tufts University Veterinarian Lisa M. Freeman, DVM, PhD, DACVN about the risks of grain free food.
Read Blog Post
Medicating Your Pet:
Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth:
Collecting a Urine Sample:
Senior Care Recommendations:
Regular health care is especially important for older pets. Diseases caught early are often more easily managed and may have better outcomes.
Special Considerations for Senior Dogs
Understanding Your Pet’s Test Results
Pet Bereavement: Coping with the Loss of Your Pet
Pet Sitting Services:
Dr. Laurie Bergman, Hickory Veterinary and Specialty Hospital
Veterinary Behavioral Trainers:
All of these trainers like to have a behavioral diagnosis and plan by the veterinary behaviorist in order for treatment to be successful. However, it is not required.
Angie Hersher, KPA-CTP
Local Retail Shops:
Community Service Organizations:
The mission of Canine Partners for Life is to increase the independence and quality of life of individuals with medical, physical, developmental, and cognitive disabilities by pairing them with a professional, trained service and companion dog. We are proud to support Canine Partners for Life by annually donating preventative health care or any surgical or medical care that some of their special dogs may need while in training. Learn more about the important roles these special dogs play in people’s lives.
Fear Free Happy Homes:
Fear Free Happy Homes is an online community offering education, tips, and deals to brighten your pet’s lives. Environmental enrichment and strengthening the human-animal bond, along with ways to reduce stress and anxiety are topics commonly addressed. Sign-up here.