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Should dogs wear sweaters?

Dog SweaterIt’s a question of the ages! Should dogs wear sweaters? Though some scoff at the fashion, others think the fashion is as important as the function.  Can dog’s get cold? Of course, they can. Small dogs, or dogs with short hair, are not necessarily equipped for our colder temperatures. Older dogs can also have a harder time dealing with the cold, or dogs who have weaker immune systems. Certain diseases such as hypothyroidism or Cushings disease impair hair growth and make it harder for your pup to stay warm.

If you have a dog that has a thick coat, they do not need a sweater. They are likely too hot in the summer and are happy for the colder temperatures. So even if you think it looks cute, avoid the temptation.

Chihuahua’s, Greyhound’s, pinscherr breeds, terriers, pit bull mixes are often all breeds that may want sweaters.

If you are worried about them being cold, by all means, put on a sweater.

Picking a sweater

Get one that is cotton or acrylic and is washable. You will need to wash it often and don’t want it to shrink.

Measure your dog’s neck and chest and distance from their neck to their waist to find their size. Some sweaters have straps that you can adjust. You want the sweater to be snug but not tights. You don’t want it to be loose because it can trip them when they walk.  You also want the sweater to stop around their waist. You do not want it to cover their lower belly.

Avoid sweaters with strings or buttons as they are choking hazards.


How to give liquid medication to your dog

How to give liquid medication to dogs

How to give liquid medication to dogsIt’s the words you hate to hear from your vet, “you have to give them medication.”  OH NO! How in the world can you get your dog to take that nasty medication? Thankfully we know some tricks to help make it easier on you and your dog.  Remember, you vet is never going to ask you to give your dog medication unless it is necessary for their health. So if your dog has been prescribed medication, it is important to administer them. Antibiotics are very important to make sure you always give the full treatment. Not giving all the doses can hinder your dog’s recovery, which could require an additional course of antibiotics. Reducing antibiotic exposure reduces the likelihood of becoming antibiotic resistant.

Usually, liquid medication is easier to give than pills or capsules. But that does not mean that it is always easy.

Pro Tip: If your pet does better with liquid medication and your vet prescribes a pill or capsule, ask them if it can be dissolved into a liquid to make giving the medication easier. Not all pills can be dissolved, but some can. It is worth asking.

Giving the medication

  1. Ask your vet to give your dog the first dosage. This way you can see how they do it and they can give you some tips to help you deal with your specific dog and their issues.
  2. Start with a treat so the dog does not feel anxious.
  3. Fill the dropper or syringe and hold your dogs head still. Put the dropper in the corner of their mouth and aim the dropper to the back of their throat when you squeeze. Put at least 30% of the dropper into their mouth so it doesn’t squirt onto their face.
  4. Do not tilt their head up as this can cause them to choke on the medication. However, you do not want their head to be pointed down. So hold their head in a level position.
  5. Hold their mouth closed until they swallow.
  6. Stroke their throat or blow on their nose to encourage swallowing.
  7. Reward them with a treat immediately afterwards. You want them to feel like it was a positive experience.
  8. Do not go slow. The longer you take to give the medication, the more stressful on the dog. Give them the medication in a quick smooth movement. It is a good idea to practice the movements beforehand.
  9. If you are stressed out, your dog will be stressed out. So if you are anxious about giving the medication, your dog will pick up on that. Be relaxed, calm yourself. Go drink some tea and then give the medication when you are relaxed.

If your dog struggles, you may need to restrain them. It is a good idea to have another person hold your dog while you give the medication. Sitting on the floor and holding the dog in your lap or against your body is a good idea. Small dogs can be carefully wrapped in a towel to restrain them. Don’t wrap too tight and don’t wrap their head. If you are having too difficult a time, contact your vet and discuss your options.

Do not immediately restrain your dog, this can scare them or make them anxious. Try giving the medication first.


National Pet Awareness Month

cat and dog health albuquerque

cat and dog health albuquerqueNovember is National Pet Awareness Month!  This is a good time to look at your pet’s health and veterinary history and make sure they are ready for a long and healthy life. Here is a checklist of things you should do, or need to do annually, for a healthy pet.

  • Annual Checkup – this is very important. It is good to have your vet look over your pet annual to make sure that everything is on the up and up. Most issues, when caught early, are easy to treat.
  • Annual Vaccination – Yearly shots are not only mandatory but good to do. These vaccinations keep your pet from getting any disease that could be potentially fatal.
  • Spay and Neuter – Most kittens and puppies end up without a home. This is terribly sad. The best way to help control the animal population is by spaying and neutering your pet. Unless you are planning to be a breeder, there is no reason not too. Not only is it good for the animal population but it is healthier for your pet.
  • Heartgard – Heartworm is not seasonal and if your pet gets them the treatment is extremely expensive and not always effective. The best treatment for heartworms is prevention. Heartgard is an easy monthly treatment that will keep your pet healthy for life.
  • Frontline – There are times of the year that fleas are worse, but because it is a warmer climate in New Mexico we are always in flea season. You can give your pet a topical monthly flea and tick treatment and keep them flea and tick free.
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The information provided on this website is written by Vetco staff. All information is meant to be informational and is not meant as veterinary advice. If you have a health question regarding your pet, their treatment or anything concerning their veterinary care, please call Vetco to consult with a veterinarian.