Keeping a dog healthy is very much the job of the dog owner. While it is necessary to take your dog for regular checkups at the veterinarian if you don’t take care of the simple things at home then your dog will end up with more serious problems.
At least once a week it is good to check your dog’s ears. This is especially true if you have a breed with either long ears or very hairy ears.
You should check for any unusual odors, redness, or inflammation.
Should your dog have any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian and set up an appointment to have your dog checked. To clean out excess dirt from your dog’s ears use a cotton ball soaked in alcohol or baby oil. Be careful to not clean too deeply into your dog’s ear canal.
In general if your dog is healthy its eyes should appear shiny, clean and be completely wide open. It is a good idea to regularly wipe any discharge away from your dog’s eyes. A good time to do this is when you are giving your dog its regular grooming. To clean your dog’s eyes simply use a warm moist washcloth. Some breeds are much more susceptible to eye problems than others and it is common for some breeds to have an almost constant discharge. Regardless of what breed you have, if you notice that there is yellow or green discharge in your dog’s eyes you should talk to your veterinarian about it. Dog breeds with white hair some times develop discoloration around their eyes due to excessive tearing. You can buy some solutions that can reduce this discoloration. Be sure to talk with your dog’s veterinarian before buying any health care products for your dog.
Unlike cats, dogs need help keeping their teeth clean and healthy. Some breeds are predisposed to having dental problems that can sometimes be very serious and require dental surgery. Because dogs are prone to having problems with cavities, plaque build up and periodontal diseases you will typically want to clean your dog’s teeth a couple times a week. And be sure to check your dog’s teeth, gums (and breath) for signs of potential problems. To clean your dog’s teeth you can either use a normal soft bristled toothbrush or you can buy a specially designed dog toothbrush. Make sure to not use human toothpaste though as it can make your dog sick. It is also a good idea to have your dog’s teeth cleaned by its veterinarian on a regular basis.