health Considerations – Top to Toe

The health of your dog is about all facets of life for them – inside and out.  Your dog is much smaller than you and so things that may not impact you, may impact them in a much greater way. 

Food: 

What we feed our dogs will impact their overall health.  There is so much controversy about grain free vs non grain free. Don’t stress about it too much.  I believe that a good quality food is your best option.  Think about changing up their protein every couple of months – this way they wont develop an allergy over time to one base.  Ideally, I would (personally) feed all of my dogs RAW but that’s not great for breeding dogs, so I feed a high quality kibble instead.  I supplement with Answers Goat milk for probiotics daily. 

Weight:

Keeping your dog at an ideal weight helps their bodies not put undue stress on their joint and muscles such as their heart.  I know their sweet little faces plead for “one more treat” – if you want to give them treats, that’s fine, but you need to take the calories off their meal times, and make those smaller.  You want to be able to see a “curvy figure 8” if you look down from the top – to feel the ribs but not see them pronounced. If you start feeling them too much, feed a little more. If there is a roll over the shoulder, feed a bit less each day till it goes away.

Vaccines: 

Once puppies have been fully vaccinated, they should be covered for life.  Instead of continuing to vaccinate yearly, which can compromise their immunity, I recommend getting a simple blood test to find out if they need it.  Remember that your small dog gets the same dosage as a great Dane. So, why give it to them unless they need it.

Household and property sprays:  

Sprays in our homes and sprays around the community or on our property can impact our dogs.  Take note of the products you use and how you use them.  Keep your dog outside while your cleaners clean, or keep them indoors for a few hours if your property will be prayed for spiders and such.  A dog’s paws can absorb chemicals easily and I have heard of dogs starting epileptic seizures after regular spraying.  Just be aware of it.  It doesn’t mean you cant do it – just be aware of the impact on your dog.

Diffusers: 

Scents in the home can be so nice, but some of them are deadly for dogs and other pets.  Be careful of this list:   Anise (Pimpinella anisum), Birch (Betula), Bitter Almond (Prunus dulcis), Boldo (Peumus boldus), Calamus (Acorus calamus), Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora), Cassia (Cassia fistula), Chenopodium (Chenopodium album), Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum), Garlic (Allium sativum), Goosefoot (Chenopodium murale), Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana), Hyssop (Hyssopus sp. with the exception of Decumbens), Juniper (Juniperus sp. with the exception of Juniper Berry), Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), Mustard (Brassica juncea), Oregano (Origanum vulgare), Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium), Red or White Thyme, Rue (Ruta graveolens), Santolina (Santolina chamaecyparissus), Sassafras (Sassafras albidum), Savory (Satureja), Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia), Terebinth (Pistacia palaestina), Thuja (Thuja occidentalis), Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens), Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)