Just like many children, your dog might be afraid of doctors, medicine, and health treatments. Taking your dog to the vet or giving him or her medicine can turn into a battle. You’re tempted to give up in desperation, but giving up would negatively impact your dog’s health.
Fortunately, there are a few tricks you can use to make healthcare more appealing for your canine friend.
1. Prepare for Vet Visits
You know that your dog needs to see a vet once or twice a year. The vet gives your dog necessary vaccines to prevent disease. He or she also checks for any health problems that may affect your dog’s wellbeing.
But going to the vet can be difficult if your dog gets skittish or violent every time you try to take him or her. This behavior might start as soon as you get your dog in the car. Thus, it’s important to drive your dog other places besides the vet as you go about your daily life. That way, your dog won’t assume that he or she is going to the vet every time he or she gets in the car.
No matter how calm your dog normally is, arriving at the vet might make him or her feel scared and uncomfortable. You can help by staying with your dog during the entire visit and talking to him or her in a calm, reassuring voice. It’s also important to bring along treats that you can give your dog at different stages of the visit.
If possible, let your dog take the initiative during the vet visit. For example, rather than grabbing your dog and placing him or her in the correct position on the table, command your dog to “sit” and “stay.” Voluntarily following commands can help him or her feel more in control of the situation.
2. Introduce Brushing Slowly
Tooth brushing is crucial for preventing diseases like gingivitis, proliferating gum disease, and periodontal disease. But your dog might not want to sit still long enough to allow you to brush his or her teeth.
If you’ve never brushed your dog’s teeth before, start out slowly. Try massaging your dog’s teeth and gums for about 30 seconds a day. Once your dog feels comfortable with that process, try using a dog-friendly toothpaste. Finally, graduate to a dog-friendly toothbrush and give your dog a full brushing.
You should brush your dog’s teeth at least twice a week to keep his or her mouth healthy.
3. Apply Flea and Tick Medicine Gently and Lovingly
Flea and tick medicine is crucial to preventing all kinds of symptoms and diseases. Fleas can cause allergic reactions and anemia, while ticks can cause dangerous illnesses like cytauxzoonosis and Lyme disease. But applying flea and tick medicine can be difficult if your dog doesn’t enjoy the process.
You can make the application process easier in a few ways. For example, ask a friend to sit in front of your dog and talk to him or her while you apply the medicine. You could also let your dog chew on a tasty bone while you place the medicine on your dog’s skin. After you finish, give your dog praise and a treat.
4. Pair Antibiotics with Plain Yogurt
If your dog gets a bacteria-related illness, an antibiotic treatment is important to kill harmful bacteria in your dog’s insides. Unfortunately, antibiotics can kill helpful bacteria as well, which can lead to yeast infections in dogs. You can help prevent this by giving your dog a small snack of plain yogurt.
Yogurt contains a healthy bacteria called acidophilus. Acidophilus can balance the bacteria in your dog’s intestines and help counterbalance antibiotics’ negative effects. Plus, your dog will enjoy the delicious yogurt treat.
5. Get Custom Medication From a Compounding Pharmacy
It’s hard for your pet to get better when he or she refuses to take his or her medicine. You can make taking medication easier for your dog by visiting a compounding pharmacy.
If your dog refuses to swallow pills, a compounding pharmacy can create the medicine in a different form. For example, they could compound the medicine in the form of a gel. Rather than trying to force the pill in your dog’s mouth (and getting bitten in the process), you could rub the gel in your pet’s ear. The gel will be absorbed through the skin.
Alternatively, the compounding pharmacy can also add a beef or liver flavor to make the medicine more appealing to your dog. You can give your dog the medicine along with his or her regular food.
Keeping your dog healthy doesn’t have to be difficult. Follow these tips and tricks to make healthcare practices easier for your dog.
If you need custom medicine for your dog, count on Potter’s House Apothecary. We offer medicine in the form and flavor your dog needs.