Discover the Secrets to
Keeping Your German Shepherd Dog Healthy
Keeping your German Shepherd Dog Healthy is one of the most important aspects of owning a German Shepherd. So why do so many dog owners start off doing the wrong thing?
What do I mean by this you might ask................Well, before buying your German Shepherd, you should make sure you are buying a healthy dog in the first place!
German Shepherd Dog HealthOnly buy your German Shepherd Dog from a reputable dog breeder and certainly not from a puppy store, or the like. Buying your dog from say, a private house where a GSD and the local mongrel have got together is a recipe for disaster - no history, no bloodline,no chance! Your long term prospects for having a healthy German Shepherd puppy will be almost remote, you might have bought a cheap puppy - but it will cost you more in veterinary bills later on.
With a recognized German Shepherd Dog breeder, you know for sure that they only breed top quality, healthy German Shepherd puppies in top class condition, free from any inherited defects,complete with registration certificate and all relevant documentation and veterinary certificates to show the puppy is in a good, medical condition.
see Choosing Your Puppy
Having got your new German Shepherd puppy, you should then make sure you have sought out a good local veterinary so you can take your new German Shepherd puppy for scheduled health check-ups, get any advice you need regarding feeding your German Shepherd, healthy diets for your new puppy, and advice on what to look out for in case of any potential health problems or infections, and start your new puppy's vaccination program. Keeping your new German Shepherd puppy fit and healthy, feeding him the right food on a good, healthy balanced diet, and making sure he has enough, regular exercise should be your major concern for your German Shepherd Dog's health.
Dog InfectionsDogs may suffer from various infections (dependent on their enviroment) the most common being to their ears, on their skin, in their eyes, and especially to their teeth - you should always check your German Shepherd Dog over on a regular basis. This should become a daily habit (not a chore) and after a while you will find you do this automatically without even thinking about it. Most possible infections are really simple to prevent like checking your dog's ears to make sure there are no 'foreign bodies' in the ears, and no build up of wax, no 'red spots', swellings or other bacterial infections.
Make sure your dog's eyes are clean and bright - he should be 'alert looking' at all times. If a 'foreign body' gets in your dogs eyes, it must be gently removed at once. Never drive at speed in the car with the window or sunshine roof open and your dog's head hanging out. A bug in your dog's eye at 30mph+ is very dangerous and could have dramatic, severe consequences that you could regret for the rest of your dog's life!
Make sure your dog's teeth are kept in good condition
Keeping your German Shepherd's teeth free from tooth decay can be an expensive problem if you don't prevent bacterial build-up, such as plaque and tartar - peridontal diseases are quite common in all dogs but with just a little care, they can be avoided. Now you could manually brush your dog's teeth, using specially formulated pastes recommended by veterinarians for home use (never use human toothpaste on your dog in case they swallow it) and you could use dental wipes that you can buy from your local pet store.
But by far the easiest way (and what I personally have always preferred to do) is to use rawhide chews that my German Shepherd Dogs have always loved to chew (and it holds their attention and keeps them quite for a while!) or nylon chews, and large 'dental' chews which are a little more expensive. Some dog owners also use raw beef bones (Crunchy dog food biscuits dry dog food and chews are also a good idea) to keep their dogs teeth strong and free from bacterial infection - bad dog breath is a key symptom of teeth bacterial infection.
check this out for more information >>> The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health
Dog AllergiesDogs can have many types of allergies, the most common is flea allergy that can be really distressing for your dog and can cause dog health care issues. Flea bites can cause 'hot spots' and turn into skin infections that are not only unpleasant to your dog, but can cause severe discomfort. Your dog will try to alleviate this problem of skin allergies by either licking, biting or scratching the infected area which makes the problem even worse by spreading the infection to a larger area. In some cases this may result in hair loss which means your dog is not only unsightly, but can be in severe distress due to the allergic reaction to the flea bites.
Your dog may be in such discomfort from the fleas that he is unable to lie down or even sleep properly. Head shaking and pawing at the ears are signs of ear mites. Frequent scratching and skin biting can indicate either skin mites or a dog's worst enemy-fleas.
There are many 'flea treatments' that can be obtained to get rid of dermatitis which is severe flea infestation and other drugs to relieve skin infections from other parasites. Flea control products such as 'Frontline' (which we use on our own German Shepherds) and 'Advantage' are readily available now without prescription and are very good in order to protect your German Shepherd Dog's health.
You should always check your German Shepherd for 'ticks' and lice etc and most certainly, your dog should be on worming medication (tablets) on a regular schedule. Check for ticks etc by separating your dog's hair in your fingers if your dog appears uncomfortable, and checking the skin. If you see a tick then use tweezers if possible to remove it and make sure that you remove the head of the tick - if tweezers are not readily available, then a sharp 'tug' to remove it is OK, but again make sure to remove the ticks head to prevent
Medicated dog collars can be obtained which help to prevent, and treat fleas, ticks, lice and other parasites.
Ivermectin is favored by many dog owners in treating heart worm, and can be administered by injection or in tablet form if a dog show symptoms of constant coughing, panting or extreme dullness. This is caused by bites like mosquito bites and is prevalent in very warm, damp climates.
Parasites can cause an anal sac disease in a dog, flea bites to the anus can cause infections which result in acute discomfort to your dog and the irritation caused by tapeworms results in your dog trying to drag its rear end along the ground in its attempt to relieve its discomfort. This is commonly referred to as 'Scooting'.
Cestodiasis as the condition is known, needs to be dealt with by your veterinarian as soon as possible. You may notice 'rice like' granules around your dog's anus or on the dog's bedding which indicates 'tapeworm'. Brushing under your dogs tail and keeping it clean will help to prevent this condition.
Other German Shepherd Health ConcernsObesity can be a real, possibly deadly problem for your dog which is caused by over-feeding your dog or feeding it the wrong food to excess, and your dog not getting enough exercise. Obesity in dogs can lead to heart failure, even liver disease, tumours and skin allergies, a couch bound lazy dog is never going to be a healthy dog - so to keep your dog in good condition, you must keep your dog on a healthy, balanced diet....see Feeding your German Shepherd and keep him clean and well groomed....
see Grooming Your German Shepherd Dog then you should keep clear of many of these German Shepherd Dog health problems.
German Shepherd Dogs do have somewhat fragile stomachs, so from time to time they may vomit one or two times, eat grass occasionally which helps them to digest their food, and sometimes pass loose stools - this is not something to unduly worry about, and is not an indication of digestive bowel disorders and will tend to only last a few days. In the event that this goes on for longer than a few days, then consult your veterinarian.
German Shepherd puppies may suffer from Diarrhoea which can be a result of either over-feeding, feeding the wrong food, or stress which causes the puppy to dehydrate which is serious in a puppy because they dehydrate faster than more mature dogs, and are more likely to stress as a result of a virus infection.
for more information about feeding a German Shepherd
click here >>>Healthy Food for Dogs
Vaccinations for your dogYour German Shepherd puppy should be on a regular schedule of dog vaccine treatments to prevent infection and disease from an early age of eight weeks (which is when a reputable dog breeder will let a puppy be homed for the first time) and at your veterinarian the next injections should be at twelve weeks of age. Vaccines to combat Rabies, hepatitis, dog distemper, corona virus, parvo virus, leptospirosis and other canine diseases are routinely given and without any doubt this has resulted in less outbreaks of these canine diseases. After these early vaccines are given to your puppy, they are then 'boosted' by annual visits to your veterinarian to retain immunity.
(Lyme disease vaccinations and Bortadella are optional)
Bortadella (more commonly known as "Kennel Cough") is a respiratory disease that is contagious and can be contracted anywhere where groups of mixed dogs are gathered together, such as in animal shelters, boarding kennels etc. If you were to place your dog in these places temporarily, then getting your dog vaccinated against Bortadella is essential for your dog's good health.
Administering Medicine to your dogThe best way to give your German Shepherd any prescribed tablets is by hiding the tablets in your dog's food, but bear in mind your dog will sometimes eat all the food and leave the tablet! ( I've told you German Shepherds are intelligent!) So try it again later (especially if you keep your dog waiting - then he's really hungry) but if you still do not have success, then you will have to open your dog's mouth, place the tablet on your dog's tongue behind the fang teeth then hold his jaws tight with both hands. You should be talking to him to reassure him and it helps to slowly massage his throat gently to encourage him to swallow.
What ever you do - DO NOT attempt to push the tablet down his throat as this could cause him real problems if the tablet enters his lungs!
If the medicine is in a liquid solution, then care must be taken to not raise your dog's head too high in case he might choke, take your time, be gentle, reassure him, hold his head up slightly and administer the solution. Again, massaging the throat gently will encourage him to swallow. (Afterwards, give him a treat if allowed!)
I highly recommend you check out "The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health" to keep your puppy fit and healthy and to make sure your puppy lives longer.The guide covers all the common dog health problems and ailments like teeth problems, skin infections, worming issues and the like - but best of all it will show you when it is necessary to take your dog to the vet for attention.
click the link >>> The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health
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German Shepherd Dogs Home
Why Choose a German Shepherd Dog
Choosing Your Puppy
Bringing up Your New Puppy
Your Dogs New Home
Toilet Training Your Puppy
Feeding a German Shepherd
Exercise and Play
Why Train Your Dog
German Shepherd Dog Training
Dog Collars and Leads
Grooming Your German Shepherd Dog
Traveling With Your Dog
German Shepherd Dog
Our Own German Shepherd Dogs
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