You are a dog owner and with that comes some basic care instructions for taking care of your dogs health.  It is easy to get overwhelmed with life and forget some easy basic health checks for your pet.  Just like replacing your furnace filter or getting the oil changed on your car, setting up a schedule on your calendar can help you keep your dogs care timely.  When we don’t take care perform routine health care we often increase the risks of serious health issues.

Here is a simple list to remind you of some dog care checks:



Brushing Fur – Your dog should be groomed 2 to 3 times per week no matter the length of their coat.  Even poodles who don’t shed need regular grooming.  Brushing helps keep your dog’s coat shiny and clean and it removes tangles from their fur.  Tangles can pull on your dogs hair and make them uncomfortable.  Regular brushing also helps with seasonal shedding.  As you brush through your dogs coat check their skin for rashes or bug bites. Start early brushing your puppy and reward with treats and love to make this a pleasurable experience for your dog.

Brushing Teeth – Your dogs teeth should be brushed several times per week.  Regular dental brushing removes tartar build up, helps eliminate bad breath and helps avoid periodontal disease.  Brushing your puppies teeth daily, even though they lose these teeth, will set your dog up for dental brushing to be something they are used to.  Dogs that don’t like to chew often struggle with tooth decay issues.  There are pet toothbrushes that look like your toothbrush or finger brushes that are a rubber brush that slides over the end of your finger.  Experiment and see what works best for your pet.  You will need to purchase pet tooth paste DO NOT use the same toothpaste you use..  Your veterinarian can also clean your dogs teeth, however this is not the solution for brushing 2 to 3 times every week.



Ear Cleaning – All dogs need their ears checked weekly.  Signs of infection include: redness, discharge, thickening skin or and unpleasant odor.  Other signs of an ear problem are: constant head shaking or rubbing the side of their head on the carpet or grass.  If your dog has floppy ears or swims often you should probably check their ears even more frequently.  Pick up an ear-cleaning solution at the pet store.  Squirt the solution in the ear, massage the ear then wipe out any excess cleaner with a cotton ball.  This will help keep your pets ears clean, free of wax build up and you can also use this time to check for ear mites.  Your vet may also recommend a cleaning product.



Trim Nails – Every 2 to 3 weeks you need to trim your dog’s nails.  Regular nail trimming prevents nails from splitting or breaking and being painful for your pet.  Dog’s nails grow curved and can easily become ingrown, regular trimming will stop this from happening.  A clue that it is time for a trim is when you hear your dog’s nails clicking on hard surface floors.  There are many sources for getting your dog’s nails trimmed if you prefer not to do it at home.


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Body Check – Do an overall feel of your pet.  Run your hands over their whole body looking for any lumps and bumps that are new or unusual.  If you find anything remember to bring it up at your next vet visit.

Medications – Take any monthly medications.  Many heart worm medications are to be given monthly.  If this is true for your pet put these on the calendar so that you always have a reminder and don’t forget a month.



Bathing – Bathing is very subjective so figure out what works for you and put it on the calendar.  Bathing too frequently can dry out a dog’s skin, so bath when necessary.  If your dog has rolled in something smell or dirty you will need to have an impromptu bath.  Most dogs are good with a bath in the tub or backyard.  Use a dog shampoo that will be gentle on their eyes if soap gets in them.



Visit the Vet – All dogs need their annual vet checkup and vaccinations.  Some breeds are at risk for certain health conditions and diseases and an annual look over by a veterinarian can catch health issues early.  Early detection and intervention of health issues usually improves outcomes and costs less.  Vaccinations for rabies and the parvovirus should be routine.  Your vet may recommend some other vaccinations options.  As your pet ages their nutritional needs change and your vet can recommend any dietary changes you may want to make.  Your vet can also help your pet stay healthy and active by monitoring any physical changes.

Exceptions – Puppies usually need to visit the vet every 3 to 4 weeks until they are 20 weeks old.  Older pets with health issues may need to see the vet more often.


Hopefully, this breakdown keeps you up to date on your dog’s health care.  Every dog is unique so set up your own schedule and put it on the calendar so you can have the healthiest, happiest dog!