Basic Dog Care
August 16, 2014
Dogs can’t verbally tell you what’s wrong with them, so taking their temperature can tell you a lot about how they’re feeling. That’s the first thing you would do with a child if they were having symptoms, and it’s the first thing a vet does with your dog. A dog’s normal temperature fluctuates close to the 102.7F or 39C. It’s very simple to do, but be sure to use the proper type of thermometer (rectal).
Another good indication on how your dog is feeling is their eating habits. A dog can survive 4-5 days without eating, but we obviously wouldn’t wait that long to be concerned. It’s when they stop eating anything you try to give them that you should start to think something might be wrong. Just be aware, missing 1 or 2 meals can mean other things as well. Like just not needing as much food due to ageing or having less activity. A dog might also be holding out for the good stuff (or junky stuff). If they go to their bowl but turn away, yep, they’re waiting for the good stuff. I had a dog refuse its food for 3 days until the periodic training treats I was giving became insufficient and she started eating her meals again.
Energy level, alertness, breathing, vomiting (more than a few times) are also good indicators something might be wrong. Usually a dog is quick to get to a level of symptoms (sickness) then they will recover (on their own) from there, but if they get to that level and then continue to deteriorate, take your dog to the vet immediately.
I know there are many over the counter medications for humans that also work on our canine friends. Of course the doses are based on the weight of our dogs, so you must be very careful. Talk to your veterinarian about the use of human medication for your pet.
I’m not a vet, and I don’t claim to to have the experience and expertise of one, but I have many years of experience in caring for dogs and I know I don’t need to rush my dog to the vet every time they sneeze. It’s always better to be on the side of caution, and it doesn’t hurt to learn more about your dog’s health.
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