Answers to common questions about pet health
Correction: Louisa Morrissey, who teaches skijoring with your dog, is no longer teaching at Gold Run in Breckenridge. Her next upcoming Summit workshop will be Saturday, Feb. 8 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Frisco Nordic Center. Registration is through the town of Frisco Recreation Department.
Common Questions people ask their Veterinarian
1. What kind of food is best, and is dry or canned better? Usually any major brand is fine. It should state that the diet is nutritionally complete or meets Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards. In most normally active healthy dogs, the meat-based diets are the best choice. Read at the pet food label ingredient list and meat such as chicken, beef, lamb, etc., should be listed as the first ingredient. The guaranteed analysis should show that the protein level is 30 percent or more and the fat content should be 18 percent or more. There should be food colorings. Wet or dry food depends on the owner’s preference. It is recommended that the food be sourced and produced in the U.S. because of the poison contaminants that have been found in foods from China.
2. Is my dog too fat? To determine if your pet is overweight feel for the washboard feeling as you run your fingers along the ribs. Also, you should be able to see your dog’s waist where the ribs end. If you think he is overweight, cut back on food and decrease the amount you feed by 5 to 10 percent. Also, increase exercise — sign up for skijoring! If that doesn’t work, ask your vet about low-calorie diets.
3. Do I really have to brush my dog’s teeth? Regular brushing will keep the tartar from forming on your dog’s teeth. Start off with a goal of two or three times a week. Use a child’s size toothbrush with something yummy on it. Some dog toothpastes are chicken flavored! Remember there are more teeth behind where the corner of the lips meet. You will have to hook your in finger there and pull the lips back. Start off slowly and give a treat after brushing. Concentrate on just brushing the outside of the teeth. If your pet does not tolerate brushing, there are dental chews and special diets available that help. Some dogs may need a cleaning first to start off with a “clean slate.”
As always, if you have any pet health and wellness questions, email me at AskDrDolamore@gmail.com
Dr. Dolamore is a retired veterinarian living in Summit County with her human and dog pack. She is also a Real Estate broker at Omni Real Estate.
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