Dogs: health and beauty
Your dog’s immune system
The body of each dog has a natural defense mechanism – immune system, which largely depends on its heredity. But despite this, it is influenced by external factors as well – food, stress, hypothermia or overheating, excessive physical activity, lack of vitamins and much more. For the dog to be healthy and have strong immune system, it is important to maintain its digestive tract, namely – the balance of beneficial bacteria for better digestion. These are Bifidobacterium and Lactobacterium, which support the immune system, help digest food and produce vitamins. But next to useful microorganisms in the dog's intestine are strains of harmful bacteria: Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli, with which the body fights every day.
To positively influence the intestinal microflora, it is necessary to feed the dog with a diet that contains probiotics and prebiotics that stimulate the vital activity of beneficial bacteria. A sufficient number of useful microelements, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins is the key to a long and happy life of your pet.
What does the dog's diet depend on?
Everyone knows that different breeds of dogs differ among themselves in weight – this is the result of breeding for thousands of years. For example, a St. Bernard is 70 times larger than a Chihuahua! The average chihuahua weighs about one kilogram, while the weight of St. Bernard reaches 70 kilograms. Therefore, a smaller dog requires more calories, since it spends more energy for a medium to large dog. The latter can have the volume of servings reduced by increasing the energy density of the diet. But it must be remembered that the food of pets of all sizes should contain a sufficient number of proteins, mineral salts, vitamins and other components. In addition, dry diets must match the size of the dog's jaws, so that it correctly grasps croquettes, does not lose them, and broke them with ease.
It is difficult to argue that the dogs that live outdoors – either service, or hunting and rescue dogs – must receive different diets than the less active dogs in urban conditions. Long–term stresses that are affecting dogs, which are used to perform various jobs, require compensation, especially in diet and rest. Correctly selected diet is the guarantee of health and long life of the pet.
To maintain a normal weight, every adult dog should consume a certain amount of calories. Of course, a dog with a moderate level of activity requires fewer calories than a dog with high physical loads or a puppy, a pregnant or feeding female. Note that small dogs are usually more active, they sleep less, therefore they need almost twice as many calories per kilogram of body weight as dogs of large breeds.
The need for caloric content of the dog's diet can vary significantly depending on the activity and physical condition of the pet.
Lifestyle of the dog
Often dogs, especially of small sizes, conduct an exclusively "urban" way of life, rarely leaving the apartment and not able to expend energy. For owners of such dogs it is extremely important to monitor the excess weight of their pet. Especially it concerns "pampering", when the dog is given food from the owners table, it breaks the balance of nutrition. To maintain the health and well–being of your pet is to maintain a balanced diet and feeding regimen.
How to care for the dog's teeth
By 6 – 7 months, the puppy’s milk teeth change, therefor they should be inspected every week. The task of the owners – is to as early as possible reveal a yellowish tooth stone, that is often formed in dogs that do not like to munch and chew. To prevent the formation of this tooth stone, you need to pick up a special toothbrush and paste, and after consulting with a specialist, brush your pet's teeth. With proper nutrition, when the dog takes rougher food, the teeth are further cleaned – for example, croquettes in the Optimeal diet are designed for effective tooth cleaning and prevention of tooth stone formation.
But if you have already seen a yellowish tooth stone on your dog’s teeth, you should contact a specialist who is going to remove it – often tooth stone is the cause of an unpleasant odor from the pet’s mouth. Some breeds of dogs are prone to problems with teeth – for example, in dogs of miniature and dwarf sizes, dental stones are often formed, they suffer from caries and periodontitis.
How to care for the dog’s coat
A variety of coats among dogs, depending on the breed, requires a different approach to pet’s skin and hair. It's easier to take care of the coat of the smooth–coated dogs – once in 3–4 days you just need to brush the skin with a brush of medium hardness, which will remove dirt, dead skin, dead hairs, and improve blood circulation in the skin.
Dogs that are of medium and long hair (collie, shepherds, chow–chow) require thorough systematic brushing, and careful care, that prevents hair clumping.
Approximately 1–2 times a week it is necessary to comb the pet's coat with a special brush with rounded blunt teeth, and soft hair should be carefully treated with a slicker brush once every two months. When shedding, the dog must be combed daily.
Dogs of rough–haired breeds – such as schnauzers or terriers – require daily care. Their hair should be cleaned with a bristle brush or a large massage brush with metal teeth.
Dogs of small breeds with gentle fur require special care – they must be carefully combed daily, and during the rain wear waterproof overalls.
"Exhibition" dogs get hairstyles in special salons for animals, and dogs with rough coats are trimmed – this substitutes their shedding and stimulates normal growth of the coat. Beard and mustache, contaminated during feeding, must be wiped with a napkin and brushed after each meal. This primarily applies to the Airedale terriers, Kerry blue terriers, Schnauzers.
How to bathe the dog
Despite the popular belief, it is often harmful to bathe a dog, if the animal's coat is contaminated, it grows poorly, falls off quickly, "lies on the body" all ugly. Therefore, dogs should be bathed with the use of special "dog shampoos", which have a special pH balance and are used for different types of coats. Breeds that require careful care of their coat are cocker spaniels, poodles, especially those that take part in exhibitions.
To bathe the dog, pour water at a temperature of no more than 36 ° C in the bath so that it covers only the paws of the animal. Place the dog in the bath, thoroughly moisten all of the coat, then apply a special shampoo mixed with warm water. Thoroughly massage the dog, shake the shampoo until it foams, then rinse well with plenty of water.
After bathing, squeeze the pet's coat from the water and wipe it with a dry towel, but rub gently – if the dog sheds, it will strengthen the hair loss. You can use a hairdryer, but the air should not be hot. Do not let the dog cool down. Do not bathe small puppies, old dogs and pregnant females, with immersion in water – they can catch a cold. Also, make sure there are no drafts in the room where the pet dries.