Puppies, like children, often get sick or have accidents. And while some of these sicknesses and accidents are unavoidable, there are some things we can do as owners to attempt to reduce visits to the vet.
The AKC recently published an article about the top puppy injuries they see come through their insurance program (yes, doggie health insurance is now a thing). You can read the full article by Clicking Here.
Two of the five most common items they discuss are ear infections and ingestion of a foreign body.
In Puppy Preschool, we discuss the importance of first aid and proper grooming, which includes regularly checking your puppy’s ears and knowing how to properly clean them when they become dirty. Some breeds are more susceptible to ear infections than others, such as breeds with floppy ears and/or a lot of hair in the ear canal. Ear infections can be quite painful, and at times costly, so it’s important to utilize preventative strategies when possible. Even so, ear infections can still occur, so owners would do well to familiarize themselves with the early symptoms so they can receive medical treatment before the infection worsens.
Anyone who has ever owned a puppy also knows that they explore the world with their mouths. That means that anything within a puppy’s reach is often fair game for mouthing and/or ingesting when unsupervised. Puppies can often make quick work of certain household objects, so best practice is to crate your puppy when it is unsupervised. If you are crate training properly and helping your puppy understand that the crate is his safe space, crating him should not cause undo stress. Even if your puppy doesn’t love the idea of going in his crate while you go to work or run an errand, his safety (and the safety of your belongings) should still be prioritized over his feelings. As the mature adult, it’s your job to make decisions for him – he’s just a baby!
Even diligent owners who move objects to higher ground and utilize a crate can still find themselves with a puppy who has ingested a foreign object. While some objects may pass through your puppy’s digestive tract without causing harm, other objects can either leech toxins or become stuck along the way. When in doubt, call your veterinarian. He or she may want to take x-rays to identify and locate the object in order to create an appropriate treatment plan.