Trimming Your Dog’s Claws
Keeping your Labradoodle
’s claws in check can be a daunting task, but it is absolutely necessary. You must trim your dog's claws on a regular basis, usually once or twice a month. Don't forget the dew claws on the inner side of the front paws! They are easily forgotten but must be trimmed like every other nail. If you do not trim them, your dog much more likely to snag them on something and tear them. A torn dewclaw is a very painful thing for your dog and often results in a trip to the vet.
The frequency with which you trim your dog’s nails will vary depending on its lifestyle and activity level. If you are not comfortable trimming or feel unprepared to do so, have a groomer or vet show you how.
Cleaning Ears & Plucking Ear Hair
Cleaning your dog’s ears isn’t the world’s most entertaining job, but it should be part of your normal grooming routine. Your dog's ear health depends on you. Infections come on quickly, and keeping your dog's ears clean and dry is the best way to ward them off.
If you notice your dog scratching at his or her ears, or if you see redness in the ear or detect an unpleasant odor coming from the ear, your dog may have developed an ear infection. Visit your vet if you notice any of these symptoms, as cleaning alone won’t clear up the issue.
- Examining and cleaning ears, from the Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine. More terrific pictures!
- For natural ear cleaner and treatment, IT'S FOR THE ANIMALS has wonderful information and a recipe for Blue Power Ear Treatment you can make for holistic care of dog ears.
Bacteria thrive in moist places like the ear canal. Removing excess hair might be necessary to allow proper air flow. Keep the hair trimmed short - just underneath the ear flap - and if the ear canal itself has an abundance of hair, clipping it short or plucking some of the hair out may be helpful. Refrain from excessive plucking, as too much irritation to the skin can create entry points for bacteria as well. Your vet or groomer can show you how to pluck ear hair efficiently.
Take these three simple steps to prevent eye infections in your dog. Regular cleaning and care is a must.
Keep hair trimmed away from your dog's eyes using blunt tipped scissors. Hair that rubs against the eye can introduce bacteria, leading to infection.
Keep your dog’s eyes clean by using an eye wash or pads designed to wipe away debris and gunk.
Check your dog’s eyes regularly, and schedule an appointment with your vet if you detect any irregularities.
Your dog absolutely requires good dental care. Fortunately, preventing oral disease is easy by brushing your dog’s teeth regularly. Learn more:
Exercising Your Dog
Dogs need exercise for their physical health and mental well-being. Each dog has different exercise needs, but Labradoodles
generally need an hour of physical activity every day. Good options include running, playing a good game of fetch, taking a long walk, or jogging or biking with your dog.
Exercise paramount for your dog's health, but it’s good for the human-dog bond, too
If your dog has any pre-existing health issues, discuss your dog’s exercise regimen with your vet. Talk to him or her about what type of physical activity is appropriate at your dog’s age and joint condition. Some exercises can actually harm developing joints.
When exercising your dog, remember:
- If your dog is still growing, do not take him or her for long jogs, and definitely do not take him or her with you for a run. Developing joints can be harmed by repetitive motion on hard surfaces.
- Avoid exercising in extreme heat. If you plan to take water along for you, remember that your dog will need water, too.
- If your dog seems tired, discontinue what you are doing and allow him or her to rest.
Dog Diet and Health
Planning your dog’s diet is an important and occasionally challenging decision. Canine health depends on the appropriate balance of nutrients and calories sufficient for prime growth, activity level and cellular repair.
Whether you decide on a dry kibble diet, a raw food diet or a combination of the two, be sure that the diet is complete and balanced. We suggest choosing food with high-quality animal proteins, whole grains and vegetables from organic sources. Avoid foods with unidentified fat or protein sources; byproducts; artificial colors, flavors or preservatives; and added sweeteners.
When considering dog foods, don't forget to look at what’s in those treats you buy for your four-legged friend! Buy healthy, and again, avoid preservatives, fillers or byproducts.
Read more about dog diets and health:
Fleas and Ticks
Fleas and ticks are a nuisance, but if they aren’t taken care of right away, they can infest and possibly kill your dog. They spread disease, cause allergic reactions and transmit blood and intestinal parasites.
There are many ways to tackle fleas and ticks, and most chemical products are safe if used properly. Specialized products treat individual issues, and some products prevent and kill both fleas and ticks. One product treats for both and also prevents heartworm.
A few of the most studied and well-known products:
- Advantage treats fleas only. Monthly topical.
- Frontline Plus treats fleas and ticks. Monthly topical.
- Revolution treats fleas, ticks and heartworm. Monthly topical.
- Sentinel treats fleas only. Monthly oral.
For those who prefer holistic care, frequent bathing and manual removal of fleas and ticks can help prevent infestation of your home and yard. Use a flea comb and tick remover after each bath.
Heartworm can be deadly if not caught in the early stages of development. Prevention is critical! Heartworm lives in a dog's bloodstream and attacks the heart muscle. According to the Heartworm Society, this parasite lives on every continent except Antarctica.
The most common treatment of heartworm involves giving your dog a medication every four to six weeks. The medications come in chewable tablets or a topical application.
- Chewables made by Heartgard, Interceptor, and Proheart
- Topical applications made by Revolution and Advantage.
Currently, only Revolution treats for heartworm, fleas and ticks.
One of the best ways to aid in flea, tick and heartworm prevention is to make your yard as uninviting for fleas, ticks and mosquitoes as possible. Keep your grass trimmed short, eliminate standing water, and introduce plants that repel these pests.
Spay and Neuter
Testing and Other Information