HEALTH & WELLNESS
LIONS FOUNDATION OF CANADA DOG GUIDES
Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides and its founding program, Canine Vision Canada, was established in 1983. It’s the largest school of its kind in Canada with its training school in Oakville and breeding facility in Breslau.
TAKING CARE OF YOUR DOG’S HEALTH
Some dog owners might wonder when their pets need a visit to the veterinary clinic. After all, many of them only go when it’s an emergency – but that’s not enough.
In fact, once a year your dog(s) should visit the veterinarian for a full check up and receive the necessary vaccinations for his/her age and geographical environment.
If your dog is sick, injured or behaving strangely (uncharacteristically lethargic, struggling to breathe, not eating or drinking water, whining, scratching consistently, etc.) then make an appointment with your veterinarian immediately.
FLEAS & TICKS
Pets can come into contact with ticks during walks in grassy or wooded areas. Ticks are most active in warmer weather, above 0ºC, so it is important to check your pets and your family during the spring, summer, fall months, and even during mild winter days.
Preventative products are available to help protect your dog and your family from internal and external parasites. Ask your veterinarian about the best option to fit your dogs’ needs.
For maximum efficiency, it’s important that the dog receives the right dose, based on his or her weight. Puppy schools, doggy daycares and kennels often require dogs to be on a tick and flea control product before entry is allowed.
Canine vaccinations help protect your dog from common, contagious illnesses and diseases. As a pet owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure you give your pets all the protection they need. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian about vaccination choices based on your individual pet’s needs and risks.
Common canine vaccinations include:
- Hepatitis: viral liver disease
- Parainfluenza: infectious bronchitis
- Parvovirus: viral intestinal disease
- Corona: viral disease of the intestines
- Leptospirosis: urinary tract bacterial disease
- Rabies: fatal viral disease; can be contracted by humans and animals
- Distemper: airborne viral disease affecting the lungs, brain and intestines
- Bordetella bronchiseptica: also known as “canine cough”; bacterial infection of upper respiratory system
An additional vaccine your dog may require is Lyme. Inform your veterinarian where you live and explain your dog’s lifestyle (day care, kennels, etc.) to help the veterinarian recommend all the required vaccinations and tests. Most kennels will only accept dogs with current, up-to-date paperwork.
Note: Remember to be aware of your puppies’ naive immune system. Avoid parks or other areas where there is uncontrolled exposure to dogs with questionable or unknown vaccination histories.
MEDICINES & POISONS
Dogs should not eat or have access to any of the following:
Xylitol | Avocado | Alcohol | Leaves, Stems and Roots from Tomato & Potato Plants | Onions & Garlic | Coffee, Tea & Other Caffeine | Grapes & Raisins | Milk & Other Dairy Products | Macadamia Nuts, Almonds, Walnuts, Peanuts & Pecans | Chocolate | Fat Trimmings & Bones (Raw or Cooked) | Persimmons, Peaches & Plums | Raw Eggs | Raw Meat & Fish | Salt & Salty Snacks | Sugary Foods & Drinks | Yeast Dough & Hops | Human Medicine | Baking Ingredients & Spices | Excessive Coconut Milk/Oil/Flesh | Apple Seeds & Cores | Chamomile | Cherry Stems, Leaves & Pits | Mustard Seeds | Rhubarb | Citrus Fruits | Licorice | Marijuana in Any Form
Only give your dog medicine that has been prescribed by a licensed veterinarian. Keep rodent, insect and other poisons in a safe place, always out of reach. If, for any reason, you think your dog might have ingested any poisonous substance, call your veterinarian immediately.
Be sure to deworm puppies as often as necessary and adult dogs yearly.
Dogs can be exposed to worms, even in urban areas. Roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms are not uncommon in puppies (or even older dogs), but diagnosis is key and immediate treatment is very important. Make sure you use the right medicine, prescribed by a veterinarian to manage your pet’s intestinal parasites.
SPAYING & NEUTERING
It is highly recommended that non-breeding females should be spayed (removal of ovaries and/or uterus) before reaching maturity to reduce the risk of disease, infection and unwanted pregnancy.
Non-breeding males benefit from being neutered (removal of testicles) before maturity to help prevent diseases, certain hernias and some behavioural issues.