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Love Your Pet

Island Doggie believes that there are more ways to love your pet than showering them with toys and treats.  As fellow dog lovers, we want to do everything we can to ensure they live a long, happy and healthy life.  Here are some ways to offer your doggie the best life possible.  Please contact your local veterinarian before attempting to do any of the following and to receive proper consultation:

VACCINATIONS
Always check with your local veterinarian as to when and which shots your dog needs.  Having the proper vaccinations will help protect them against harmful and/or deadly viruses.  Some viruses are even transmittable to humans.  The core vaccines that most veterinarians recommend are canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis and rabies. Non-core vaccines are given depending on the dog’s exposure risk. These include vaccines against Bordetella bronchiseptica, Borrelia burgdorferi and Leptospira bacteria.  For example, if you are going to be boarding your pet at a clinic or facility, you will be asked to have their Bordetella vaccine updated.  If you take your dog hiking, especially around damp areas, you should strongly consider getting the Leptospira vaccine for him.

MICROCHIP & ID TAG
If you live on the West side of Oahu, you come across many strays.  Some still alive and some pushed to the side of the road waiting for the Humane Society to pick up the carcass.  It’s a hard and truthful fact that not all pets are considered as such. The least anyone can do for their pet is to get them microchipped either at their local veterinarian clinic or animal shelter.  Most animal shelters like the Hawaiian Humane Society offer discounted prices on microchips.  It’s a quick and easy process that only takes a minute to inject the chip in the back of their neck with a needle.  If your pet should ever wander or gets lost in the event of a natural disaster, at least those who find him will be able to identify him and bring him back to you.  Also, make sure to keep your contact information updated on their ID tag and with your veterinarian.

SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR DOG
There are many benefits to spaying or neutering your dog.  This includes reducing the number of homeless pets euthanized every year; improving your pets’ health; reducing unruly behavior; and saving on overall cost of pet care.  Many shelters across Oahu are overpopulated with stray cats and dogs.  Not all of them find loving homes before their time is cut short to make room for the next batch of strays.  Unlicensed over-breeding is also a factor in the increased number of pets on the island. Most people don’t know that dogs are at risk of ovarian cancer or testicular cancer if not sterilized. Check out Poi Dogs & Popoki's Neuter Now Program for low-cost sterilzations at participating veterinarian clinics.

DAILY EXERCISE
Not only is exercise good for your dog, but it’s good for you too!  Depending on how active of a breed your dog is, you should be walking your dog at least twice a day.  Take them to the beach or hiking for a couple hours.  This will keep both you and your dog in shape and rest better throughout the night.  Daily exercise also helps to prevent aggression in most dogs and will allow for better training and attentiveness.

DENTAL CARE
Did you know most dogs show signs of gum disease before they’re four years old because they’re not provided proper mouth care?  Poor or lack of dental care can lead to many mouth disorders including periodontal disease.  It’s a painful infection that can lead to tooth loose and spread infection to the rest of the body.  So, be sure to brush your dogs’ teeth at least every other day with doggie toothpaste from your veterinarian.  Skip the table scraps and give him specially formulated dental treats and chew toys.  Instead of wet food, ask your vet to suggest dry foods that will slow down the process of tartar and plaque build up.

WELL-BALANCED DIET 
Giving your doggie “human food” can result in vitamin and mineral imbalances, bone and teeth problems, picky eating habits, and obesity.  Instead, you should opt for high-quality dry food without fillers such as rice, wheat, grain, or by-product listed as the first five ingredients.  If your doggie still won’t dig into his food, you may add natural broth or some canned food of the same brand.  Ask your veterinarian how many cups a day you should be feeding your puppy or adult doggie. Remember to always provide fresh water at all times and be sure to wash food and water dishes frequently.

SCOOP THE POOP
Always keep your dog on a leash and harness when outdoors, unless in an enclosed secured area.  If they happen to poop, pick it up and throw it in the trash.  Please be courteous and respect others and their property.  Mahalo for your kokua.

Source: The American Society for the Prevention and Cruelty to Animals

For more insight on dog care, visit Inside Dogs World, which was recommended by a veterinarian that reached out to me. It's a great website with helpful tips and lists. Got more tips you'd like to add here? Email info@islanddoggie.com. No solicitations please.