PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN A CURE
As with most things in life, spending a bit of time attending to problems before they arise will save time, effort and money over the long run.
The same is true with raising your Schnauzer.
However, it is important to remember that a dog is not like a car or a machine, it is a living, breathing, loving member of your family.
When your pet becomes ill, it places a great deal of stress on the whole family.
Spending some time on a simple plan to keep track of your Schnauzer’s health and well-being will help you note if there are any changes in the dogs performance or behaviour that may indicate health concerns, or may require a trip to the vet.
While it may seem a bit strange, it is very important to care for your Schnauzer’s teeth throughout its life. Many people mistakenly assume that a dog will be able to care for its own teeth, much as nature intended.
This may have been true if dogs only ate all natural ingredients and foods such as they would have eaten had they remained wild animals.
Domesticated animals, like dogs, eat a variety of foods and chemicals that are never found in nature. They are subsequently susceptible to dental health issues in the same way as humans are.
In addition, dogs live much longer than they would in nature, and senior dogs benefit from good dental care throughout their lives.
Puppies start to get their puppy teeth at the age of 3 to 4 weeks. They will start with 28 puppy teeth. These teeth will be replaced with their 42 permanent adult teeth at about the age of four months.
Dogs have four different types of teeth:
- Molars – used for chewing
- Premolars – hold and break up the food
- Canines – used to hold and tear the food into small pieces
- Incisors – cut and nibble
Many veterinarians estimate that approximately 80% of all dogs over the age of three have some form of gum disease. This causes problems for the dogs with chewing food, which can lead to digestive problems.
Just like with humans, this also causes teeth to be easily damaged or start to fall out. This condition becomes progressively worse as the dog ages, and can even lead to fatal health conditions.
Unlike most of the small or miniature breeds, the Miniature Schnauzer has few health concerns that owners need to worry about. The Miniature Schnauzer is a very healthy and robust dog, and usually lives to be over 14 years of age, remaining active and playful well into their senior years.
There are some conditions and health concerns that are seen in the Miniature Schnauzer, and owners should be aware of the symptoms to start early treatment should it be necessary.
Miniature Schnauzers are very athletic dogs if they are given the opportunity to run, play or go for daily walks. If not given the opportunity, they are equally likely to sit on the couch all day.
Overweight Miniature Schnauzers are more prone to muscle and skeletal problems, as well as overall heart conditions. It is important to carefully monitor your dog’s food intake and to provide regular, active times for the Miniature Schnauzer.
Avoid giving a lot of human food or table scraps, and feed a high quality premium dog kibble to provide proper nutrition.
Miniature Schnauzers often have allergic reactions to vaccinations, so it is important to closely monitor your dog or puppy after their shots.
The reaction can be delayed for up to eight hours after the actual injection, so plan to stay home or leave your dog with someone after the vet visit.
Skin allergies occur in all breeds, and the Miniature Schnauzer is no different. Avoid using any human hair products, and watch any chemicals or cleaning agents that are being used in the house if your Miniature Schnauzer starts to scratch or has red, dry or flaky skin.
Discontinue use and see if the condition improves. Excessive licking of the feet and legs can also indicate allergies. Food allergies occur when changing brands or types of food. Try to keep your dog on a consistent diet. Many owners believe that dogs, like people, need a constant change in food.
This is really not true, and as long as your dog is eating the food it is best to keep the diet consistent. Avoid human food or too many treats as irregular food items can cause skin conditions and allergies.
Just like our kids, we need to monitor your dog and notice what food benefits them most. Now you have the tools to go and help your dogs.