Dogs are said to be “man’s best friend”. But, how can we do our best when taking care of them? How do we know what is best for them, when they can’t really talk to us. A good place to start is learning as much about them as we can, and educating ourselves on how to treat potential problems that may arise.

In 2016, there were 8.5 million pet dogs in England. Every dog owner would agree that it is important to be able to take care of their pets. A part of this is being able to recognise health risks and knowing how to prevent or treat them.

Common Health Risks to Dogs

It is impossible to stop all the possible risks that are out there. However, getting to know and understand potential risks can increase the chances of possibly preventing them.

Nature poses several risks to us all. For example, mosquitoes and ticks can carry diseases that are dangerous to dogs, as well as humans!

Skin problems appear very often in dogs. Fleas and mites can cause skin infections which can prove to be very uncomfortable for them. Dogs can easily catch these, especially those that work around farm animals. Like humans, allergies can cause skin problems as well.

Epilepsy, diabetes and heart disease are examples of diseases that dogs can get, just like humans.

Obesity is also a big health risk to dogs. Overweight dogs can have problems with their organs, joints and bones.

There are foods that dogs should not be allowed to eat, for example, onions, can have a damaging effect on red blood cells. It is a good idea to research and find out what ingredients/foods that your dog(s) must avoid.

Heat can be dangerous to humans, so imagine if you had thick fur! It is good to know the warning signs as to when a dog is getting too hot.

Canine First Aid Suitability

Canine First Aid is suitable for anybody, just not for dog owners or people who work with them. You never know when you may be in a situation where these skills are needed.

How many deaths could be avoided if more people knew how to give CPR or know how to treat a dog with heatstroke? Canine First Aid will also help to give every dog owner more confidence when it comes to taking care of their pet, it can help to give one the ability to provide emergency treatment to an injured or sick dog until professional medical care is available.

Every trip to the vets costs money. But having the ability to treat minor problems and ailments, and being able to identify potential issues, could save you money, and it could also save a dog’s life.

A Canine First Aid course costs just £48, surely, man’s best friend is worth that?!

There is always a chance that nothing will ever happen. But I’m glad I have the skills, just in case I ever need them!

By Tia Karttunen.

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