How to Take Care for Pets
Veterinarians / Specialty Doctors
There are a lot of unqualified doctors out there. Be assertive in attaining quality care before paying.
We shouldn't pay professional fees for merely time and/or guessing, but correct diagnosis and solutions.
"Vets" have their place in a pet's life such as getting checked for heartworm twice a year and rabies shots as required. Beware they did not go to college for seven+ years and get deeply in debt just to help your dog, but also to make money. It may not be necessary for your dog to take heartworm medication during months of no mosquitoes. It is probably unnecessary to have other tests performed that they recommend. If your pet has skin or scratching issues, simply buy over the counter medicated shampoo. Unnecessary handling by a vet can cause your dog harmful stress and cost you a lot of money. Every time you take your dog to the vet, you put it at risk of contracting a contagious disease because that's where dogs go when they get contagious diseases!

  Pros:
May quickly or eventually diagnose and treat your companion animal without worse side effects, but sometimes not without trial and errorWill eventually find problems you weren't aware off and offer treatment before it gets worse of possibly fatalWill educate you on how to prevent further issues with you pet
  Cons:
Not trained in holistic approaches due to less profitability (except holistic vets)Likely will eventually overprescribe highly profitable medications or do highly profitable (lucrative) unnecessary testsRarely will inform you of side effects and risk factors of highly profitable medicationsYour pet could contract something at the clinic due to many other sick pets there in and out constantlyEventually will make mistakes and never admit if found out later; Will not tell you if they discover another doctor made a mistakeEventually will be extremely expensive; will charge you fees even if they misdiagnose or mistreat. They do not have to get paid based solely on performance or results, rather they ultimately get paid for their time and previous cost of school factor. I believe this should change. The excuse of it sometimes being difficult to diagnose something is not a valid argument for big fees. If they don't know the right answers, they are not skilled enough for the compensation. In by far most other client billable professions, they don't get paid if they make a mistake, misdiagnose or make guesses. Doctors should not be treated any different just because they got in big school debt during their first few years.
Other
Water
Most dogs won't let you know they are out of water, so monitor several times a day. Change their water frequently, preferably with filtered water. It's OK if the dog goes without food for a while, but not good if they have dirty or no water. It's recommended to change their water three times per day. Test: Look at their water. Would you drink it? If not, change it. Use a pure white bowl so you can see if it is clean.
Food
Best dog food: Halo brand.
Don't give hard bones or antlers: The risk of tooth damage is too high especially if over 7 years old. Bully sticks are best even though expensive, better than rawhide for their digestion. If they are too hard for your dog (usually for older dogs), soak them for 24 hours in a ziplock bag of water.
Don't buy any canned food. It causes their teeth to rot quickly.
Provide high quality food without wheat (fillers) or sweeteners. If over 7 years old, switch to "mature" dog food (so they are provided with joint health nutrients they need at that age).
When dogs reach 10 years of age, give them more extra MSM / Glucosamine supplements for dogs.
Dental
If you don't take care of your dog's teeth, it could cause your dog to live a shorter life as well as cost you a lot of money for teeth cleaning and dental work. It's cheaper to buy the expensive dog toothpaste and bully sticks to prevent future problems. Sometimes dogs like to eat grass which you should allow as it's good for their digestive system. However sometimes they can sneeze and choke a bit on the grass, but they will get over that eventually. In rare cases the sneezing will be violent; time will allow that to clear up.
Misc
Itchy skin (belly, etc.) natural remedy: Coconut oil!
Leashes:
Keep your dog fenced in if let outside freely. They will cross dangerous roads without hesitation. Too many dogs are hit by vehicles, causing vet bills that exceed the cost of fences. Buy a harness for your dog for walking on a leash. Never attach a leash to a collar as neck damage could occur, especially with dogs with smaller necks.  Do not keep a tight leash unless necessary. Give them some freedom to smell around which is very important for them.
If dog acts uncomfortable or in pain and you can't figure it out, take him in for dental x-rays to see if  there is at least one tooth that needs attention before possible bone loss spreads to other teeth and he is suffering more and more the longer you wait.
Toys, Play & Tricks: Provide a variety of toys and play with your dog regularly, especially when it brings you a toy. Most dogs love empty plastic bottles with the lids tight. Remove all of the label be careful of the hard cap that can injure an eye or tooth. Teach tricks as early as possible. It can take some time to train, but is worth it. Praise your dog often. They really do understand that and it makes them feel good which boosts their immune system and overall health.
Communication:
Hugs are perceive it as a threat of dominance. Don't p
et the face or head (children tend to do this too much) of dogs that don't know you.
Don't tease dogs with confusion or malice.
Dog Parks, Rest Areas and Pet Stores: Try to avoid those as much as possible due to the threat of contagious diseases, warts, kennel cough, etc. You can take your dog into all major hardware and sporting goods stores without it having to be a service dog as long as it's well behaved.
Breeders and Pet Stores: Avoid buying any animals from those places as they are often treated inhumanely. Those places are only interested in money. Instead, adopt a pet from an animal shelter / rescue center as they will be killed if nobody adopts them in time. You could save a life and have a best, loyal, appreciative friend for a long time as a reward!
Prescriptions & Drugs: Try to avoid these as much as possible. Most areas are a threat for heartworm and thus monthly heartworm preventative medicine is likely needed. In higher risk areas, a heartworm test is a good idea annually. Use Advantix II which has mosquito repellent during appropriate months.
Nail Trimming: Purchase a special nail trimmer designed for dogs and get your dog used to trusting you with it as early of an age as possible. Start by trimming very small parts at a time and pay very close attention not to trim into the pink under area of any nail. If you do, the dog will be in pain and will be too scared to let anyone trim his nails for the rest of his life. You can also just have your vet or local pet store do it regularly.
Ear Cleaning: Dog's ears should be cleaned once per week. You will go through many q-tips as they build up a lot of mess in there. Don't go too deep. Use a flashlight to look deep in there for any hairs that could be causing irritation at the base of the canal and remove those hairs.
Heat Rashes: Put many wet rags in a refrigerator or maybe freezer. Apply on affected skin for soothing relief.
Problems to Expect in Public: There are many mean people out there who don't appreciate your cute, friendly dog approaching them or their property. They can be very hostile, especially if your dog is off leash. It is recommended to let your dog have off leash exercise and play time when feasible; otherwise when near a lot of people or traffic, put his harness and leash on.
Ideal Dog Size:
30 pounds is ideal and big enough for protection. Smaller dogs live longer they consume less resources for example less meat and dog food are better for the environment. A smaller dog leaves less poo and hair to clean up. They can be placed in shopping carts without having to be service dogs and can more easily or likely travel with you in public transportation.
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