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What Dogs Need
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Female veterinarian examining poodle.

Health Care
for Your Dog

All dogs need to see a veterinarian at least once a year. A new puppy needs a checkup with a vet soon after you get your dog. The doctor will make sure the puppy is healthy.

Some puppies may need special medicines. They also need some shots to protect them from illnesses they might catch from other dogs. A new puppy will get several shots over a six week period. These are called vaccinations. You may have to visit your vet two or three times to get vaccinations while your puppy is young.

 

When your dog is four to six months old, he will need to get a rabies shot. This will protect him from the disease called rabies. Rabies is contagious between humans and animals. The law requires that all dogs be vaccinated against rabies before they can get a license.

 Girl with Yorkie.
 

 

Did you know that dogs have three eyelids? They have an upper and lower eyelid and a third one inside of the other two. It helps protect the eye from dirt and dust. It is also called a "haw".

Fido's Fabulous Dog Fact

 

 One of the most important things you can do for your dog is to have your vet perform surgery so that she won't be able to produce puppies.

Dalmatian pups. The operation is called 'spay' for a girl dog and 'neuter' for a boy dog. Read more about why this operation is important on the page called 'Too Many Dogs'. 

 

A dog's body is similar to ours.
We both have a skeleton that holds our body together. Inside our skeleton is a brain, a heart, and lungs. We both have backbones. We both need to keep ourselves healthy.

Click on the to find out what else we have in common with dogs.

Labrador in girl's lap.

 

A dog's normal temperature
is between 100.2-102.8 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fido's Fabulous Dog Facts

 

Collie on dog bed.

Don't let the bed bugs bite!

Keeping your dog's area clean is extra important in warm weather. Fleas, mosquitoes, and other nasty bugs can make your dog unhealthy and unhappy if he is exposed to them.

Watch for these signs that your dog has fleas:
*Scratching*
*Licking*
*Hair loss on his back and tail*
If you see any of these signs, ask your parents
to talk to the vet about getting rid of the little creatures.
Alaskan Malamute scratching.

 

Bulldog in a bathtub.
Give your parents a hand. Help them clean the yard, the house, and your dog because all three will have fleas. Your veterinarian can tell you what to do. Fleas can be very frustrating. Helping your parents to control them would show you are being responsible.
 

Of course, anytime your dog appears to be ill or is acting differently than usual, this is a good time to call the vet. You can help your parents by noticing unusual signs or behaviors.

If your dog is vomiting, has diarrhea, or doesn't want to eat for more than a day or two, you should ask your parents to call the vet. Hopefully, you will get to know your dog so well, that any unusual behavior will be a signal to you that your dog needs attention.

Girl with Labrador.

 

A Word About Exercise
 Two Bulldogs exercising in the water.
Your dog needs exercise, just like you do to keep his muscles strong and his heart healthy. You can run and play in the yard with him. You can play ball. You can take him for walks on the leash.
For more activities, click here!

 

 

Girl using stethoscope to examine her dog.
Click below to find out how you can help keep your dog healthy by giving him a checkup.
Give Your Dog a Checkup!

  Rusty's Ridiculous Riddles and Jokes

A dog loses its tail. To find another tail,
It goes to the re-tail shop!

Thanks to 6 year old Nidhi from Chennai, Tamilnadu India for this joke!

 

What Dogs Need
Food
Water
Shelter and Weather Needs
Health Care
Grooming
Exercise
Time with You
Fun
Home

 

 

Cody's Tour
Kelly's Tour
Trouper's Tour
Your New Dog
Well-Behaved Dog
Special Topics
A New Dog
Your Best Friend
Too Many Dogs
I'll Love You Forever
Training Basics
Following the Rules
What Dogs Cost
Obedience Lessons
Keeping Safe
What Dogs Need
Behavior Problems
Older Dogs
Puppy Basics
Learning Tricks
Losing Your Dog

Ready for a Dog?
Your Stories
Contract
When I Grow Up
Your Dogs
Birthday Page
Book Club
Riddles
Quiz Yourself
Your Poetry

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How To Love Your Dog...A Kid's Guide to Dog Care
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