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Heartgard for Dogs and Four Other Things Your New Dog Needs

By Robert Wilson Subscribe to RSS | December 27th 2011 | Views:
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It's Christmas time. Do you think there's any possibility that there will be a puppy underneath that Christmas tree?

If you are getting yourself or a loved one a dog for Christmas, here are some important tips about finding that new friend and helping her get acclimated to her new home.

1. Put Puppy Mills Out of Business

Oh, those cute little black noses pushing out from their cages in malls across America are very close to completely irresistible. Nevertheless, if you truly love animals, you have to resist. Every time you buy a puppy from a pet store, there's a very good chance you're supporting a puppy mill. Puppy mills are cruel places where dogs are treated more like a product than like a living being. Although it might be tempting to “rescue” a puppy mill dog by buying it from a pet store, there are so many more dogs that need rescuing at your local shelter.

2. Consider Getting a Grown Dog

One type of dog that shelters have to offer are teenagers and grown ups. No, they're not as cute and fluffy as puppies, but dogs that are more mature need your help even more because they are the most likely candidates for euthanization.

Not only that, mature dogs are often already housebroken. Imagine having a new furry friend but getting to skip the step that involves you, rubber gloves, Woolite, and a whole lot of newspaper.

3. Once You Get Your Dog, Go to the Veterinarian

As soon as you get your dog, you'll want to head on over to your favorite vet. Dogs who have been abandoned or neglected are at even higher risk than ordinary dogs for diseases such as mange, parvo, and heartworm disease. All these diseases are fairly easy to treat, but when a dog has been a stray for a while, they're likely to be carrying at least one of them. Parvo is especially dangerous because it can easily infect other, healthy dogs.

4. Dealing with Heartworm Disease

Virtually every dog that isn't on a heartworm preventative, such as Heartgard for dogs, is likely to have heartworm disease. Heartworm is a parasite carried by infected mosquitoes. When an infected mosquito bites a dog, a dog that's not already protected by something like Heartgard for dogs will be the little parasite's ideal host animal. The worms will work their way into the dog's bloodstream, where they will mature and gradually eat away at a dog's arteries, lungs, and heart.

It's important that your new dog be treated for heartworm disease before giving them a monthly preventative like Heartgard for dogs. Preventative medicines for heartworm disease applied while there are still mature worms in the dog's system can create more harm than good. Therefore, have your dog checked out for heartworm by the vet first, then shop online for Heartgard for dogs or another effective anti-heartworm medication.

5. Supplies You Need for Housebreaking a Dog

When you get a new dog, keep in mind that you'll also need a number of supplies to help your dog get used to living in your home. Here are a few suggestions:

Train your dog to sleep in a dog bed from the beginning – get a big cushion or dog bed from an online store or retail outlet

* A baby gate is your best friend for containing man's best friend

* A fence keeps your dog safe and makes your life easier

* Dogs need plenty of exercise and so do you, so find a collar and a leash

* Newspaper is a lot cheaper than commercial pee pads

Have any other suggestions for new dog owners? Leave them in the comments section below.

Robert Wilson - About Author:
A former pet shop manager and life-long dog lover, Robbie Wilson has extensive experience in helping people with their dogs, cats and other pets. Keeping pets healthy with pet meds like Heartgard for dogs is her passion. For information on the latest pet treatments, she often turns to http://www.petcarerx.com.

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