MONITORING PROPER WEIGHT FOR YOUR DOG
It can be difficult to monitor the weight of a fluffy heavy coated dog like the Australian Labradoodle. Regardless of breed, this is the absolute best chart I have seen to explain how to do a proper body score on your pet. I check my dogs weekly to ensure they are carrying proper weight. Too much weight is hard on their heart and extremely dangerous for joint health. Too little weight can be a sign of health issues but in a growing pup, simply means they are going through a growth spurt and need more rations.
Oral care is a more serious issue than most of us initially think it is. Dogs have been known to lose an eye because of oral issues. Plus sore, bleeding gums are certainly not something we want to allow our dogs to suffer. If you can be persistent and train your dog to accept a toothbrush, this is a perfect way to prevent tarter buildup and decay.
Note: Never use human toothpaste – it is TOXIC to dogs!
I love Tropiclean Clean Teeth Gel. A small dab of this gel on their gums before bed on its own or in conjunction with teeth brushing will help keep tarter and decay at bay and sweeten their breath. My dogs hate the foam version of this product and I do not like the water additive they make as I do not like the idea of flavoring their water. Make certain you keep an eye on your dog’s teeth and get them cleaned by a vet when and if necessary. A dog’s breath should never smell poorly. It may smell like their kibble or the treat they just ate, but it should never smell rancid or unpleasant.
CLEANING YOUR DOGS EARS
This is the best video to explain the proper way to clean your dog’s ears. Most people are not thorough enough when cleaning ears. The Australian Labradoodle has heavy, pendulous ears so improper ear care can lead to all kinds of irritations and infections. I have yet to meet a dog that does not enjoy having the Epi-Otic massaged into the base of their ear canal. They often groan with pleasure and it smells wonderful!!
TRIMMING YOUR DOGS NAILS
Having long nails changes the way a dog carries themselves. The diagram below shows how a long nail causes the bones in the foot to flatten and the metacarpal, phalanx I and phalanx II bones to sit more angled every time the dog walks or stands. The different angle of the bones, when pressure is applied, causes joint stress and can lead to joint pain and arthritis. It also leads to dropped wrists, which make the dog look flat footed. Long toe nails change the natural alignment of leg bones, which adds torque or twisting to the joints.
Left = proper alignment with short toenail.
Right = angled alignment because of long toenail.
Note: When you can hear your dog’s nails clicking on the floor, it is time to trim them.
HOW DOGS AGE
Contrary to popular belief, dogs do not age seven years to every human year. Instead, the ratio varies based on factors such as breed, size, and age. The graph below provides a useful visual to determine your dog’s “age in human years”.