Is your canine companion larger than life? We love pups of all sizes, from teeny-tiny Chihuahuas to massive Saint Bernards. Of course, Fido’s size will definitely play a role in his overall care needs. Read on as a local Burlington, ON vet discusses caring for a large dog.
Training is important for any pup, but it’s especially crucial for big ones, because they have the strength to overpower their owners. Fido could present a considerable risk to both himself and others if he doesn’t do what he’s told. If you aren’t experienced in training, it’s definitely going to be worth your while to hire a professional.
A Pomeranian may get plenty of exercise just running around the kitchen on their tiny legs, but a Great Dane is going to need a much more vigorous workout than that. Keeping your canine buddy active is important for many reasons. For one thing, Fido will be less prone to destructive behaviors if he’s already worked off his extra energy. This will also help keep him fit, and help prevent him from becoming obese. However, it’s important to stick with safe, suitable exercises, especially with puppies and senior dogs. Because the growth plates in Fido’s bones will fuse later than those of smaller dogs, he will be vulnerable to injury until he’s at least 16 to 18 months old. Don’t encourage him to run or jump until your vet gives the all-clear.
Large dogs are at higher risk of developing certain health conditions than other pups. For instance, many of them are prone to arthritis. (Tip: a good orthopedic bed is a must.) Bloat is another thing to be aware of: this is a serious and potentially fatal condition that happens when a pup’s stomach twists. It’s particularly common in some larger breeds. Do plenty of research, and ask your vet for more information on specific medical risks.
Big dogs have big hearts! They also need big beds, big crates, big toys, and big treats. (This, of course, ultimately translates to bigger bills.) Only offer Fido things that were made specifically for large breeds. Your furry friend could choke on toys or chews made for smaller dogs!
As your local Burlington, ON animal clinic, we are dedicated to providing excellent veterinary care. Please feel free to contact us anytime!