Detroit dog owners face a variety of potential pet health hazards, including temperature extremes, wildlife and everyday canine contaminants that can cause health problems for pooches. Keeping a dog healthy doesn’t take extraordinary effort, however. Following a few basic guidelines and avoiding problems before they occur are key to canine wellness.
Keep Your Dog Safe and Secure
Security Fence and Supply Company
5451 Dixie Highway
Waterford, MI 48329
Hours: Mon to Fri – 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Most communities in the Detroit area have laws regarding dog containment, including leash laws, tethering restrictions or shelter requirements. At a bare minimum, dogs require shelter if they are staying outside, and they should be brought indoors during very hot or very cold days. Fenced yards are ideal, but when fencing isn’t an option, keep dogs on a leash or short-term tether. Especially here, they should never be allowed to go out on their own, even for a quick bathroom break. A safe collar with identification tags, combined with a microchip, provide the best odds of reuniting dog and owner in the event the dog is lost.
Provide Routine Grooming and Veterinary Care
Paw Print Inn Pet Resort & Spa
41249 Vincenti Court
Novi, MI 48375
Hours: Tues to Thurs – 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fri – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat – 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Preventive health is just as important to dogs as it is to their people. Veterinarian Jamie Joswick suggests dog owners plan on annual vet visits for a wellness exam, which should include checking for parasites and administering any necessary vaccinations. Vets also offer advice on parasite control, such as monthly flea, tick or heartworm medications and vaccination schedules. Regular grooming sessions, including bathing, teeth cleaning and trimming nails, also provides a great, hands-on opportunity to evaluate dogs’ health.
Spay or Neuter Your Pets
Animal Clinic of Sterling Heights
39990 Van Dyke
Sterling Heights, MI 48393
Hours: Mon to Fri – 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sat and Sun – 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; by appointment only
Although it has become a controversial topic in the last few years, sterilization is still the preferred option for most dog owners. The decision to spay or neuter should be made on an individual basis, between the owner and veterinarian, taking into consideration the dog’s genetics, family history, environment, lifestyle and the owner’s ability to prevent unplanned pregnancy before the surgery is performed.
Socialize and Train Your Dog
Trainers Academy, LLC
950 W. Maple Rd., Ste. A
Troy, MI 48084
Hours: training – varies by class; daycare Mon to Fri – 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Proper socialization is one of the most important aspects of dog ownership. Contrary to popular belief, socialization does not end when the dog leaves the breeder, nor does training end after the class is over; both are life-long processes. Dogs should be exposed to a wide variety of sights, sounds and people on a regular basis. Noise phobias, especially to loud city noises, can cause extreme anxiety in dogs. Lack of socialization to people of all shapes and sizes can result in a fear of people, which in extreme circumstances may lead to fear biting. An untrained dog is difficult to control and will not be welcome in many places. The majority of dogs surrendered to shelters and rescues are untrained adolescents.
Feed For Health
Specialty Pet Supplies
1449 W. Ann Arbor Road
Plymouth, MI 48170
Hours: Mon to Fri – 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Sat – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sun – 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Diet is the cornerstone of good health in dogs. A high-quality food and fresh, clean water can’t be beat in maintaining a healthy weight and preventing illnesses. In general, foods made with whole meats that have limited or no grains are healthiest for most dogs. Veterinarians and breeders can provide guidance to help owners choose a food that is appropriate for each dog’s breed, age and lifestyle.
Jennifer Walker is a freelance writer living in Detroit. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.