Nutrition & Preventative Medicine

  • Coconut Oil Benefits

      Coconut oil has several benefits for your dog. It gently elevates the metabolism, provides a higher level of energy and vitality, protects your dog from illness, and speeds healing. As a bonus, coconut oil can improve dog’s skin and coat, improves digestion, and reduces allergic reactions. HEALTHY SKIN AND COAT
    • Clears up eczema
    • Aids flea allergies, contact dermatitis and itchy skin
    • Minimizes doggy odor
    • Reduces allergic reactions
    • Creates sleek and glossy coats
    • Prevents and treats yeast and fungal infections
    • When applied topically coconut oil promotes wound healing
    • Also can help with hot spots, dry skin and hair, bites and stings
    • Improves digestion
    • Increases nutrient absorption
    • Helps with colitis and inflammatory bowel syndrome
    • Reduces or eliminates bad breath
    • Helps with coughing
    • Assists with weight loss
    • Powerful antibacterial, antiviral and anti-fungal agents
    • Balances insulin and promotes normal thyroid function
    • Helps prevent or control diabetes
    • Aids arthritis and ligament problems
    • Helps prevent infection and disease
    • Aids in increasing energy


    How much coconut oil should you give your dog? When starting your dog on coconut oil, it is absolutely vital that you start slow. Begin slow, start with a tiny amount. Your dog needs to take time for their body to adjusts to the addition to their diet. If you start with larger amount of coconut oil, your dog could react poorly. Side effects can include diarrhea or greasy stools.
    • ¼ teaspoon per day for small dogs and puppies.
    • 1 teaspoon for large dogs, or even just a dab if your dog's constitution is sensitive.
       After their bodies have adjusted a general guideline for the daily amount to give your dog is :
    • About 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight daily
    • Or about 1 tablespoon per 30 pounds
    Again, DO NOT start with these amounts in the beginning!
  • Things for Your Dog to Chew

    Dogs chew for a variety of reasons:  teething, boredom, stress, learning about their environment.  You need to teach your dog what is appropriate to chew on during those times by giving an appropriate chew toy when you catch your dog chewing on the something he is not supposed to, i.e. the table leg, couch, kids’ toys, etc. The following are great options for chewing.
    • Nylabone
    • Filled Femur Bones
    • Bully Sticks
    • Antlers
    • Kong
    • Apples
    • Carrots
    • Ice Cubes
    *** NO RAWHIDE of any kind*** If your dog seems to be bored with his kong or femur bone, you can fill these items with many things to keep your dog interested in chewing these items.  You can freeze these items into the item as well.
    • Yogurt – vanilla, strawberry, blueberry, plain
    • 100% Canned Pumpkin
    • Sweet Potato
    • Canned Dog Food
    • Baby Food
    • Applesauce
    • Peanut Butter
    • Pureed Fruits
    • Pureed Vegetables
    • Cottage Cheese
  • The difference between the various flea/tick preventatives are do they kill or kill and repel fleas and ticks and are they effective against other parasites.  Only two of the preventatives kill and repel fleas and ticks, as well as other parasites:  K9 Advantix II and Vectra 3D.
    • Kills & Repels:  Prevents fleas and ticks from getting onto your dog which prevents the transmission of diseases (lymes disease from ticks) and infestations.
    • Only Kills:  Fleas and ticks can get onto your animal and reproduce, transmit diseases or cause infestations.  The products that only kill once the parasite is on your animal allows fleas to reproduce and cause an infestation in your home and allows ticks to bite transmitting diseases.
    • Other parasites:
    1. Mosquitoes transmit heartworm disease.  Therefore the products that repel mosquitoes used along with heartworm preventative have your dog doubly protected.
    1. Mites are only killed and repelled by Vectra 3D.  This does not include mange mites.  Mites cause excessive itching, dandruff flakes, and more seriously infection from the scratching.
    1. Biting and sand flies can transmit diseases, cause infections and are irritating to your dog.
    1. Lice live on the skin of the dog feeding on either the skin or blood.  Lice can cause excessive itching, dandruff flakes and hair loss.
      Description Ingredient(s) Fleas Ticks Mosquitoes Mites Biting Flies Lice
    K9 Advantix II Monthly Topical Imidacloprid Permethrin Pyriproxyfen Kills & Repels all life stages Kills & Repels Kills & Repels N/A Repels Kills
    Frontline Plus Monthly Topical Fipronil (S)-methoprene Kills all life stages Kills N/A N/A N/A Kills
    Advantage II Monthly Topical Imidacloprid Pyriproxyfen Kills all life stages N/A N/A N/A N/A Kills
    NexGard Monthly Soft Chew Afoxolaner Kills adult fleas Kills N/A N/A N/A N/A
    Vectra 3D Monthly Topical Dinotefuran Pyriproxifen Permethrin Kills & Repels Kills & Repels Kills & Repels Kills & Repels Kills & Repels Kills & Repels
    Comfortis Monthly Tablet Spinosad Kills adult fleas N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
    FirstShield Monthly Topical Dineotefuran Pyriproxyfen Permethrin Kills & Repels all life stages Kills & Repels Kills & Repels N/A N/A N/A
    Bravecto 12 Week Soft Chew Fluralaner Kills adult fleas Kills N/A N/A N/A N/A
  • With families living all over the continent, your vet will be able to tell what products are most effective in your area.  The cost of these preventative products can be a factor.  Personally, I have seen flea/tick preventative range from $60.00 to over $100.00 for a 6 month supply.  Some companies also offer rebates when purchasing 6 or 12 months of preventative that can help with the cost.  Also, depending on where you live, ticks or other parasites may not be an issue.  The following information is a reference for you to use when discussing the options with your veterinarian. Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes.  When an infected mosquito bites a dog, the worm is transmitted and moves to the heart, lungs and blood vessels of the dog. It can take up to 6 months for blood work to show that a dog is heartworm positive.  If untreated, heartworms can be fatal. Whipworms look like tiny pieces of thread with on enlarged end and are transmitted by ingesting contaminated soil. Tapeworms look like flat connected rice-like segments and are transmitted by ingesting contaminated fleas or ingesting contaminated animals.  Can only be transmitted to humans by ingesting a contaminated flea. Hookworms look like small thin worms and are transmitted through ingesting or walking on contaminated soil or feces.  Can be transmitted to humans by ingesting contaminated soil or through the skin. Roundworms look like spaghetti and are transmitted from ingesting contaminated soil or feces or ingesting contaminated animals.  Can be transmitted to humans by ingesting contaminated soil.
      Description Ingredient(s) Whipworms Tapeworms Hookworms Roundworms Fleas Other
    Heartgard Plus Monthly Oral Soft Chew Ivermectin Pyrantel Pamoate No No Yes Yes No No
    Iverhart Max Monthly Oral Tablet Ivermectin Pyrantel Pamoate Praziquantel No Yes Yes Yes No No
    Sentinel Monthly Oral Tablet MilbemycinOxime Lufenuron Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
    Sentinel Spectrum Monthly Oral Tablet MilbemycinOxime Lufenuron Praziquantel Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No
    Revolution Monthly Topical Selamectin No No No No Yes Ticks, Mites
    Advantage Multi Monthly Topical Moxidectin Imidocloprid Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
    Trifexis Monthly Oral Tablet MilbemycinOxime Spinosad Yes No Yes Yes Yes No
    ProHeart Bi-Annual Injection Moxidectin No No Yes No No No
  • Adult dogs need some vaccines annually while others can go for 3 years. This depends on your veterinary. Some states only provide a 1-year rabies vaccine while others proved a 3-year option. Here are the shots you must keep up to date:
    Leptospirosis: include leptospirosis in the combination vaccine where leptospirosis is a concern, or if traveling to an area where it occurs.
    Coronavirus: where coronavirus is a concern. Lyme: where Lyme disease is a concern or if traveling to an area where it occurs.
    Rabies: Given by your local veterinarian (time interval between vaccinations may vary according to local law).

This notice is being sent out to provide up-to-date and accurate information about the Canine Influenza Virus to help prevent the spread of the virus to healthy(unexposed) dogs. The information provided is not intended to alarm dog owners and handlers. There are recently confirmed cases of the Canine Influenza Virus (H3N2 strain) that was first brought to and identified in Chicago, Illinois in the spring of 2015. The most recent outbreaks concern the following states: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas. Canine Influenza Virus is an extremely contagious airborne disease that is easily spread among dogs, and in rare instances, can be contagious to cats. If you believe one of your dogs may have contracted the Canine Influenza Virus, immediately isolate it from other animals and contact your veterinarian. Here is some additional information about Canine Influenza Virus and tips for how to minimize the risk and reduce the spread of the disease: Canine Influenza Virus Canine Influenza Virus is spread through: Close proximity to infected dogs (it is airborne and can travel up to 20 ft.) Contact with contaminated items (bowls, leashes, crates, tables, clothing, dog runs, etc.) People moving between infected and uninfected dogs 80% of all dogs that are exposed to the virus will contract it The virus lives up to 24 hours on soft surfaces and up to 48 hours on hard surfaces. Some exposed dogs will be subclinical carriers – meaning some dogs will contract and spread the virus without showing symptoms. Dogs show clinical signs within 24-48 hours and can shed the virus for up to 28 days from exposure. Most dogs will completely recover with proper treatment. Dogs that regularly interact with dogs outside of their own family or frequent places where many dogs gather are most susceptible to exposure to Canine Influenza Virus.

Dog Grooming


Bathing - The usual reasons for bathing a dog are to remove accumulated dirt and debris, to aid in the removal of dead hair at shedding time, to eliminate odor, and to improve the appearance of the coat. Routine bathing is not necessary for the health of the coat or the dog. In fact, frequent bathing can rob the coat of its natural sheen and make it harsh and dry. It is recommended for Labrador Retrievers to bathe twice a year to prevent from drying out the double coat. The shampoo dries out the natural oils in the coat which can cause dandruff and itching. You can spot clean or hose down with just water as needed. Dog cologne sprays help with the day to day dog smell.


Nails - Nail trimming is an important part of a regular grooming routine. If your dog’s nails get too long, they can break, which is painful and sometimes results in infection. Long nails can also cause an irregular gait that leads to skeletal damage. Nails should be trimmed every 2 – 4 weeks to maintain short, neat nails. If you are not comfortable trimming your dog’s nails, a groomer can quickly and easily trim the nails on a monthly basis. You can use nail clippers or a dremel tool. The benefits to the dremel tool are it is harder to cause pain and bleeding. However, it takes time and patience to get your dog comfortable with the noise and feeling of having their nails dremeled. You always want to associate nail trimming with sometime positive like a filled kong or treats.


Ears - Because of the twisty, curvy design of a dog’s inner ears, it is easy for parasites, bacteria and yeast to hide and thrive in them. This also means that any debris in the canal must work its way up to escape. Infections can result from trapped debris. Dogs with floppy ears are particularly vulnerable. Keeping the ears clean and dry can prevent infections and a vet visit. There are ear drops/powder that aid in drying out the ear canal after you dog has been bathed or swimming.


Brushing - Brushing your dog’s coat is an important part of canine maintenance and serves many functions; for example, it eliminates tangles and mats, keeps his coat looking vibrant and beautiful, massages and lubricates his skin by activating your pet’s natural oils, and keeps errant pet hair away from clothing and furniture. It is recommended that you brush your dog at least weekly. Slicker – Flat or curved head with rows of thin wire pins that are slightly bent at the end. Used for de-matting and removing dead hair and undercoat from all coat types. The pins comb through hair to remove tangles while the bent ends gather dead hair, releasing it from the coat. Can be used daily. Furminator – A metal comb of tiny, sharp teeth and a center-set handle used to remove dead hair and undercoat from flat, short and combination coats or dead surface hair from heavy and double coats. Gently collects dead and loose hair without damaging skin to reduce shedding up to 90%. Use 2 – 3 times per week. Shedding Blade – A thin strip of metal with tiny teeth on one side used to remove dead hair from flat, short and combination coats. Tiny teeth grab dead or loose hair as you gently drag the “blade” along the coat in the direction of hair growth. Use 2 – 3 times per week. Rubber Curry – Firm yet flexible rubber teeth reach through the coat, down to the skin to massage and stimulate circulation while loosening hair, dead skin and dander. Also great to use when bathing your dog. Use 2 – 3 times per week. Bristle Brush – Natural or man-made bristles on a curved rubber base used to remove debris and also shine the coat on wirey and combination coats. Can be used daily. Pin Brush – Rows of straight pins that are often tipped at the ends with plastic rubber used for removing tangles from longer flowing coats such as silky and natural long, without removing hair. The pins comb through hair to remove tangles while the bent ends gather dead hair, releasing it from the coat. Can be used daily.


Teeth - Proper dog dental care and cleaning is critical to your dog's health. Periodontal disease is the #1 diagnosed disease in dogs and can lead to bad dog breath, dog teeth problems, and more. To ensure your dog's dental health use teeth cleaning dog treats (Greenies), toothbrush/toothpaste, dental cleansing pads, and/or water additives. You should brush your dog’s teeth daily but at least a minimum of 3 – 4 times per week.