Introducing Good Dog Eye Care

Your dog’s eyes also need the proper attention to keep them happy and healthy. Unlike most of their body, dogs can’t usually reach their eyes to help keep them properly maintained. In order to ensure their health, and clear sight, you need to help your dog protect their eyes from infection and irritation.

Common signs of eye problems start with a thick buildup of discharge around their eye. While commonly normal to have some, if there are excessive amounts or more than usual, you definitely need to pay attention to their eyes. Reddish and irritated whites of the eyes can be the first signs of infection, and need to be addressed promptly. There are various causes for eye infection and irritation, many of which can be prevented through proper eye care and hygiene.

Keeping their eyes clean

You may have noticed the gunk and regular mucus discharge that will often build up in the corner of your dog’s eyes. This is possibly the most common, but also most overlooked hygienic requirement. The buildup around their eye can actually become a breeding ground for infection, so you need to be ready to help them clean the area. While warm water and a towel can be handy for doing so, be sure that you aren’t too rough, or you could hurt their eyes. Most regular buildup is easily controllable with minor attention, if you practice it daily. As dogs get older, or even play out in the dirt often, the mucus can be much more common, and isn’t something to worry about unless you allow it to accumulate and possibly become infected.

Some dogs are more prone to buildup in this area. Maltese, Poodles, and Cocker breads seem to have excessive buildup, often through over-active tear-ducts, which usually mats the hair around the eye as you may notices the dark staining and buildup become apparent. Eye wash solutions for dogs can help in more severe situations, and can definitely help prevent eye infections.

A hairy situation

Dogs are commonly covered in fur, which does grow and shed (our couch is well aware of this). I’m sure we all know how irritating it can be to get hair in your eyes, and for dogs it is no different. Excess hair around their eyes can cause irritation and even scratches on their retina and surrounding eye tissues, damaging their eyes. While frequent trips to the groomers can definitely help keep their eyes clear of a hairy situation, if the need arises, you can also do it yourself. Always use a curved pair of trimming scissors, never straight, to trip the hair around their eyes. There are quite a few breeds whose fur grows very quickly, so keeping the hair out of their eyes may be required.

Soap in your eyes

Another time when your dog is actually subject to eye irritation is during their occasional bath time. Soap and dirty water can easily get into their eyes when you’re rinsing them off, and can cause irritation. You can actually use a protective ointment on their eyes during bath time to help prevent dirt and soap from getting in their eyes.

Healthy diet for healthy eyes

One of the most important precautions you can take is to provide a healthy diet. Be sure that you are feeding them properly with a nutritional diet (table scraps aren’t a meal). There are also multi-vitamins available for your dog, and can be especially beneficial for older dogs whose sight may already be depleting with age.

But this also brings up the topic of cataracts. This problem is common in older dogs, and is usually identified by a cloudy buildup inside of their eye. Because a dog’s best sense isn’t their eyes, problems with navigation aren’t seen early on. This is usually because they navigate by memory and smell, but as their eyesight depletes, they can be confused by simple changes in furniture or new places. This is why a healthy diet throughout their life can help prevent cataracts and premature loss of sight by keeping their eyes healthy and strong.

Proper eye care is a daily part of your dog’s hygiene, and every owner needs to be aware of how to take care of your dog’s eyes. Daily maintenance, a quality diet, and a few precautions can keep your dog looking and seeing great.

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ROCKY ADVENTURE – Rocky Gets Sick

Usually I would wake up and feel ready to take on the world…or at least the backyard. But today, I woke up feeling terrible. My belly felt like a rock, and even food didn’t sound too appetizing. Yesterday hadn’t gone so well either. It had started out like any other day, with me looking for ways to cause a little harmless mischief. But, yesterday had been very different.

It all started when I spotted the old man cooking up something delicious on the countertops. He was moving around the kitchen, moving dishes and stirring a soup. It was likely he was enjoying his daily tea, and what goes better with tea than something sweet. He never lets me have any of his sweets though. One of the few things that even my puppy-dog eyes can’t seem to talk him out of. I can smell it from here, a bar of deliciousness sitting on the table top, just waiting for the old man to enjoy with his afternoon tea.

Today was a chance to change it all though. With the old man preoccupied, it would be easy enough for me to sneak a taste without him noticing a thing. I studied the old man, his attention still firmly set on the countertops and their contents. So I made the first move. Up to the chair. I look again, but still no early warning signs. I make the next move. My nose surfs the table surface and locates the bar. I look to the old man, but still not a sign of regard. I help myself. The outer layer is odd, and not near as tasty as the inside. I manage to take a good sized bite before I’m discovered. And the last step is that I get into trouble.

But that wasn’t the end of the trouble. The old man seemed worried more than angry, and even called Christy over to hang out with us for a bit. As they talked, I felt something go very wrong inside my belly. A gurgling, some rumbling, and then…potty time. I rushed to the back door, yelping to get outside.

I didn’t even wait to find a comfortable spot, I just went. But that wasn’t even the end of it. My belly began to hurt, and even my head started complaining about nothing at all. Christy came out to check on me, pulling my mouth open to look inside. Guess she was checking to see if I had any leftovers, but I never leave leftovers. She should know that.

I gradually began to feel worse, and my belly was definitely giving me fits. I pretty much just stayed close to the doggy door for a quick exit to take care of business. Luckily, the old man took me for an unexpected car ride to doggy doc. I felt sick, but nothing the Rock couldn’t handle. This time, I was the most well behaved dog in the whole place. Usually, I’m rowdy and uncontrollable, but I wasn’t my regular self.

The doc checked me out, rubbing my belly around and looking into my mouth. I don’t know why, I already ate it all, and there wasn’t any left for him in there. Guess the old man really wants his goodies back. But, the good news is that the doc didn’t seem too concerned about the situation. Guess he isn’t as big a fan of sweets as the old man is.

So, now I’m just lying here, the day fresh, but my body not as eager as it usually is. The nice thing is that I get all the rice I want. Oddly enough, something that’s usually a treat had made it to my bowl last night. It was good, and my belly felt a lot better afterwards. The old man is a pretty decent cook. Maybe I’ll have some this morning, too. But for now, I have to take care of some business, and quick!

The urgency kicks me into overdrive, and I manage to get outside before any accidents take place. Guess my rock hard belly does have its limits.

It’s strange, but I can’t help but feel like the old man’s sweet bar was responsible for me getting sick. That wouldn’t make sense though, especially sense the old man loves them so much. They can’t make you feel like this…could they?

Author:

Jason Duron is a short story writer and author of several fiction stories.  Curious and lovable as dogs can be, the Adventures of Rocky give you a chance to see daily life from a “dog’s eye view” and share in their thoughts.  Please enjoy, and we hope that you’ll feel free to comment and give us insight into your dog’s very own Rocky Adventures.

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Who Else Sees The Change?

Something that we don’t always realize about our dog is that they are so reliable. Like the sun is to rise, or a quality watch made by a craftsman would tick forever, dogs are beasts of reliability. Not just for the fact that they are always there for us when we need their love and affection, like a comforting lick to awaken us or a cheerful yap as when it’s time for a walk, but all the things in a dog’s life are subject to habit. Feeding time, bedtime, potty time, and even playtime are all a part of a dog’s schedule. So when things change, not because you move or change diet, but often just plain out of the blue, it’s time to pay close attention, because your dog might not be quite themselves.

Food for me, not so hungry

Animals, dogs included, have the ultimate will to survive, hence the reason they are often so eager to gobble up those messy crumbs and scraps that fall to the kitchen floor. They may even be clever enough to sneak a roll from the dinner plate when you aren’t looking (mine always does). But the most obvious sign that something is wrong is when your dog begins to miss their meal.

For any dog, meal time is important, so the lack of hunger can be a dead giveaway that a problem needs to be addressed. Of course, the lack of hunger could mean one of many things. Perhaps they managed to get into the garbage and snacked on something that upset their stomach or they may have come down with an ailment from worm problems that are weakening or sickening their body. Regardless, lethargic problems are nothing for a pet owner to overlook.

Lethargy becomes apparent

Compounding problems that may also surface, especially when eating is already posing a problem, is the lack of activity, longer periods of sleep, and even more acute signs such as vomiting or bleeding. These signs are often the warning of an onset of far more serious problems. Although they are far easier to spot as signs become extreme, it is vital to a dog’s health that you catch them as early as possible.

That is why your attention to your dog’s behavior is elemental in providing a healthy life for them. Many dogs will push themselves to please their owners until they can no longer physically continue. Dogs are amazing creatures, living only to love, but this can often make it difficult to spot problems early on.

Limping or lack of eating are often the first signs of trouble in any case. A minor injury could cause a limp, but it should never be overlooked. Physical inspection could provide a simple problem, like a sticker in their paw or even the onset of arthritis. But, every owner should be prepared to take the utmost care of their companion. Eating problems can surface from many issues and may only be temporary. People get stomach aches on occasion, even if it’s from eating too much. Missing a meal is a warning, but when they miss several, something may be very wrong.

Sleeping too much

One of the things that many owners often don’t take notice of is oversleeping. We spend time at work, time with friends, and even time with our computers, so it can be difficult spending time with our dogs. This of course presents our dog with plenty of opportunity to sleep and possibly be bored, regardless of their fairly active nature. Sad as it may sound, dogs do still find ways to entertain themselves when we aren’t looking (chewing on the baseboards, chasing the cat around the house, or hiding the remote). But, when a dog begins to sleep excessively, such as during an opportunity to go for a walk or chase the ball, this can often be a definite sign that serious problems are present. Many worms, intestinal and cardiovascular, can cause dogs to become lethargic and lack energy and stamina. Serious onsets of arthritis can also cause dogs to refrain from moving as much. Excessive sleep and the avoidance of activity with you are possible signs that your dog is ill.

Don’t overlook changes in your dog’s habits. Every day, they get up, eat, play, love, and sleep. Every owner should be able to know their companion well enough to see that something has changed, whether it’s an extreme change such as a change in choice of diet or something as trivial as their choice of sleeping location. It’s important to pay attention to what your dog does, so that when something changes, you’ll know the difference.

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