Irish Wolfhound, Great Dane, Saint Bernard, Mastiff, Rottweiler, Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd – these are just some of the large breed dogs. They make wonderful pets and have become favorites. But how challenging can their care be, considering their bulk and weight? Large dog care requires some special consideration and takes a lot of work and time. Here are some factors you need to look into when having a dog as your pet:
Large breed dogs need high-quality food, consisting of the necessary nutritional balance to aid in metabolism and the additives for their joints. The sizes of the food must promote proper chewing and satisfaction. The age, weight, and activity level are to be considered in choosing dog food. Large dogs mature slowly but grow big rapidly. Don’t overfeed because obesity is much more harmful to large breed dogs. Carrying their weight is already stressful to their joints, which can increase with obesity. They are also prone to heart disease.
Certain medical conditions are more common among large breed dogs. Hip dysplasia, or unstable joints, is a hereditary condition where the joint degenerates, causing pain and abnormal gait. Osteoarthritis is again caused by the large bulk and weight giving much stress to the joints. Bone cancer is often found in large breed dogs, and this develops first in the leg and then to the other organs. When large breed dogs lose hair, are lethargic and gains weight, they have hyperthyroidism. They are often struck with heart disease resulting in inadequate pumping of blood to their bodies. Annual visits to the veterinarian for check-up and vaccinations may arrest occurrence of or ease the pain caused by these medical conditions.
Frequent exercise checks obesity and can prevent or treat most of the medical problems among large dogs. When dogs are bored, anxious and restless, they tend to be destructive of the yard or house. These can be prevented with regular exercise. During hot weather, early morning and late at night are the best times for exercise because the midday heat can be fatal.
Large dog care includes training. Injury can be prevented. It will teach them good manners like no jumping on adults and toddlers alike. It will teach the dogs how to interact with people so that aggression is minimized. It will also train them to interact with other dogs for herding and jealous behavior often lead to dog fights.
Large breed dogs, due to their size, must be bathed outdoors with a handheld sprayer for the shower. To avoid untangling hair after bath, comb long- haired dogs prior to bath. Head, ears and neck are washed first so that any fleas will not move there once the body is being cleaned. Plugging the ears with cider vinegar-dipped cotton balls will prevent water from entering the ears during bath. Short haired dogs are combed once or twice a week. Long-haired coats are brushed daily.
To help large dogs eat comfortably and prevent them from gulping air, an elevated dog feeder is supplied. Collars must be wide enough not to cut into their skin and the leash strong enough to resist breaking from the strength of the dog pulls. Toys for the large breed dog need to be big and durable to avoid choking. There’s also a wide selection of dog beds made just for large breeds online that you can check out, since it’s important for large dogs to be able to sleep comfortably, lest you want yours to develop joint pains.
Large dog care entails more effort and attention. Their large size belies their slow maturation and short life span which require special care. However, being faithful to providing correct care in feeding, bathing, exercise and medical issues are worth the happy, loyal and devoted dog companions.