The Whats and Hows of Pet Medication: Keep Your Pooch Healthy and Happy

As a dog owner, you need to make your pet’s health and happiness a top priority. This includes making your home more pet friendly, feeding your pooch only high-quality food, providing tons of exercise, taking care of grooming, performing regular inspections for fleas and ticks and taking your furry friend to the veterinary regularly. 

Still, no matter how well you take care of your dog, he can sometimes get sick. Considering the fact that canines cannot tell you that they’re in pain and the kind of symptoms they experience, you need to be aware of the signs the most common diseases have to ensure your pet gets timely treatment. 

Common signals that your dog may have a health problem include: change in urination and bowel movements, increased drinking, bad breath or drooling, reduced activity, appetite change, sleeping more than usual, difficulty climbing stairs, dry or itchy skin, coughing and sneezing, and red or cloudy eyes. If your dog experiences any of these issues, take him to the veterinarian. Remember that when taking your dog to the vet, make sure you have the right carrier to ensure your and his safety while driving. 

After a thorough examination, bloodwork and other tests, and based on your dog’s medical condition, the vet might prescribe medication to manage, treat or cure the problem.  

What Medications Does a Dog Need?

Nowadays, you can find a variety of pet meds available on the market. The following medications are recommended by veterinarians for treating the most common diseases in dogs. 

Antibiotics 

Dogs with bacterial illnesses are routinely given this medication. Examples include Metronidazole and Doxycycline. 

Antiparasitics

A medicine used to treat diseases in dogs caused by parasites such as roundworms and threadworms. Ivermectin is one of the most common antiparasitics prescribed. 

Antifungals 

Overgrowth of yeast in the ears and on the skin, which can be exacerbated by humidity and heat, can result in irritation and inflammation. The veterinarian will prescribe Ketoconazole or another antifungal medicine to get rid of the fungal infection rapidly and effectively. 

Steroids 

Due to the overuse of steroids by sportsmen, the word “steroids” has lately acquired a negative connotation. However, Corticosteroids like Prednisone, when taken appropriately and as prescribed by a veterinarian, can help with inflammation, cancer, and other symptoms.

Pain Relievers 

As the name suggests, pain relievers are prescribed to reduce the intensity of pain which can be caused by injury, infection, chronic disease or some other cause. Tramadol is a common pain reliever prescribed to treat chronic pain in dogs caused by arthritis or cancer, as well as post-operative and injury-related discomfort.

Prescribed Pet Medication vs Over the Counter Pet Medication 

Some pet medications are extremely strong and can have serious side effects if not administered correctly; such medications require a valid prescription. They are mostly pain relievers, quick relievers, and sedative medications, thus you should not buy them without a vet prescription. Potent analgesics and antibiotics, antiseizure pharmaceuticals, blood pressure medications, antidepressants, and blood thinning and clotting agents are all examples of such pet medications.

Over the counter pet medications, on the other hand, are generally less strong drugs that have a defined dose restriction to provide brief relief from itching, worms, and parasites. Examples of over the counter pet med include eye and ear cleaning solutions, dewormers, and parasite preventives. Note that you shouldn’t give a human drug to your pet in any circumstance. This applies to Tylenol and Pepto Bismol.

If you’re wondering if you can order pet meds without a vet prescription, unless it’s not an over the counter product, you’re going to need one. Beware of online pharmacies claiming a prescription isn’t necessary for buying pet meds online. All of these online deals may be attractive, but they are also quite dangerous, so be cautious when picking an internet store to buy pet medications without a prescription.

This doesn’t mean you can’t shop for pet prescriptions online. There is a number of reputable online pharmacies that you can trust and there are signs that can point you in the right direction. For one, before processing any medicine order, a legitimate online pet pharmacy will always require a prescription from a veterinarian. 

You can also check all of the information on the website carefully. It’s a good idea to avoid sites that aren’t based in Australia. It’s common to see websites from other countries selling counterfeit and expired medications. Another red flag is if you can’t find any physical contact information on the website, such as a phone number or address.

Last but not least, if the deals a site offers are significantly cheaper than the competition, the medicine is more likely to be of questionable quality or origin. Plus, if you place an order and the site sends you drugs that you didn’t purchase or that don’t seem like what your pet usually takes, don’t give them to your pet and call the authorities right away.

Managing Your Dog’s Medication

Keep in mind that some medications can have side effects such as vomiting, low appetite and diarrhea. If your dog starts to experience any of these symptoms, contact your vet for advice. 

It’s also very important that you understand that even if your pet recovers and the illness appears to be gone, you must still complete the whole course of medication. Discontinuing pet medication early can put your pet in danger of becoming ill again. Administer the entire course of the medication for the benefit of your pet’s health. 

When it comes to the best way to give your pet his medication, hiding capsules and pills in his favourite food is probably the easiest way. The trick is to get your pet so thrilled about the food that he consumes it right away, along with the medication. This will prevent your dog from biting into the medicine and experiencing the unpleasant flavour.

However, consult your veterinarian before using any human food. This is because some drugs can have interactions with certain meals. Tetracycline antibiotic tablets, for example, should not be hidden in dairy products. Some of the medication is bound up with the calcium in the dairy product, so the dose will be less effective.  Aside from food, you can also use pill pockets to ride your pet’s medication. These are commercially marketed easy-to-use treats that have a hole sized just suitable for concealing medicine. Available in a variety of tastes, pill pockets are nutritionally balanced and have less sodium and sugar than regular meals. Just make sure the pill pocket you get is for dogs because pill pockets are also available for cats. 

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