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Dog Medicine: Tips for Giving Your Furry Friend a Long and Healthy Life

26 9:32:23
People care about their pets and they are increasingly concerned about their health. According to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association, about 63 percent of American households have a pet. These pet owners were expected to spend a whopping $45.5 billion on their pets in 2009, which is twice what they spent a decade ago.

With that kind of investment in their pets, it抯 smart to try to keep them healthy by providing them with some over-the-counter pet medications and healthcare products.

-Clenz-A-Dent PlaqueOff is a food additive for cats and dogs that improves their oral hygiene. While many people do not brush their pet抯 teeth, they can sprinkle this seaweed (ascophyllum nodosum) on their pet抯 wet or dry food once a day to fight plaque and tartar and freshen their breath. It takes from three to eight weeks to see some improvement. A jar of PlaqueOff will last about eight months for a dog weighing less than 20 pounds or a cat; about four months for a dog between 20 and 50 pounds, and two months for a dog over 50 pounds.

-Arthogen is a chewable oral glucosamine/chondroitin supplement to keep your dog抯 joints healthy. It can also be used to treat osteoarthritis or other painful conditions. The chewable tablets contain 500 milligrams of glucosamine, 400 milligrams of chondroitin sulfate, 33 milligrams of vitamin C and 5 milligrams of manganese. It can take four to six weeks to see any improvement, but once the maximum improvement is reached, you can put the dog on a maintenance schedule.

-Forti Flora is a nutritional supplement you can give your dog or cat to treat diarrhea. Both formulas (one for cats and one for dogs) contain a probiotic that promotes normal intestinal microflora and a normal immune system. Each contains high levels of antioxidant vitamins A, E and C. It can treat diarrhea brought on by stressful situations (such as a new home or being boarded), a change in diet, eating something inappropriate or antibiotic therapy.

-For the opposite effect, give Vetasyl to reduce constipation in dogs and cats. This natural fiber is highly palatable and easy to administer. Made of husks and barley malt, Vetasyl is also recommended as a natural dietary fiber for cats. Cotents of the capsules are sprinkled on the pet抯 food.

-Anxitane (L-Theanine) Chewable Tablets for dogs and cats is an over-the-counter medication to reduce signs of nervousness, anxiety or responses to stress. The stressor may be humans or noises.

-LickGuard can be used when your pet won抰 stop licking an area of his body. This all-natural, unpleasant tasting ointment aims to discourage licking that can irritate the skin or break open suture lines.

-If your elderly dog or cat is showing signs of senility, you may want to consider Senilife in order to improve the quality of life. This nutritional supplement helps elderly pets overcome confusion, depression, dysthymia, overly aggressiveness, anxiety and other phobic states. This pill is given once a day for one to two months. It is suggested you contact your veterinarian if you want to continue treatment beyond two months.

-For pets that suffer from acute ear infections due to bacterial and yeast infections, try a once-a-day ear drop treatment called Zymox Otic. You should not pre-clean or clean the pet抯 ear while using Zymox Otic as this can disrupt the biological system and the treatment may not work. It also should not be used along with other topical ear treatments. Zymox Otic contains natural bio-active enzymes and can be used for extended times or preventatively.

-Cat Lax is an oral formula containing Cod liver oil, vitamins and other ingredients to eliminate and prevent the development of hair balls in cats. Many cats like the flavor of Cat Lax, but if yours does not, squeeze about a half-inch of Cat Lax from the tube and place it on your cat抯 paw (assuming a normal sized, adult cat). He will ingest it while cleaning his paw and become accustomed to the taste. Use it once a day to treat hairballs and just two to three times a week to prevent them.

-Protect your dog or cat from fleas, ticks and lice by shampooing them with Adams Flea & Tick Shampoo. It will quickly kill the pests while it cleans and deodorizes the pet抯 coat. It can be used on puppies and kittens 12 weeks or older.

-If your dog seems to be shedding more than usual, consider using FURminator de Shedding Shampoo. Its vitamins, proteins and Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids protect against excess shedding.

Although these medications are available without a prescription, it is always wise to discuss them with the pet抯 veterinarian.