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Keeping Medium-Sized Dogs Healthy

Medium-sized dogs can play like bigger dogs, which appeals to many owners, but can still be lap dogs and are the perfect size between small and large breed dogs. They require balanced nutrition, regular exercise, mental stimulation, and routine health care. For medium-sized dogs, there are definitely things to consider with respect to their care.

 

The Life Expectancy of Medium-Sized Dogs

A medium-sized dog lives anywhere from 12 to 15 years. They have the same life expectancy as small dog breeds, but age slower than the larger breeds. Some of them live longer depending on genetics, as well as the preventative care and nutrition they receive during their life. 

 

Frequent Health Issues

Some frequent health issues you see with medium-sized dogs involve the eyes, skin, joints, or heart. With the joints, it’s common to see hip and elbow dysplasia in dogs who are on the heavier side of the weight range, and patellar luxation in dogs within the smaller weight range. As for eye diseases, you see cataracts and cherry eye, entropion, and retinal disorders, as well as glaucoma and reduced tear production.

The skin conditions that medium-sized dogs may have are mange, allergies, skin and ear infections, and skin cancer. Sometimes medium-sized dogs might develop hormone imbalances like hypothyroid or diabetes, epilepsy, bladder stones, disc herniation, kidney or liver dysfunction, or heart murmurs because of inherited heart diseases.

 

Who Are Medium-sized Dogs?

The medium-sized dog ranges from 20 to 60 pounds. Some are bigger or smaller depending on their genetics and gender. The hound, terrier, sporting, non-sporting and working breed groups are often in this size category. Dogs like the pit bull, Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Shepherd, Basset Hound, Border Collie,  beagle, Cocker Spaniel, Siberian Husky, standard poodle, Welsh Corgi, and whippet are all included in this category.

 

The Stages of Life for Medium-Sized Dogs

Each stage of life has certain requirements to make sure the health of medium-sized dogs is maintained. When they are puppies, make sure your home is safe for your exploring young dog. Remove small objects that can be swallowed, and prevent access to pools or steps by using dog gates. Provide safe spaces like crates for your puppy to sleep in, and this will make sure they’re not getting into trouble when you are not watching them. This also helps with potty training. Make sure you choose a crate with removable dividers that are adjustable as your dog grows.

The nutritional needs of these puppies begin with the nursing mother and her milk, or being bottle-fed with a milk replacer. They are weaned gradually and then transitioned to a well-balanced puppy diet food that’s labeled for development and growth.

At first, medium-sized puppies need to be fed three times per day and then reduced to 2 servings per day by 10 weeks of age. Remember, this is an individual process.  Some dogs take longer and some take less time, so be patient.

If your dog is on a well-balanced puppy diet, it should not need any additional supplements. Possible joint and muscle problems may be created if additional minerals and vitamins are given during bone development. A probiotic supplement may be added to their food to help with the formation of feces if your puppy has diarrhea. Generally, health care guidelines for medium-sized dogs are like those of small or large dogs.

 

Appropriate Vet Care is Important

For vet care, a vet should examine your dog as soon as he is adopted, to determine their health status and whether they have any hereditary or developmental conditions. During this visit, it’s normal for your vet to perform fecal testing for parasites and administer deworming medication, vaccinations, and preventative medication.

Vaccinations need to begin at 6 to 8 weeks old and be repeated each 3 to 4 weeks until 16 weeks of age. The initial round of vaccines is for distemper, hepatitis, influenza, parvo, and rabies.

A good dental routine should also be established which includes teeth brushing. After their adult teeth have come through, have them spayed or neutered. Tick and flea preventative medication can be started after your puppy’s first visit for vaccinations. Heartworm should be started at that time as well. 

 

What Else Do They Need?

Regular outside walks provide mental stimulation and exercise and help with successful potty training. In order to avoid behavioral problems, puppies need to be socialized early, and also puppies can start to be trained as early as eight weeks of age.

Despite our efforts to care for our dogs, there may come a time later in life when their quality of life declines. It’s a confusing time and you may need your veterinarian to help you navigate. 

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