5 Health Care Tips For Your Boxer

Boxer dogs are an intelligent breed of dog and they enjoy being around humans. Although boxer dogs typically have a life-span of about 9 to 12 years, there are several health problems that your boxer may experience. One of the most common problem boxers experience is a condition known as hip dysplasia, which can cause a variety of problems as the dog ages. There are several routine things you can do to help keep your boxer healthy, including getting his shots, watching his diet and ensuring he gets plenty of exercise.Tips For Your Boxer
Vaccinations Help Prevent Life-Threatening Illnesses
One of the most important things you can do to keep your boxer healthy is by getting him vaccinated. Without the protection of vaccinations your boxer is susceptible to a host of life-threatening illnesses. For example, boxers that are under the age of 20 weeks have a higher death rate if they contract Parvo. It is important to get the vet record of your boxer from his breeder. This record will show when he had his first set of DHHP shots and when he was last de-wormed. All puppies should have their first round of shots well before the age of 20 weeks. The vaccinations you boxer should have after his first round of shots include:
A 4 in 1 vaccine, which includes protection against Hepatitis, Parvovirus, distemper and Parainfluenza
Bordatella is required if you intend to put your boxer in doggie camps, competitions, boarding and/or kenneling
The vet will also give a boxer puppy his first round of heartworm medications as well as flea and tick prevention. Heartworm vaccines can protect the dog for up to six months, but they are not administered until he reaches adult weight.
Healthy Diet
It is important to feed your boxer a healthy diet. If you change his food it should be introduced gradually to prevent digestive problems and to allow time to determine if he is having an allergic reaction to a particular food. Boxers are known to be susceptible to Gastric Torsion due to their deep chest. It is important to feed your dog smaller portions throughout the day as opposed to three large meals. This condition is painful for your dog, so feeding in smaller portions will allow easier digestion, which reduces the pain. Make sure your boxer has plenty of fresh water throughout the day and do not allow his food to sit longer than 30 minutes after he walks away from it.
Allergic Rashes
Allergic rashes are common in boxers. One of the most common type of rashes is dermodicosis, which is a non-contagious form of mange. It is important to give your boxer a weekly bath with conditioning shampoo to keep his skin from drying out. Brush daily to remove excess hair and make sure to brush close to the skin to prevent hair from clumping, which causes him to scratch and may lead to skin abrasions. If your boxer continues to have skin irritations he should be examined by the vet to determine if there are other allergies that may be present.
Importance of Exercise
One of the best things you can do for the health of your boxer is to help him get plenty of exercise. Boxers are an intelligent breed and they require a great deal of stimulation. While they are puppies, it is important to keep the puppy as calm as possible and prevent overexercising to reduce the risk of hip dysplasia. As your boxer ages, he should have two walks each day to help keep his bones strong as well as introduce him to other dogs and humans. Your should wait at least an hour after he eats before taking him for a walk to help prevent his stomach from bloating.
Breathing Problems
Boxers have a brachycephalic appearance, which means their muzzle is small and flattened. This causes the nasal passages to be smaller than normal, which can cause a variety of problems. One of the most common problems is narrowed airways, which makes it difficult for them to get enough air when breathing through the nose. In some situations this problem may require surgical corrections. A boxers shortened nose also often causes snoring or loud breathing.
It is important to keep an eye on your boxer while he is out in the heat. Their short nose often makes breathing difficult during hotter weather and they are prone to heatstroke. Always have fresh water available for your dog and make sure to take him for regular checkups with the vet to prevent any possible health problems.
+Neil Kilgore is a dog lover and the Jack (Russell) of all trades at Greenfield Puppies in Lancaster Pa. He regularly blogs about breeders and dog care tips on the Greenfield Puppies website.
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