The routine care you give your puppy/dog is the number one way to ensure he/she remains healthy throughout his/her entire life.
Added bonus: They will help prevent unnecessary vet bills.
Though Ridgebacks are fairly low maintenance dogs, one thing that you must maintain regularly is their NAILS. They need weekly to bi-weekly clippings. For puppies it is important to keep on a regular schedule; their nails are small and soft so it’s often advised to use nail clippers. Be careful not to clip into the quick (if you do, it will bleed, use corn starch or Kwik Stop, which you can buy in pet supply places/catalogs) and dab it on with a Q-tip). For older puppies and adult dogs, we recommend a Dremel as it grinds the nails. It’s much faster than clippers and it’s easier to avoid hitting the quick. If you are familiar with dremeling nails it is okay to use the grinder on your eight-week-old puppy. These puppies have had their nails dremeled since they were two weeks old, and are used to the vibrations, so I HIGHLY recommend investing in one.
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Check the pup’s ears frequently, especially those that spend a lot of time playing outside. Because our breed’s ears fold over the ear canal, moisture and debris can be trapped within the ear. Moist ears often attract yeast. Cleaning the ears every few weeks or after swimming is a good idea. Virbac makes a nonirritating cleanser that covers all ear care needs (Epi-Otic Advanced). Please only use cotton balls as Q-tips can cause serious damage to your dog’s ears.
80% of dogs have some degree of periodontal disease by age 3. Routine dental care and check-ups can greatly reduce this risk. Teeth brushing is a must, as research indicates that oral problems eventually lead to problems in other organs of the dog. Start with your finger and massage the puppy’s gums while they are teething and to get them use to regular dental care. Eventually you will need to switch to a dog toothbrush and use ONLY pet toothpaste! Most dogs like the poultry flavored kind, and these items can be purchased anywhere from your local pet store to your vet to online. Brush at least a couple times a week.