How to Keep Your Dog Healthy: Not sure what you should be doing to keep your dog healthy? We put together fifteen pet care tips for your dog.
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Dogs are part of the family in 38.4% of households, but simply adopting a dog doesn’t automatically make you a pet expert.
Learning how to keep your dog healthy is an important part of pet ownership. Your dog is happier and has a longer life when you provide proper care and love.
Prevention is a key part of your pet’s health care routine. Preventing health problems keeps your dog from unnecessary pain. It also saves you money on vet bills and medications to help treat conditions that develop.
Enriching the quality of your pet’s life is also important. A happy, stimulated pet may live longer than one that is mistreated or lacks affection and stimulation.
Keep these tips in mind to help your dog stay healthy.
A dog’s diet affects weight, skin, hair, and eyes on your pup. Your dog’s immune system also needs quality pet food to do its job.
Pet food brands vary significantly in ingredients and nutrients. The dog food has the most of the first few ingredients listed on the packaging. Look for food with vegetables and meat rather than meat by-products in those first few ingredients.
Choosing pet food varies based on your dog’s needs and reactions to different brands. Some pets may not do well on certain dog foods. Monitor physical signs, such as energy levels, the appearance of the coat, and weight fluctuations to determine if the food is a good match.
Once you settle on a brand of dog food, stick with it. Dog food changes can cause digestive issues. Measure out the recommended amount per day instead of leaving a large bowl where your dog can eat as much as he wants.
Another part of your dog’s diet is avoiding potentially lethal or dangerous foods. Never let your dog eat chocolate or xylitol.
Even fruits and veggies can be dangerous to your pup. Skip avocado, citrus, grapes, and raisins. Other foods to avoid include onions, garlic, chives, bones, raw meat, and nuts, especially macadamia nuts.
Annual vet visits establish a baseline and let your vet spot changes that could indicate a health problem. Your vet will check weight and vitals and record that information, which can then be used as a reference if there are health concerns down the road.
Those vet visits help your vet spot health concerns. Diagnosing issues early can increase the success rate of the treatment so your pet can stay healthier and live longer. Your vet might also notice some warning signs before an actual disease or health condition sets in, letting you reverse the progress of the condition with simple changes.
Typical pet well visits happen at least once a year. In the puppy stage, expect to visit the vet more frequently, especially when your pet gets early vaccinations. You may also need to make more trips to the vet if you have a senior dog.
Routine vaccinations protect your pup from preventable diseases, including parvo, distemper, and rabies. Initial pet vaccinations take place early in life, with the series finishing up at around four months.
Your pup needs regular vaccinations every few years to ensure immunity remains high. Check with your vet for a specific schedule of vaccinations for your dog. Don’t miss out on any vaccinations, as they keep your pet healthy and may be required by your city.
Regular exercise keeps your dog’s heart and lungs strong, develops muscle, supports digestion, and helps maintain a healthy weight. Routine exercise can also prevent your pet from being destructive at home. Make sure your pet gets exercise every day.
If you have a safe backyard area, get your pet active there. Walking around the neighborhood is another easy way to get in exercise. Check for local dog parks as an alternative option and a way to socialize your dog with other canines.
Vitamins and minerals are vital to your pet’s health. The nutrients help ensure a healthy coat and skin, support brain health, improve immunity, and support the heart and digestive system.
Adding a multivitamin to your pet’s routine can ensure he gets the necessary vitamins and minerals. Soft chew multivitamins like the ones from Innovet are easy for your dog to eat so you can ensure he gets the vitamins.
The ideal weight for your pup depends on breed and age. Check with your vet to get a target weight range for your dog.
Dogs can become overweight due to eating too much. Not getting enough exercise also increases the chances of your pup being overweight.
Excess weight in a dog can cause health problems, including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Being overweight can also shorten your pet’s life expectancy.
Stay on top of flea and tick treatments to keep your dog comfortable and healthy. Check with your vet to get recommendations on the best type of parasite prevention. Topical treatments go directly onto the skin on the back of the neck. You can also get flea and tick collars for your pet to wear.
Just like your dental hygiene is important, your pet’s teeth also need routine care for overall health. Dogs can develop periodontal disease just like humans, and it’s the most common type of dental condition in pets.
That gum disease can lead to additional health problems in your pooch. Your dog might have a higher risk of disease in the heart, kidney, or liver.
Brush your dog’s teeth regularly to get rid of food particles and bacteria that can lead to tooth decay or gum disease. Daily brushing is ideal, but if you can’t manage it that frequently, aim for at least a few times a week.
Grooming keeps your pup looking great, but it can also help him stay healthy. Cutting long hair can keep your dog cool and comfortable.
Brushing helps remove loose fur, dirt, and dandruff, which keeps the coat healthier. It also helps distribute natural oils from the skin throughout the fur. While you’re grooming, use the time to inspect your pet close up to look for problems.
If your dog lives indoors, shelter shouldn’t be an issue. Offer a soft place to sleep, such as a dog bed or kennel with soft materials in the bottom.
Outdoor dogs need quality shelter in case of bad weather. Choose a dog house that’s large enough for your pet to fit inside comfortably. When it gets hot or there’s a chance of storms, let your dog inside your home or into another safe area.
Spaying or neutering your dog not only prevents overpopulation, but it also may help cut down on the risks of some canine cancers. This includes canine breast cancer in female dogs, which has a 50% rate of being fatal. The simple surgery can also cut down on aggressive behaviors, especially in male dogs.
Playing is beneficial to your pup for physical exercise and mental perks. Playing with other pups helps socialize your dog, which can improve overall behavior and health. It can also bring joy to your pet, which can increase longevity.
Schedule playdates with other dog owners to encourage canine play. Engage in a classic game of fetch with your pup for regular play opportunities at home. Even inside your home, you can use dog toys to keep your dog active and engaged.
Many dog play options also stimulate the brain. One option is a food or treat-dispensing toy that your dog has to roll or move to release the food. Another idea is a dog obstacle course outdoors.
Proper training from an early age helps improve your dog’s behavior. Training him to follow your commands can keep him safe in dangerous situations.
Say your pup gets off his leash. If he knows he command “come” or “sit,” you may be able to stop him before he runs into traffic or gets lost.
Dogs show unconditional love to owners. Doing the same in return can help your canine feel happier. That love may help your dog live longer.
Petting and cuddling with your pup is an easy way to show affection. Talk in a kind voice to your pet.
Don’t wait for your vet to monitor your pet’s wellness. Pay attention to physical signs of a potential problem on a regular basis. Note anything that changes or looks unhealthy on your pet, especially in the skin, coat, eyes, ears, and nose.
If you notice any unusual or concerning symptoms, call your vet instead of waiting to see if it gets worse. Waiting delays the treatment, which can make it less effective and cost you more money.
How to Keep Your Dog Healthy
Figuring out how to keep your dog healthy is part of the job when you own a canine.
Regular care, healthy behaviors, and checking in on concerning symptoms helps your pup stay healthier longer. Check out more of our blog posts for more ideas on how to improve your life.