How to Keep Your Dog Healthy
Is your dog sleeping in more than usual? It’s normal to worry about your pet’s health when they seem out of it. Maybe you want to add a new member to your family. You can find tips on how to keep your dog healthy with some research. Whatever reason you have, know that your pet relies on you for nutrition and maintenance.
Many factors determine your pet’s health condition. What do you feed your dog? When last did you have a grooming session? How about exercise? Your answers to these questions will point you to your dog’s needs. Many dog owners want their pets healthy and happy.
To achieve this, read on to find out how to keep your dog healthy.
Like humans, dogs need exercise to stay in good shape. Ideally, they require up to two hours of activity daily. However, the levels depend on the breed, tolerance, and age. Without fitness activities, many dogs become bored and exhibit disruptive behavior. Sometimes, they develop symptoms of anxiety and behavioral disorders.
Determine your dog’s exercise limits by trying out activities like running, walking, cycling, and swimming. The best part is that you can also get some workouts done with your dog. Observe signs of fatigue like wheezing and heavy panting while exercising. Stay away from outdoor exercises on hot days. Try indoor activities and games in harsh weather.
Provide Nutritious Meals
A poor diet causes bloating and health problems, so people eat clean to stay strong and fit. Your pet also deserves nourishing meals for good health. Good food keeps the coat and skin flexible and smooth. If you notice scabs and dandruff, switch the current diet for a balanced one.
Find out which tastes your pet prefers and shop accordingly. From raw dog food to treats, you can find different healthy food choices in pet stores. Many companies provide dog food samples for customers to try before purchasing. They even provide fresh dog food delivery services. However, avoid feeding cooked food to your pets unless stated by package directions. Many vets believe cooked animal bones and meats can harm your dog’s digestive tract.
Keeping your dog safe also involves protecting them from conditions like heartworm disease. The parasitic infection spread by mosquitoes affects their hearts and lungs. Many veterinary doctors recommend vaccination every three years to prevent high mortality diseases like distemper and parvovirus. Younger puppies require more shots in the first weeks of their lives.
All dogs receive core vaccines for protection against fatal infections like rabies which also affects humans. Other shots depend on lifestyle habits and geographic location. Dogs that spend time outdoors risk contracting Lyme disease, an infection spread by ticks. Consider taking a titer test to check your pet’s immunity levels before scheduling a vaccination.
Keep Your Dog’s Teeth Clean
Healthy gums should look pink like the dog’s skin. With feeding and doctor visits to worry about, it’s easy to forget about your pet’s dental hygiene until you notice bad breath. Poor canine health causes mouth odor in dogs. Many vets report that bad breath and plaque buildup cause defects in the heart, liver, and kidneys.
A young puppy’s teeth darken the older it grows. Check your dog’s gums and take note of new adult teeth coming out. Talk to your dog gently and lift the sides of the mouth to brush the teeth. Many pet stores stick dog-friendly toothbrushes and toothpaste. If your canine squirms at the brush, use your finger to clean the mouth.
You might think only fancy dogs need grooming. However, frequent grooming keeps germs and diseases away. Fortunately, you only need to bathe your dog a few times a week, depending on the breed. Your pet might require more baths because of conditions like allergies. Some species require daily brushing to detangle matted hair. Other dogs with shorter hair need weekly brushes.
The nails also require frequent trimming since they grow fast. Overgrown nails can develop into sores, making it difficult to walk or run. There are many styles of safe dog nail clippers you can purchase. Consult your vet for tips if you’re worried about hurting the paws. You can also try filing the nails instead. Clean the ears daily to remove bacteria and excess ear wax. Don’t forget to get a haircut from professional groomers.
Schedule a Visit to the Vet
Beyond vaccinations, pets need regular physical examinations to test for intestinal parasites and other chronic infections. No matter how careful you are with your dog’s wellbeing, you require professional eyes to detect conditions out of your control. Early diagnosis can save your pet’s life in the case of deadly diseases.
Your dog’s vet doctor can also provide tips to help you raise your puppy better. Older dogs require frequent vet visits every six months due to their delicate health.
Depending on the breed of your dog, they may also have hereditary conditions that make them more vulnerable to certain health problems in their senior years. If you have an aging or senior dog, insurance for your dog can give you the peace of mind of knowing you can help provide your pet with the best veterinary care possible – whether they’re suffering from a chronic illness or an unexpected injury.
Look Out for Warning Signs
If only we could speak to our dogs. You would understand their needs better and find out quickly if they feel sick. Unfortunately, this is not the case. It’s imperative to observe your pet for warning signs of ill health. Look out for symptoms like lethargy, diarrhea, and excessive salivation in your dog, and visit a vet immediately.