The dogs in our lives are truly members of the family. As such, it is important to make sure that we are doing everything we can to keep them healthy and happy. Here are some important tips to keep in mind:
Provide the Correct Food
With so many dog food options available today, choosing the right one can be confusing. It is important to select a food that fits the nutritional and lifestyle needs of your specific dog. Your dog’s overall health, appearance and even temperament depend heavily upon his or her diet. Puppies, young adult dogs, and senior dogs all have different nutritional requirements. Additionally, dogs that have specific health issues also have different nutritional needs which must be met. When in doubt, consult with your veterinarian, since he or she is the person most familiar with your pet’s individual nutritional needs.
Provide Appropriate Exercise
Exercise is more important to a dog’s overall health and longevity than many people realize. Busy lifestyles can often make it a challenge to provide dogs with the exercise they require in order to stay healthy and happy. Regular walks and play periods are critical parts of your dog’s daily schedule. Exercise can help run off a puppy’s excess energy, but even senior dogs require a certain amount of daily activity in order to maintain good health and a positive mental attitude. Different breeds of dogs also have different needs for physical activity. Your veterinarian can help you determine a good daily exercise routine that will be a good match for your dog’s age and breed.
Pay Attention to Your Dog
Since we cannot simply ask our dog how he or she feels, it is important to pay close attention to body language. By doing so, we can become more attuned to how our pet behaves on a normal day. As a result, it will be easier to pick up on even small signals that something is not quite right. For example, a slight change in your dog’s eating or activity habits can be an early indicator of disease or other issues. By observing these signs early, your veterinarian will have a better chance of intervening and restoring your dog to good health.
Stay Current on Vaccinations and Vet Visits
Keeping your dog’s vaccinations on a schedule is an important part of his or her health and well-being. Your dog should not fall behind on vaccinations. Visiting the veterinarian on a regular basis is the best way to make sure you do not accidentally fall behind on your dog’s vaccination schedule. Your veterinarian can also provide guidance in regards to spaying and neutering your pet. Regular veterinary visits are also a great way to make sure that any potential problems are detected and treated early, providing a better chance for successful treatment. Regular vet visits can help prevent more serious problems that may end up requiring a trip to the animal hospital.
Protect Your Dog from Parasites
Parasites can be extremely detrimental to a dog’s health. Fleas, ticks and heartworms can all wreak havoc on a dog’s overall well-being, and in some cases, can even result in fatalities. Although there are numerous over-the-counter products available in stores, your veterinarian is best equipped to choose the safest and most effective products for your dog.
By following these tips, paying attention to your dog, and following the good advice of your veterinarian, your dog will have the best chance for a long, healthy, and happy life.