5 Tips for a Healthy Dog

August 5, 2012

Our dogs can’t tell us what they need or how they are feeling, so we have to be their eyes and ears in order to keep them on the path to good health.  Prevention is always better than treating an illness or condition.  If you follow the suggestions below, you will go a long way in preventing disease in your dog.

Feed Fido a healthy dietRead the label and know what is in that commercial dog food!  The first two ingredients listed should be at least one high-quality meat source.  That means it should be a “named” meat, such as chicken, beef, lamb or fish.  If the food contains by-products, don’t buy it.  Meat by-products are made from animal parts that are unfit for human food.  Think ligaments, blood, lungs, feathers, beaks.  If a meat is not identified by species, it will most likely be low-quality.  Good-quality food may cost a bit more but you will save money down the road in veterinary care.

Visit your veterinarian.  Fido can’t always let you know when he hurts, but if your veterinarian sees him for regular check-ups, he or she will be able to detect changes that might be medically significant.  At your dog’s annual exam, the vet will check your dog for heartworms and other parasites that can cause trouble.  Your vet can sell you medications to prevent heartworms or give you a prescription so you can purchase them elsewhere.  It is vital to your dog’s well-being that he receive basic vaccinations at the proper times.  Rabies vaccine is required by law and may be administered in yearly doses or every three years.  Talk to your vet about the necessity of booster shots for other vaccines each year.

Get moving!  Exercise is necessary for all of us, even dogs.  Regular exercise strengthens bones and builds immunity to disease.  It also helps Fido keep his weight under control.  Schedule daily walks and active play time for both you and your pet.

Check those pearly whites.  It has been said that a healthy mouth means a healthy body.  Dogs can contract gum disease, the same as humans.  A good diet contributes to both a healthy body and mouth.  Just make sure the treats you give your pet are also good for him.  Clean his teeth with dental products intended for dogs.  Your vet will tell you when it is time for a professional cleaning.

No more bad dogs!  Badly-behaved dogs can get into all kinds of trouble that can harm them and create stress for their owners.  Enroll Fido in a basic obedience class that encourages positive reinforcement.  Practice those lessons daily, so you can be sure that your pet will remain in your control at all times.

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Melissa September 5, 2012 at 11:13 pm

Great advice! If only all pet parents followed these simple steps, it’d be a much better world for our furry friends. This should be a checklist for all shelters and rescues.

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admin September 7, 2012 at 10:38 am

Thanks, Melissa, and I totally agree with you. My hope is that this site will save some pet owners a lot of grief and improve the health of many cats and dogs.

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