If you’re a dog owner, you’re an instant animal lover. You want to see your pup as happy and healthy as possible and you’ll do anything it takes to makes sure that they stay in peak mental and physical condition. In order to do this, you need to know what a dog needs to stay happy and what a dog needs to stay healthy. Also if your dog isn’t healthy then it makes it hard to take them on all of the fun trips with you. Follow along with the below guide for a complete list of everything you should know in regards to dog healthcare and wellness.
Exercise is very important for a healthy dog. Dogs that don’t get enough exercise tend to develop destructive behavior’s and habits. They form these habits because dogs were originally bred for working purposes. They were protectors of our flocks, warning systems and hunting helpers. This led to dogs being chosen for breeding that had stamina, speed and tons of energy. The dogs that we raise as pets today have the same natural instincts as the dogs that we bred hundreds of years ago. The only difference is that now dogs are pets. It’s up to us to give them enough exercise so that they use up their abundant energy reserves and are left panting and happy as they lie by our feet at the end of the day.
Every dog, no matter what breed requires at least a few 30-40 minute walks a day. Most dogs benefit from increased exercise such as jogging, Frisbee and fetch. Getting your dog’s heart rate up will keep their bodies running smoothly. It will improve their lung and heart health and strengthen their bones. Breeds such as German Shepherds, Border Collies and Huskies require a lot of exercise in order to stay healthy. Look into the breed of dog you have and see what they say about their energy levels and exercise requirements. You might find that your quiet lapdog might benefit from some added exercise or that your hyper puppy calms down after a good game of fetch in the backyard.
Sometimes your busy schedule may not allow you to exercise your dog as often as you would like or they may need. In situations like these, that’s where a service like Rover can come into play. They provide a dog walking service that can help your dog get the exercise they need even while you’re at work. They also provide drop in visits to check in and even have a play date with your dog.
Your dog’s brain needs as much exercise as their body. A dog that doesn’t exercise their minds on a daily basis will find a job to do. They weren’t bred to be idle and when there is no work being asked of them they’ll create some for themselves much to the chagrin of your mailman who is confronted by a dog that thinks he’s on guard duty! This is where training comes in. We no longer require our dogs to work for us, but this is what they were bred to do so we need to put this intelligence to good use. Teaching basic commands such as sit, stay and come are essential for any dog to learn. However, in order to really put your dog’s mind to work you need to take it one step further. Think about what your dog is good at. If they can sniff out food no matter where it is, direct this curious nose to treats that you hide around your house and yard. This will engage their sense of smell and put this behavior to good use so that your pup isn’t following their nose to dig through the trash. If you have a high energy breed try making a basic agility course in your backyard or take your obedience training to a more challenging level.
One of the things that impacts a dog’s health the most is the type of food that you provide them. If your food is full pf preservatives then there’s a chance that it might cause health problems such as allergies in your pup. When choosing a food make sure that the first ingredient is meat (not a meat by-product if possible), that there’s not a lot of filler like corn and that the ingredient list is short. One way to ensure that your dog is eating healthy food is getting freshly prepared, real food from Nom Nom Now. They send meals right to your door that are even good enough for people to eat. All while making sure that the food is full of the nutrition that aids in your dog’s healthcare and wellness.
Provide your dog with the recommended amount of food based on their body weight. A dog that gets a lot of high-intensity exercise might require a little more food than a slower dog. If you feed your dog too much they might develop obesity. You know that you’re feeding your dog too much if you look at the top of their body and you can’t see the indent where their rib cage is then they might be overweight. By the same token, if you can see every rib then they might be underweight and you should think about increasing their food consumption or speaking to your vet.
When you’re feeding your dog you should try to avoid feeding them right before they get some exercise or right after. The same goes for water. A dog that runs on a full belly is at risk for developing a life-threatening condition called bloat. This is when your dog’s stomach turns inside of them and it can be caused by gulping in air when they eat water or food. If your dog tends to wolf down their food faster than you can give it to them you might want to think about investing in a slow feeder dish. This will slow them down and prevent air bubbles from entering their stomachs. The same rule goes for treats when you’re out playing. Try to avoid treats if your dog’s been running around or limit them to small amounts.
One on One Attention
If you want your dog to be healthy you need to be sure that they get plenty of one on one attention from you. Nothing pleases a dog more than being loved, petted and talked to by their human! This improves both their mental and physical health. Take a few minutes out each day and play with your dog. Give them some pets when you wake up in the morning and be sure to chat them up while you take them for a walk after work. Let them know that you love them and they’ll be happy and healthy for years to come. If you have more than one pup try to give them this attention equally.
It’s important for your dog’s skin health that they get a good grooming. Brushing removes all of the clumps of hair that are falling out and it also removes dead or dry skin. Exfoliating your dog’s skin allows the skin to breathe so they don’t develop sores. Removing clumps of dead hair helps prevent your dog from getting nasty tangles. The grooming process allows you to check on your dog and make sure they aren’t cut or sore anywhere, that they don’t have any ticks or bugs in their fur and it also is a great way to bond with your dog. Most dogs love being groomed, it’s like going to the salon with their favorite person! If you’re having a hard time scheduling one on one time in with your dog then grooming is a great way of multitasking. You take care of your dog’s health while also spending some quality time with them.
Different breeds of dogs need to be groomed on different schedules. It depends on the length of their hair, whether it’s curly or straight and the season of the year. Try to make sure you have at least 1 nice long grooming session with your dog a week regardless of the breed. If your dog is a long-haired breed you might have to clip their fur a few times a year in addition to their regular grooming.
Keeping your dog healthy means focusing on preventative health. You should make an appointment to visit your vet at least once a year for an annual exam. At this appointment, you can bring up any concerns that you have about your dog’s health and get tips and advice from a medical professional. They’ll take a look at your dog’s weight, their heart rate and their lungs. In addition, you can also take blood samples and stool samples to have tested for illnesses such as heart worm.
At this appointment, (or perhaps a different one depending on when your annual appointment is scheduled for) you can talk to your doctor about flea and tick medication. Some medications treat for only one, and some treat the trifecta of flea, tick and heart worm. Ask your vet for their recommendation. These kinds of biting insects come out in early spring and don’t disappear until late fall depending on your climate. Some people only need 6 months of flea and tick meds, while other people opt to protect their dog year-round. If your worried about expenses for going to the vet and what you may need to get there check out Eusoh. They are a health plan for your animals and you can get reimbursed up to 80% for all of your vet bills and it’s as easy as submitting a picture of your receipt.
If you ever have concerns as to the well being of your dog the vet is the first person that you should talk to. They’re always willing to help and they’re the professionals that know what to do when your dog runs into problems. If you would like to talk on the phone with someone for a quick answer health related or even get prescriptions and vaccines then visit revival animal health. The customer service there is excellent and they have many products to help with your dog’s health.
On your trip to visit the vet, you’ll also have your dog’s teeth examined. What your vet is looking for is signs of gingivitis in the gums. If you take a look at your dog’s mouth and their teeth are white with pink gums then you have nothing to worry about. If; however, your dog’s breath really stinks or their teeth look yellow with black gums then your dog might be developing gingivitis or they might have tooth decay.
In order to prevent this from happening you need to brush your dog’s teeth. Kibble tends to get caught in their gums and slowly dissolve which can lead to tooth problems. There is special toothpaste for dogs and special toothbrushes as well. Brush their teeth the same way you’d brush your own. You can help your dog do this themselves if they don’t like your hand in their mouth by buying a toothbrush treat. Place a small amount of their toothpaste on the treat and allow them to chew on the rubber or plastic bristles to loosen plaque and stuck food. Buying dental treats can also help; although you should make sure that their teeth are getting a real brushing as opposed to relying on their treats to do the work for you.
Your pup’s nails need to be trimmed frequently. This is something that you can do yourself or you can have a professional do it for you if you’re not comfortable. Pick up your dog’s paw and separate out one nail. Trim off just the tip of the nail. Dogs have a part of their nail that bleeds really easily called the quick. If you accidentally trim this you’ll have a hard time stopping the bleeding. You can use cornstarch or flour to help aid in the blood clotting if you do accidentally trim back too far. The more frequently you trim your dog’s nails, the further back the quick will be. This is why you should trim off just a little sliver if it’s been a while since your dog’s nails were last trimmed. A once a week trimming can save you a lot of heartache in the future as your dog will get used to it and not put up a fuss and the quick will remain a safe distance from the area of the nail you’re trimming.
The health of your dog’s ears is an often overlooked area of dog health. However, healthy ears are a sign of a healthy dog. Watch for signs that your dog is scratching at their ears, walking with their head tilted to one side or one of their ears is folded down or to the side. These are definite signs that your dog has an ear infection. In order to prevent ear infections from happening you should clean out your dog’s ears with a soft cloth every time you groom them. Once a week is good. Look for signs of bug bites or irritation while you’re cleaning them and make sure that they’re healthy and pink on the inside. A dog with an ear infection might have blood in the ear canal when you wipe it out and if this happens you should go see your vet right away.
There are also ear cleaners that can help clean ears and provide anti-microbial protection at the same time. They are designed to clean out dirt, residue, and even earwax from the ears. You can find this and many other dog health products at budget pet care.
Having a healthy dog is a top priority for most dog owners. In order to ensure your dog is happy and healthy, there are just a few things that you need to do. Following the simple guidelines above will ensure that you have a healthy, happy dog for years to come!