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Best Dog Health | Getting a dog can be one of the best feelings in the world. They bring immense joy, laughter, and love to your life. But it is also important to remember that these little – or huge, depending on the breed – bundles of joy are 100% dependent on you to stay healthy and happy.
The good thing is that taking care of your dog’s health isn’t too complicated. Yes, you will have to put in a lot of effort. After all, you are taking the responsibility of a whole other life. However, if you know how to take care of your dog, following these simple steps will soon become a cakewalk. Here are the basic things you need to do to ensure your dog’s health and safety.
This is something that you should ideally do even before you bring your dog home. This means doing a thorough examination of your entire house to make sure it is safe for your pets. This may require you to make both big and minor changes around the house.
For instance, small changes would include storing your trash can in a cabinet or any other place where a dog cannot reach (dogs love treasure hunting trash cans, and they will find a way to crack open the lid), storing medications out of their reach, and ensuring the toilet lid is closed at all times.
On the other hand, big changes would depend on your house. Do you have a pool? Ideally, you should get a pool fence or a motion detector system that will go off in case the dog falls into the water – even if the dog knows how to swim. Got any open electric cords around the house? Your dog might want to chew on them, so find a way to hide them.
Just like humans, dogs also need a specific nutrition balance to ensure the best health in the coming years. Not only will feeding your furbaby the right type and amount of food help them maintain a healthy weight, but it will also protect them from various diseases, including obesity. And the better your dog’s health, the more playful and active they’ll be.
In most cases, dogs can easily meet their nutritional needs from a balanced diet of quality food. However, always check in with your veterinarian to see if your dog needs any supplements. This may be necessary if they have any deficiencies.
Also, make sure that your pet has access to enough freshwater. It is a good idea to lay out freshwater bowls everywhere around the house. You can give your dog some commercial treats if they enjoy them, but they should make up no more than 10% of their diet.
Vaccinations are as important in protecting your puppy’s health as they are to you. They can protect your dog against various, highly contagious diseases such as rabies, parvo, and distemper – all of which can get very deadly.
The schedule and shots required by your dog may vary depending on their health and fitness level, as well as where you live. So it is important to have a proper discussion with a vet before getting your dog vaccinated.
Generally, most puppies get their first set of shots when they’re around 6 weeks old. After that, they continue getting shots every 3 weeks until they’re 16 weeks old. Adult dogs should be revaccinated every 1 to 3 years. If you are getting an adult dog, try to get the record of their vaccination history as well. If it isn’t available, discuss the best course of action with your vet.
Did you know that there are millions of homeless dogs that enter shelters each year? And to make things worse, most of them are killed because, surprisingly, there aren’t enough people who want to take them home.
You can play your part in preventing this overpopulation of homeless dogs by getting yours neutered or spayed. Even if your dog is going to stay indoors, this minor surgery can help improve the quality of their lives.
For instance, male dogs that are neutered are at a lower risk of developing testicular cancer or prostate disease. Whereas female dogs that are spayed have lower chances of getting uterine infections or breast cancer as they get older. It is safe to get your dog fixed as soon as they are 6 months old.
In addition to maintaining a balanced diet, dogs also need to remain physically active to enjoy the best quality of life. Regular walks, hiking, or even just playing catch can keep your dog fit and healthy for a long while. The bonus benefit here is that it helps you get moving too.
Also, remember to provide them with some mental stimulation. Practicing new tricks, hiding treats, providing them with mentally stimulating toys, building obstacle courses, and other such activities will help your dog stay interested and engage.
In addition to keeping them healthy, such activities will also prevent them from developing any bad habits. Dogs tend to bark, chew, and dig at everything when they’re bored, so make sure to keep them engaged.
Basic dog-grooming includes giving them regular baths, brushing their teeth a couple of times a week, and keeping their nails trimmed. These simple activities will help keep your dog looking fresh and clean at all times.
In addition to that, grooming is a great way to keep an eye on any changes in your dog’s skin or fur. Issues such as dandruff or dry skin can generally be solved by switching to a new shampoo or making dietary changes. However, things such as bald patches or any lumps and bumps on the skin could be an early symptom of some underlying cause.
Noticing such symptoms early on could prevent your dog from developing potentially life-threatening conditions. Make sure to consult your vet for the best methods to groom your particular dog – especially if they have any medical concerns that need to be taken into account.
As you can see, taking care of your dogs isn’t an overly complex ordeal. However, taking these simple steps on a regular basis can help them stay healthy and happy for a long time. And if they’re happy, you’ll be happy too, right?