Keeping Your Dog Happy & Healthy
You love your dog, but caring for the health of your pup is a big responsibility, but caring for your pup's health doesn't need to be complicated, simply focus on lots of love and following these 8 easy steps to help prevent health issues from developing.
1 - Meet Your Dog's Nutritional Needs
'You are what you eat' is as true for dogs as it is for people. To help keep your dog healthy, speak to your vet about the best foods for your dog based on age, breed, and lifestyle. Your vet will be happy to offer tips for finding just the right food to meet your pup's nutritional needs. Whether you want to feed your pooch the best food to achieve optimal health, or to treat existing conditions through diet, your veterinarian can help you make the right choice.
2 - Help Your Dog Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity has been linked to a number of serious conditions in dogs including diabetes and joint pain, so keeping your dog at a healthy weight is essential for optimal health. Once you have chosen a nutritious food for your pooch, your vet will be able to calculate the optimal number of calories your dog should consume each day. Once you know how many calories are appropriate for your dog, you will be able to easily work out exactly how much you should be feeding your dog each meal.
3 - Make Sure Your Dog Gets Plenty of Exercise
Different breeds have different exercise requirements. While some dogs can stay healthy with a quick walk around the block, high-energy breeds may need an hour or more of vigorous exercise once or twice a day. Adequate physical activity not only helps to keep your dog's body in good condition, but it can also help to prevent mental boredom which can lead to destructive behaviors. Consult your vet or breeder regarding the appropriate amount of exercise for your dog. Walks, backyard games, and social time at dog parks are all great ways to ensure your pooch gets plenty of exercise.
4 - Take Your Dog for Annual Wellness Exams
Diagnosing and treating conditions in the very earliest stages helps to ensure the very best treatment outcomes. Annual checkups, are all about prevention, monitoring your pet's overall health, and checking for early signs of developing issues. Your vet will discuss your dog's diet, exercise and other lifestyle factors with you, ask if you have any concerns about your pet's health or behavior, then perform a comprehensive physical examination. Once the exam is complete your vet will discuss any findings with you and make recommendations regarding diet, diagnostic testing, or treatment if an issue is detected.
5 - Keep Vaccinations Up-To-Date
Our Jackson vets believe that vaccinations are essential for helping your pet live a long and healthy life. Regularly scheduled vaccines help to protect your dog from many highly contagious, potentially life-threatening diseases. Most states require by law that all pets be vaccinated against rabies, but there are a number of other serious conditions that vaccines protect dogs against including parvo, distemper, and panleukopenia.
6 - Provide Parasite Prevention
Ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes can all carry organisms that lead to a range of diseases that seriously threaten the health and longevity of your dog. A bite from one of these parasites could cause your dog to become gravely ill if not protected. Speak to your vet about the most effective ways to protect your pooch against a full range of tick-borne diseases, heartworms, and other parasitic conditions common in your area.
7 - Keep a Doggie First Aid Kit Handy
Like children, dogs love to play and explore and sometimes that fun leads to injuries. A minor cut or scrape can quickly become infected if not treated properly right away. Your dog first aid kit should include gauze, non-stick bandages, self adhesive wrap, cotton balls, hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic spray or ointment, digital thermometer, tweezers, a magnifying glass, and a muzzle that fits your dog precisely.
8 - Consider Pet Insurance
The cost of emergency veterinary care can add up quickly. Pet insurance helps pet parents to cover the cost of veterinary care for a range of emergency health issues. Each policy is different but most will cover the cost of both emergency care if your pet suddenly becomes injured or ill, and treatments for conditions such as kidney disease or cancer. Be sure to understand what your pet insurance covers before signing on the dotted line.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.