Dog Health Tips | How to keep your dog healthy and happy
As it is with humans and other living things, dogs require proper care and attention in order to be in the best ‘shape’ at any point. It may interest you to know that dogs have similar pain thresholds to humans.
There are quite a number of tips on how to keep your dog healthy and happy, these tips include proper nutrition, exercising/mental stimulation, preventative medications, grooming, etc.
Tips On How To Keep Your Dog Healthy And Happy
Just like it is with humans, regular exercises help keep your dog in top shape physically and mentally. Some regular exercises you can try to keep your dog physically fit include; hiking, walks, swimming, playing fetch, etc. In terms of mental stimulation, some exercises to try out include; playing with toys, teaching new tricks, hiding treats, and building obstacle courses.
You can also change up your walking routine to expose your pet to new scenery and smells. But before you go on a walk with your dog to new scenery, here are tips on How to train your Dog to Walk on a Leash
2. Healthy Nutrition
Feeding is among the primary ways of achieving a healthy and happy dog. This is because feeding your dog the right food and at the right proportion is going to help your dog maintain a healthy body and weight. Be careful not to overfeed your dog as this may lead to obesity-related illness.
On the contrary, feeding your dog with the wrong food may not only lead to your dog looking unhealthy but may also cause some other illnesses and this will in turn affect its expected life expectancy.
Placing your dog on a balanced diet routine will not only help increase its life expectancy but also make your dog a healthy and happy one. Be sure to give your dog enough water and before administering any supplements, it is best to confirm with your vet if your dog needs some of those.
Another major thing to consider is the amount of treats you’re giving to your dog – veterinarians suggest treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories.
For more information about proper nutrition, you can consult a vet or any professional dog dietician.
3. Regular Health checks
Always be on the lookout for signs of injury or illness on your dogs daily. This is because dogs are vulnerable to a range of infectious diseases as well as other illnesses. Visiting the veterinarian regularly for a wellness examination is also important as this offers an opportunity for your veterinary doctor to conduct a professional examination on your dog for a variety of health issues. As always, early detection of diseases leads to early treatment thereby preventing complications and maybe death.
It is also advisable to check your dog’s teeth regularly for tartar buildup, plaques, or infection. Dental appointments may also be recommended to remove plaque and tartar buildup. You can also get a special dog toothbrush and paste to help keep their teeth and gums healthy. Regular brushing will help prevent periodontal disease, which can lead to more serious health problems.
N/B: Never make the mistake of using human medications on your dog. only use medicines that have been prescribed for your individual dog by the veterinarian.
4. Preventative medications
Preventive medications are basically taken prior to any ailment. It serves more like a form of immunization. Always be sure to administer medications as prescribed by the vet. Some unwanted health issues, like heartworm, flea-related diseases, and tick-borne illnesses can be curbed through preventive medication.
Should there be a dog epidemic outbreak, do well to consult your vet as soon as possible before administering preventive medications.
Early socialization is quite necessary as it helps eliminate fearful and aggressive behaviors when the dog gets older. From a few weeks old to about 16-18 weeks — is the most critical period for socialization. Socialization involves getting enough people and animal interaction, not just in the early months but throughout their life
“Early socialization [in dogs] and appropriate exposure to various people and situations at a young age decreases the odds of antisocial or fearfully aggressive behaviors as an adult.” – American Animal Hospital Association
A few socialization options include; taking a trip to the dog park, a walk around the neighborhood, visiting family and friends, etc.
Grooming comes with quite a number of benefits as it helps you keep an eye on little or major changes in your dog’s fur or skin. Some common/noticeable changes include; dry skin, dandruff, bald patch, lumps and bumps, etc.
While grooming, always ensure to keep your dog’s nails trimmed, brush him a couple of times a week and give him regular baths. Check with your veterinarian for the best grooming protocol for your particular dog breed.
Neutering is the surgical removal of the testicles. Removing the testicles removes the primary source of testosterone in the body, resulting in changes in sex drive, hormone-related behaviors, and hormone-related health concerns.
Getting your dog neutered prevents some cancers and diseases, extends your pet’s life expectancy, and cut down on aggressive behavior in males. For females, it can prevent them from going into heat and reduce unwanted behaviors associated with their cycles, such as irritability, yowling, and spraying urine.
On the contrary, if your intention is to breed, then you may have to skip this.
8. Build & Maintain a Bond
Creating and maintaining a strong and healthy bond between you and your dog does not only strengthen the emotional connection between you both but also improves your dog’s positive interaction with other animals and humans. You can build up the bond through petting, cuddling, belly rubs, and brushing his coat.
Be sure to always keep your dog safe at all times (both indoors and outdoors). Some simple ways to achieve this include;
- Use collars with ID tags, and microchips – this makes it possible for them to be returned to you quickly if they get lost.
- Make sure your home is free of safety hazards
- Keep toxic substances out of reach.
10. Behaviour monitoring
Dogs show pain and suffering in different ways. Hence, you have to monitor your dog closely and know what’s normal and what’s not normal. Some common changes may be seen in; scratching more than usual, eating more or less than he normally does, etc.
These changes should be seen as a cause for concern as they may be indications of an underlying issue. If you notice abnormal behavior in your dog, do well to contact your vet for some immediate examination.