Taking proper care of the family dog is important if your pet is to lead a long and happy life. Along with providing shelter and adequate food for your pet, there is the need to be directly concerned about canine health issues. If you want to enjoy your pet for many years to come, here are some points you should keep in mind about dog health and what you can do to make sure your pet remains healthy.
The most foundational aspect of canine health involves nutrition. This simply means it is your job to make sure any dogs in the household have access to food that provides the vitamins and nutrients they need to remain healthy. Generally, it is a good idea to provide food for your pet at least twice a day. Along with nutritional food, there is always the need to make sure the water dish is clean and filled with fresh water. Avoid feeding your pet too many snacks and keep your pet away any substances that may cause discomfort, such as chocolate.
Basic grooming is also an important part of proper canine health maintenance. All dogs need to be brushed at least once a week. This helps to remove loose hair from the coat, and also will minimize any matting that may occur. Brushing your dog is not just about keeping the coat shiny and healthy; your pet will also benefit emotionally from the attention and the pleasant sensations experienced during the brushing.
Oral hygiene is also important for your pet’s health. Dogs need to chew in order to satisfy cravings. Take advantage of this trait and provide your pet with chews that are formulated to promote healthy gums and remove plaque from the teeth. These simple precautions, when coupled with annual teeth cleaning by a canine health professional, will keep your dog’s teeth and gums healthy for many years.
Additional hygiene efforts such as clipping nails and cleaning ears will also enhance canine health. Cleaning the ears will help to minimize the chances of an ear infection. As for the nails, clipping them regularly will prevent the nails from becoming so long that they place additional stress on the paws and legs of your pet. Your veterinarian can provide specific instructions for nail care and ear cleaning that are applicable to your pet.
Exercise is critical to good canine health. If at all possible, walk your dog at least once a day, even if your pet spends a lot of time in a fenced backyard. Getting out for a walk and the excitement of new scents in the neighborhood will help keep your dog happy and also minimize joint damage as the dog gets older. Along with walks, make it a point to spend some time playing with the pet in the backyard. The exercise will do both of you a great deal of good.
Providing regular check ups for you pet is one aspect of canine health that far too many dog owners overlook. Just as with humans, dogs should have at least an annual check up, and receive any vaccines needed at various points in the dog’s life. Canines should also be taken to the vet when they are ill or appear to be unsettled in some manner. Often, the emotional well being of your pet is connected to some physical discomfort that the vet can identify and correct in a short period of time.
Proper canine health is a combination of making sure your pet has adequate medical attention as well as addressing your pet’s needs on a daily basis. Providing adequate nutrition, exercise and hygiene coupled with regular check ups by a competent veterinarian will ensure you and your dog can enjoy many happy years together.