We all want our beloved four-legged friends to be around for as long as possible. Although some dogs will develop health problems in their lives, not every one has to. Here are some ways to keep your pet healthy and happy, while preventing costly vet visits.
The first step in keeping your dog healthy is to provide the right food. A trip to the local pet store will show numerous dog food brands. Which one is right for your dog? You should choose one based on your pet's age and health needs. The first ingredient in a quality dog food should be meat. If corn or sugar is the first ingredient listed, find another one. These are just fillers that provide no nutritional value for your dog. If you are having trouble deciding on a brand, ask your vet for advice. If you bought your dog from a breeder, you can ask him or her what dog food to feed.
Keep your dog away from human foods, as many of them are loaded with fat, sugars and carbohydrates. Human foods can lead to stomach upset, including diarrhea and vomiting. Some foods can even be poisonous.
Along the same lines, keep your dog at an optimum weight. Dogs that are trim live on average two years longer than dogs that are overweight. Overweight dogs are prone to diseases such as diabetes and arthritis. Reduce your dog's food intake and cut out treats. Aim to engage your dog in more exercise, such as walking and fetch. Your vet may have additional input as to how you can get your dog to lose those extra pounds.
Keep your home and the dog's main area free of any hazards. Remove any items that dogs can chew up or choke on, such as electrical cords, toys, small balls and shoes. Keep floors and countertops free of debris. Chemicals, plants, medications and certain human foods can poison your dog.
Keep your dog moving. Your dog should exercise daily. Exercise combats obesity and helps prevent health problems. It also provides strong bones and mental stimulation, increments muscle tone and improvements circulation. Make exercise even more fun by joining your dog. You can go for swims, hikes or walks together. There are even classes you and your dog can take together.
Brush your dog's teeth regularly. Proper brushing is not just for humans. Brushing their teeth with a dog-safe toothpaste daily can prevent tartar and other dental diseases that can harm their teeth and gums. In addition, tooth problems can affect the entire body. They are linked to kidney, liver and heart diseases and can even cause certain cancers. If you have trouble brushing your dog's teeth, dental chews are an effective alternative.
Keep them out of the heat. The heat can cause serious health problems to dogs, since they do not have the ability to sweat to cool down. Death can even result if a dog's body temperature exceeds 104 degrees. Take short walks in the early mornings and late evenings, when it is cooler. Keep cool water within reach at all times. You may want to keep Pedialyte or Gatorade on hand in case your dog becomes dehydrated.
Burs in your dog's fur can lead to matted fur, itchiness and irritation. Remove burs easily by using vegetable shortening. Applying it around the burs will allow them to remove from the fur easily. Shampoo after the burs have been removed.
Visit the vet. Although this may seem counterintuitive, scheduling annual vet visits allows the vet to thoroughly examine your dog and diagnose any health conditions before they become severe and even fatal. Your vet may need to give your dog vaccinations or order tests to ensure that your dog is as healthy as possible. In addition, as dietary needs change as dogs age, this is an opportunity to discuss them with a vet.
Keep your dog free from pests such as fleas, ticks and worms. Keep your dog on a monthly flea, tick and heartworm preventative to prevent pests from using your dog as a host. These pests can cause itchiness in the skin and coat, as well as lung and heart problems. In severe cases, dogs can even die from heartworms and treatment is costly.
Offer plenty of love and attention. Dogs that are neglected or lack adequate time with their owners can become lonely and depressed, which can increase their risk of certain diseases. Spending time with your dog by doing things such as going for a walk, playing with toys, snuggling together and grooming can help you and your dog develop a close relationship that will prevent health and behavioral issues down the road.
Source by Here is A Smith