How to Keep Your Dog in Good and Healthy Condition
Dogs are wonderful companions that bring tons of joy and love to our lives. Helping your dog stay healthy and in good shape should be one of your top priorities.
From an early age, dogs require proper care and attention, contributing to their health and longevity. As a dog owner, it's important to understand the basics of how to keep your pet in good condition. To ensure you are on the right track, we have compiled our best tips and tricks to ensure your dog stays healthy for years to come.
Regular exercise is crucial for maintaining your canine's mental and physical health. Your dog's breed and age may determine whether they need more or less exercise. Generally, most dogs demand at least 30 minutes of exercise daily. Playing fetch, running and walking are great ways to keep your dog stimulated and active. If you have a high-energy breed like a German Shepherd or a Border Collie, you may need to provide more exercise and suitable training to keep them happy and healthy.
Proper nutrition is another thing you should focus on if you want to maintain your dog's health and well-being. A balanced diet with premium protein, high-quality carbs, healthy fats and essential vitamins and minerals is essential. You can check with your vet to determine the best type and amount of food for your dog. It's also important to maintain a regular feeding schedule and avoid overfeeding them, which leads to obesity. Give your pet treats occasionally and remember that they serve as a reward, not a significant portion of their diet.
Supply them with water regularly
Dogs need plenty of fresh water for their body to work properly and to digest the food. Water needs to be clean and fresh and you must change it daily. Don't forget to clean their water bowl before you refill it with fresh water. During warm weather, algae and bacteria can grow in the bowl.
Regular vet visits
Your dog's health relies on veterinary assistance and your vet can offer routine check-ups and preventive care such as dental care, parasite control, dog vaccinations and maintain a proper puppy vaccination schedule. They can treat any illnesses or injuries and diagnose your dog's conditions. It's recommended to perform a routine check at least once a year. More frequent visits may be necessary for senior dogs or those with health conditions.
Dental care and dog teeth cleaning
Dental care is so
metimes overlooked but is crucial for your dog's overall health. Poor dental hygiene can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and other health issues. Regular brushing of dogs teeth with a dog-specific toothbrush and toothpaste can help prevent dental problems.
Dental treats and chews can also be beneficial but they should not be a substitute for regular brushing. It's important to get your dog accustomed to teeth brushing from an early age and clean your puppy teeth every other day.
Grooming your dog is essential not only for their appearance but also for their health. Regular brushing can help remove dead hair, debris and dirt from their coat. Additionally, it will distribute natural oils throughout their fur, keeping it healthy and shiny. Bathing your dog should be done as needed to avoid drying out their skin, while nails should be trimmed regularly to avoid overgrowth and discomfort.
Check your dog's ears
Dog's ears shouldn't have any discharge or smell funny. The inner part of the ear should be white in colour but remember that some dark-coloured dogs may have a dark inner part of the ear. Flip the ear and try to inspect it.
The ear should be clear of parasites like ticks or debris and dirt. Sometimes plants and grass can get stuck in their ears, so you need to remove them carefully. If your pet has floppy ears, you must check them daily to avoid uncomfortable situations. Use a specifically designed product to clean your pet's ears.
Mental stimulation keeps your dog's brain active and engaged. Dogs are intelligent animals that require this type of activity to stay healthy and happy. You can provide mental stimulation by playing interactive games, providing puzzle toys and engaging in training sessions with your puppy. Keep in mind that if you regularly change their games and toys, you will challenge their brain.
Dogs crave social contact; that's why socialisation is important for their emotional health. They are social animals that need to interact with other canines and humans to learn proper social skills. Start with socialisation techniques at a young age and continue throughout your dog's life. You could practise regular trips to doggy daycare or the dog parks, providing your dog with plenty of opportunities for socialisation.
Avoiding Harmful Substances
Harmful substances such as certain foods, chemicals and plants, can be toxic to your dog and cause many health problems. Keeping these substances out of reach is important to avoid accidental ingestion. Common household items are packed with items such as cleaning products, onions, grapes and chocolate. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog has ingested something toxic.
Offer your dog a shelter
Most dog owners keep their pets inside close to their family, especially when they are puppies. But just because your dog lives inside of your home, it doesn't mean they don't need their personal space where they will relax and have some quiet time.
Consider getting them a dog bed and placing it in some corner of the living room, so it won't get in the way so your dog gets to interact with the family but has a place to retreat if needed.
Adequate rest can contribute to normal dog heart rate and improve their well-being. Dogs require adequate rest to recover and recharge from physical and mental exertion. Providing your dog with a comfortable bed and a quiet space to lie down can help ensure they get the rest they need. The amount of rest your dog requires can vary based on age, activity level and breed, but most dogs require 12-14 hours of sleep daily.
Monitoring Health Changes
As a responsible dog owner, it's important to monitor your dog's health and behaviour regularly, including the dog resting heart rate. Any changes in your dog's behaviour, physical condition and appetite should be addressed promptly. Early detection and treatment of health issues can prevent them from becoming more severe and affecting your dog's overall health and well-being.
Have them tested for heartworm
A yearly blood test is necessary to check for this widespread disease. Mosquito bites spread heartworm, so it's quite challenging to prevent this. If your dog tests positive for heartworm, they will need monthly shots and tablets for up to six months to kill any organisms in the bloodstream.
Multivitamins for dogs are supplements specifically formulated to offer your pet a wide range of benefits, including necessary vitamins and minerals that a conventional diet doesn't always provide. Typical dog multivitamin supplements come in the form of powder, tablets, liquids and chews and they are designed to support a daily balanced diet.
Multivitamins contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamin A: Crucial for maintaining healthy skin, eyesight and coat.
- Vitamin D: Helps animals absorb calcium and supports bone health.
- Vitamin E: Helps maintain a healthy coat, skin and immune system.
- Omega – 3: EPA and DHA maintain heart health and improve dog's skin
- Glucosamine: Crucial for joint health.
- Turmeric: This ingredient contains anti-inflammatory properties and it's used to alleviate multiple conditions and chronic inflammation. Some studies indicate that turmeric can protect from cancer, relieve gastrointestinal disorders, support joint health and boost the immune system in puppies and adult dogs.
- B vitamins: Crucial for metabolic processes and maintaining a healthy nervous system.
- Calcium: Important for muscle function and bone health.
- Iron: Helps with oxygen transport and red blood cell production.
- Zinc: Makes sure your dog has healthy skin while boosting immune function.
What are the benefits of multivitamins?
Multivitamin supplements for dogs come with multiple benefits, considering they have different nutritional needs than humans. This type of product offers the following benefits:
- Filling nutritional gaps: Just because your dog has a balanced diet doesn't mean they intake all the essential vitamins and minerals necessary for optimal health. That's why dog owners give their pets multivitamin supplements that can help fill any gaps in their nutrition.
- Supporting immune function: Vitamins and minerals are crucial for keeping a healthy immune system. Multivitamin supplements may help support your dog's immune function and help prevent infections and diseases.
- Promoting healthy skin, eyes and coat: Vitamins A, E and D can help maintain healthy skin eyes and coat in dogs. A multivitamin supplement may reduce shedding as well.
- Supporting joint health: Some multivitamin supplements contain ingredients such as glucosamine and chondroitin, which can help support joint health and improve mobility in dogs.
Warning signs that might indicate something is wrong with your pet?
It is essential to be aware of the warning signs that your dog may not be feeling well. Some of the common signs include:
- Loss of appetite: Your dog is not interested in food or has stopped eating altogether.
- Lethargy: Your pet seems less active than usual or lacks energy.
- Vomiting or diarrhoea: Diarrhoea and vomiting indicate an underlying health condition or dietary problem.
- Excessive thirst or urination: Your dog drinking more water than usual or has increased urination may point to kidney disease or diabetes.
- Coughing or sneezing: Coughing, sneezing or discharge from their nose or eyes can be a sign of an upper respiratory infection.
- Changes in behaviour: Your dog acts differently than usual and is more withdrawn or aggressive.
If you notice any of these signs, it is important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the cause of your dog's symptoms and to receive appropriate treatment.
Now that you know what factors affect your dog's health, you can make certain adjustments to improve their lives and ensure you have a healthy and happy dog in your household.