Your dog is part of your family and just as you want to do everything you can to keep your family healthy, you need to do your part to keep your dog healthy too. Here are 5 steps to remember when it comes to the health of your dog.
5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Fit
Dogs Need Exercise
Dogs originally served a purpose other than companionship such as hunting, protection or rescue. Each of these jobs kept the dogs active. Most of our dogs don’t get enough exercise now. City dwelling dogs especially tend to not get enough exercise. Not getting enough exercise can lead to your dog misbehaving such as chewing furniture, eating garbage, being hyperactive, excessive barking/whining and rough play. The amount of exercise your dog needs depends on its age, size and breed so check with your vet.
Besides daily walks, also try looking for a dog park in your area or a private spot that you are allowed to let your dog run free (rules are different in different places.) Teach your dog fetch, or how to catch a Frisbee.
Dogs Need Regular Vet Care
Your dog should get a yearly checkup as well as immediate visits if illness or injury happens. The regular visits ensure your dog is up to date with his shots and that any problems can be caught early. If you need a veterinarian, ask your family and friends for a recommendation. Some people put off going for regular visits because their dog won’t sit still for the checkup but the more you go, the quicker the dog will get used to the vet’s office and the people there. Eventually he or she will be more at ease and therefore, more agreeable.
Dogs Need Proper Food/Water
Dogs should eat dog food. It’s tailor made for their digestive tracts. Dog treats should be just that, a treat. Most boxes or bags say how many is considered an okay amount to feed your dog. Discuss with your vet whether your dog needs special dog food such as the types made for puppies, seniors or overweight dogs. Don’t forget lots of fresh water! Your dog can never have too much water.
I know it can be tempting to give your dog table scraps, trust me! It really isn’t a good idea though. At the very least, please do not give your dog the following: chocolate, onions, chicken bones, coffee, alcohol, salty foods, grapes/raisins, and moldy food.
Dogs Need Protection From Parasites
Fleas, Ticks and Heartworm are three common parasites you need to protect your dog from. Check your pet regularly for fleas and ticks and consider using a topical prevention product such as K-9 Advantix II to keep the fleas and ticks away from your beloved pet. Just one application a month during the warm season will keep your dog safe. Talk to your vet about K-9 Advantix II and also discuss heartworm medications.
Dogs Need Love
You could provide all the physical needs mentioned above and still not be providing the very best care you could for your dog. Dogs have emotional needs too, just like people. They can feel lonely and bored which can lead to behaviour issues and depression. Dogs also need to know you are the “boss” or “pack leader.” Dogs are pack animals and knowing there is a top dog makes them feel more at ease. Spend time with your dog, lots of pets and cuddles, but only when the dog wants them. You can stress a dog out by forcing a hug.
Tell Me About Your Dog In the Comments
This post brought to you by Bayer Animal Health.
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