Besides giving your dog all the love and attention they need and deserve, there are a few other things you can do to help your dog maintain their health and well-being. Today, our Mandeville vets share 6 tips for helping your dog stay healthy.
1. Feed Your Dog a Healthy Diet
Good health starts with good nutrition. To help keep your dog healthy, speak with your vet about the type and amount of food they recommend based on your dog's unique age, size, and lifestyle. Aim for food that contains high-quality ingredients that help support a balanced diet.
For dogs that have dietary needs or certain medical conditions, there is a range of prescription diets available that are tailored to fit the specific nutritional needs of a wide number of conditions.
2. Help Your Dog Maintain a Healthy Weight
Obesity has been linked to a number of serious conditions in dogs including joint conditions, arthritis, and cardiovascular disease. Helping your dog maintain a healthy weight is essential for their health. As important as it is to select the right food for your dog, it is just as important to feed them the correct amount. Talk to your vet to find out your dog's ideal daily calorie consumption.
Another thing to note is that treats should only make up about 10% of your dog's daily calorie intake and many pet owners tend to over-indulge their pets with treats.
If possible, try switching up standard dog treats for low-cal healthy snacks such as pieces of apple, cucumber, baby carrots, or frozen blueberries.
3. Make Sure Your Dog Gets the Exercise They Need
Different breeds and sizes of dogs have different exercise requirements. While some dogs can stay healthy with one to two short walks a day, others may need an hour or more of vigorous exercise once or twice a day. Adequate physical activity not only helps to keep your dog's body in good condition, but it can also help to prevent mental boredom which can lead to destructive behaviors or anxiety. Walks, backyard games, and social time at dog parks are all great ways to ensure your dog gets enough exercise.
When considering getting a dog be sure to factor in your lifestyle and try to choose a dog that matches your activity level.
4. Take Your Dog for Annual Routine Exams
Routine physical exams are important in ensuring your pet's long-term health and well-being. Even if your pup seems healthy, you should take them for an annual exam. Annual exams allow your vet to assess your pet's health and screen for any emerging conditions that are easier to treat when caught early.
As part of their annual wellness exam, you should also talk to your vet about yearly routine bloodwork and a fecal exam. Both of these tools allow your vet to get a better look at your pet's internal health to be sure there are no hidden conditions or parasites that could make your dog sick if not treated.
5. Keep Vaccinations Vaccinations Up-To-Date
Vaccinations are an important part of your dog's overall health. Regularly scheduled vaccines help to protect your dog from many highly contagious, often serious, diseases. Most states require by law that all pets be vaccinated against rabies, but there are a number of other serious conditions that vaccines protect dogs against including parvo, distemper, and canine influenza.
6. Provide Parasite Prevention
Along with regular vaccinations, you should also keep your pet up-to-date on their parasite prevention measures. There are a host of parasites, including fleas, ticks, and heartworm, that can cause your dog to become seriously ill or uncomfortable. Many parasites also have the ability to spread to other pets or people in your household.
Speak to your vet about the most effective ways to protect your dog against the parasites that are common in your area.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.