If there were some easy things you could do to help your dog stay healthy and live a longer life, would you do them? Of course, you would!
If there’s one thing pet parents can agree on, it’s that our fur babies don’t live nearly long enough! Here’s what every pet parent can do to support their dog’s overall health, quality of life, and longevity.
Stay on top of checkups, vaccines, and parasite control
If your dog is a puppy, take him for a checkup right away to ensure that he’s in good health and nothing has been overlooked. And then, as your dog gets older, he should have a checkup once each year.
These checkups are essential for catching health conditions early and giving your vet a chance to get to know your dog. That way, when something isn’t normal, he’ll be more likely to notice it right away.
Vaccinations are also essential for preventing potentially fatal diseases in dogs.
Speak to an online veterinarian about the recommended vaccines, depending on your pooch’s lifestyle and what part of the country you live in. Keep in mind that staying up to date on the rabies vaccine is required by law in most states.
And finally, put your dog on flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives to keep him healthy and disease-free. All it takes is one bite from an infected tick or mosquito to transmit various deadly illnesses. Prevention is a much better option than trying to cure an illness like heartworm disease or Lyme disease after the fact.
Provide a healthy diet
Just like humans, dogs need a well-balanced diet to stay healthy. Choose the highest quality food you can afford and look for one that’s high in protein and low in carbs. Avoid preservatives, cheap fillers, by-products, and artificial ingredients, and stay away from common allergens like wheat, corn, and soy.
Providing your dog with a nutritious diet will improve his longevity and keep his immune system strong so he doesn’t get sick easily. It’s also essential for healthy organs, skin, bones, and muscles. Feeding a high-quality diet will also ensure that your pup’s digestive system is functioning at its best.
Provide plenty of opportunities for exercise
Exercise is just as important for your fur baby as it is for you. Getting your pup moving doesn’t have to be a chore. Try a long daily walk in the evening, a game of fetch in the backyard, or include your dog in your daily workout. Keeping your pup moving every day will improve his circulation and keep his heart, bones, muscles, and lungs strong.
Exercise also helps your dog stay at a healthy weight, which is crucial for preventing issues like diabetes, heart disease, joint pain, and even some types of cancer. And, exercise prevents boredom and releases happy hormones, so it’s good for your pup’s mental health, too.
Help him maintain a healthy weight
With nearly 50% of the dogs in the United States being overweight, it’s clear that obesity is just as much a problem for our dogs as it is for us humans. Even a few extra pounds can add stress to a dog’s joints and bones, making conditions like arthritis and hip dysplasia much worse.
Not only that, but an overweight dog will struggle to cool off when it’s hot and they won’t be as active as they should be. Being overweight also increases the likelihood of heart issues, back problems, torn ligaments, breathing disorders, skin conditions, and complications during surgery. Being overweight could dramatically reduce the length and quality of your dog’s life.
While it can be tempting to show your dog some love by giving him extra treats, those extra calories add up quickly. That doesn’t mean you have to eliminate treats altogether, but you should focus on healthier options like fruits or veggies that won’t lead to unhealthy weight gain. Many pups love things like fresh carrots, frozen green beans, and even bananas.
Feeding the right amount of food is also key here. If you feel that your dog is a little overweight, talk with your vet to see how much and how often he should be eating.
Look after his dental health
Us humans know we need to brush our teeth every day and see the dentist once a year. Looking after your fur baby’s teeth is just as important! Although dental treats and chews can slow down the build-up of plaque and tartar on your dog’s teeth, it’s not enough to keep his teeth clean and his gums healthy.
Periodontal disease is very common in dogs and it can affect much more than dental health. When tooth decay and gum disease go untreated, it can lead to inflammation, pain, and infections that travel to other parts of your dog’s body, including his heart and kidneys.
Daily brushing with a pet-safe toothpaste can go a long way toward keeping your pup’s teeth and gums healthy and his breath smelling fresh. Annual dental checkups and regular professional cleanings are also vital to your pet’s overall health.
Mental health is just as important as physical health.
Mental stimulation is so important for your dog’s overall health. A bored dog is not a happy or healthy dog. Boredom leads to depression, anxiety, and can even. Cheering up your dog when he’s bored or depressed is actually pretty easy and should be a top priority.
Make sure a long daily walk is part of your dog’s routine for exercise and mental stimulation. Provide interactive toys and teach him new skills or tricks to exercise his brain. You could even sign him up for an agility class or get in a dog-related sport. Keeping his brain busy can help to prevent dementia and cognitive decline as he gets older.
Perhaps most important of all, be sure to provide your pup with plenty of opportunities to socialize. Dogs are social animals and they thrive on the love of their humans. We don’t get nearly enough time with our furry family members, so focus on creating happy experiences and memories for both of you.
Last Updated on November 30, 2022 by Shepped Team