10 Tips to Keep Dogs Healthy and Safe;
1. Avoid Extreme Temperatures
Environments with extreme hot or cold temperature can be dangerous for your dog. Dogs in hot climates can become sunburnt, dehydrated, or they can even suffer a stroke. Make sure to limit your dog’s exposure to the heat and keep them cool by providing them with plenty of fresh water.
Extreme cold temperatures can also be very harmful to dogs. Dogs can suffer from hypothermia or frostbite if they are in the cold for too long. Do not leave your dog outside for an extended amount of time when the temperatures drop to help prevent these dangerous conditions.
2. Balanced Nutrition
There are so many food options available when it comes to feeding your dog, that finding the right food to provide your pup with the proper nutrition may be an overwhelming task. Do your research and consult your vet when trying to determine exactly what food you should be feeding to your dog to ensure you are using a food with high-quality ingredients. Stick to food that is specifically-formulated for dogs because people food can be toxic to dogs or may cause some digestive problems or discomfort.
3. Daily Exercise
Every breed of dog will require exercise every day. For some breeds this may only be 10 or 15 minutes of physical activity but some breeds could require up to one hour. Daily exercise has many benefits for dogs which include preventing obesity, improving circulation, building strong bones and muscles and thwarting destructive behaviors. There are a multitude of different ways to help your dogs get exercise each day like playing fetch, going for a walk or run, or signing up for a group exercise class. Dogs love doing anything with their owners so finding a way to exercise that you can both participate in can be beneficial to both dogs and their owners.
4. Daily Grooming
Besides helping keep your dog’s coat clean and healthy, daily grooming can help you notice any medical ailments your dog may be suffering from. A lot of health conditions are prevalent because of symptoms affecting your dog’s skin and coat so always be vigilant when grooming to make sure nothing new has developed.
5. Never Stop Teaching
No matter what age, dogs can always be taught a new trick or command. Dogs never stop learning and are able to understand new concepts throughout their entire lifetime, which make the old adage “ you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” completely inaccurate. Never stop teaching your dog new things because he or she always has the desire to learn, which can be very stimulating and rewarding for both you and your pup.
6. Pooch-Proof Your Home
Keeping your dog healthy starts with their environment. Curious and determined dogs can get into to trouble or harm themselves in a home that has not been properly pet-proofed. Remove any poisonous house plants or toxic cleaning supplies that could injure your dog, especially if he or she ingests any. Make sure there aren’t any electrical cords around for your dog to chew on and put away anything small that could be a choking hazard. Depending on your dog’s determination and individual preferences, you will most likely need to further pet proof your home to ensure your dog has a safe and healthy environment.
7. Prevent Parasites
Dogs can play hosts to a plethora of parasites that can cause some damage to your dog’s health if not taken care of right away. Monthly topicals or oral medications should be used religiously to thwart a flea or tick infestation. It is also a good idea to use other monthly medications to prevent things like heartworm disease.
8. Regular Vet Checkups
Just like people, dogs should have yearly exams to help them maintain optimum health. Trips to the vet ensure that your dog’s vaccines are up to date and allows the veternarian to monitor, and further investigate if necessary, any changes in your dogs health. Vet check-ups are also a great time to get any information or tips from your doctor about your dog and keeping him or her healthy.
If you don’t plan to breed or show your dog, it is a good idea to have your female dog spayed or your male dog neutered. Spayed females are prone to developing diseases involving their reproductive systems or breasts and be less likely to attract unneutered male dogs. Neutered males will be less likely to roam in search of a female in heat and are usually less aggressive and territorial.
Serious, and potentially fatal, illnesses that your dog could develop or catch throughout his or her lifetime can be prevented by regular vaccinations. Vaccines, which are monitored and administered by your vet, can prevent illnesses like rabies, parvovirus, kennel cough, hepatitis and distemper. In most cases puppies receive vaccinations for these conditions once they are five or six-weeks-old. After they receive a series of vaccinations, yearly boosters should be administered to help keep dogs healthy throughout their lifetime.