Maintain Your Dog’s Health with Routine Care
Proactively tending to your pet’s well-being and health care ensures it lives the very best and healthiest life possible.
Schedule annual check-ups with your vet
One of the best ways to keep your pet healthy is to visit the vet regularly so they can examine your dog for any health concerns.
Look for solutions for flea, tick and heartworm prevention
Fleas and ticks put you and your pet’s health at risk since they can transmit diseases like Lyme disease, plague and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Heartworms can cause damage to your dog’s arteries, heart and lungs.
Maintain proper vaccinations
Vaccinations help protect your dog’s body from invasive diseases. Standard canine vaccines usually include parvovirus, distemper, rabies and canine hepatitis.
If you groom or board your pooch, you may also need a vaccine against Bordetella bronchiseptica, which can cause kennel cough. Your vet can help pinpoint the vaccines appropriate for your hound.
Consider spaying or neutering your pet
Spaying and neutering pets isn’t just about population control—it can help protect your canine companion from certain diseases.
For example, spaying your female dog can decrease her chances of uterus infections and breast tumors. Neutering male dogs can protect them from testicular cancer and prostate concerns.
Brush your dog’s teeth
While often overlooked, dental care is also essential for maintaining your pet’s health. Regularly brushing your pup’s teeth can help prevent dental illnesses that can end up affecting your dog’s kidney and liver function.
Dental cleaning might also be recommended, but it can cost a few hundred dollars to $1,000, depending on your location. Some pet insurance companies, such as Lemonade pet insurance, sell add-ons to help offset the cost of dental care, including routine dental cleanings.
Stimulate Your Dog’s Brain and Body
A balance of physical and mental stimulation plays a significant role in your dog’s health. It can also encourage good behavior while discouraging harmful behaviors that can wreak havoc on your patience and home.
As the saying goes: A tired dog is a good dog.
Exercise your dog every day
Regular exercise promotes bone, joint, muscle and organ health. Walking can also eliminate boredom and provide mental stimulation. You can also create an exercise routine with your pet, such as climbing stairs, going for a hike or running around the backyard.
While different sizes and breeds of dogs require varying levels of exercise, creating an exercise routine with your four-legged friend is essential.
Challenge your dog’s brain
Man’s best friend benefits from mental stimulation. Teach your dog new tricks, play new games and create puzzles. Since dogs have a heightened sense of smell, they love using their nose to explore. Try scattering a few treats around the home for your dog to find.
Create a slow-pace mealtime
Some dogs love gobbling up their food in one gulp. But eating too quickly may create digestive issues or result in vomiting.
Slow down your dog’s eating habits. Consider a puzzle feeder at mealtime or place a tennis ball in their food bowl so they have to eat around it.
Keep Your Pet Safe
Dangers are lurking inside and outside of your home that could cause harm to your pooch. Here are some tips for keeping your dog safe and out of trouble.
Register your pup
State and local pet laws often require dog owners to register their pets. Check your local municipalities so you can ensure your dog is properly licensed. You’ll want to attach the license to its collar to prove your dog is registered if it gets lost.
Consider a microchip
If your dog becomes lost, a microchip can help you locate your pet. Microchips are painless to implant and contain your contact information. They can usually be scanned at animal shelters and veterinary offices. Some pet insurance plans cover the cost of microchipping.
Secure trash, chemicals and toxins around your home
Dogs are curious creatures, but sometimes their curiosity can put them at risk of injury or illness—especially when exploring your home. To keep your dog out of harm’s way, secure your trash, toxins and other chemicals found around the house.
Create a safe space for your dog
Dogs can feel anxious or stressed under certain situations, like the sound of thunder or noisy houseguests. Creating a safe space for your pet can provide comfort and security when it needs to retreat. Have a place in your home with some creature comforts such as a bed, blanket, toys and fresh water.
Clean your dog’s stuff
Washing your dog’s toys, blankets and bedding removes germs, dirt, pollen and other things that can irritate your pet. Some dogs suffer from seasonal allergies, so make sure you wash your dog’s bedding on a regular basis.
Keep food out of your dog’s reach
Food items such as avocados, chocolate and onions are toxic to dogs. Keeping these items out of their reach can help avoid some serious health consequences.
Generally, you shouldn’t give your pup “people food” like your leftovers. But some “people food” items such as plain chicken, plain rice and canned pumpkin might be recommended by your vet for specific problems, like digestive issues.
Use a leash while in public
By always using a leash in public places, you can help your pet avoid accidents and injuries. For example, if your dog spots a squirrel and bolts after it, your dog could be at risk of getting hit by a car.