Just like humans dogs can really benefit from preventative care. Following a health routine just like you would for yourself is very important to the quality of their lives.
Here are some preventative care tips for your dogs health:
REMEMBER ANNUAL VET VISITS – One of the best ways to prevent health problems in your pets is to maintain annual wellness exams with your veterinarian. Dogs age at a faster rate than humans and their health status can change significantly over the course of a year.
VACCINATION IS THE BEST PROTECTION – Vaccination is one of the best ways to protect your pet from diseases such as kennel cough, rabies and distemper. Dogs can even be immunized against Lyme disease and canine flu. Some vaccines can be given every 3 years (though annual wellness exams are still recommended). Talk with your veterinarian about which vaccines are best suited for your pet based on age, health status and exposure.
ROUTINE GROOMING IS CRUCIAL TO YOUR DOG’S HEALTH – Routine ear cleaning, nail trimming and coat brushing are all beneficial to the health of your dog. Talk to your veterinarian about how to safely clean your dog’s ears. A strong odor or discharge from the ears can be a sign of an infection. Keeping nails trimmed short will keep them from getting caught and injured as well as helping him walk normally.
PROTECT YOUR POOCH FROM PARASITES – Heartworms, fleas, ticks and intestinal parasites can have major health consequences for your dog and are easily prevented by regular use of veterinary approved products. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquito bites. Fleas and ticks not only transmit disease, but also cause very itchy skin that is uncomfortable for your pet. With changing weather patterns, it is often difficult to guarantee when mosquitos, fleas and ticks aren’t biting. Intestinal parasites cause diarrhea and vomiting and persistent infections are a health detriment as well as a source of environmental contamination.
ALWAYS DELIVER GOOD NUTRITION AND REGULAR EXERCISE – One of the keys to lasting health is balanced nutrition. Keep your dog on a high quality diet that addresses their specific health needs, age, breed and activity level. Regular exercise will keep your dog in lean body condition while providing a bonding experience.
DENTAL CARE IS JUST AS IMPORTANT FOR YOUR DOG – Taking good care of your dog’s teeth is important in maintaining overall health. Infections that start in the mouth can spread to other parts of the body. Plaque and tartar buildup not only causes bad breath, but can also lead to loose teeth that eventually fall out or need to be pulled. Brushing twice weekly with an edible toothpaste is recommended to keep the teeth clean and prevent problems.
Paying attention to your furry friends health really can make a difference in the length and quality of their lives. After all they are one of the family.
What else would you suggest doing to take better care of dogs in general?