Like any responsible dog owner, you want to do what’s best for your pet. The choices you make have a direct effect on their health and quality of life. Here are seven things you can do to improve your dog’s health and help them live longer.
1. Groom Them On A Regular Basis
All dogs, regardless of coat length, should be groomed once a month to remove loose fur, cut down on grease, and prevent skin irritation. If a trip to the groomer isn’t in your budget, consider bathing and grooming your dog at home to keep their coat healthy. You should also trim their nails regularly to prevent them from getting too long. Overgrown nails can snag or tear, which may cause infection and secondary health issues.
2. Provide Plenty Of Affection And Socialization
Positive experiences are critical for a dog’s socialization and development. Puppies begin to learn from their environment at five weeks of age. This window of important socialization and growth closes around sixteen weeks of age. Their experiences during this period will affect them for the rest of their lives. If you have a new puppy, it’s important to provide plenty of affection and socialization to help them grow up well adjusted. Play with him, teach him commands, and take him for walks. Put forth the effort while he is young to ensure you have a happy, social adult dog later.
3. Spay Or Neuter Your Dog
Animal shelters are overcrowded with dogs and cats. When some reach maximum capacity, they have no other option but to euthanize. While this is the heartbreaking reality of animal shelters, you have the power to do something. Spay or neuter your pet when they are eligible to have the procedure. Spaying and neutering your dog will not only prevent unwanted litter as they mature but will also help reduce their likelihood of developing certain types of cancers.
4. Take Them To The Vet Regularly
Regular checkups are the best way to catch a variety of serious health conditions. During appointments, the vet can gather lab samples, do blood work, and run tests to ensure your dog is healthy. It’s vitally important to take your dog to the vet regularly when they are a puppy. Your vet will ensure they are growing properly and address any issues or concerns you may have.
5. Consider Preventative Medications
Another reason to visit the vet regularly is that they can suggest preventative medications to protect your dog from many diseases. Fleas, ticks, heartworms, and other parasites can make your dog very ill. If severe enough, some infestations are, unfortunately, fatal. You can add years to your life by putting your dog on preventative medications that protect them from harm.
6. Invest In Proper Nutrition
Your dog’s quality and length of life heavily depend on what you feed them. There are plenty of poor-quality dog food options on the market that do more harm than good. Many contain fillers that provide little to no nutrition. Consider trying a balanced raw diet for dogs. Raw dog food provides your dog with improved digestion, cleaner teeth, and firmer stools. Raw diets are also good for weight management. By switching to a raw diet, you’ll improve their health and boost their longevity.
7. Make Sure They Get Plenty Of Exercise
Dogs need plenty of exercise to thrive. Some breeds need no more than thirty minutes of activity. However, others require several hours. Some working professionals have a hard time meeting their dog’s exercise needs. If this sounds familiar, start walking your dog in the morning before you go to work and in the evening when you get home. If necessary, find a dog walker to take them out in the middle of the day. Making sure your dog receives the exercise they need will help prevent excess pounds and improve his wellbeing. They will also be less destructive when left alone during the day.
Your dog is a member of your family. You want to make sure you are doing everything you can to raise a happy, healthy pup. By putting the time and effort into your dog’s health now, you’ll enjoy your companion for many years to come.