Your dog might not be a human, but he’s certainly a part of the family. And just as you would with any other family member, you have to prioritize your dog’s health and well-being to ensure he lives a happy and healthy life.
5 – Health Tips for Dog Owners
For many people, dog ownership is one of the great joys of life. Dogs provide what few other humans or animals can: steady companionship, unconditional love, and unwavering loyalty. But as with everything else in this life, dogs have finite lifespans.
Every breed is different, but small dogs typically live longer than large canines. The average lifespan of a dog under 20 pounds is 11 years. Those over 90 pounds tend to live just 8 years. Medium-sized dogs check in somewhere around 10 or 11 years.
But length of life isn’t the only important factor. As dog owners, we want to be certain our furry friends are living lives that are both happy and healthy. Here’s how you can proactively do this:
1. Ensure Proper Nutrition
Few dog owners take the time to understand what they’re feeding their pets. If you’re like most, you simply go with the brand you’ve always used. Or, even worse, you select whatever is the cheapest or happens to be on sale that week. Unfortunately, an approach like this does little to ensure your dog is getting the proper nutrition he needs to maintain a healthy weight and avoid imbalances and deficiencies.
Speak with your veterinarian to find out what type of food is best for your dog. This will be based on a combination of size, breed, behavior, age, and medical condition. It’s also important to keep your dog’s water bowl full at all times so that he can stay hydrated.
2. Get Daily Exercise
Your dog’s fascination with walks isn’t just an odd obsession. Your dog actually needs physical exercise on a daily basis. This can look like walking around the neighborhood, playing fetch, going on a job, or even swimming at a nearby pond.
3. Schedule Regular Checkups
Most people only take their dogs to the veterinarian’s office when there’s a problem, but it’s actually important that you schedule regular checkups – particularly when your dog gets into his later years. These checkups can help identify chronic health problems and proactively address small issues that could become major/expensive problems down the road.
4. Pay Attention to Dental Health
Few dog owners realize how important dental health and oral hygiene are. (And it has way more to do with bad breath!) Improper oral healthcare can lead to tooth loss, oral pain, dental disease, and even damage to the heart, kidneys, and liver.
In addition to regular brushing, be smart about the types of chews you keep around the house. Some can actually be detrimental to your dog’s teeth.
Having clean dog teeth and tolerable dog breath is pretty easy when your dog has natural chews as that removes food and bacteria hiding in between their teeth, Homes Alive Pets explains. Rawhide is popular as a superior dental cleaning chew, however, if you are concerned about the safety of the chews, you might like to look at some alternatives.
Healthy alternatives to rawhide include bully sticks, tendons, tripe twist sticks, chomper sticks, raw bones, yak snaks, cow ears, lamb horns, tartar bones, and chicken feet.
5. Groom Regularly
Regular grooming is a must for your dog – especially if you have a longhaired breed with a sensitive coat.
This includes trimming your pet’s nails brushing them once in every few weeks along with daily baths. VetSource explains. Grooming is a great way to keep a check over your pet’s dry skin, bald patches, its fur and its skin. Furthermore, it also helps you in looking for bumps and lumps that might be troubling your pet. Check with your veterinarian for the best grooming protocol for your particular pet.
Help Your Dog Live Its Best Life
Dogs are, without a question, man’s best friend. As a dog owner, it’s imperative that you live up to this standard by helping your furry friends live their happiest and healthiest lives. From nutrition and exercise to medical care and grooming, you’re the one calling the shots. Take the time to do it right!
Article Submitted By Community Writer