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Best Way To Keep Your Dog Healthy, Some easy steps

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We all know that different dog breeds live longer than other breeds.  Did you know that there are some important things that you can do to ensure that your dog lives a long and healthy life no matter what their breed is.Dog vet visit

Your dog has to 100% rely on you to be make the decisions that allow your dog to be a healthy dog.  They can’t make those decisions for themselves, so remember that.

The best way to keep your dog healthy can be done by following some easy steps right from day one of getting your dog.  You don’t want to end up with issues early on with your new dog.

Veterinary visits.

From the very beginning of getting your new dog, you want to have a good Veterinarian that will be looking after your dog’s medical needs.

Puppies require multiple Vet visits as they reach certain milestones with their age.  The first visit will be a welfare or puppy check.  The Vet does a once over of your puppy, just to check the basics like heart rate, ears, eyes and abdomen.

Most of the visits after the first visit will be for their required vaccinations, which are super important in protecting your dog from things like Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis Parvo and Parainfluenza (DHLPP) as well as Rabies.

They vaccinations are very important and until your puppy get these shots, it is crucial that you keep them away from dog parks as well as other dogs for their own safety.

Even if, you didn’t get a puppy and opted to rescue an older dog you will still need to make sure that you take your dog to your vet for an initial check up.

Depending on where you got your dog from, you may or may not get a medical history.  Talking to your Vet about their age and any issues that you know of that you may be concerned about.   Give them all the information that you do have and then they can do a health check for themselves to see if they can spot any health issues.

Once you have gone through those first steps with all the vaccinations, you will need to keep a yearly visit with your vet.

The other very important Vet visit is to ensure that your puppy or rescue dog has been spayed or neutered.  With a puppy it is usually around 5 mos old or so.  If you have a rescue dog it is still just as important to make sure they are spayed or neutered as soon as possible.

Being a respectful dog owner, means that you need to help control the overwhelming pet population that exists in the world today.  Do your part and get your dog fixed.  Yes it does cost a pit of money for this one time procedure, but it really is a must expense, so make sure to budget for that when considering getting a new dog.

dog vet visits

Diet and exercise.

It is no secret that what you feed your dog every day will have a huge impact on healthy your dog will be.  When it comes to picking good dog food, it is important to do your homework.

Feeding your dog food that comes from a grocery store really should not even be an option.  It is full of fillers like corn, corn syrup and animal by-products.

Giving your dog cheap and food that lacks any real ingredients will only lead to diarrhea, a bad coat of hair and absolutely no nutrition for their body at all, which of course will cause health issues.

Choosing dog food that has real meat and ingredients that you can read off the label is the absolute right choice.  You don’t have to buy the most expensive dog food on the market, but you do need to spend a bit of money to honestly get what you pay for.

Many people are now choosing to feed their dogs a raw food diet which offers an excellent choice if that is something that you think will work for you.  There are some great companies that will even do all the work for you and ship right to your house. TruDog is one of those great companies.

dog and vet

Another choice with dog food, is you can make your own dog food, which again will work very well for your dog and has some great health benefits.  This all depends on whether that is something you would be interested in doing.

There are many reasons why choosing a good diet for your dog will benefit them.  What your dog eats affects everything from a healthy coat of hair, their skin, their teeth and overall body weight.

Just like humans, if you fill your body full of junkie food with no nutrition, it can lead to health problems like obesity or just overall bad health.   The same thing applies to our dogs.  Fill your dog with a good diet and your dog will thank you, by not needing multiple visits to vet which in turn saves you money.

We know that food is important to overall health, but proper exercise, is also very important. Maintain a healthy weight for your dog by regular exercise and mental stimulation.  When your dog does not get the exercise they need, they can easily become overweight which will lead to numerous health issues and a shorter life span.

It is no secret that exercise is the key to success with your dog.   Running, walking, biking, or throwing a ball or Frisbee around the yard are all easy excellent ways to get the proper exercise for your dog.  A dog that has pent-up energy that isn’t released, can lead to things like behaviour issues and even separation anxiety.

Ideally your dog should get about 1-2 hours a day of exercise.  I realize that some days this isn’t possible with our life’s busy schedule, so try to do your best for your dog.

Table food and teeth.

Keeping with the food theme and your dog, if you choose to feed your dog human food that decision alone could come back to haunt you.  Dogs are not meant to eat our food if they were there would be no dog food on the market.

Feeding your dog human food can lead to dental issues within a few years.  When it comes to dog’s teeth, plague can build up very quickly from table food and that leads to expensive vet bills.

Talking about table food and their teeth leads us right into the next really key thing that will keep your dog healthy…..cleaning their teeth.  Yes it is expensive to get their teeth cleaned, but honestly it is one of the BIG things that can extend the life of your pet.

Dog’s that have never had their teeth cleaned can quickly develop major health issues like heart disease, bacteria that can cause an infection and even diabetes.   If you can start cleaning your dogs teeth around 2 -3 years old and continue doing so every other year, you will be amazed at how healthy your dog’s teeth will be.

When it comes to my own 2 dogs, I will admit at times to giving them food like raw carrots, cucumbers and even the odd piece of cheese.  Once in a while, it is certainly okay to do, but try to limit is to just small amounts as a reward or treat.

Sticking to a routine of dental cleaning and limited amounts of table food, will definitely pay off with our dog’s overall health.

dog teeth keep healthy

Regular grooming.

Making sure that your dog is groomed on a regular basis can go a long way to ensuring an overall healthy dog.  Depending on the breed of your dog, will determine how often they need to be professionally groomed, unless of course you are going to groom your own dog.

Either way, the decision to regularly groom your dog will ensure that their hair, nails, and ears are all clean.  Doing this often, will also give you the opportunity to check for ticks, fleas and any other issue that your dog may have.

I get my dogs groomed every 3-4 mos or so, but I also make sure to do my own regular brushing of their beard for matts, trim their eye hair, check hair that is getting out of control around the feet and but.

The other major reason for keeping your dog groomed is that is will promote a positive attitude in your dog.  A dog does not want to be matted, dirty, stinky or overall unclean.  They also feel pride when they are clean and well manicured, like a spring in their step.  Your dog’s joy and positive attitude will play a huge role in their quality of life.

Overall health plan.

All of these categories I have laid out are some of the most important things you can do for your dog to ensure that they live a long and healthy life.

Some key things that you can do as part of your overall dog health plan is to routinely check your dog over.   Watch for any warning signs with your dog that indicate that they are in distress.  They can’t tell you what is wrong, so watching closely for any changes in their behaviour.

dog exercising

Keeping an eye to see if they are eating and drinking normally.  Even keeping an eye open for any physical changes to their body that can pop up.  Any limping, excessive panting, scratching their ears or just anything that is out of the normal for your dog.

By checking your dog over thoroughly you can also be on the look out for things like fleas, ticks or any changes to their body.  Catching an issue early is always better than having the issue linger on for a longer period of time.

Even if we are able to watch our dogs closely every minute of everyday things can still come up with our dogs health that are completely out of our control.  Just like people, dogs can get sick.  Having a Vet that you trust will go a long way in your piece of mind and giving your dog the best medical attention you can.

Always be the best dog parent that you can be, your dog’s health and life longevity are at stake. Best of luck!

DOG PARENTS ROCK!

14 Comments

  1. It’s no secret today that dog food is one of the most important variables in determining a dog’s health, and yes, some of those foods sold at the grocery store are about as processed these days as our own food; a lot of processing. I’ve always thought perhaps picking up food at a pet supplies store might be a better cost, but I’ve noticed some get their dog food delivered via e-commerce. Which is the best option to find the highest quality food?

    • Hi Todd,

      You are so right about dog food being the number 1 way to keep your dog healthy.  As far as which is the best, that can boil down to your dog.  For example my dog Finn has food allergies, so he is on a Kangaroo dog food made by Royal Canine which we can only get from a Vet.

      Prior to his allergies, he was on a fish and potato from Natural Balance which he had for 8 years.  I always like fish and potato food as their is benefits to fish for dogs.  They get a nice coat of hair and they have easy poop to pick up. LOL!

      I hope this helps with your questions about dog food. You can also check out my dog food post for more detailed information.

      Thank you.

      Coralie

  2. Thank you for the article, we have a small dog and we agree that having a great vet all the time on hand is a must for any dog owner. Our little one is part of the family and although she is 8 years old she is still an active and healthy dog. Once again thank you for the insight into keeping your little one healthy.

    • Hello,

      I am so glad that you found some good information from my post  I agree that having a great vet can certainly alleviate some real stress if and when your dog does get sick.  It is great to hear that your 8 year old dog is still happy and healthy.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and stories about your little one.

      Coralie 

  3. I always treat my dog, Shiro, as a member of my family. I am glad I got all the routine that you. I wrote on point. When I first got him, he was only 3 months old and he got many shots from the vets. That first day night time, he kept whining and throwing up so I rushed him to the vet and we had to give him IV because he lost a lot of water. Not sure why he did that but I am glad I have the vet that I can trust and it is right by my place. I guess he was so small and probably contracted the germs somewhere. 

    After that incident, I know in my heart that he is just like us. I give him Eukanuba but I tried my best to cook chicken breast for him and mix it with chicken liver. He loves that. I think all the package dog food have so many additives and god knows where did they get the meat from. Some can be from carcass or roak kill, that can’t be healthy. 

    I also learned the hard way that the nature of my Shiro, a husky, is super active. I was a new pet owner not sure how to train a puppy. I went to work and came to his wreck at my house. Basically, Shiro destroyed the place because he was bored and needed to run. After I take him out for a run, he listens to me more and behave better. This is perfect, I feel that I am healthier because of him as well.

    I also brush his teeth every night, boy do we fight and he complains lol I also have to groom him as much as I can, his fur is just out of control. But you know what it is worth it, he is my family.

    • Hi Nuttanee,

      Shiro is one lucky dog.  It really sounds like you get the important job of being a dog parent.  You do all the right things that keep him healthy.

      I love that you cook chicken to add to his food.  I agree that bought dog food is not always a great choice.  I will say that there is some that is 10X’s better than others.  The problem I find is people don’t do their homework when it comes to what dog food to buy for their dog.

      It also seems like the don’t realize how important it is to give your dog healthy food because it can be a direct link to how healthy they are.

      You are always so engaging and I love to hear about your Shiro. Thank you Nuttanee.

      Coralie 

  4. Hello Coralie!!
    Most of us have a dog in our house with a view to protect house from any unwanted occurrence. So they are the protection of our house. They also need to be taken care of to have a good health. And I think this is their right. You have written so nicely about this. I am agree with you that dogs should be taken to veterinarian for regular check ups. Also for regular grooming and most importantly they should given proper dog foods.Thanks for showing the way for a healthy dog.

    • Hi Akborm,

      I really enjoyed reading your comments on my post. You seem to really have the correct approach to making sure we do everything we can to keep our dogs healthy.

      We owe them that, for what they give and bring to our lives.  They are members of our family so giving them the best we can in grooming, dog food or Vet visits is so important.

      Thank you Akborm.

      Coralie 

  5. Such good advice here, thank you!
    I love a raw food diet, my dog’s allergies went away and her coat turned so soft!

    • Hi Krystyn

      Thank you for commenting on my post. I am so glad that by feeding your dog a raw dog food diet their allergies went away.
      I have 2 dogs and they also both have allergies, so it is important to give them good food.

      Coralie

  6. The dog has a very special place in the human heart as a trusted companion. There health and well being also is equally important and is the sole responsibility of the owner because they can not speak. You have to cultivate a good and loving relationship to know their feelings.

    This article has given health tips very well addressing almost all the issues to prevent a dog’s health going wrong. The health menu in this article is the one I like to keep as a reference check.

    I have seen a scared young dog shivering badly. It needed a lot of hugs and pampering and removing the stress elements from him. He was stressed because the older dogs were attacking him when he was playing outside. 

    I was just wondering do the dogs need quiet sleep and rest time like us? They have good ears because they react barking right away seeing strangers.

    I always wonder about a dog my father had and he left our house when he died and we never could find him. I am still curious about the dog’s disappearance. We all use to love him very much but he did not care apparently.

    This article is a must-read for dog owners or wanting to own a dog.

    • Hi Anusuya,

      Thank you so much for your wonderful comments.  I am happy that you have found some great information in my post.

      To answer your question about dogs needing quiet time. I really think that they do.  I think as puppies, they  don’t, but as dogs get older I say for sure.

      It is so nice to hear your stories and experiences with dogs, so thank you for sharing.

      Coralie 

  7. That was a good tip that you mentioned that puppies require multiple visits to the vet clinic as they get older. I’ve been wanting to get a puppy for my kids and I’ve been wanting to make sure I have everything I need to keep our dog happy and healthy. Maybe I’ll have to consider some veterinarians in the area and see which one is best for our new family member.

    • Hi Thomas,
      Thank you for reading and commenting on my post.
      I am excited that you are thinking of getting a dog. That would be amazing. They bring so much joy and unconditional love. They really are the best.
      Best of luck to you.
      Coralie

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