You just brought your furbaby home and you're excited to do your favorite things with him. You're a real believer in the saying, "dogs are a man's best friend". But sometimes, you might be so caught up in the fun you're having with your pet, that you may not think about certain things to keep him in good health. If you want your dog to live longer so that you have more years with him, follow these tips to care for your furry friend.
1. Give Him the Best Nutrition for His Needs
Dogs need a healthy, balanced diet like humans do to keep their health in check. To ensure your dog is getting the best possible nutrition, buy high-quality dog food that's free of additives, preservatives and by-products. Ensure that the brand you purchase has contents that were made with the best ingredients. Dogs may not be as picky as humans when it comes to certain foods, but it's still best to ensure the food he's consuming has healthy and natural ingredients.
Not all dog foods include fruit and vegetables in them. If you want to add even more nutrition to your canine companion's diet, you can purchase dog food that already has these ingredients or you can add fruits and vegetables to his diet. You can give him apples, bananas, oranges, broccoli, cabbage, green beans and more.
For more information about the fruits and veggies you can give your pet, do your own research and talk to your vet.
2. Make Sure He Gets Adequate Exercise
While some breeds require less exercise than others, regular activity is important to your dog's health. This is what will help keep your dog from gaining too much weight by burning excess calories his body doesn't use. Keeping your dog at a healthy weight can prevent a variety of illnesses such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and some forms of cancer.
It can be surprising that dogs, another species, can develop the same types of illnesses that humans do. But now that you're aware of how you can avoid these illnesses, you can give your dog a better chance of achieving amazing health.
3. Perform a Home Health Exam
In between vet visits, you can keep a leg up on your dog's health by doing an at-home health exam. For example, check his mouth to look at his teeth and gums. Darker gums and a buildup of tartar on the teeth could indicate gum disease, which could lead to bacteria and toxins entering the bloodstream with potentially destructive effects on your dog’s internal organs. Also, look for any broken or cracked teeth, which can cause serious pain and distress.
You should also check your dog's eyes as bright, clear eyes are a sign of good health in any species. If his eyes are cloudy, it could be a sign of aging or something more serious. When in doubt, bring it up to your vet. You may also want to look at your dog's eyes and see if he has any discharge. A dog eye booger could indicate something as simple as seasonal allergies or a more serious problem like glaucoma.
4. Take Him to the Vet Regularly
Of course, you want to get your dog checked by someone who specializes in vet medicine. You should take him to the vet at least once a year. This doesn't include vaccinations or other visits. A wellness checkup is necessary because your vet will check your dog's vitals and organs to detect any problems. If there are, you may be able to catch them early and increase treatment success. Your vet will check his eyes, ears, nose, mouth, lungs and heart. If the vet suspects something is wrong, he or she will perform a more involved examination.
A healthy dog is a happy dog. You'll be happy as well because you're doing everything you can to improve your pet's quality of life.