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You love your dog, and you want him to have the healthiest, happiest life possible. Fortunately, making that happen isn’t complicated. With a good diet, weight management, exercise and regular veterinary care, your dog will be his best self.
Food and Supplements
What you feed your dog affects all of his physical functions. By providing a healthy diet that is rich in high quality foods, you’re giving your dog’s body the tools it needs to build stronger bones and muscles. Good nutrition can stave off the development of infections, skin conditions and digestive issues, as well as grave problems like cancer and heart disease. Beyond the physical impact of a good diet, your dog will feel happier and more energetic.
Many dog owners incorporate natural supplements into the diet of their pets to ensure optimal nutrition. If the food your dog eats doesn’t go far enough to meet his nutritional needs, seek out ultimate pet nutrition products. Supplements compliment healthy meals and can improve everything from joint function to digestion.
While nutrition is a powerful factor in the overall health of your dog, consumption must always be balanced with maintaining a healthy weight. As a pet owner, you can do more to limit weight gain than you realize. Measuring out food rather than eye-balling each meal can help cut down on unnecessary extra calories. You should keep an eye on everything your pet eats to be sure he isn’t packing on pounds by consuming table scraps or too many treats. Watch for changes in your dog’s size or weight; even one or two extra pounds can have a detrimental impact on your dog’s health. As with humans, it is much wiser to prevent weight gain in the first place than to have to make lifestyle adjustments in order to eliminate extra pounds.
If your dog is otherwise healthy, routine exercise is an excellent way to maintain an appropriate weight. Playing fetch, catch or tug-of-war will help your dog break a sweat and burn calories. Being more active can be especially fun for you and your canine companion if you are both engaged. Take a hike together to explore nature, or challenge yourselves mentally and physically by learning a new game like flyball. Even something as mundane as a nightly walk can be more fun if you frequently take different routes, or let your dog walk you by allowing him to set the course as you follow his lead. Regardless of how your dog exercises, the important thing is for him to be active.
Even when your pet is eating nutritious meals and getting regular exercise, veterinary check-ups are a must. Your vet is your most trusted partner in monitoring for changes to your dog’s health that might otherwise go unnoticed. When your pet is still young, seeing a vet regularly establishes a health baseline. This paints a picture of what is normal for your dog in both his physical appearance and his blood work, making it easier to identify changes and act quickly if something seems amiss.
At a minimum, bring your dog in once a year for a full examination that includes blood work and a dental cleaning. Older dogs should be seen more frequently; these check-ups are important as your dog becomes more susceptible to age-related conditions. Diseases that impact the liver and kidneys can be treated successfully when they are caught early enough, and diabetes is manageable well into old age. Routine visits to a vet are a vital component in ensuring your furry friend stays by your side for years to come.
It’s so simple to give your dog a life of joy and good health. Make sure he stays at an appropriate weight by consuming only healthy foods and supplements, keep him active, and partner with a veterinarian to give him the highest quality care. Your dog will surely thank you.