Dogs are extremely popular as domestic pets, and it isn’t hard to see why! They’re so cute and funny, even when they’re fully grown, and most give off affection like it’s all they live for! If you have you have a dog you care about, you obviously want to make sure it keeps in good health. Here are some tips for ensuring your best friend stays as healthy and happy as possible.
Possibly the most important tip I can give is to take your dog for an annual veterinary exam. It’s much harder to tell when your dog’s sick rather than when your kid is. Because your dog won’t be able to tell you how they’re feeling, it’s important to take them for regular check-ups with your vet. Remember that dogs have a much shorter lifespan than us. Because of this, a serious illness can take hold within a year or an even shorter time. Your check-ups with the vet should include a complete blood count, a blood chemistry check, and possibly vaccinations. Liaising with a vet regularly will also help you to keep looking out for symptoms of certain illnesses. You’ll also have close access to a variety of treatments like dealing with worming for dogs.
For most dog owners, it’s a good idea to be a little paranoid about your pet getting sick. If you’ve only just brought your dog home, then their behaviour may seem funny and erratic at the moment. Soon though, you’ll begin to get more tuned-in to the little things they do which show how they’re feeling. Pay attention to the sounds they make, their eyes, and how they hold their ears. Certain behaviours like obsessively licking their paws can also be a sign of distress. It’s important to get into your dog’s behaviour patterns early on, as they could be showing distress due to the way you’re keeping it. Make sure to pay attention to how your dog reacts to every change you make in their routine.
Finally, be sure to keep your dog slender. You may not have known it, but most domestic dogs are overweight for their age and breed. If you look at your dog and think it’s too skinny, then it’s probably a healthy weight. Just like a human, if your dog is overweight it may develop a number of health issues. Joint problems and diabetes are probably the most prominent in overweight dogs. With most breeds, there’s a simple way of checking their weight. Their ribs should be just about invisible on their side. Although you’re not able to see them, you should be able to feel the ridges of your dog’s ribcage by gently stroking its flank. If they’re visible from the start or you have to push to feel them, then it’s time to change your dog’s diet.
Keep these tips in mind, and your dog will have a much healthier lifestyle. Remember to look out for various common illnesses, and give your dog the attention they love so much!