Set Your Dog Up For a Healthy Life

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The new year has come and gone, and with it, so have many well-intentioned new year’s resolutions. However, we have a resolution for you that is sure to kickstart your motivation to help your furry-friend stay on track this year and for many years to come!

Why not still resolve to make this year your dog’s healthiest year yet?  Like most pet owners, you probably want your pooch to live the longest, healthiest life possible.  The good news is there are simple changes you can make right now to set your dog up for a healthy year, and ultimately a longer life.

The following five tips will stack the odds in your pup’s favor and may even add years to his or her life.


Give your pooch regular exercise

Regular exercise is crucial when it comes to maintaining your dog’s weight.  Walks will also keep your dog engaged and active, which is an integral part of staying young.

Additionally, walking with your dog is an important part of the human-canine bonding process. Taking regular walks with your pup will not only keep him fit, but it might help you reach your fitness goals too!


Take stock of your dog’s diet

Your pet’s diet contributes to his overall health. Check with your veterinarian to be sure that you are feeding your pet the correct food and amount for his size, age, weight, breed, and activity level.  

If you think your dog is overweight, cut down on treats and speak with your vet about a plan to get his weight back on track.

Overweight pets are at risk for many of the same illnesses that obese humans are likely to suffer from, including diabetes, arthritis, joint problems, high blood pressure, kidney disease, certain types of cancer, heart issues, and shorter life expectancy


Take your dog to the vet at least once a year

Your vet plays a crucial role in the life of your dog.  Therefore, it is imperative that you find a vet who makes both you and your dog both feel comfortable.  You should feel comfortable asking both the veterinarian and the vet staff questions. If you don’t, you need to find a different vet.

Your dog should have an annual examination and vaccinations to make sure his health hasn’t changed and to catch any possible issues right away.

Regular checkups are also an excellent opportunity to ask your vet any questions about changes in your pet’s behavior, appearance, appetite, or any other concerns you may have regarding the health of your pet and thier behavior.


Maintain your dog’s teeth

Just like with humans, proper dental care prevents tooth decay.  Plaque buildup and tooth decay can lead to infections that are not only painful but ultimately can lead to illnesses that affect internal organs.

Talk with your vet about the proper way to brush your dog’s teeth.  Ideally, you should clean his teeth at least a couple of times a week. 

Be sure you do not use human toothpaste.  Most human toothpaste contains fluoride, which is poisonous to dogs.  Several kinds of toothpaste for humans also contain artificial sweeteners that can be toxic to dogs.

Ask your vet to recommend the best toothpaste and toothbrush for your dog.  If your dog has significant plaque buildup, it may need to be removed in the vet’s office.   


Keep your dog up-to-date on vaccinations

It is crucial that you vaccinate your dog against potentially life-threatening diseases such as distemper, parvo, and rabies.  Follow the recommendation of your veterinarian when it comes to the timing and frequency of vaccinations.


Remember the adage, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  With some simple lifestyle changes and good preventative veterinary care, you can increase the chances of Fido living a long and healthy life!



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