Looking after your dog’s health can ensure that your pet lives longer. It can also mean less visits to the vet, which means not having to pay out extortionate veterinary bills. Here are just a few healthcare tips to keep your canine companion healthy and happy.
Go for regular walks
All dogs need exercise. Indeed, certain breeds may need more exercise than others. A pug doesn’t need long walks, but a German shepherd does. Regular walks can also be good for your dog’s mental state, allowing them to explore as if they would in the wild. It can limit bad behaviour such as chewing and make them more comfortable around strangers. Above all, regular walks can keep your dog’s weight down and blood pressure at a healthy level. They also have the added bonus of giving you a chance to exercise too. This is also where you may benefit from having a long retractable dog leash.
Control your dog’s diet
Dogs need to be getting all the right nutrition they need. Most dog foods will provide this although there are supplements such as pill pockets for dogs which can help. Owners should be wary with human foods – whilst dogs will love most human foods, many are unhealthy for them. Some such as chocolates, grapes, avocados and onions can be toxic to dogs. It’s also worth noting that dogs don’t have an off switch when it comes to eating food and many will eat whatever you put down. Be careful not to overfeed your hound. A scoff bowl may be able to help them eat more slowly if you find they’re wolfing it up in seconds.
Groom your dog
Allowing time to groom your dog is important. Combing their fur will improve circulation around their body. It’s also a great time to check for fleas and lice as well as bumps and cysts on the dog’s skin.
It’s also good to trim your dog’s nails. Some dogs will naturally wear them down through regular walks, whilst others may not. Be careful not to trim past the dog’s ‘quick’ as this will be painful. A vet may be able to help show you how to do this.
You can also brush your dog’s teeth. Some people may stick to chewy dental dog foods, but there are also specialise dog toothbrushes and dog toothpastes that you can get.
You can also learn to do other checkups which may prevent you from having to go to the vet as often. There are tools that can be bought to check inside dogs’ ears for dirt and ticks.
Don’t ditch checkups altogether
Whilst every visit to the vet will cost money, you shouldn’t avoid the vet altogether. Some ailments are hard to spot as dogs are very adept at hiding pain. A checkup at the vets once a year might be able to reveal any hidden problems before they become serious. Not having checkups could allow these problems to get worse and then treatment and recovery could be much more costly.