You want to do all you can to give your dog their best shot at a long and healthy life full of fun. Along with lots of love and attention, there are a few other basic steps that are essential when it comes to helping to ensure your dog's health. Here, our Lincoln Park vets recommend 6 things you can do to help your dog live a long and healthy life.
Your Dog's Health
Ensuring the health of our companion animals is a big responsibility, but it doesn't need to be complicated. Caring for the health of your pooch essentially comes down to doing all you can to help prevent diseases from developing. Below you will find 6 things you can do to help prevent disease and keep your pup happy and healthy.
1 - Provide Nutritious Meals
Your dog's wellbeing will greatly depend upon the quality of the food they eat. To help keep your dog healthy, speak to your vet about the best foods for your dog based on age, breed and lifestyle. Your vet will be happy to offer tips for finding just the right food to meet your pup's nutritional needs, or if your dog is experiencing health issues that may be related to diet, book a nutritional consultation.
2 - Keep Your Dog at a Healthy Weight
Obesity has been linked to a number of serious conditions in dogs including diabetes and joint pain, so keeping your dog at a healthy weight is essential for optimal health. Once you have chosen a nutritious food for your pooch, your vet will be able to calculate the optimal number of calories your dog should consume each day. Once you know how many calories are appropriate for your dog, you will be able to easily work out exactly how much you should be feeding your dog each meal.
3 - Make Sure Your Dog Gets Plenty of Exercise
Different breeds have different exercise requirements. While some dogs can stay healthy with a quick walk around the block, high-energy breeds may need an hour or more of vigorous exercise once or twice a day. Adequate physical activity not only helps to keep your dog's body in good condition, but it can also help to prevent mental boredom which can lead to destructive behaviors or anxiety. Be sure to ask your vet or breeder about the appropriate amount of exercise for your dog. Walks, backyard games, and social time at dog parks are all great ways to ensure your pooch gets plenty of exercise.
4 - Annual Wellness Exams
Diagnosing and treating conditions in the very earliest stages helps to ensure the very best treatment outcomes. Annual veterinary exams, when your dog seems healthy, are all about prevention, monitoring your pet's overall health, and checking for early signs of developing issues. Your vet will discuss your dog's diet, exercise and other lifestyle factors with you, ask if you have any concerns about your pet's health or behavior, then perform a comprehensive physical examination. Once the exam is complete your veterinarian will discuss any findings with you. If anything concerning has been detected your vet will make recommendations regarding diet, diagnostic testing, or treatment.
5 - Vaccinations
Our Lincoln Park vets believe that vaccinations are essential for helping your pet live a long and healthy life. Regularly scheduled vaccines help to protect your dog from many highly contagious, potentially life-threatening diseases. Most states require by law that all pets be vaccinated against rabies, but there are a number of other serious conditions that vaccines protect dogs against including parvo, distemper, and panleukopenia.
6 - Parasite Prevention
Ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes can all carry organisms that lead to a range of diseases that seriously threaten the health and longevity of your dog. A bite from one of these parasites could cause your dog to become gravely ill if not protected. Speak to your vet about the most effective ways to protect your pooch against a full range of tick-borne diseases, heartworms, and other parasitic conditions common in your area.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.