Proud dog parents have many responsibilities, all of which help their pets stay healthy and happy. As part of your commitment to full-time canine care, be mindful of what you can do to protect your fur baby. From visiting the veterinarian regularly to exercising often, here’s what you should know.
How to Help Your Dog Stay Healthy
1. Regular Exercise
Regular physical activity will help your dog stay fit. Puppies are naturally active, so you may need to take them on several walks a day so they can release energy.
You can determine how much exercise an adult dog needs based on their breed. An active border collie or Labrador retriever needs far more exercise than a relaxed basset hound or French bulldog. Your veterinarian can help you determine how much exercise your pet needs based on health concerns, like hip or respiratory issues.
2. Check Skin Regularly
Your dog can’t tell you when their skin itches or they feel uncomfortable, so it’s up to you to perform routine examinations. It should feel smooth to the touch, with either a pale pink or dark hue depending on the type of dog you have. If you detect flakiness, red spots, clear irritation, or bleeding, consult your veterinarian.
Check for ticks and fleas by brushing the fur back. If you notice specks, treat these contaminants before the problem aggravates your pet further.
3. Provide Optimal Nutrition
A balanced diet will keep your dog healthy and lengthen their lifespan. Feed them balanced meals that contain appropriate amounts of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, along with vital vitamins and minerals.
Since water accounts for over half of your furry friend’s weight, make sure that they drink enough each day. Don’t rely solely on food sources; leave a bowl of fresh water out and refill it as needed.
4. Practice Basic Grooming
Bathe your pet at least once every few months, or more frequently if your veterinary care provider recommends it. Use a mild, pet-friendly formula that won’t cause irritation. You should also brush their fur regularly to minimize tangles and loosen dirt.
Don’t forget the ears; take a look inside and clean them with gauze and mineral oil if they’re dirty. Be gentle as you wipe down the backs of the ears.
5. Address Dental Needs
Just like people, dogs have very specific dental health needs. It’s easy for bacteria to accumulate and form tartar, which can lead to tooth decay, gingivitis, and even loss of teeth. Use a dog toothbrush and animal-friendly toothpaste regularly and schedule regular cleanings if your pet is prone to plaque buildup.
Regular trips to the veterinarian are key to your dog’s health and well-being. If you’re in Montgomery, NY, bring your furry friend to Cedarknoll Animal Hospital for treatment. Dr. Terri Greer and her experienced staff will treat your pet like family. They offer essential services like flea medicine, pet vaccines, and general exams. Visit the website for more information, or call (845) 361-5404 to schedule an appointment.