Today, our South Lebanon vets share the top 6 things you can do to help your dog achieve and maintain their optimal health.
Besides giving your dog all the love and attention they deserve, here are 6 ways you can help them stay as healthy as possible:
1. Feed Your Dog a Healthy Diet
Be sure to feed them a high-quality, nutritious diet. You should speak with your vet about which types of food they recommend based on your dog's age, size, breed, and lifestyle.
If your dog has a specific dietary need medical condition that requires a special diet, there is a range of prescription diets available that are tailored to fit the specific nutritional needs of a wide number of conditions.
2. Keep Your Dog at a Healthy Weight
Obesity has been linked to a number of serious conditions in dogs including joint conditions, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Helping your dog maintain a healthy weight is essential for their health. Along with selecting the right food for your pup, it is also important that you feed them the right amount. Talk to your vet to find out your dog's ideal daily calorie consumption.
Many pet owners over-indulge their dog with treats. Although your dog loves them and they are a great training tool, treats should only make up about 10% of your dog's daily calorie intake.
If possible, try switching up standard dog treats for low-cal healthy snacks such as pieces of apple, cucumber, baby carrots, or frozen blueberries.
3. Give Your Dog Daily Exercise
Different breeds and sizes of dogs have different exercise requirements. While some dogs can stay healthy with one to two short walks a day, others may need an hour or more of high-intensity exercise daily.
Physical activity not only keeps your dog's body in good condition, but it can also help to prevent mental boredom which can lead to destructive behaviors or anxiety. Walks, backyard games, and social time at dog parks are all great ways to ensure your dog gets enough exercise.
When considering getting a dog be sure to factor in your lifestyle and try to choose a dog that matches your activity level.
4. Take Your Dog for Annual Routine Exams
Regular wellness exams are important in ensuring your pet's long-term health and well-being. Even if your canine friend seems healthy, you should take them for an annual exam. Annual exams allow your vet to assess your pet's health and screen for any emerging conditions that are easier to treat when caught early.
As part of their annual wellness exam, you should also consider getting yearly routine bloodwork and a fecal exam for your dog. Both of these diagnostic tests allow your vet to get a better look at your pet's internal health to be sure there are no hidden conditions or parasites that could make your dog sick if not treated.
5. Keep Vaccinations Vaccinations Up-To-Date
Vaccinations are an important part of your dog's overall well-being. Regularly scheduled vaccines help to protect your dog from many highly contagious, sometimes 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 bordetella.
6. Provide Parasite Prevention
Along with regular vaccinations, you should also keep your pet up-to-date on their parasite prevention measures. There are a host of parasites, including fleas, ticks, and heartworm, that can cause your dog to become seriously ill or uncomfortable. Many parasites also have the ability to spread to other pets or people in your household.
Speak to your vet about the most effective ways to protect your dog against the parasites that are 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.