Pet advice: Tips for a healthy dog
Your dog may feel like just one of the family, but that doesn’t mean you should necessarily treat him that way.
Learn how to help your dog stay healthy and at his best with some great advice for happy pooches.
Feed them appropriately
Your four-legged friend is probably very keen to get his teeth round the food on your dinner table, but titbits from your plate won’t do him any favours. In fact, they could be very bad for his health. Did you know that some human favourites, such as chocolate, can be toxic for your pooch? Stick with a high quality pet food and treats sold by a pet store or supermarket.
Find the right food brand
Not all dog foods suit all dogs and it might take you a little while to find the one that your pet loves the most. You should be able to tell within the first month whether a brand is suitable – watch out for changes to your dog’s coat, a drop in energy levels or weight gain or loss. Once you find a food that works, stick with it!
Get the right exercise balance
We all know that dogs need regular exercise to be happy and healthy, but do you know how much? This can vary widely between breeds – some dogs need to stretch their legs on long runs while others are much happier with only short walks. Pets 4 Homes has a good guide to working out how much activity your dog should be getting.
Know the signs of health
To keep an eye on your dog’s wellbeing, it’s a good idea to learn where you’ll see the signs of good health. A dog in peak condition will have smooth and flexible skin, a glossy and pliant coat, bright and shiny eyes and a cool and moist nose. If you think your dog may be run down, check their temperature (it should be around 101 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit).
Keep teeth clean
Plaque and cavities are a problem for our canine friends and seeing as they won’t be able to tell you when they have toothache, it’s important that you keep an eye on their choppers for them. Talk to your dog as you gently pull up his muzzle to look for signs of plaque build up or decay. If there is a foul smell or white, hard matter forming around the teeth, you should start a brushing regime. You’ll be able to find suitable oral products in your local pet shop.
Watch their weight
It’s nice to give your dog treats now and then, just be careful you’re not accidentally helping them pile on some unhealthy pounds. Find out if your dog weighs more than he should by feeling his ribcage. You should be able to feel the shape of his ribs easily through the skin.
Invest in vaccinations
Regular vaccinations can protect your dog from all sorts of nasty illnesses including everything from distemper and parvovirus to hepatitis, leptospirosis, coronavirus and even very dangerous conditions like rabies. Ask your vet for advice about vaccines and be sure to book in booster shots when they’re due.
What are your tips to keep your dog healthy?
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
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