Saturday, May 10, 2014

5 tips for keeping your dog healthy and out of the vets

5 tips for keeping your dog healthy and out of the vets

A healthy dog is a happy dog able to live life to the full, walking, running and playing without a care in the world. As a dog owner you take full responsibility for your dogs health providing everything they need in order to maintain excellent health and enjoy their years with you.

Here are 5 tips for keeping your dog healthy and out of the vets;

1. Diet

There are many excellent brands providing all manner of dog food, from dry measured diets, to rich balanced wet food and accompanying treats. You dogs diet is an incredibly important part of his health and getting it right is the key to keeping him healthy and happy. You should consider the following when purchasing food for your dog;

His breed
Most breeds have specific diet requirements based on the nutrients they need. Although every dog requires a balanced diet, some breeds need specific variations to keep them in optimum health.

His size
You should provide measured food amounts for your dog in order for him to stay within a correct weight range. Larger breeds require much more food than smaller breeds and it’s easy to overfeed if you don’t read the manufacturer’s instructions.

His age
Different ages require different types of food; elderly dogs will more than likely have a softer food that contains nutrients that supports age issues like arthritis and liver strain. Puppies tend to eat vitamin rich food that is specifically designed for growing dogs.

His level of exercise
If you own a working dog you’ll need to provide adequate food to support that level of exercise. A dog that uses a lot of energy will require more food to give them energy.

You should always try and avoid giving a dog human food as they can easily put weight on and a happy dog is not an overweight dog, no matter how cute they look begging for a morsel of your dinner. Try and give them beneficial treats like dental sticks and low fat dog biscuits and don’t give them too many as again this will cause weight gain.

2. Exercise

All dogs need some level of exercise to keep them stimulated and happy, each breed will have specific recommendations to keep them fit with some requiring a few hours exercise a day and others just half an hour.

3. Grooming

Each breed has specific grooming instructions which is something you should research before rescuing or purchasing a dog. Some require specialist grooming and others hardly any at all. Neglecting a dogs grooming can lead to complications that will make your dog very unhappy like matting and infected skin folds.

4. Play and stimulation

Keeping your dog entertained is easy and enjoyable and shouldn’t be much of a chore, especially if they have learnt to love games like fetch. Consider providing your dog with interactive toys to use while you are out to make sure they don’t get bored and remember to dedicate playtime with them every day - this can be incorporated into walks.

5. Human interaction

Mans best friend was given this name for a reason. Your dog is loyal to you and your family and you owe it to him to provide all the love in the world. A lonely dog is a friend to no one so remember to treat him like one of the family and he’ll reward you for it with affection, personality and loyalty.

Remember that despite your best efforts your dog will always be susceptible to infections, diseases and accidents. The best way to protect your dog long term is to make sure he is insured with pet insurance, that way you’ll have peace of mind that if he does need any expensive treatment he can receive it without you having to suffer any financial hardship. 

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