As a dog owner, you are responsible for keeping your dog healthy with routine medical care. This involves much more than regular diet and exercise. Much of a dog’s care can depend on its age and general health. It can also be driven by your work or social hours. Regardless, you should keep the following in mind to help
Make sure your dog lives a happy, healthy and long life. So, in no particular order:
- Be aware– Dogs are really great communicators, if you pay attention. This is true from “infancy” to old age. You will get to know their behavior at various times of the day. Changes in this may indicate a change in health. Look out for reduced energy, a dull coat, excessive weight gain or loss, unusual growths, restlessness / anxiety, or even the loss of the usual sparkle in the eye. If you already own a dog, you will know what I mean. In all cases, seek the advice of your dog’s healthcare professional.
- Establish a daily routine– Dog love routine. It is through this routine that they come to understand their role in their family (read Pack). Create a series of morning, day, and night events that your dog will respect and look forward to, such as:
- Morning walks and light games.
- Feeding: depending on the age and health of your pet, the times and daily amounts of feeding vary. In all cases, ensure that the feeds are obtained with a simple wait command for a brief moment before allowing the feed to begin. Some animal behavior specialists argue that your pet should never be fed before you and your family, reinforcing the herding process in the wild.
- Hours to go to the bathroom. Again, this will depend on the age and health of your pet. Generally, our experience is that a puppy will need an hour break for his monthly age. For example, a two-month-old puppy will need a break about every two hours; a three-month-old baby will need a break every three hours, and so on. Adult dogs will generally need about 2-3 breaks per day, depending on the time of year, food and water intake, etc.
- Nighttime Playtime – Your dog will want to play with you, especially if he’s been away during the day. Establish a playtime / routine that conveys to your dog that this is a time to be happily anticipated. Also, to help you understand that downtime is also required for you to continue with your other obligations or interests at home.
- Bedtime on time: Like humans, bedtime is preferred at a regular time at night. Have your pet caged or directed to its “lying down” space at about the same time each night. Make sure they’ve done their business and haven’t gotten too excited before now.
- Dog pound– This is becoming the preferred way for your pet to be trained and housed at the gates. Our experience has been that a dog, if presented correctly in a kennel, will wholeheartedly accept it as a safe and comfortable place to occupy. Let your pet run the house, especially when a puppy or younger dog will make house training more difficult. The kennel is a positive place for you to place your dog between food and potty early on and also a place for an older dog to rest, sleep, or just relax. The size of the kennel is very important and depends on the size of your pet. Seek the advice of your seller before making the purchase.
- Choose healthy and age-appropriate dog foods– This is very important for your dog. The adage that we are what we eat applies to your pet as well. Take the time to read the label on various bags of dog food at your place of purchase. You will be amazed at the ingredients found in the offerings. Price is also not an indicator of healthy food. Obviously, natural ingredients are the best. The better the food intake, the better your dog will look, feel and act. These are very important people!
- Exercise your dog: exercise yourself– Your pet will need exercise. It is true that some breeds require less exercise, but in general all dogs need a certain level of exercise. Beyond the physical benefits of the routine, don’t underestimate the psychological benefits as well. A dog without exercise will feel frustrated, anxious, or even aggressive at times. Also, every time you walk or play with your pet, the bond between you increases. This is emotionally beneficial for both of you. Lastly, every step you take during this routine is one more step toward good health for you. Vary the routine if you can. It will be more pleasant and interesting for your dog.
- Toys must be age appropriate– Toys that are not age appropriate can be dangerous for your dog. Certain types of rawhide bones could, after being chewed by a puppy, lodge in his throat and be a major threat. Dogs on every age plateau have unique needs and abilities when it comes to toys. They can help stimulate, educate, structurally develop, and amuse your pet. The use of toys is also important. It has been suggested, for example, that playing tug of war with your puppy and letting him take the toy from you may be sending you the wrong message. You can learn that you can beat or master that particular exercise. Consult with your veterinarian for advice in this area.
- Prevention saves money and lengthens life– Regular check-ups with your vet are absolutely essential for your dog’s quality of life. Beyond the physical evaluation that will be carried out, this is a good opportunity for the following:
- Update vaccines and apply boosters if necessary
- Treatments for ticks, heartworms, and fleas can be applied.
- Tests may be done to evaluate stool and bloodworms
If there is a problem, it will likely be quickly diagnosed, treated, and resolved, saving you from unnecessary discomfort, trauma, or a more serious outcome down the road.
- Grooming is more than looking good– Regular grooming is important on several levels. You want your dog to look good and this will work. If you decide to do this yourself, it is another opportunity to increase the bond you have with him. Additionally, the groomer can spot any unusual skin ailments that your vet can report to and evaluate for you. Taking care of your pet can be as long-awaited as a long-awaited massage for you. Most dogs will love the attention. This is also the time to trim your nails. This is important for the health of your dog. Not trimming them properly or infrequently can hurt your pet or affect its ability to run, walk, or remain stable on certain types of floors. Regular trimming alleviates this.
Just a few ideas to help you keep your dog healthy with routine health care. It takes some work and attention, but the benefits for your dog are immense. This is your partner after all. Do your best to provide him with a long, healthy and happy life.