For most of us, our dogs are a part of our families – we love them, care for them, and treat them like our own. These loyal animals play an important role and give us companionship and unconditional affection without asking for anything back. So it is our responsibility to make sure that our dogs are in the best of health.
If you have a dog and are not quite sure how to go about ensuring that it is in perfect health, following is a guide especially for you:
Give it a good, nutrition-filled diet
Improving your dog’s health starts with giving them the right food. When it comes to food, there are many options available – but this is where you have to be careful, as not all ‘dog food’ can be considered healthy and nutritious.
When looking for the right hundfoder or dog food, look carefully at the list of ingredients. The food should be comprised mainly of meat, with a few vegetable ingredients thrown in. Be wary of dog food that lists meat ‘by-products’, and stay away from those which have ‘fillers’ such as BHT/BHA, propylene glycol, corn and corn syrup, and ethoxyquin. These fillers can be considered harmful for your dog. If you have already bought dog food, be aware of any signs of your dog’s intolerance to it, such as diarrhoea, skin allergies or itchiness, and vomiting.
Be careful with ‘human’ food treats
It may be tempting to give your dog ‘human’ food, especially when they are so charmingly begging for it, but be careful with this as well. Some foods cannot be properly metabolised by dogs, and these include food such as grapes, onions, chocolates, nuts, and alcohol.
Make sure your dog has a healthy weight
Whilst it’s easy to prevent a dog from becoming malnourished, it can also be easy to make your dog overweight. You have to be aware of the risk of obesity in dogs as well. So, that being said, your dog may be overweight if it weighs ten to twenty percent more than its ideal weight. If your dog is more than 20 percent over its ideal weight, then it can become obese. Obesity brings a ton of health problems and risks, such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, bladder stones, and osteoarthritis.
Always replenish your dog’s water bowl
Water is as important for dogs as it is for humans. Your dog needs a constant supply of fresh water so it will not become dehydrated. You should make it a point to clean and rinse out your dog’s water bowl at least once every day.
Have your dog groomed regularly
Another aspect you have to remember in order to keep your dog in perfect health is their grooming. The coat of your dog can easily harbour fleas, ticks, and other parasites, and you should check it regularly for any bumps, lumps, or cysts.
Having your dog groomed also includes having its nails clipped. You can do this yourself, as long as you stay away from the sensitive parts of the nail. You should also pay attention to your pet’s ears – their ears should not have a bad smell and should not have any sort of discharge. To clean their ears, simply dip a cotton ball in a white vinegar and rubbing alcohol mixture and wipe it onto their ears. If your dog is constantly shaking its head or scratching at its ear, take it to the veterinarian for a consultation.
Of course, daily exercise is another way to make sure that your dog is in great health. Even a short 15-minute walk two times a day will do wonders for its physical and mental state, and give you the opportunity to bond with your beloved pet at the same time.