Preventative Health Care Tips For Dogs
One of the best ways to prevent health problems in your pets is to maintain annual wellness exams with your veterinarian. Dogs age at a faster rate than humans and their health status can change significantly over the course of a year. Your vet will check your dog from head to toe looking for any changes since the previous visit. Routine lab tests detect early stages of disease before symptoms occur. This early intervention will help your dog live a longer and healthier life.
Vaccination is one of the best ways to protect your pet from diseases such as kennel cough, rabies and distemper. Dogs can even be immunized against Lyme disease and canine flu. Some vaccines can be given every 3 years (though annual wellness exams are still recommended). Talk with your veterinarian about which vaccines are best suited for your pet based on age, health status and exposure.
Routine ear cleaning, nail trimming and coat brushing are all beneficial to the health of your dog. Talk to your veterinarian about how to safely clean your dog's ears. A strong odor or discharge from the ears can be a sign of an infection. Keeping nails trimmed short will keep them from getting caught and injured as well as helping him walk normally. Daily brushing not only prevents mats but also allows you to detect skin problems before they become severe. This brushing can become "spa time" for you and your dog, another great way to bond!
Heartworms, fleas, ticks and intestinal parasites can have major health consequences for your dog and are easily prevented by regular use of veterinary approved products. Heartworms are transmitted by mosquito bites. Fleas and ticks not only transmit disease, but also cause very itchy skin that is uncomfortable for your pet. With changing weather patterns, it is often difficult to guarantee when mosquitos, fleas and ticks aren't biting. Intestinal parasites cause diarrhea and vomiting and persistent infections are a health detriment as well as a source of environmental contamination.
Imagine a child never taught to mind their manners, clean up or follow safety instructions. A puppy is a lot like a young child. Most dogs surrendered to shelters never received adequate training. Dogs that are well trained are more likely to bond closely with your family. Investing time in training a new puppy will lead to a lifetime of benefit for both you and your dog.
One of the keys to lasting health is balanced nutrition. Keep your dog on a high quality diet that addresses their specific health needs, age, breed and activity level. Regular exercise will keep your dog in lean body condition while providing a bonding experience. Work with your veterinarian to create the right nutrition and exercise plan for your dog.
Taking good care of your dog's teeth is important in maintaining overall health. Infections that start in the mouth can spread to other parts of the body. Plaque and tartar buildup not only causes bad breath, but can also lead to loose teeth that eventually fall out or need to be pulled. Brushing twice weekly with an edible toothpaste is recommended to keep the teeth clean and prevent problems. With a little practice and training many pet owners are finding that brushing their dog's teeth can be a rewarding experience.