Every dog owner wants to improve their dog’s health, and it’s not as complex as you might think. In fact, doing some rather simple things can go a long way to bolstering your dog’s longevity. Further, giving your dog the gift of a longer and healthier life can actually improve your own health in the process. Here are 5 tips to enhance your dog’s health, some seem more obvious than others, but all are important for the benefit of your pet.
First and foremost is diet. This sounds logical, but many owners often overlook the quality of what they are feeding their dog. Those that get a puppy for Christmas or a birthday don’t always consider the dog’s diet as it seems logical to just buy a bag of dog food from the local pet store. However, it is important to have a well-balanced diet, both in puppy years and beyond. It’s can often be fruitful to check with your vet as to what food is best for your dog based on his age, breed and size. Keep in mind that dietary needs for a dog usually change as they age.
Second to diet is exercise. Dogs that don’t get enough typically end up overweight, which is obviously bad for their health. Overweight dogs can develop health issues like diabetes, heart disease, joint problems and others. An overweight dog can have his life shortened by two years or more, so your dog should be exercised least once, if not twice a day which is a great way to have some bonding time with your best friend.
3. Dental Care
This may not sound so important but animals, especially dogs, can suffer from dental issues that can lead to much bigger health problems down the line. Gum disease or other oral health complications can lead to heart issues and even kidney disease. Just like us humans, it’s important to pay attention to your dog’s teeth and gums. If you start brushing your puppy’s teeth early, he may learn to like it and even find it fun. As for those older dogs who don’t like the torture, you can purchase toys and treats which are designed to treat dental issues that your dog will likely love.
4. Regular Vet Visits
Taking your dog to the vet is not always the most pleasant outing, but it’s is important to visit regularly and not just for vaccinations. Regular trips to the vet often reveal early illnesses or diseases allowing treatment before more serious conditions develop. Early diagnosis often means a much higher rate of recovery, especially with some cancers, and is also much less costly than if the disease developed into later stages.
5. Keep Your Dog’s Brain Stimulated
All dogs, especially larger breeds, need to be active and require lots of stimulation. Boredom often leads to unwanted property damage and even aggression. Many households that have an aggressive or destructive dog usually have one that has decided to create his own entertainment due to lack of engagement. This can be remedied by spending some time training them to perform new tricks, learning basic or even some advanced training. If you have to leave them on their own, be sure to give them a variety of toys to play with.
By following these five tips, your dog has a better chance of living a longer and happier life. Involving your dog in your daily routine, even if it’s just 20 minutes before and after work can be rewarding for you both. Taking care of diet, exercise, dental care, vet visits and brain stimulation will ensure you get the most from your best friend for years to come.