No matter how lousy your day was, walking through your front door to a wagging tail and some butt wiggling always makes it better. Your pooch might be one of the most important things in your life, and as such, you want to make sure that they stay healthy. These pet wellness tips can keep your dog feeling dandy — and guarantee many happy years together.
Have Regular Health Checks
Even if you think your pet is healthy, make sure to take your pet to your veterinarian at least once a year for a checkup. “Getting a regular checkup will ensure that any potential issues are detected early,” says Heidi Ganahl, CEO and Founder of Camp Bow Wow. To ensure that you don’t miss an exam, you can have your veterinarian send a reminder or set up a follow-up visit a year from now.
Stick To A Healthy Diet
It can be difficult from just looking at the label to see if your pet’s food offers the right amount of nutrition. “Many dog foods contain sugar and other ingredients that can cause obesity and health issues for your pet,” says Ganahl. “Work with your veterinarian or other trusted sources to determine the food that will fit your pet’s needs while keeping them healthy.” And since overfeeding is a common mistake, be sure to follow the feeding instructions on the food’s bag to ensure you are not overfeeding your pet.
Exercise Your Pet
Sure, your pet probably prefers to snuggle with you over anything else. But taking your pet for a daily brisk walk or a fun run goes a long way in keeping your pet healthy. “Exercise keeps your pet’s weight down, reduces digestive issues, and decreases problem behaviors like chewing, digging and barking,” says Ganahl. Before you take to the treadmill, though, you should consult with your pet’s veterinarian to know exactly how much exercise your pooch requires. After all, some breeds need more exercise than others, and if your pet is overweight, you might need to start off slower.
Maintain A Healthy Weight
Approximately 54% of pets are overweight, according to The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. “If your dog becomes overweight, it creates stress on their joints and can lead to additional health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure and a decreased life expectancy,” says Ganahl. “To tell if your pet is at a good weight, you should be able to look at them from above and see a waist, as well as run your fingers over their body while pressing down lightly and be able to feel their ribs.”
Vaccinate Your Pet
Just like your family and your kids need to stay current with shots, so does your pet. “There are deadly diseases that your pet can contract, so keeping all of their vaccinations up-to-date will help ensure your pet is safe and healthy,” says Ganahl. Be sure to speak with your pet’s vet to find out what shots your pooch might be missing so that they don’t get behind.
Do Frequent Teeth Cleaning
Plaque and tartar build up on your dog’s teeth can lead to serious health issues. Start preventative care early on, including brushing their teeth, providing dental treats, or giving them a rubber toy (like a KONG®) to chew on. “Your vet will check your dog’s teeth at their yearly checkup, and it’s important to get them professionally cleaned when your veterinarian says it’s time,” says Ganahl.
Keeping your pet healthy is a top priority for pet owners. By practicing these pet wellness tips on a daily basis, your pooch will be the picture of health.