Whether you spend your days with one loyal canine companion or multiple, you care about their longevity as much as they care about being by your side. Dogs experience stress and mishap just like people. How can we optimize their health anyway?
The Gift of Outdoor Exercise
Simple yet profound, exercise bestows a plethora of healthy impacts on humans and dogs alike. Many dog owners will notice a change in their pet's disposition when rigorous exercise has fallen by the wayside. This is likely because your dog is craving the physical benefits of getting outdoors. A dog with a healthy metabolism is more likely to ward off diabetes, obesity, cancer, depression, and other inflammatory conditions. Even older dogs with stiff joints will thank you for taking them outside, because exercise actually releases endorphins that reduce arthritic pain. The optimum daily exercise time for most dogs is two hours, but this will vary depending on the size and breed of your dog.
The Lasting Importance of Nutrition
When in doubt, remember that food is medicine! Understanding animal nutrition may feel like wading through a confusing swamp of information, yet it's fairly simple when you grasp the basics. Vitamins, minerals, protein, fats, and carbohydrates are the cornerstones of dog nutrition, and these components can come from various sources.
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The Reassurance of Regular Check-ups
In addition to the routine immunizations and medications that protect your dog from disease, there are many reasons to visit your veterinarian on a frequent basis. Puppies and elderly dogs will need to visit the vet more often to verify that there are no serious complications in their development or aging. Otherwise, once a year will do the trick. A trusted vet with a relationship to you and your dog will be able to detect any muscle or joint degeneration, abnormal growths like tumors, and other signs of illness like intestinal upset. Even when nothing is wrong, you will enjoy great peace of mind about your dog's health each time you leave the vet with good news and helpful advice.
The Vital Nature of Dental Care
Don't you just love the pure joy you feel when you see your dog smile? Maintaining their dental health has many lasting perks, including the fact that he or she will be able to continue eating well, storing enough energy for exercise, and showing you that happy face as a result. Although it may seem normal, bad breath from your dog is actually a warning sign that bacterial growth or gum disease could be occurring, so don't hesitate to act on it. There are ways to clean your dog's teeth by brushing or rinsing, or by providing a dental treat for chewing, which can erode harmful plaque and strengthen tooth enamel.
The Rewards of Rigorous Grooming
Last yet certainly not least of all, grooming your furry friend will ensure adequate hygiene and allow you to keep an eye out for fleas and ticks. Bathing and nail trims are two of the highest priority monthly grooming tasks. Using a small amount of dishwashing soap in your dog's bath is a great non-toxic way to kill off any fleas. Nail trimming can be difficult for the inexperienced, but it is absolutely necessary if you want your dog to be comfortable. Long-haired dogs will need daily brushing to remove burrs and other foreign particles, while short-hair dogs only need to be brushed about once a week. Ultimately, proper grooming techniques will depend on your dog's unique characteristics, so search for breed-specific advice as needed.
Generally speaking, looking after your dog requires the kind of loving attention you would give yourself or a loved one. Seek guidance as needed, and you will have great success with your dog's health and happiness.