Are you taking care of a dog for the first time or getting ready to adopt again after owning one? Even with experience, getting a refresher course on the essential points of puppy and dog health care is excellent. Plus, there’s the bonus of finding out precisely what is suitable for your dog’s breed.
Today, review the critical steps to caring for a dog of any breed and learn what special care should be taken when raising one of the most popular dog breeds.
Key Steps to Caring For Your Dog
What do you need to do to make sure your dog is healthy?
No matter what breed of dog you have, it’s essential that you follow these steps to take proper care of your dog.
Choose Nutritious Food and Snacks
Are you feeding your dog the correct number of meals per day and the right food?
First, check how many meals you feed your dog. Puppies will need to eat between two and four meals daily, depending on their age and size. As your dog ages, you might transition to one meal per day, but many large breeds will benefit from having their food split into two meals per day.
High-quality food matters as well. Your dog’s nutrition will be best balanced if you choose a food with all the necessary vitamins and minerals. Choosing Timberwolf Organics with highly digestible nutrient dense animal proteins such as lamb and venison is one way that you can provide what your dog needs. The key factor is ensuring that the food you choose matches your dog's age, breed, activity level, and any relevant health needs.
Don’t stop just at their daily food either. Choosing healthy treats that your dog will love as much as their body does is also essential. Look for treats made with real, natural ingredients that fit your dog’s overall nutritional needs.
Incorporate Regular Activity
Are you making sure that your dog gets physical activity every day? This is very important to burn calories, stay in shape, and for their entertainment. Your dog can even be your workout buddy! Choose a workout that suits your dog’s age, breed, health, and size.
Train for Success
Have you taught your dog basic commands? Not only do dogs thrive on training, but they also will be much safer, healthier, and happier if trained properly. Make sure that you take time to train your dog according to their needs and your lifestyle. A well-trained dog is a happy dog.
Watch for Problems
As you care for your dog, pay close attention to its body, personality, and lifestyle. You know your dog better than anyone else and are likely to be the first person to notice arising issues. From diarrhea to decreased activity, you can get ahead of problems by being a vigilant dog owner.
Prioritize Vet Visits
Finally, ensure that your dog has a vet and that you take them in for an examination at least once per year. If your dog has any health problems, you will want to increase how frequently you see the vet. Vets can help provide insight into what your dog needs to be healthy, and that’s essential for their long-term health.
Specializing Care for Your Dog’s Breed
Does your dog’s breed predispose them to health issues, like paw pads that crack easily? Make sure you read up on issues your dog’s more likely to face due to their breed. Here are some of the most common species and the health problems they may face.
Golden retrievers are known for having allergy issues. Goldens will often get itchy skin that causes discomfort. To relieve the itch, your dog may start licking. If your dog starts licking more than usual, work with your vet to improve their diet, add an omega-3 supplement, and give them soothing oatmeal baths.
Beagles are predisposed to a condition called epilepsy that can cause seizures. Epilepsy is not curable, but beagles that show this problem can take medication to reduce the number and severity of seizures caused by this condition.
Labradors, a favorite of many pet owners, are likely to become overweight if they are not exercised enough. Labs need lots of exercise to maintain their weight and keep their bodies in good shape. If your lab becomes overweight, this can lead to joint and long-term health issues. Since this breed is also prone to hip dysplasia, it’s best to take a proactive approach to this potential problem.
Glaucoma is prevalent in poodles, and it can cause lots of pain. Glaucoma can be treated moderately, but surgery may be necessary if the glaucoma is severe or progresses rapidly as it is a serious eye disease.
The shape of the dachshund’s body predisposes this breed to back and spinal issues. They need to be kept at a healthy weight. Also, ensure they don’t jump or climb heights that may hurt their body.
Many types of bulldogs have breathing issues due to the shape of their facial structure. Keeping bulldogs cool and exercising them in moderation is essential for these dogs to avoid potentially life-threatening breathing issues.
Research Your Dog!
These are just a few health issues commonly seen in popular breeds. Even if your dog is a mixed breed, it can be hugely beneficial to research potential health issues in their ancestral history. Knowing what issues might be a problem will help you watch out for them and potentially prevent them altogether.