how to keep your dog healthy and live longer, based on the following topics
We want our dogs to live as long and as happily as possible, but how can we achieve that?
Check in this article how to Keep your dog healthy and live longer!
Healthy Dog Diet
Diet is one of the most important aspects of keeping your dog healthy and live longer. A proper diet should provide your dog with all the essential nutrients, such as protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and water, that they need for their growth, development, and maintenance.
Strong diet should also be appropriate for your dog’s breed, age, size, activity level, and health condition. A proper diet should also avoid foods that are harmful or toxic to dogs, such as chocolate, grapes, raisins, onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, xylitol, alcohol, and caffeine 1. To choose a high-quality diet for your dog, you should look for the following criteria 23:
The diet should be recognized by the AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials), which sets the standards for nutritional adequacy and quality of pet foods.The diet should have undergone feeding trials to prove its safety and effectiveness for dogs. The diet should have a clear and accurate label that lists the ingredients in order of weight, the guaranteed analysis of nutrients, the feeding instructions, and the manufacturer’s information.
The meals should have whole-food ingredients that are easily recognizable and digestible. For example single proteins (e.g., chicken, beef, lamb) and vegetables (e.g., carrots, peas, sweet potatoes). The diet should avoid artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, fillers, by-products, or vague terms (e.g., meat meal, animal fat).
Regular Dog Exercise
Regular activities is another key factor in keeping your dog healthy. Exercise helps your dog maintain a healthy weight, strengthen their muscles and bones, improve their cardiovascular and respiratory systems, stimulate their brain and senses, reduce their stress and boredom, and enhance their mood and behavior.
Exercise also provides an opportunity for you and your dog to bond and have fun together. To provide adequate exercise for your dog, you should consider the following factors 45:
The type of exercise should suit your dog’s breed, age, size, personality, and health condition.
For example, some breeds are more energetic and athletic than others and may need more vigorous or varied activities (e.g., running, swimming, agility, fetch) than others who may prefer more moderate or gentle activities (e.g., walking, hiking, tug-of-war, puzzle toys).
Similarly, puppies and senior dogs may have different exercise needs and limitations than adult dogs. You should consult your veterinarian for the best exercise plan for your dog.
Fun Dog Activities
The amount of exercise should be enough to keep your dog physically fit and mentally stimulated, but not too much to cause exhaustion or injury. A general rule of thumb is that most dogs need about 30 minutes to two hours of exercise per day, depending on their breed and individual factors.
You should monitor your dog’s energy level, breathing, heart rate, and body temperature during and after exercise and adjust accordingly. You should also provide your dog with fresh water and shade before, during, and after exercise to prevent dehydration and heatstroke.
The timing of exercise should be consistent and convenient for you and your dog. You should try to schedule your dog’s exercise sessions at the same time every day. Preferably in the morning or evening when the temperature is cooler and the sun is less intense.
You should also avoid exercising your dog right before or after meals to prevent digestive problems or bloat. You should also vary your dog’s exercise routine to keep them interested and challenged.
Grooming, Trimming and Brushing
Grooming is another essential aspect of keeping your dog healthy.
Taking care helps your dog maintain a clean and shiny coat, prevent skin infections and parasites, reduce shedding and allergies, improve blood circulation and comfort, and detect any health issues early.
Grooming also provides an opportunity for you to check your dog’s body for any signs of injury, illness, or abnormality.
For proper Dog grooming, follow these steps
Brush your dog’s coat regularly to remove dirt, mats, tangles, loose hair, and debris. The frequency and type of brushing depend on your dog’s coat length and texture. For example, dogs with long or curly coats may need daily brushing with a slicker brush or a comb, while dogs with short or smooth coats may need weekly brushing with a bristle brush or a glove.
Bathe your dog occasionally to keep their coat and skin clean and healthy.
The frequency and type of bathing depend on your dog’s coat type and lifestyle.
For example, dogs with oily or dirty coats may need monthly bathing with a mild shampoo formulated for dogs, while dogs with dry or sensitive coats may need less frequent bathing with a moisturizing or hypoallergenic shampoo.
You should avoid bathing your dog too often or using human shampoo as this can strip their natural oils and cause skin irritation or dryness.
Trim your dog’s nails regularly to prevent them from growing too long or breaking. Long nails can cause pain, discomfort, infection, or injury to your dog or yourself. The frequency and type of trimming depend on your dog’s nail growth rate and activity level.
For example, dogs who walk on hard surfaces may need less frequent trimming than dogs who stay indoors or on soft surfaces. You can use a nail clipper or a grinder designed for dogs to trim your dog’s nails. You should avoid cutting too close to the quick (the pink part of the nail that contains blood vessels and nerves) as this can cause bleeding or pain.
For proper Dog Cleaning, follow these steps
Clean your dog’s ears regularly to prevent ear infections or mites. Ear infections are common in dogs, especially those with floppy ears or allergies. Ear mites are tiny parasites that can cause itching.
Clean your dog’s ears regularly to prevent ear infections or mites.
Ear infections are common in dogs, especially those with floppy ears or allergies. Ear mites are tiny parasites that can cause itching, inflammation, and discharge in your dog’s ears.
To clean your dog’s ears, you can use a cotton ball or a soft cloth moistened with a gentle ear cleaner formulated for dogs.
You should gently wipe the outer part of your dog’s ear and avoid inserting anything into the ear canal. You should also check your dog’s ears for any signs of redness, swelling, odor, or discharge and consult your veterinarian if you notice any problems.
Brush your dog’s teeth regularly to prevent dental diseases or bad breath. Dental diseases are one of the most common health problems in dogs, affecting about 80% of dogs over the age of three.
Dental diseases can cause pain, infection, tooth loss, and even damage to other organs such as the heart and kidneys.
To brush your dog’s teeth, you can use a toothbrush and a toothpaste designed for dogs.
You should gently brush your dog’s teeth in a circular motion and focus on the outer surfaces of the teeth. You should also provide your dog with dental treats, chews, or toys that can help clean their teeth and freshen their breath.
Check your dog’s eyes regularly to prevent eye infections or injuries. Eye infections are common in dogs, especially those with long hair or allergies. Eye injuries can occur from foreign objects, scratches, or trauma.
To check your dog’s eyes, you can use a damp cloth or a cotton ball to gently wipe away any dirt, discharge, or crust from the corners of their eyes. You should also look for any signs of redness, swelling, cloudiness, or tearing and consult your veterinarian if you notice any problems.
Regular Veterinary Care
Veterinary care is another vital aspect on how to keep your dog healthy and live longer. Regular vet check-ups helps your dog prevent or treat diseases, injuries, or parasites that can affect their health and well-being.
Veterinary care also helps your dog stay up-to-date on their vaccinations, deworming, flea and tick prevention, heartworm prevention, spaying or neutering, microchipping, and other procedures that can protect them from various risks.
To provide adequate veterinary care for your dog, you should follow these guidelines:
Take your dog to the veterinarian for regular check-ups if they are puppies, seniors, or have special needs. Regular check-ups can help detect any health issues early and provide appropriate treatment or prevention measures.
Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations and following advices:
Vaccinations, deworming, flea and tick prevention, heartworm prevention, spaying or neutering, microchipping, and other procedures that are suitable for your dog’s age, breed, size, lifestyle, and health condition.
Seek a veterinary if you notice any signs of illness or injury in your dog. Signs are vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss or gain, lethargy.