Many dog owners across the country struggle with maintaining their dog’s health. They may not know what to feed them or how often to groom them. While these are both important factors, there are other things to consider as well. This 10-point dog health checklist will help get you on the right track!
General Dog Health Tips
Now that you know you're not alone, you'll be happy to know that there are some general tips that can help you get started on keeping your pup healthy. Let's get to it!
1. Feed them a balanced diet
Just like humans, dogs need a well-balanced diet to stay healthy. This means feeding them food that has all the nutrients they need like proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. A good way to make sure your dog is getting all of these nutrients is to feed them commercially prepared dog food that has been approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
2. Get them regular exercise
Dogs need regular exercise just like humans do. Exercise helps keep their hearts healthy and their muscles toned. It can also help prevent obesity, which can lead to a whole host of health problems. A good way to get your dog the exercise they need is to take them on a daily walk or run. If you have a backyard, letting them play fetch or chase each other around is also a great way to get them moving!
3. Keep them clean
Dogs can get dirty just like humans can. That’s why it’s important to keep them clean by giving them regular baths and brushing their fur. This will help remove any dirt, debris, or parasites that could cause them harm. It’s also a good way to bond with your furry friend!
4. Take them to the vet
Dogs need to see the vet at least once a year for a check-up. This is a good time to get their vaccinations and to make sure they are healthy. If you have any concerns about your dog’s health, this is also a good time to bring them up with the vet.
5. Get them microchipped
Microchipping your dog is a great way to ensure they are returned to you if they ever get lost. A microchip is a small chip that is inserted under the skin and contains your contact information. If your dog is ever found by someone, they can take them to a vet or animal shelter where the microchip will be scanned, and you will be contacted.
6. Spay or neuter them
Spaying or neutering your dog has many benefits. It can help reduce aggression, roaming, and unwanted pregnancies. It can also help improve your dog’s overall health by reducing the risk of certain cancers.
7. Train them
Training your dog can help them be a well-behaved member of the family. It can also help prevent them from developing bad habits, such as chewing on furniture or jumping on people. Training is a great way to bond with your dog and teach them what is expected of them.
8. Keep their nails trimmed
If you let your dog’s nails get too long, it can cause them pain and make it difficult for them to walk. It’s important to keep their nails trimmed so they can stay comfortable and avoid injury. One tip for this is to use a nail grinder instead of scissors or clippers, as this can help avoid accidentally cutting the quick (the blood vessel in the nail).
9. Keep their teeth clean
Just like humans, dogs need to have their teeth brushed to avoid plaque buildup and gum disease. There are special dog toothbrushes and toothpaste that you can use to brush your dog’s teeth. You can also give them dental chews or bones to help keep their teeth clean.
10. Give them plenty of love
Dogs are social creatures and need plenty of love and attention. Make sure to spend time playing with them, cuddling them, and just letting them know that you love them. This will help keep them happy and healthy!
Following these tips will help you ensure your dog is as healthy as possible. Of course, if you have any concerns about your dog’s health, be sure to consult with a veterinarian.
Owning a dog is a big responsibility, but it can be very rewarding. Seeing your furry friend happy and healthy is one of the best parts of being a pet owner!