Many owners would love to keep their dogs healthier for longer, but some aren’t quite sure how. Sure, they know they should feed the proper kibble and take their pets for regular exercise, but beyond that, they’re clueless.
Fortunately, this post is here to help. We take a look at how to keep fido fighting fit, even into his older years. Here’s some of our advice to get you started. Following it doesn’t guarantee you won’t have to take them to the vet for illness (in fact you should give them checkups), but it will increase their chances of surviving long-term and being the pet you’ve always wanted them to be.
Keeping your dog healthy is important. Dogs are more than just pets, they are our loyal companions and best friends. They deserve to live a long, happy, and healthy life with us. In fact, we have a duty to ensure they live happy and pleasant lives.
Provide Your Dog With Optimum Nutrition
Your dog’s diet is a key factor in its health. You should feed your dog high-quality, balanced, and complete food that meets its nutritional needs. Note that nutritional requirements vary considerably by your dog’s age, size, breed, and activity level. Larger, more active dogs need a different type of diet from those you carry around with you in a handbag.
Don’t feed your dog human food, even if it’s table scraps. It can damage their health and leave them dependent on you giving them the odd treat here and there, instead of eating their regular chow.
Human food is bad for dogs because it is high in fat, sugar, salt, or artificial ingredients. These can cause obesity, digestive issues, allergies, or even poisoning in some cases. Instead, you can offer your dog healthy snacks such as fresh fruits, vegetables, or lean meats that are safe for dogs.
Take Them To The Vet Regularly
The whole point of feeding your dog a healthy diet and living a holistic lifestyle with them is to avoid trips to the vet. However, you should go for regular checkups to ensure everything is in good working order. Your vet can perform vaccinations, parasite treatments, dental care, and other preventive services that can help detect and prevent health problems before they become serious. The idea is to act today to stop your pooch from getting sick tomorrow.
Always consult with your vet if you notice any signs of illness or injury in your dog, such as changes in appetite, behavior, or weight. Dogs don’t usually go through midlife crises where they change their approach to their daily activities. They usually only act up if they are in pain.
Again, your vet should be able to diagnose problems quickly and tell you what you need to do to treat them if anything.
Provide The Proper Supplements
Diet alone won’t keep your dog healthy for long. As they age, they’ll still develop achy joints and problems with their bowel movements.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to consider supplements, such as hemp oil for dogs, which fight these ailments. For instance, hemp is great for treating arthritis and reducing your pup’s pain, incentivizing them to be more active.
You can also try giving your dog a co-enzyme Q10 to improve their energy levels. Dogs may have brighter eyes and bushy tails once you finish treatment.
Invest In Routine Exercise
Exercise is essential for your dog’s physical and mental well-being. It helps them burn calories, strengthen their muscles and bones, and makes it less likely they will engage in destructive behavior.
Unfortunately, most dogs don’t get the exercise they need. They spend the majority of the day cooped up in the house, without anything much to entertain them or keep their minds busy.
Ideally, dogs should have an outdoor area they can play in, preferably with other dogs. You should also provide your dog with at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise every day, depending on their breed and personality. Some dogs need up to two hours of exercise to stay happy and sleep properly.
Experiment with taking your dog on runs, hikes, or bike rides. You can also play tug-of-war with them, or fetch. You want something that challenges their mind and keeps them occupied. You’ll notice that when you finish playing after a successful session, your dog simply goes to sleep to recover.
Grooming is not only about making your dog look good but also about keeping them clean and comfortable. Hence, brush your dog’s coat regularly to remove dirt and tangles. Keeping it smooth helps reduce the risk of fleas and also stimulates the skin and blood circulation and distributes natural oils that keep their coat shiny and healthy.
Other grooming includes:
- Trimming your dog’s nails
- Checking their eyes for signs of irritation
- Looking for signs of infection on their skin
Lastly, you may also need to bathe them occasionally, depending on your dog’s coat type. If you wash them, make sure the water is lukewarm and you use a suitable shampoo for dogs. Don’t use human shampoo.
Look Out For Warning Signs
Lastly, keep your eyes peeled for signs your dog is unwell. Dogs are very good at hiding their discomfort or suffering from us, so we need to pay attention to any subtle changes in their behavior. Remember, your dog won’t complain if he or she is feeling sick.
Look for the following symptoms:
- Vomiting and thirst
- Coughing and sneezing
- Difficulty breathing or urinating
- Lameness and stiffness
- Lumps or bumps on the skin
- Bad breath and bleeding gums
- Lethargy or depression
- Excessive thirst or loss of appetite
If you see any of these changes, go to a professional immediately. They can provide treatment that could potentially save your dog’s life
Following these tips helps your dog stay healthier for longer and enjoy a better quality of life with you. Your dog depends on you to provide care and love throughout their lives, including as they get older.