Friday, April 15, 2022

Keeping your dog in good health

Dogs are a part of the family, but since they can't talk, make decisions for themselves, or drive themselves to appointments, as humans we need to be vigilant stewards of their health. There are a lot of things you can do to make sure your dog is healthy and happy. These are some things I do.

1) Daily Checks

Like a daily eye check to make sure nothing is weird, they're not acting hinky or walking funny or markedly different in temperament and actions day to day. We wake up and assess ourselves daily. We need to do the same for them. 

2) Exercise Every Day

Just like humans, dogs need to exercise in order to stay healthy. Exercise helps to keep their muscles and bones strong, prevents weight gain, and can even improve their mental health.

How much exercise your dog needs will depend on their age, breed, and overall health. A good rule of thumb is to give them at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. This can be a mix of walking, running, playing fetch, or anything else that gets them moving around. Please do not get a dog if you are unwilling to make this commitment in all weather. 

If you’re not sure how much exercise your dog needs, talk to your vet during one of their regular check-ups. They will be able to recommend an appropriate amount based on your pet’s individual needs.

3) Feed Them A Healthy Diet

What your dog eats plays a big role in their overall health. A healthy diet will help to keep their immune system strong, give them energy, and prevent any weight-related issues.

There are a lot of different types of dog food, like refrigerated dog food walmart, available on the market, so it can be tricky to know which one is best for your pet. Talk to your vet about what type of food would be best for your dog based on their age, health, and activity level. They will be able to recommend a few good brands that meet all of your dog’s needs. I do a lot of reading before switching foods. You can find good food at a mid-level range, but please do not get dogs and think it's going to be a cheap endeavor. It is not. Ben is a picky eater and will not eat unless it's topped with some wet food, but in regards to dry foods I like Instinct Be Natural, Acana, Whole Earth Farms, and Canidae. I buy from Chewy. They have good sales sometimes and I stock up.

As important as the type of food is making sure you are giving them the right amount of food. Dogs come in all shapes and sizes, so the amount they need to eat will vary depending on their weight and activity level. There's a guideline on all foods based on pet weight. Use a measuring cup and get it right. If you are still unsure, ask your vet how much food you should be giving your dog each day, and stick to that amount.

Overfeeding can lead to obesity, which can cause a whole host of health problems. It's important to make sure they are getting the right amount of food each day.

4) Visit The Vet Regularly

It is essential to take your dog to the vet for regular check-ups and vaccinations. By doing this, you can catch any potential health problems early and prevent them from becoming severe.

Make sure to visit the vet at least once a year for a check-up, and more often if your dog is elderly or has any existing health conditions.

During these visits, the vet will  give your dog a physical examination and update their vaccinations. They may also recommend other tests or procedures depending on your dog’s age, health, and lifestyle. Regular vet visits are essential for keeping your dog healthy. I prefer a holistic vet that is not crazy with dog meds or unnecessary tests or procedures and will try alternative therapies, such as dog acupuncture. Both Gus and Geege benefitted greatly from that. I want a vet that works with CBD for dogs also. That kept Gus alive for years. 

Having dogs is so worth it, but it absolutely requires work and effort to keep them in good health. It's the least we can do for the love we receive from them!


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