Most people in the United States are devoted to their dogs. There are about 70 to 80 million pet dogs around the country. When Pet Finder asked people who own dogs, a whopping 63% admitted they get Christmas presents for their dogs. While getting them canine heartworm tests is needed, you can do things around the home to make them as healthy as possible for the long haul.
- Find a good veterinarian. Just in the way that you need to have a great primary care doctor, your dog needs a great veterinarian. In addition to the veterinary laboratory services, such as that important heartworm test, they can get to know your dog, the way your doctor gets to know you and they may be able to spot small problems that are easy to deal with before they become real problems. Many experts now recommend bringing your pooch in every six months. This is different for younger or much older dogs who need more visits and may be different for your dog if they have medical problems. You can talk to them about how often you need to bring them in. It has been estimated that more than one million dogs are infected with heartworm every year, so the heartworm test is super important.
- Feed them the right food. Yes, they like to eat a lot of icky things but you should not let them. When it comes to human nutrition, people say “gunk in, gunk out.” You should think the same way when it comes to what you feed your dog. Getting the right food with help their digestion, energy level, mood, coat and, of course, how much they weigh. Being overweight is no better for dogs than it is for people and can lead to a lot of the same problems — diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Find a good dog food that they like and is good for them and then stick with it. You should not feed them table scraps or “mix up” their diet. It is really bad for them. Watch their weight. This is important enough to be repeated. Obesity in dogs is very prevalent (as in people) and is very bad for all parts of their health. From their joints to their overall health. The good news is that this can be reversed with the right diet. Talk to your veterinarian and they may be able to help you work out to help with this problem.
- Get them enough (but not too much) exercise. A lot of dogs will suffer from psychological problems if they do not get enough exercise. Sometimes dogs are diagnosed with problems such as separation anxiety when the real problem is they have too much energy. By the same token, unlike cats, dogs come in a lot of shapes and sizes. What your Jack Russel needs is not the same as what your chihuahua needs. You should talk to the veterinarian about the needs of your breed. When you are getting a dog, you should consider your lifestyle so that you do not get a breed who needs more workouts than you can give them.
- Brush their teeth. You this to your own twice a day, think of doing the same for your dog. That “dog breath” can mean something. Also, just like you have to prevent tartar buildup and plaque build up on your teeth, your dog has the same problem. There are treats you can get that help with this, toothpastes and brushes and rinses all for canine teeth. From time to time, you may want the veterinarian to do their thing on your dog’s teeth.
- Brush and wash your dog. This is important for all breeds. The frequency with which you will need to do this will vary from breed to breed but they all need some care and feeding when it comes to their coat.
There are some things you can do for your dog that may seem obvious like the need for a canine heartworm antigen test kit seems obvious, your dog needs more than a canine heartworm test. Fro, their teeth to their coat, there are things you can do to keep them healthy.