We’ve talked before about the fact that it costs a lot of money to take proper care of a dog, and you’ll definitely find yourself spending a lot more if your dog’s health isn’t good.
One way to stay on top of your dog’s health and keep those vet bills down is to take measures to prevent health problems. If you look for advice online, it’ll often tell you that you should feed your mutt expensive food and give health supplements, but there are many other ways you can take excellent care of your dog in attempt to head off health issues. Today I’m sharing 8 tips to prevent health problems in dogs; how many of these are you currently practicing?
8 Tips to Prevent Health Problems in Dogs
Know Your Breed
Some breeds of dogs are far more prone to health problems, so it’s important to do your research and know your breed’s characteristics and predispositions before you adopt. Poodles, for example, are likely to experience issues with gastric problems that tend to need surgery. Boxers are far more likely to get cancer than many other breeds, and could mean a lot of expensive treatment if your dog gets sick. Cocker Spaniels may have issues with bones and joints, as well as serious heart conditions.
When you start thinking about adding a new pet to your family, either through shelter or rescue adoption or by finding a responsible breeder on a site like PuppyJoy.net, learn as much as you can about the breed before making a decision about your new 4-legged family member.
Once you’ve got your new pet at home with you, it’s time to implement the following tasks to best manage your dog’s health on an ongoing basis.
Watch For Behavior Issues
When dogs are sick they’ll often start behaving oddly. They might start leaving food, going potty more often, or getting tired out when you go for walks. If you take notice of their behavior and get them to a vet right away, it’ll be easier to treat than it will if you don’t address the issue promptly. There are all sorts of ways that your dog’s behavior might change, not just eating habits. If she starts to do anything differently than her normal routines and behaviors, that’s a sign that a visit to your vet is in order.
Grooming is something that many people don’t prioritize because they feel it’s purely cosmetic, but that’s not the case. The benefits of grooming extend further than just making your dog look nice. Brushing your dog’s teeth reduces the chance of any dental hygiene related diseases, and combing their fur prevents matting and will help you find fleas before they become a problem. Cleaning out your dog’s helps to prevent any infections, and trimming their nails helps them to avoid problems with walking that can develop into joint issues.
The most important benefit of regular grooming is that you’re up close and personal with your dog so you’ll pick up on any marks, bumps, or anything else on their skin that might be a concern.
Keep Up With Medication
Dogs need regular medication to protect them from parasites, and if you don’t keep up with them and they get an infestation, you’ll have to spend a lot more money on treatments. Regular flea medication and worming tablets are vital, so make sure you stay on top of it. It’s also important that you’re getting the right stuff from the vet. There are some cheaper supermarket brand flea treatments ,but they’re nowhere near as effective and a lot of dogs will still get fleas. It’ll cost you a little bit more to get the good stuff, but it’ll save you money in the long run.
Spay or Neuter Your Dog
Most people do this already because they don’t want their dog having unwanted litters, but if you haven’t yet you should make this a priority for your dog’s long-term health. Studies on spaying and neutering have shown that dogs that have had the procedure live longer on average than dogs that haven’t, so it’s definitely worth doing.
Make Sure Your Dog Drinks Enough Water
Just like you, your dog is going to run into trouble if they aren’t drinking enough water every day. As dogs get older, they tend to drink less water, so you need to keep a close eye on it. Always put out fresh water in places that are easy to access and monitor the water level so you know how much your mutt is drinking. It’s also a good idea to take water with you on walks. Take extra care to make sure they’re drinking in the summer because they’ll get quickly dehydrated. Do you know how much water your dog needs to drink each day?
Regular Walks and Exercise
You already know that you need to walk your dog every day, but you might not be doing it properly. What that means is walking them regularly enough and for long enough periods. Different dog breeds have different exercise requirements, so it’s worth doing some research to learn what your specific dog needs. Even if you’re walking them once a day, that might not be enough for some breeds. In the summer when it’s warm, consider cutting down on the length of walks so your pet doesn’t get overheated. Good exercise reduces stress in dogs, which can help to avoid health problems as well.
Watch Your Dog’s Weight
Obesity is one of the leading causes of health problems in people and it’s no different in dogs. Check with your vet to find out what to feed your dog, as well as how much. Lack of exercise is also a big factor in weight gain. However, if you’re doing everything right and your dog is still gaining weight, that’s a sign that may be a bigger problem going on, so schedule an appointment with your vet right away.
When it comes to your dog’s health, an ounce of prevention is far better than a pound of cure. Taking care of her health is far easier and much less expensive that paying to treat a medical condition that could have been prevented.
What are your tips to help prevent health problems in dogs? I’d love for you to leave a comment below, or stop by my Facebook page and join in the conversation there.