There are a lot of things to consider when raising a dog. It is not an easy task but there are ways to make it happen. It’s only natural that you will want to do the best for your dog, to extend its life and live happily while they are with you in their days. The following are guides to achieving that good health.
One of the most important aspects of raising a dog is giving it the right nutrition for energy and growth. Feeding your dog, a well-balanced quality meal is one way to prolong its life. In choosing the perfect dog food, you need to check the label. The dog food must consist of meat and vegetables. Avoid common dog fillers such as Ethoxyquin, BHT/BHA, Corn Syrup, Propylene Glycol, and animal byproducts. Taste test on the food you are going to give to your dog. Keep an eye on it after feeding it with dog food you have chosen. Some dogs show sensitivity or intolerance. Watch out for vomiting, diarrhea, or skin reaction. If possible, see a veterinarian to help you in choosing the right dog food to give.
Not all human foods are edible for dogs. Some can hurt or even kill a dog. These human foods should not be fed to the dogs. Examples of these foods are grapes; avocados, chocolate, raisin, onion, garlic, alcohol, chives, and xylitol-containing foods. These foods are all toxic when given to dogs.
Just like humans, dogs need water to properly digest the food they eat. Fluids play a vital role in the metabolism and production of energy. Water should be clean and fresh. Change the water every day. Clean the bowl with dish soap and water each day unfailingly to prevent the growth of algae and bacteria in the bowl especially during the warm weather.
Dogs also have ideal weight just like humans. If they fall into the ten to twenty percent excess weight, your dog will be considered overweight. A twenty percent overweight is considered obese. These obese dogs are prone to illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoarthritis, and urinary bladder stones. Consult a veterinarian for the ideal weight and for the right food to give. Always refer to the dog food package listed and compare it with the ideal food intake referred to you by the veterinarian.
Grooming your dog is part of health maintenance. Grooming should be done on a regular basis. Brush the fur regularly to keep it healthy and shiny. This also improves the blood circulation, ensuring that oxygen and nutrients are evenly distributed to the body. This is also an opportunity for you to check the skin underneath the hair. Check for lumps, ticks, flea or cysts. Redness, scabs or lumps should be seen immediately by a veterinarian for treatment.
- Clipping the nail may be a difficult task that should be done. Dogs may fuss and you could get yourself bitten if the dog is not used to being handled. There is also a probability that you will injure your dog if not done properly. Be careful not cut the area where there are nerves and blood vessels. This area is called the “quick.” Cutting this area may result to bleeding and pain. If you aren’t sure, then refer to a veterinarian or a groomer.
- Visit affordable dog grooming service providers if unsure of getting the nail clipping done by you.
Brushing the Teeth
- Brushing your dog’s teeth should be done every day. This enables the removal of plaque and bacterial build up. This is also an opportunity to check soreness, redness, inflammation on the mouth, damaged or loose teeth. A licensed dog groomer could be delegated to the task but it is still best to do it, as pet owners should know their dental health firsthand.
- Use dental toothpaste made for dogs. Fluoride found in toothpaste for humans are poisonous to dogs. So, it is best to use the recommended toothpaste for dogs.
- Bring your dog to a veterinarian for dental cleaning. The dog will be sedated before the examination and cleaning is performed.
- The ears shouldn’t smell nor have discharges. The inner part of the ear should be white but some dogs may possess dark colored inner ears. Inspect it by flipping the ear gently. It should be clean, dirt free, and parasite free. These should be carefully removed if found.
- Use a product specifically made for dogs. If not available, use solution half white vinegar and half rubbing alcohol. Apply enough solution to the cotton ball and gently wipe the dog’s ears. Stop wiping if blood stains are found on the cotton. Seek a veterinarian if this happens.
- Observe your dog for excessive head shaking, pawing or scratching at the ear. Waxy, fluid, and brownish discharges are abnormal and should be notified to the vet immediately for proper treatment. This could indicate infection.
Most dogs nowadays are kept inside owners’ homes. However, if your dog is kept outside, the dog’s shelter must be kept insulated. The dog should be provided with warm bedding for colder climates and shade for warmer weather. If possible, do not chain your dog for too long. This can lead to leg and neck injuries.
Dogs need exercise. It keeps the blood circulated where in nutrients and oxygen is carried to vital organs. Ten to fifteen minutes of walk is already a good exercise, although it depends on the breed. A game of fetch or Frisbee could also be a good form of exercise. It is challenging to them and it makes them active. With this, you are not only keeping your dog healthy, your relationship with your dog is enhanced.
Exercise also helps a dog from turning away from its bad habit like biting and earring up things. It also lowers down aggression and keeps your dog’s weight within the ideal range.
Socializing your dog
Carefully introduce your dog to people, other dogs and animals and places outside the home environment. Take your dog on drives to get used to riding a car. Walk around the neighborhood and dog parks as much as possible. This will enhance its social aspect. As long as the dog is not feeling scared or threatened.
Lastly, visit the Veterinarian and schedule for routine check-ups and vaccination. Keep your dog healthy. Follow these guidelines to keep them ill free and happy.