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3 dicembre 2007 - 13:21

Tips for a Healthy Dog

A tricolor Australian Shepherd smiles with an autumn backdrop.

You’ve just adopted a dog, and you’re looking for as many doggie tips as you can.

You want to avoid any issues, and you’re excited to keep your dog happy and comfortable in their new home.

You’re ready to provide your new friend with the best life possible.

If you’re looking for information on nutrition for dogs, joint health, and dental care, you’ve come to the right place.

1. Make a Nutrition Plan for Your Dog

One of the most common problems veterinarians diagnose is malnutrition in dogs. Malnutrition means that your dog isn’t eating what they should be. It’s important to understand what food is best for your pup—and there are many choices to pick from.

Discuss potential dog foods with your veterinarian.

They may recommend over-the-counter food, or they may suggest a prescription diet for your dog if they have certain dietary or health needs. This often depends on the age, breed, and overall health of your dog.

Typically, a healthy dog won’t need supplements if you’re feeding them the correct diet. However, if your pup does have health problems such as joint issues, heart, or kidney disease, your vet may recommend supplements to your dog’s prescribed diet.

2. Keep Your Pup at a Healthy Weight

A key factor in the long-term health of your dog is whether they are the right weight for their breed and body. This is determined by body condition scoring (BCS), which evaluates the fat and muscles of your pet.

For example, when you gently run your hands down your dog when they’re standing, can you feel their ribs without pressing in?

If so, this is typically considered normal. If you must press your fingers in, chances are good your pup is carrying some extra weight. If you can feel the bumps between each of your dog’s ribs, this probably means that they’re too skinny.

Ask your veterinarian at your next visit what the BCS for your pup is, and how that compares to the standard. Knowing your dog’s BCS is important.

If your dog has extra weight, it can lead to damage to their joints and organs over time, making them prone to arthritis, lameness, heart diseases, diabetes, and many other health problems.

3. How to Maintain General Health

It’s important to catch health issues early. Here are a few steps you can take to help your pup maintain good health and stay in shape between their regular checkups.

Dental Health

Dental health is important, but can often be overlooked.

Cleaning your dog’s gums and tissue around the teeth is a critical part of having a happy pup.

Bacteria in the mouth can get into the bloodstream and cause diseases in other organs, such as the heart or kidneys.

Brushing your dog’s teeth daily is key to keeping their body healthy. Ask your vet for advice and tips on how to most effectively brush your pup’s teeth.

Joint Health

As dogs get older, the wear and tear on their joints can become obvious.

You may notice that your pup is exhibiting stiffness, lameness while walking or after exercise, or just generally slowing down.

Keeping your dog at an ideal weight as a pup and as they age can be critical in maintaining joint health.

Even if your dog is starting to show signs of joint problems, exercise is important to keep the muscles strong and the joints lubricated.

Instead of a long walk, it might mean a short one instead. If there are stairs in and out of the house, you may need to switch to a ramp.

Many older dogs can benefit from swimming during the summer months to avoid impact on their joints while still building muscle. There are also many helpful joint supplements that can help maximize your dog’s joint life.

Flea and Tick Prevention

Fleas and ticks are a problem throughout the U.S., both seasonally and year-round.

These little parasites carry several diseases that can result in long-term illness. Not only do these diseases impact our four-legged friends, but they can also harm us.

It’s important to implement flea and tick control and prevention for your entire family.

Your vet will be able to help you select a product that is optimal for the part of the country you live in and the lifestyle of your pet.

Using these products as directed is a very simple and straightforward way to take a big step to keep your dog—and family—healthy.

Heartworm Prevention

Heartworm is another parasite of concern. This tiny roundworm is transmitted by mosquitoes. Both indoor and outdoor pets can be affected by this parasite.

Thankfully, several medications are available that are effective in heartworm prevention for both dogs and cats. Heartworm is a problem that is much easier to prevent than to treat.

It’s strongly recommended that pet parents should spay/neuter their furry companions for several reasons.

Females that go through heat are vulnerable to infection of the uterus, also called a pyometra.  These infections are often severe, and most of the time the only effective treatment is emergency surgery, which is expensive and risky. This is the best monthly heartworm prevention method.

Unneutered males are prone to developing testicular and prostatic diseases and cancers.

Additionally, both sexes can have unwanted changes in behavior, such as peeing in the house, roaming, reactivity, and antisocial tendencies.

Speak to your vet about spaying/neutering and at what age your dog can safely have the procedure.

4. Keep Their Coat Clean

Frequent grooming is important for all dogs. It helps maintain a healthy coat and can also help you to identify health problems early.

When you brush your pup’s coat regularly (at least a few times per week) you help to avoid mats, remove loose hair before it’s swallowed (or winds up on the sofa), and can look for lumps, bumps, sores, redness, and parasites like fleas and ticks.

As part of their overall grooming and good hygiene, remember to trim your dog’s nails weekly.

Use a cleaner approved by your vet to clean your pooch’s ears and check for any signs of ear infection.

These grooming sessions can be fun and enjoyable for you and your pup—and can help you find any hidden problems before they surface.

Mentioned in this Article. Stay Up to Date on Vaccines

Vaccines are an important part of keeping your pup happy and healthy, but not every dog needs every vaccination.

At your annual wellness visit, your vet will want to understand your dog’s vaccine history and their current lifestyle.

There are core vaccines as well as elective vaccines, which are only recommended for some pups. Discussing the risks and benefits of these vaccines with your vet can help you determine the best choices for your pet.

Dogs that are out and about—visiting dog parks, kennels, training classes, and play groups—will need more vaccines than dogs that never leave the yard. But all dogs need their core vaccines.

Speak with your vet about your dog’s vaccine needs at their next visit.

6. Mental and Physical Exercise is The Key

Exercise is important for our canine companions. It’s good for them physically, and it also helps to provide mental stimulation and gives them something to look forward to.

Activities like trips to the dog park, the beach, or a favorite hiking trail are great ways to bond and exercise with your fur baby. Don’t forget those rainy days, too!

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  • nico - 3 dicembre 2007 # 1

    Beh, ogni tanto qualche buona notizia anche dal Bel Paese… speriamo che il progetto prenda piede e sia portato avanti per bene!

  • dalloliogm - 4 dicembre 2007 # 2

    wow, bello!!
    Non ho capito completamente le modalità di questo e-learning, ma mi sembrano molto interessanti.
    Bene, in bocca al lupo!

  • Ra1D - 4 dicembre 2007 # 3

    Molto carino, anche se le animazioni così “pesanti” in genere mi infastidiscono.
    Di sicuro l’usabilità e la chiarezza sul dove reperire informazioni e materiali è ottima, cosa che spesso scarseggia nei siti universitari.

  • dalloliogm - 5 dicembre 2007 # 4

    Forse sarebbe stato meglio usare Ajax :-/

  • [...] universitario (didattica easily) December 3, 2007 – 6:21 am | admin auspex wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptQuesta volta esco un attimo dagli [...]


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