Adding a new dog to your family is a big step because, like all other family members, a dog requires attention, care, and love. If you can provide this but want to make sure you are doing your best to keep your new dog safe, happy, and healthy, there are several things you can do to ensure a high quality of life.
First and foremost, it is necessary to understand the level of care a dog needs and that you can provide each pet with that before agreeing to take one on. Here are some tips for keeping your new dog healthy at home.
1. Familiarize Yourself With Common Health Issues
One of the first things you need to know to keep your new dog healthy is to familiarize yourself with its breed. Some breeds have known health issues. For example, French bulldog health issues are well-known and easily maintained with preventative care and intervention.
Talk to the breeder, your vet, or a pet care specialist to ensure you fully understand the needs of each breed you are considering before you decide on a dog. Ask about the maintenance, what health issues specific dog breeds are susceptible to, and know what to watch for.
2. Dog Proof Your Home
Another important step towards keeping your new dog healthy is to make sure your home is dog-proofed. Like every other member of the family, you want to ensure that your home is as safe as possible for your dog. Dogs are curious by nature and while we may know to stay out of certain things, our dogs won’t always know.
Consider the products, furniture, and even plants you have in your home that are easily accessible and may pose a risk to your dog. Go through the entire house, room by room, and create a safe living environment.
3. Schedule Regular Vet Checkups
Regular vet visits are the best way to start keeping your new dog healthy and catch any issues that may arise. Preventative care is also provided during these regular vet visits to help ensure that potential issues do not develop. Work with your vet to establish routine health procedures and the best options for treatment when necessary.
4. Provide Quality Food for Your Dog
The quality of food you feed your dog is just as important as the quality of food you provide for yourself. Food provides the nutrition a dog requires to remain healthy, so ensure that you are providing your dog with the very best for the time of life they are in.
As dogs age, they will require different nutritional needs to provide for their growth and support their health. Talk to your vet about your pet’s diet and which nutritional needs should be met for each stage of their life.
5. Regularly Exercise Your Dog
Like ourselves, in addition to a healthy diet, your dog needs daily exercise as part of keeping your new dog healthy. Dogs require a minimum level of physical activity to maintain their health and emotional well-being. Try to provide your dog with daily walks and playtime, both indoors and outdoors. Some dogs will require considerably more exercise than others, so make sure you investigate their exercise needs before committing to take care of one.
6. Give Your Dog Attention Daily
Another part of keeping your new dog healthy is to give it the attention it craves. Dogs are very social animals, and they thrive in relationships where they are given constant attention and love. Be sure to give your new dog attention daily, and ensure that you do this throughout their lifespan. Dogs recognize emotions and behavioral changes, so work to build a happy and healthy relationship between yourself and your dog to improve their health.
7. Regular Grooming
Besides medical care, it is important that you also provide grooming care to your pet to continue keeping your new dog healthy to help maintain their physical health and prevent any related problems. Some of the medical issues dogs have are related to the way they are groomed.
Grooming is specific to breed, but, in general, you should maintain a minimum level of grooming and cleanliness for your pet in order to ensure their health. Everything from coat maintenance to nail care to dental care should be done regularly.
Having a dog is a great experience. Just remember that there are a lot of things a dog owner needs to do to take care of their new best friend to keep them healthy and safe. Here are some tips on keeping your new dog healthy and happy.