Are you one of the 66% of humans who consider their dog to be their best friend? Dogs make wonderful companions and owning a dog is even beneficial for your health. People who walk their dog daily are less likely to be obese than people who do not have a dog. Children who have dogs in their home are 33% less likely to suffer from animal-related allergies. In fact, 97% of doctors believe that pet ownership has a positive impact on their patients’ health.
Dogs can live for as long as 16 years, depending on their breed and proper care. Providing adequate care for your dog can be overwhelming because they can’t tell you when something is wrong. Here is a basic care guide for helping you maintain happy and healthy pets:
- Put identification on your dog. Having identification on your dog will help ensure that he can be returned safely if he ever gets separated from you. You can get a personalized dog tag from most pet shops for a few dollars. Having your dog microchipped is an great idea, so that he can be returned to you even if his collar comes off.
- Give your dog a healthy diet and regular exercise. Medical experts say that nearly half of all dogs are considered overweight and almost 10% of them are clinically obese. Providing your dog with a good diet and excercise will help them maintain a healthy weight. Your veterinarian can give you guidance to how much your dog should be eating and a healthy exercise regimen for him.
- Vaccinate your dog. Vaccinating your dog prevents them from catching horrible and deadly illnesses like parvo, distemper, hepatitis, and rabies. Puppy vaccinations should be administered at two, three, and four months and then your dog should be vaccinated once a year.
- Spay or neuter your dog. In addition to preventing unwanted litters and reducing the population of stray animals on the streets, spaying and neutering your dog lowers their risk of common forms of cancer and uterine infections.
- Maintain your dog’s teeth. Most veterinarians cite dental disease as a common issue with dogs by the time they reach 2-years-old. Maintaining their dental health can be as easy as getting them a dog bone that is specially formulated to clean their teeth while they chew it.
- Take your dog to the vet. Veterinarians recommend that you schedule a well-check for your dog once a year. On top of that, keeping the contact information on-hand for urgent pet care is a good idea. When your dog is ill or injured at a time that your regular vet is not available, having a plan for urgent pet care will ensure your dog gets the vital care he needs immediately. Most urgent pet care clinics can provide any treatment for common ailments and even preventative care at a reasonable price.
Is your dog your best friend? What do you consider the most important care tip? Do you have anything to add to our list? Please leave us a comment below!