You want to do everything possible to give your dog the best chance at a long and healthy life full of fun. Along with plenty of love and attention, there are a few other basic steps you can take to help ensure your dog's health. Our Ocala veterinarians have put together a list of six things you can do to help your dog live a long and healthy life.
Your Dog's Health
Keeping our companion animals healthy is a big responsibility, but it doesn't have to be difficult. Caring for your dog's health essentially boils down to doing everything you can to help prevent diseases from developing. There are six things you can do to help prevent disease and keep your dog happy and healthy.
1 - Provide Nutritious Meals
The quality of the food your dog consumes will have a significant impact on his or her health. Speak with your veterinarian about the best foods for your dog based on age, breed, and lifestyle to help keep him healthy. Your veterinarian will be happy to provide advice on selecting the best food to meet your dog's nutritional needs, or if your dog is experiencing health issues that may be related to diet, schedule a nutritional consultation.
2 - Keep Your Dog at a Healthy Weight
Obesity has been linked to several serious conditions in dogs, including diabetes and joint pain, so maintaining a healthy weight for your dog is critical for optimal health. Your vet will be able to calculate the optimal number of calories your dog should consume each day once you've chosen a nutritious food for him. Once you've determined how many calories are appropriate for your dog, you'll be able to easily calculate how much you should feed your dog at each meal.
3 - Make Sure Your Dog Gets Plenty of Exercise
Different breeds require different amounts of exercise. While some dogs can get by on a quick walk around the block, high-energy breeds may require an hour or more of vigorous exercise once or twice a day. Adequate physical activity not only keeps your dog's body in good shape but can also help to prevent mental boredom, which can lead to destructive behavior or anxiety. Inquire with your veterinarian or breeder about the appropriate amount of exercise for your dog. Walks, backyard games, and social time at dog parks are all excellent ways to keep your pup active.
4 - Annual Wellness Exams
Diagnosis and treatment of conditions in their early stages help to ensure the best possible treatment outcomes. When your dog appears to be in good health, annual veterinary exams are all about prevention, monitoring your pet's overall health, and looking for early signs of developing problems. Your veterinarian will discuss your dog's diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors with you, as well as any concerns you have about your pet's health or behavior, before performing a thorough physical examination. When the exam is finished, your veterinarian will go over the results with you. If anything concerning is discovered, your veterinarian will make recommendations for diet, diagnostic testing, or treatment.
5 - Vaccinations
Our Ocala veterinarians believe that vaccinations are critical to ensuring that your pet lives a long and healthy life. Vaccinations regularly help to protect your dog from a variety of highly contagious, potentially fatal diseases. Most states require that all pets be vaccinated against rabies, but vaccines also protect dogs against other serious conditions such as parvo, distemper, and panleukopenia.
6 - Parasite Prevention
Ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes can all carry organisms that cause a variety of diseases that endanger your dog's health and longevity. If your dog is not protected, a bite from one of these parasites could cause serious illness. Speak with your veterinarian about the best ways to protect your dog from a variety of tick-borne diseases, heartworms, and other parasitic conditions that are common in your area.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.