The change of seasons is a great time to check-up on our pets’ health. Follow these five tips for a more physically and mentally, healthy, strong, and happy dog.
1. Start with a Wellness Check-up
Visit the veterinary to evaluate your dog’s current health. This is the benchmark to see what to focus on for the next several months.
A vet can discuss weight management ideas including nutrition recommendations and exercise that are appropriate for your pet’s health and age. Even if your dog is not overweight, a regular appointment with the vet can help track if they are maintaining or losing that weight.
Use this appointment to update all vaccinations. Sadly, spring is the prime time for pets' increased exposure to infectious diseases, especially kennel cough. Beat off sickness by staying current on vaccines.
One other health item to speak with the Vet about is your dog’s dental care. Healthy teeth and gums prevent disease and other health risks in pets as well as humans. Ask the Vet if your pet’s teeth are in need of cleaning or ask for advice on brushing.
2. Reexamine Eating Habits
Have extra treats or people food been sneaking into your dogs diet? Now is the time to review their eating habits.
A low-fat and low-calorie dog food is usually recommended for pets who need to lose or maintain weight. We want to help our pets avoid problems with arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, and breathing by staying fit and healthy.
Talk with a vet if you’re unsure what type of dog food to feed your dog. Also, try using a measuring cup to scoop the food. It should keep your pet from overeating, which leads to weight gain.
When you do treat your dog, consider using an all-natural, gluten free snack, such as the ones from Healthy Partner Pet Snacks.
3. Find New Ways to Stimulate Your Dog’s Brain
Studies of the brain show that mental stimulation can reduce cognitive deterioration in aging animals. This means that keeping your pet’s brain active can help them be healthier.
Keep your pet’s brain active by playing with pet puzzles, exploring new places, going for car rides, and playing with pet toys.
4. Make Exercise Part of the Daily Routine
This can be a challenge, but finding ways to include daily exercise is good for both human and pet. In my own family, if the dog isn’t getting enough exercise, then we usually aren’t either.
Managing a pet’s weight is a concern for many owners. Nationally, more than 50 percent of pets are classified as overweight, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.
Exercise can be as simple as walking around the block after each meal, racing up and down the stairs, or playing fetch in a large yard. Some dogs love to run next to their owners when they are on bike rides. Find what works best for you and your pet.
5. Don’t Forget Grooming
Get in the habit of checking your pets for ticks after they have played outside. Also, keep a clean towel near the door to dry off muddy paws. Mud can hide irritants to your pet’s paws, in addition to making the floor dirty.
Hopefully, these ideas will encourage you to begin a few new healthy pet habits this spring.
Article written by Melissa Wheeler