words Alexa Wang
Your pup gives you everything you could ask for. Unconditional love, snuggles, and a way to stay active.
To repay him and give him a long, happy life, you need to prioritize his health. Taking him to the vet every year is a good place to start, but you will also need to take other preventative measures.
Reader’s Digest reports that dog owners pay around $800 annually in routine vet bills. However, the need for an unplanned vet visit can quickly drive this number way up.
Give your pup the best quality of life possible and keep your vet bill down by implementing these 4 tips to manage your furry friend’s health.
1) Pay Attention to Behavioral Changes
Has your pup been acting a little strange lately? Monitor how much he eats and take note of any changes in his behavior patterns.
Little signs like a facial tremor on one side of his body or unusual barking can indicate a problem with seizures. You should be especially attentive if you own a Labrador retriever, border collie, or beagle, as these breeds are prone to developing seizures. If you start to notice this happen, you can try CBD oil for dog seizures to help minimize their symptoms.
The problem your dog is experiencing may not be as serious as a seizure, but it could indicate an issue with his diet or anxiety about being in a new environment. If it’s not life-threatening, you can try to pinpoint and resolve the problem on your own. If you’re ever in doubt, take a trip to your vet to discuss your dog’s well-being.
2) Adapt Regular Grooming Habits
Get into the habit of brushing your dog’s fur at least once a day. This will help spread natural oils across your pup’s skin and keep it healthy. Brushing will also help you keep an eye out for fleas, ticks, and abnormal lumps. When you brush regularly enough, your dog will come to expect and enjoy the routine.
When it comes to grooming your pup, you should also:
- Brush his teeth at least three times a week to prevent tooth decay and other dental issues
- Clean his ears when needed to prevent infections
- Keep his nails trimmed to promote his joint health and help him maintain a healthy posture
3) Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Your energetic, happy-go-lucky dog can probably run for miles on end without ever really getting tired. However, your pup is not invincible. He needs to stay hydrated just like we do.
While hydration is especially important in the summer, you should also ensure he gets plenty of water during the colder months.
If your pup is deprived of water for too long, he may experience kidney or another organ failure, according to the American Kennel Club.
Keep your pup’s water bowl in an accessible place. Keep an eye on the water level to ensure he’s drinking enough throughout the day.
If you go hiking or camping with your furry best friend, always bring a designated water bowl for him. This way, he won’t have to drink from unclean water sources that could introduce parasites into his body.
4) Encourage Your Dog to Stretch
Yes, you read that correctly! Stretching isn’t just good for humans. Stretching will help improve and maintain your pup’s flexibility. It can also warm up his muscles before a long period of exercise and help get his circulation going.
You can train your dog to stick his hind-end up and bow his head down. This classic position will help him get a good stretch in his front legs.
If you can’t teach your old dog this new trick, try massaging his muscles and joints for him. Ask your vet for tips on the best stretches based on your dog’s current health and mobility.
As you have learned, managing your pup’s health is a lot like taking care of your own. Follow these 4 tips to make your job as a dog owner easy!