We all know the basics to keeping a dog alive and well, but beyond the must-have items of food and water, do you know what other factors weigh in on your dog’s health?
Like humans, dogs can suffer from a variety of mental health conditions from anxiety to depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and even dementia. It’s important to keep an eye on any change in habits. Often dogs who are depressed sleep more and eat less, dogs with anxiety often express it with destructive behavior. Taking your dog to the vet is always the best place to start. Changes in food, exercise and mental stimulation can really make a difference in your dog’s mental wellness.
Did you know dogs only sweat through their paws? Because their only sweat glands are in their feet, they can quickly become overheated. As summer gets into full swing you might notice your pup panting to stay cool. By opening their mouths the water on their tongues can evaporate, creating a cooling effect, but it’s not always enough. Make sure to keep your dog out of the sun and off of hot ground. Give them plenty of water and make sure they take breaks between playing. If they like to hold on to toys, remove them from their mouths for a bit to make sure they have full access to their tongues and panting abilities.
While keeping your dogs hair in order might seem more about looks and ease of care, it can greatly impact your dog’s health as well. Mats in a dog’s coat for example can cut off air supply to the skin, lock in moisture, create uncomfortable rashes and prevent your dog from regulating their temperature properly. A dirty and matted coat can also become a breeding ground for fleas. Skin conditions such as dry skin can make your dog itchy and uncomfortable, creating hot spots. Aside from just regular grooming, choosing the appropriate products to manage your dog’s skin and coat can make all of the difference to your dog’s health.
Spaying and Neutering
While the benefits of spaying and neutering are most often associated with preventing unwanted puppies, there can be other health benefits as well. Be sure to have a careful discussion with your veterinarian about your options.
While dog food is much more sophisticated and well balanced than it used to be, it is still made for the masses. Not every dog will get everything they need from kibble alone. Working with your vet, you can help determine the supplements and extra essentials that your dog needs to help keep them in perfect health. Supplements can help with ailments, pains and allergies, bettering your dog’s skin, gut, bone health and more.
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