You love your dog, and naturally you want them to have the longest, fullest, happiest life possible. While every pet owner tries to take care of their furry friends as best as possible, most of us aren’t vets, and our dogs can’t tell us when they’re feeling under the weather. In this post, we’ll go over some of the most common canine health issues, and some tips on preventing them.
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We’ll start with heartworm, as it’s by far the most common and the most serious. Heartworms are parasites that are spread via mosquito bites. Heartworm disease, an unfortunately common condition in dogs that affects the lungs and heart, can be fatal if it’s not treated. However, it’s also relatively easy to prevent. Start administering a preventative monthly, and you can rest easy knowing that your pooch is well protected. Many people will administer this kind of medication to their dog through most of the year, but then drop it when the winter hits. This was fairly safe in the past, but cases of the disease have been becoming more and more frequent, and you should be protecting your pet all year round. Get some preventative meds, set yourself some monthly reminders, and then start administering.
This is a heavily debilitating disease in dogs, and every other animal for that matter. If your dog contracts it, it could require regular, meticulous care for the rest of their life. The tragedy of diabetes in dogs is that it’s so easily preventable. Obesity is a major predisposing factor in doggy diabetes, so make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your dog on a healthy diet that will keep them slim and healthy. Checking the labels on the dog food you pick up is a good start, making sure there isn’t too much fat, salt or nasty additives. You may also want to consider switching to all natural dog treats, as more conventional, non-organic ones can be a contributing factor in dogs getting overweight. Portion control is also very important. The internet has some great guides on what you should be feeding different breeds at different ages, but to be 110% sure, go to your vet and ask them how you should be feeding your pooch. Finally, make sure they’re getting the recommended daily amount of exercise.
Oral health is generally one thing that a lot of dog owners overlook in their pets. It may seem like a pretty negligible part of their all-round health, but the state of your dog’s teeth and gums can have an impact on the rest of its body. Canine dental disease has been linked with heart disease, kidney and liver disease, and even certain kinds of cancer. If you haven’t been brushing your dog’s teeth regularly, then start now. Your vet should be able to talk you through the process if you’ve never done it before. Keeping up with regular visits to the vet will let you know when your dog needs extra dental care.