Dogs, our furry and faithful best friends, are much like children in that they need constant care, love, and supervision to be healthy and happy. The responsible pet owner will see to it that their dog has a safe environment, including everything they'll need in which to grow and thrive throughout their life.
Here are 10 simple tips for keeping your beloved dog both healthy and happy:
1. Have Your Dog Vaccinated: All dogs should be properly vaccinated at all times, not only for their benefit, but for the other animals and people around them. Vaccinations can often mean the difference between a long, happy life, or a painful, fatal illness.
2. Provide Healthy Food and Fresh Water: Be sure to give your dog the right amount of food for his size, age, weight, and breed. Any dog, of course, should always have a supply of fresh water all throughout the day and night.
3. Provide Shelter and a Safe, Clean Living Environment: Regularly wash your dog's bedding in a mild detergent, and keep their cage or doghouse clean and free of debris and fur. Never leave your dog outside if you aren't going to be home, and always be mindful of the temperature. Dogs should be provided with a warm place in the colder months while outdoors, as well as a cool place to relax in the shade during the hot summer months. Also, remember that water freezes rather quickly in the winter, so be sure your dog has access to water instead of ice if they're going to be outside for a bit.
4. Routinely Treat for Fleas and Worms: Fleas and worms can cause your dog to become very uncomfortable and quite ill, not to mention how hard it is to keep fleas from invading the whole house. Always see to it that your dog is routinely tested for worms and free of fleas or ticks.
5. Provide Exercise and Socialization: While all dogs are different in some way, most will benefit from daily exercise that leaves them tuckered out and content. All dogs or puppies need to be around other dogs, as well as people, including children, in order to be well socialized.
6. Brush Your Dog Every Day: Regular brushing keeps your dog smelling fresh, and helps their coat to stay shiny and healthy looking. While brushing, take the opportunity to check their skin to look for any potential problems.
7. Brush Your Dog's Teeth: Dental care is an often overlooked, but extremely important aspect of your dog's good health. Daily brushing is the best for avoiding tooth decay and other related health issues.
8. Regularly Check Your Dog's Eyes and Ears: Dog's ears are especially prone to infection caused by yeast, fungus, and bacteria, and should be inspected regularly. The eyes should always appear bright and alert, as well as free from any abnormal discharge.
9. Watch for Common Health Problems: Common health problems such as bloat and kidney disease are serious conditions that dog owners will want to watch for diligently. If you have any special concerns related to your dog's specific health or breed, consult with your veterinarian for their professional advice.
10. Give Your Dog Plenty of Love: No dog can ever have too much love, care, or attention. The unconditional love a dog bestows on his owner should be unconditionally reciprocated.
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