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Dog Health Basics For All Dog Owners

 Keeping your dog in optimal health is more important than ever. Today, our dogs are considered a vital part of the family, not just pets, and when you look at rising vet costs, it really makes sense to pay close attention to your dog's health on a daily basis. The good news is that if you are willing to perform some basic health checks, both you and your pet will be better off down the road.

Even in today's scientifically advanced world, the basics of dog health care are still the most important. This means proper diet, exercise, grooming, and education. If you can cover these bases (along with some obedience training, solid vet advice, and lots of play time) then you are certainly doing all you can. Let's go over the basics:

Diet Plays A Huge Part

Just like with humans: you are what you eat. If you are feeding your dog junk food, then don't be surprised when he becomes listless and overweight and unhealthy. We can choose whatever we want to eat, but lucky for dogs, they are forced to eat what we give them. Sure they would love to have nachos and cheeseburgers every night, but healthy, natural dog foods are a much better option. We can make those choices for our dogs and if you choose to switch your dog to a healthy, premium brand you and you dog will be happier for it.

Dogs Need Exercise Too

Some dogs need more exercise than others, but daily exercise is vital to a dog's health. Exercise helps to 1) keep their weight moderated, 2) keep their muscles and respiratory systems working at proper levels and 3) keep them from getting bored out of their minds. Keep in mind that dogs don't have novels, video games, or DVDs to keep them entertained. They need walks (preferably 3-4 a day), some light jogging from time to time, and lots of interactive games to keep them stimulated. Run! Jump! Fetch! Then have your dog do the same.

Regular Dog Grooming Helps You Monitor Dog Health

Grooming is essential to your dog's health for two reasons. First, it ensures that your dog's skin, teeth, and paws are in good shape. Secondly, it keeps you up to speed on your dog's overall physical condition. Brush your dog's coat with a gentle, yet firm brush. Is her coat smooth and silky, rough yet resilient, or is it splotchy and inconsistent? Monitor your dog's coat over time and you will notice subtle changes from season to season. Dogs need proper teeth cleanings, just like humans. To maintain your dog's dental health, we recommend using dog dental wipes and having your vet take a look at her teeth from time to time. Time for a serious cleaning? Your vet will have recommendations on that. Finally, make sure that you inspect your dog's paws on a regular basis. Are her paws clear of foreign objects, splinters, etc? It's amazing the stuff that a dog can pick up playing in the woods. Keep those paws clean!

Gather All The Information

Health issues for dogs can be as tricky and complex as they are for humans. That's why education is the key to preventing problems down the road. Many dogs have health concerns or predispositions that are breed specific.  Learn all about the breed before bringing him home, and you will be adequately prepared. Ask your breeder & vet lots of questions. After all, dogs can't read.

If you are willing to spend the time and energy to keep your dog healthy and active, he or she will love you for it. And that's what it's all about!

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