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5 Steps to a Healthier Dog

The decision to have a dog as a pet is a lot of responsibility and should not be taken lightly. You should only keep as many dogs as you can afford to in terms of time and money because they require quite a bit of upkeep if you want them to lead happy and healthy lives. Here are 5 steps that you should follow for a healthier dog.

Provide good nutrition

Knowing the best food for your dog requires research and a keen power of observation. Each dog has a unique set of nutritional needs, and what works with one will not necessarily work with another. As much as possible, keep your dog on an all natural diet that is high in protein and has an adequate supply of good fats. If you suspect food allergies, find out what is the source of the allergen. Avoid dog food that is high in grain products such as corn, wheat and soy as they are known allergens. A dog that is nutritionally deficient will develop lots of physical and emotional problems.

Maintain vaccinations

Dogs are susceptible to diseases, so it is important to maintain a regular schedule of vaccinations. This includes vaccination against rabies, parvovirus, distemper, influenza and leptospirosis which are all contagious and potentially deadly. Investing in proper vaccination will prevent costlier problems in the future.

Prevent parasite infestations

There are a variety of parasites that plague the life of dogs in both warm and cold climates, and some are hidden from sight. Hook worms, round worms and tapeworms are just some of the parasites that can lodge inside a dog’s body, but they can be easily eliminated if they are detected early. Regular fecal tests will help you do this, and monthly applications of a heartworm preventative will kill off most other parasites as well.

Fleas and ticks are also major concerns for dog owners, but they can be easily treated with topical medications.

Groom regularly

The benefits of keeping your dog bathed and clean will eliminate many potential problems, including diseases and surface irritants such as ticks. Regular brushing will eliminate dirt and debris as well as clumping and tangling of hair that may otherwise serve as ideal homes for pests. Check your dog regularly for scabs and bumps on the skin which is a red flag indicating fleas or ticks. Check between toes and in ears for colonies of disease-carrying ticks. The website The Rugged Pup also says to make sure to protect dogs’ feet from hot pavement in the summer and never lock them up in hot cars.