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What's the Best Routine Health Care for Dogs?

by Justin Girdler |

Proper routine health care is essential for keeping your dog happy and healthy. It isn’t enough to just provide a healthy diet and proper shelter for your canine companion. Following a regular schedule of preventive care, you can help prevent illness and catch any potential health problems early on, allowing for quicker treatment and a better outcome.  

A holistic health care routine for your pet accommodates their overall well-being.

The best routine health care for dogs should provide preventative care to protect them from diseases and other underlying health conditions that negatively impact their active lifestyle. These services range from proper dog grooming to good dog veterinary care. 

Here is a guide to the best routine health care for dogs:

  1. Vaccinations

  2. Like human vaccines, canine vaccinations are preventive medicines, stimulating their immune system to protect them from life-threatening illnesses like distemper, parvovirus, and rabies. 

    Suppose you're wondering what vaccines your dog needs besides core immunizations. Your veterinarian will recommend a vaccination schedule based on your dog's age, breed, and overall health, and it is important to stick to this schedule to ensure that your dog is fully protected.

    To ensure your pet stays healthy as they grow, it’s best to start vaccinations when they’re still young. Puppies are at high risk of infections due to their weaker immune systems. While it's true that they receive protection through the antibodies in their mother's milk, these don’t last enough to fully protect them from disease. 

    Remember, you’ll need to finish an entire series of vaccinations to provide optimal protection. An incomplete vaccine history may make your puppies more susceptible to diseases. 

  3. Dog grooming

  4. Your canine companion's proper grooming routine depends on a handful of factors like their breed. For instance, if your dog has a thick or shaggy coat, you’ll need to brush them regularly to prevent matting. Matting is a condition wherein your dog's fur becomes badly tangled, resulting in dense knots. 

    And while the condition seems easy to treat, matting can lead to a handful of other health issues like skin infections, hematomas, and parasites. To prevent this, thoroughly dry and brush your pup's coat after a bath. If there are clumps of matted hair that you can't brush out, you can use electric clippers to remove them. 

    Another essential factor to remember regarding your dog's grooming habits is their nails. Long and unkempt nails are painful to walk on and may negatively influence your pet's posture. To avoid this, you must trim their nails every two to three weeks. 

  5. Diet and Exercise

  6. A balanced diet and regular exercise are essential for maintaining your dog's overall health. It is important to feed your dog a high-quality diet that is appropriate for their size, age, and activity level, and to provide them with plenty of opportunities for physical activity, such as walks and playtime.

    Aside from helping your pet avoid common injuries like a torn CCL or fractured bone, regular exercise has many other benefits. For instance, it keeps your dog's brain active–mental stimulation is key to avoiding habits like excessive chewing and licking that lead to other health issues. 

    Regular exercise promotes healthy aging and reduces the likelihood of your dog developing conditions like arthritis, hip dysplasia, and obesity. This is especially necessary since, according to a recent survey from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, 56% of canines in the US are either overweight or obese.

    The amount and the exercise your dog needs depends on various factors; hence, we highly recommend speaking with your veterinarian to figure out the best routine for your pet. For instance, if your dog is middle-aged, your vet may recommend dog leg exercises to combat the risk of arthritis.

  7. Dental care

  8. Dental care is often overlooked, but it’s not just for older dogs. It is an important part of routine health care for dogs. Poor dental hygiene can lead to a variety of health problems, including tooth decay, gum disease, and infections. 

    To keep your dog's teeth healthy, it is important to brush their teeth regularly and have their teeth cleaned by a veterinarian at least once a year. Some vet practices offer an annual special on dental cleanings. 

    Another way to add to your dog's teeth and gums health, is through a quality diet and providing toys and chews that help floss their teeth.

    With proper dental care, you can prevent the development of severe plaque in their mouth, leading to gingivitis and other periodontal diseases. 

  9. Parasite Prevention

  10. Dogs can be vulnerable to a variety of parasites, including fleas, ticks, and worms. To protect your dog, it is important to use appropriate preventive measures, such as monthly flea and tick treatments and periodic deworming. 

    Some of the most dangerous parasites your dogs can get include roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms that primarily target their intestines. These parasites damage your pet's digestive tract and interfere with the absorption of essential nutrients. 

    Periodical fecal tests are a must for preventing parasites from causing lasting damage to your dog's health. Meanwhile, common external parasites, including fleas, ticks, and mange mites, can be treated with monthly preventative medicine.

    Your veterinarian can recommend the best products and treatment schedule for your dog.

  11. Spaying and neutering

  12. Unless you want your canine companion to breed, they should be spayed or neutered. These procedures help prevent serious medical problems like male prostate diseases, uterine infections, and mammary cancer in females. 

    Additionally, spaying and neutering help improve your canine's behavior. We recommend administering the procedure at six months if you have a female pup. Conversely, you can neuter your male puppies between five to ten months of age, depending on their breed and size.

How to keep your pet healthy and happy: The best routine healthcare for your dogs

When creating a healthcare routine for your pet, keep these six things in mind. They will have an impact on your dog's overall well-being. And in case you didn’t notice it, regular check-ups with your veterinarian are vital for each area, and a vital part of routine health care for dogs. 

By following a regular schedule of preventive care and seeking prompt treatment for any health issues that arise, you can help ensure that your dog stays happy and healthy throughout their life. Don't forget to also provide your dog with plenty of love and attention, as this is an important factor in their overall well-being.

For more tips on better care for your pets and what good dog veterinary care looks like, visit our website and browse our blog today.

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