Everyone wants a healthy dog, but it’s not always easy to keep them their usual happy self. So we at Doggy Brace wanted to create a guide for you on how to keep your dog healthy to ensure your pet lives a long and happy life.
It all starts with preventative care. It’s easier to stop something from happening than it is to treat it after it happened! Here’s what we recommend:
A Balanced Diet is Key to a Healthy Dog
While it may seem obvious, your dog’s health is 100% reliant on what they eat. A good diet with healthy ingredients will always be better for them than too much fatty foods.
As your dog ages, it’s dietary needs change too! When they’re a puppy, they need higher levels of calories, protein, calcium and phosphate as their grow up. They’ll need more support for their muscle and bone health during their first year of life.
We recommend feeding your puppy a diet that consists of natural ingredients. Try Wellness Complete Health for a diet of deboned chicken, chicken meal, oatmeal, ground barley and peas.
An older dog will need a more controlled diet, as their metabolism and energy levels are likely slowing down. We recommend giving them food with tissue-maintaining protein. This will help support their movements and can reduce the likelihood of injury. Try Blue Buffalo’s Life Protection Formula.
Get Your Dog Vaccinated
Another obvious one, but dogs need vaccines to protect them against common and sometimes fatal ailments such as kennel cough, canine distemper, canine hepatitis, and more.
Acoma Animal Clinic In Tucson broke down all of the vaccines your puppy needs in their recent blog, A First Year Guide to Puppy Shots.
Some vaccines should be administered routinely, so talk with your vet to keep your pup happy and healthy.
Fleas are not fatal, but they are a nuisance to you and your dog. There’s pesky pests, but easily preventable with topical treatments such as Frontline.
Fleas are the most common, especially for outdoor dogs, but worms are what scares most dog owners.
Worms attach to the intestinal lining, causing painful diarrhea or life-threatening conditions. They can also live in the heart, lungs and arteries (heartworms) and can affect your dog’s quality of life long after they’ve been removed.
They are transmitted through mosquitoes and the host worm can lay eggs as well.
Prevention is key for worms. You can give your dog chewable pills, topical treatments, or injectable medication. Heartworm preventatives are only available through veterinarians.
Your dog has four legs that it relies on to get around. Those legs are crucial to maintaining its health; it needs them to run, play, jump, and to follow you everywhere. If you have a three-legged pooch (or even two-legged!), it’s even more crucial to support their joints as they age due to the added stress on their limbs.
Some breeds are more prone to leg issues than others, but all dogs have the chance of injuring themselves. They can strain a muscle, tear their cranial cruciate ligament (CCL), also called an ACL, which is similar to a human’s ACL, have hip dysplasia, or dislocate or break their leg.
A torn CCL is extremely painful for dogs and often results in a costly surgery to repair it. Your dog will limp, the leg could swell, it could be stiff, and your dog could show an unwillingness to run, jump, or play. If your dog is a Labrador Retriever, Rottweiler, NewFoundland, or a Golden Retriever, there is a good chance they tore their ACL.
Hip dysplasia is when your pup’s hip socket is oddly shaped. This causes rubbing, stiffness, or dislocation over time. It can be painful for your dog and is often a genetic issue. It often gets worse due to size, weight, growth rate, and the amount of exercise your dog gets.
Like with worms, preventative care is the trick to managing your dog’s joint health. Joint supplements and a rich diet will certainly help, but a leg brace can really round out the experience. If your dog exercises a lot, has a predisposition for hip dysplasia or torn CCLs, a brace can help support their joints while comfortably restricting movement.
Doggy Brace provides top-notch examples of these braces. The braces come in all sizes too!
Nothing will keep your dog healthier than routine vet visits. Your vet will keep your pet up to date on vaccines, check out their limbs, check for lumps, and check their vision and overall health. Regular trips to get their teeth cleaned and to the groomer will show your dog you care. They may not thank you during the visit, but they will feel amazing after!
Your dog is your family. Give them a proper diet, plenty of love and playtime, and use preventative treatments to ensure they live a long and healthy life.