You love your dog. And like most dog-owners, you likely consider your dog to be a part of your family. That is why your dog's health is so important. Just as you would be concerned about the health of a child, you should be concerned about the health of your dog. Fortunately, if you've already looked after your children, or even if you are concerned about your health, looking after your dog's health should be easy.
It requires all the things that you would expect: preventative care, paying attention to warning signs, knowing what to do when your dog is sick, and finding a veterinarian you and your dog can trust. If you follow all these steps, you will help ensure that your dog has a long and healthy life. The key to keeping your dog healthy is, not surprisingly, a healthy lifestyle right from the start. Most importantly, this means only giving your dog nutritious dog food, throw those scraps away! Look for dog food that has been endorsed by veterinarian groups.
While it may be more expensive than generic or even some brand name dog foods, in the long run it will help with your dog's health. Along with good food, your dog will need a lot of exercise. Although the amount of exercise each dog needs will vary according to the breed, no dog's health will be improved by being stuck inside a cramped apartment everyday. Dogs need walks and time outside to play. Incorporate your dog's exercise routine into your own.
This will help your dog's health, and your own health. Finally, get your dog a veterinarian and have your dog's health checked regularly. Along with spotting problems, your veterinarian will also be able to give you tips and suggestions on preventative dog health. So you've decided to pick a veterinarian.
You open the Yellow Pages and find dozens and dozens of veterinarians to choose from. Where do you start? Right off the bat, you will want to find a veterinarian that has a "small animal" practice, which will include dogs and cats and other common pets. These veterinarians will know the most about dog health. Most veterinarians are similar to a doctor who is a general practitioner.
These veterinarians will be able to deal with and identify a wide range of problems related to your dog's health, and are what you should use as your main veterinarian. Once you've found a general "small animal" veterinarian to deal with your dog's health, they will be able to refer you to specialists as required. If you've identified some possible veterinarians, start asking your friends and colleagues with pets for recommendations.
And most importantly, talk to your prospective veterinarian. Ask about prices and availability for emergency care. Finally, before you chose any veterinarian to help you look after your dog's health, be sure that you are comfortable with them and trust them to look after your pet. After a lot of consideration, you've picked a veterinarian that will keep track of your dog's health, and have started a preventative regime of good food and exercise. No matter how careful you are about your dog's health, however, your dog will get sick. Either from contact with other dogs, or accidents while you are out on your walks, something will likely happen to your dog that will require the attention of a veterinarian.
The problem is that it is not always obvious when your dog is sick. Unlike children, your dog can't tell you when it is feeling down. There are a number of sign you can look for, however.
Is your dog more tired than usual lately? Does it seem depressed? Does it have a dry nose? Is it limping? Does your dog's feces look off or runny? These are just some warning signs. In the end, it all comes down to whether you think your dog is sick or not. This requires you to have a close relationship with your dog to know when it is acting differently, and this attention will be the best support for your dog's health.
Steve Dolan is a dog lover and long time dog owner. For more information about dog health click Dog Health and Dog Grooming and for more about dog trining and keeping your dog happy click Dogs and Puppies Online.