For most of us pet owners, our dogs are like family members, and so naturally we want to do our best to keep them safe and healthy. There are many things you can do as a responsible pet parent to ensure that your pooch is fighting fit and happy, and here are just a few tips and pointers:
- Check your pooch every dayWhile we see our pet dogs every day, we often don’t take the time – or simply forget – to give them a quick visual check every day. Dogs are just as vulnerable to picking up injuries or illnesses as we are, so being observant can help you to spot a problem before it gets too serious.
- Spot behavioural changesEach dog may have a different way of showing you that they are in pain or suffering from something, so if you notice that there are any behavioural changes in your dog, monitor them closely, and seek a vets’ opinion as soon as possible if you feel it necessary.
- Avoid human medicinesMedicines prescribed for humans should never be used on your dog; use only medications and treatments that a vet has prescribed and remember that some everyday items that most homes have in them, can be poisonous to dogs, so it’s a good idea to keep them as far away from your pets as possible.
- Don’t neglect your dogs’ pearly whitesOur pets’ teeth are as prone to a build up of plaque or to infection, as ours are, so try to check them regularly and seek treatment if anything looks suspicious within your dogs’ mouth. If your pooch allows it, you can try brushing their teeth and gums; pet toothbrushes are widely available and very effective at minimizing plaque and keeping gums healthy.
- Groom regularlyNot only is grooming your dog usually a pleasant experience for both parties, but it can help you to spot any problems with your dogs’ coat or other body parts. It will also help to reduce dander that has a habit of attaching itself to every available surface!
- Pamper your elderly petsOlder dogs will often need special care, such as less exercise, a special diet and a nice, comfy place to sleep. If your pet is showing signs of old age, try to pamper them a little more and allow them plenty of rest and minimize their stress levels as much as you can.
- Stay up to date with vaccinationsYour dog should at the very least, have an annual check up with a qualified veterinarian, and these are great opportunities to ask about vaccinations and parasite treatments. Many good vets will offer healthcare packages that run alongside your pet insurance, helping to minimize the cost of check-ups and treatments.
- Neuter, or de-sex your dogDogs that are not intended to be used for breeding purposes, should always be neutered to prevent unwanted litters, and to help prevent them getting certain types of cancers and illnesses.
- Microchipping is now the lawIf your dog gets itself lost, ensure that it can easily be identified and returned to you by having it wear an identification collar and by getting it microchipped. A collar with contact details on is now mandatory along with microchipping, so not only will you be helping to keep your pet safe, but you’ll be staying on the right side of the law, too.
While these tips are always a good idea to follow, you mustn’t hesitate to seek professional advice or guidance about your dogs’ safety or health if you are at all concerned about their welfare.