Pet Dog Health Tips for New Owners

By following a few pet dog health tips, you prevent common diseases and promote a long life. Yearly, vet check ups help, but they are not the only way to keep your dog healthy. It's up to you to ensure you are doing everything possible to keep your dog happy and healthy.

Avoid Problems with Common Parasites

Fleas, worms and ticks all impact a dog's health. Fleas affect thousands of dogs every year, but they are easily prevented. Talk to your veterinarian about topical or oral flea medications. Even if your dog is exposed to fleas while in a kennel or at a dog park, the medications will protect your pet.

Deer ticks are a growing problem in many areas. Their bite often spreads Lyme Disease to animals. There are vaccinations for Lyme Disease available for dogs, but their effectiveness is questionable. The best prevention is to check your dog for ticks after walking in a field or forested area. If you find any, remove them with tweezers, making sure you pull gently so that the tick releases its grasp.

All dogs should be on heartworm medications. Heartworms spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Because mosquitoes frequently get inside your home, it's important to keep your dog protected.

Other parasitic worms are treated with de-worming medications. Some oral medications also offer protection against a variety of worms, including heartworms, roundworms, hookworms and tapeworm.

Benefits to Daily Exercise

Exercise is critical for pet dog health. Daily exercise helps maintain weight, provides a form of stress and tension release for a dog who's been inside all day and helps keep joints and muscles in top form.

Most dogs need at least 20 minutes of exercise per day. Active breeds, such as Border Collies or Jack Russells, require more activity to prevent restlessness and boredom.

Choose a Healthy Diet for Optimal Pet Dog Health

Dog foods purchased in grocery stores often contain by-products and fillers to keep costs down. These foods are poor quality do not benefit a dog's health. Choose dog foods that use pure protein sources and avoid empty carbohydrates like corn gluten, wheat gluten or white rice.

Holistic dog foods use human-grade ingredients to create dog foods that optimize nutrients and quality. These foods are often more expensive, but they keep dogs from becoming overweight, reducing the risk for costly health issues later in life.

Follow a Dental Care Regimen

Poor dental care leads to numerous pet dog health issues. Tooth and gum disease links to organ damage if left untreated.

Brush your dog's teeth daily. You'll find toothbrushes specially designed for dogs in pet stores. You'll also find beef flavored toothpastes that dog's love.

During your veterinary visit, your veterinarian should check your dog's teeth and gums. If tartar is evident, a professional teeth cleaning is recommended.

Improve Pet Dog Health with Vaccinations

Routine vaccinations and boosters are important pet dog health measures. Rabies vaccinations are required by law in most states. Other vaccinations help prevent common diseases, such as Adenovirus, Distemper and Parvo.

Vaccinations your puppy between seven and nine weeks of age. Boosters are given two more times before the puppy is five months old. After that, boosters are usually given every three years.