Total Dog Health: The Comprehensive Guide

Complete dog health is a hodgepodge of key elements including nutrition, supplementation, and preventatives. Not only do these key elements integral to your dog's overall health, but they also promote vitality, mental stability, and overall well-being. Secondary aspects of dog health include remedies and treatments. Remedies such as aromatherapy and herbalism can aid in easing symptoms of hundreds of conditions and treatments such as massage, acupuncture, and hydrotherapy can help dogs stay healthy physically and mentally.

Dog Nutrition

Good dog nutrition is one of the best ways to avoid a number of common conditions such as dog constipation, diarrhea, allergies, chronic skin conditions, frequent stomach upsets, bad breath, ear infections, hyperactivity, anxiousness, aggressiveness, and anxiety, to name a few. To avoid common dog conditions the best thing you can do for your dog is to avoid low-quality, low-nutrition, commercial dog food and buy high-quality products with a 40/50/10 ratio. This means, 40% meat, 50% veggies, and 10% carbohydrate. It is also important to avoid dog foods that use by-products as well as preservatives such as BHT, BHA, and Ethoxyquin. Choose premium brand and holistic foods as they do not contain fillers, by-products or harmful chemical preservatives. They contain 100% natural and nutritious human-grade ingredients. Add bulking agents to the diet, such as bran, pumpkin, or methylcellulose, can help prevent constipation as well. In addition to feeding your dog a balanced, high-quality diet, you should:

  • always provide fresh water
  • keep them away from trash and bones
  • avoid feeding them table scraps

Dog Supplementation

Dog supplements can be a great benefit to your pet in the long-run. No matter how healthy a type of dog food may be, not all dog food contains all of the vitamins and minerals your dog needs. Antioxidants, in particular, are important for optimal dog health for several reasons. Antioxidants have healing properties, they assist the body's natural defense mechanism and in turn boost the immune system, and they decrease the effects of free radicals. The best dog supplements should contain vitamins A, C and E, and vitamins B, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12.

Dog Preventatives

Besides feeding your dog a balanced diet and supplements, exercise is one of the most important ways to help prevent a number of common conditions. Just a few common dog conditions include heart problems and obesity. Exercise can even prevent emotional problems. Exercise also promotes joint health, healthy bones, bone density, and even self confidence. Walking, running, fetching/catching, and swimming are all excellent exercises for dogs. Several 15 minute walks per day might be plenty for some dogs, such as pugs, while playing at the dog park for an hour or so with other dogs may be just what a German Shepherd needs. No matter what size or breed your dog may be, some exercise is always better than no exercise at all.

Oral Health

Oral health is one of the most neglected aspects of dog health. Unfortuntately, when you neglect your dog's dental health, you open the door to a number of preventable health issues. In addition to the usual suspects such as bad breath gingivitis, and periodontal disease, poor oral hygiene can lead to tonsillitis, pharyngitis (sore throat), kidney infections, and infections involving the heart valves. To ward off diseases related to poor oral health, brush yor dog's teeth regularly and see your vet for regular check-ups and cleanings.