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Did you know that National Dog Day is coming soon? Every August 26th, America celebrates the appreciation and adoption of dogs. If you have a special dog in your life or you’re thinking about getting one, why not celebrate National Dog Day by learning more about canine health?
There’s lots of advice out there on how to care for dogs, but we decided to go straight to the experts. So to help give you some ideas, here are some doggy health pointers straight from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:
1. Get your pup good food
Your dog needs a well-balanced diet that fits both his age and his breed. Feed him a commercial brand of dry food along with some canned food if desired. Your dog may enjoy small amounts of cottage cheese, cooked egg, fruits, and vegetables as long as these don’t account for more than 10 percent of his daily intake. Here’s a short list of foods you should never feed a dog:
- Alcoholic beverages
- Grapes, raisins, macadamia nuts, and avocados
- Moldy or spoiled food
- Onions, garlic, and chives
- Poultry bones
- Salt or salty foods
- Tomato leaves, stems, and unripe fruit
- Yeast dough
- Any medications not prescribed by your veterinarian
2. Always leave out a full water dish
Fresh water should be available for your dog at all times to make sure your pup is well hydrated. Be sure to wash his or her food and water dishes frequently, and if you venture into the outdoors together, bring water for you and your pup.
3. Provide shelter outside
If your dog will be spending a lot of time outdoors, be sure he has adequate shelter from wind, rain, heat in the summer, and cold in the winter. This should be a dry, covered shelter with fresh water at all times.
4. Get to know your veterinarian
Your dog should be seeing the veterinarian for a full physical examination every year. Talk to your doctor about any concerns or health questions you have, and if your dog ever gets sick or injured, seek help immediately.
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5. Provide plenty of good exercise
Exercise is always a good idea for both you and your dog. It burns calories and wards off boredom,
which can lead a dog into all kinds of destructive behaviors. Your dog has natural instincts to dig, herd, chew, retrieve, and chase, so be sure to play a variety of games and take him on good walks daily. The amount and intensity of exercise your dog needs will depend on her health, breed, and age, so follow your veterinarian’s recommendations.
6. Good grooming
You can keep your dog clean and reduce shedding with plenty of brushing. When you bathe him, be sure to comb or cut out all mats and rinse his coat thoroughly after shampooing. It’s also a good idea to check and trim your dog’s nails from time to time.
7. Make sure your dog is spayed or neutered
Female dogs should be spayed and males neutered as early as 6 to 8 weeks of age. Spaying early can significantly reduce the risk of breast cancer and infections in female dogs, and neutering males prevents testicular cancer, aggressive behaviors, and many other health issues. Definitely a good idea on your part.
8. Take care of those teeth
If your pooch has terrible breath, this is your first indicator that he probably needs a dental checkup. You should be brushing your dog’s teeth and gums once or twice a week with a soft children’s toothbrush or a gauze pad. Be sure you’re using toothpaste specifically for dogs. And if you’re still noticing excessively bad breath or discoloration of your pup’s teeth, talk to your veterinarian.
9. Watch out for pests!
You should be inspecting your dog daily for fleas and ticks, especially during the summer. Use a flea comb to find and remove fleas, and if needed you can have your yard sprayed to control ticks at the source. You should also be screening your dog for internal parasites like heart worms at your annual vet visit.
10. Try Canine Health by LifeVantage
If you really want to boost your best friend’s health, try LifeVantage’s Canine Health supplement. This unique formula uses Nrf2-activating ingredients specifically designed to improve your dog’s brain, skin, and eye functions by reducing oxidative stress. It’s also great for your pup’s mobility, joint function, and cognitive functions.