5 Health Areas Dog Owners Need to be Proactive About

Being proactive about your dog’s health is very important since early detection can give your best friend a healthier, happier, and longer life, and your veterinarian will undoubtedly share the same goals as you do on top of having the ability to help you and your fur-baby along the way. Besides providing healthy food and sufficient exercise, your dog’s care requires good dental care, grooming, parasite control, and more. Remember, those vet visits are for a lot more than just vaccinations and checkups.

1- Heartworm Prevention

Heartworm is caused by parasitic worms that live in the heart and blood vessels of animals and is a disease that starts with a mosquito bite and can be fatal. Fortunately, the previously high number of heartworm cases has decreased greatly in recent years, according to several heartworm studies. It’s quite clear that this particular downward trend has a great deal to do with pet parents’ proactive prevention and, to that end, here are three things that you can do for protecting your dog from contracting this deadly disease:

  • Annual testing
  • Practicing good mosquito control
  • Using preventive meds

2- Flea and Tick Prevention

Fleas and ticks can be dangerous not only for your dog’s health but also to the health of the people in your household. That’s why flea and tick protection is so important for all pets. There are a number of flea and tick medicines available on the market today, so be sure to ask your vet which is the safest and most effective. For a purely natural approach, vinegar can kill these pests on contact as well as prevent any future infestations. Simply combine one quart of water, one cup of vinegar (white or apple cider), and one cup of baby shampoo or preferably shampoo made especially for dogs.

3- Good Nutrition and Healthy Weight

What your dog eats is so important to his or her health and wellbeing, so do your own research and also ask your veterinarian about the best food for your pet to thrive and maintain a healthy weight. Although it may be hard to resist, don’t feed your precious pup table food. If you notice your dog seems to have endless amounts of energy or keeps jumping or chewing on things, it might be a sign your dog needs more exercise or stimulation. 

4- Promoting Good Behavior

Many recent studies have suggested that positive reinforcement is an excellent method for training dogs, especially when they’re very young. It’s a method that involves rewarding your precious pup for good behavior, thereby conveying a positive message that specific behavior is acceptable while others simply aren’t. So, here are some tips for encouraging positive behavior.

  • Express love and forgiveness.
  • Keep it fun.
  • Provide mental stimulation.
  • Reward and praise your dog.
  • Spend plenty of quality time together.

5- Vaccinations

Dogs should be vaccinated every three years and your vet can advise you about everything regarding vaccinations. Some that are well-known to be essential include the following:

  • DHPP- Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus (commonly known as the “distemper shot”)
  • Rabies Vaccine
  • Parvovirus Vaccine
  • Hepatitis Vaccine
  • Canine Influenza Vaccine