Questions To Ask Yourself About Your Dog's Health
If you have noticed that your dog has started acting strangely, or it seems as though there might be something wrong with them, then it goes without saying that one of the first things you should do is take them to the vet. However, it might just be that they are not generally living a very healthy life, in which case you should take a step back and look at what you are doing, and where you might be able to improve upon. If you feel that this has become necessary, then this article will help you to hone in on where the problem is. If you ask yourself the following questions, you will gain a better understanding of where you might need to improve your care, and what elements are probably okay as they are.
Are You Giving Your Dog Enough Exercise?
We all know that exercise is hugely important for not only dogs but all animals, and if you are not allowing your dog the chance to exercise frequently and rigorously then you might be doing them some damage. Even the best-intentioned dog owners will sometimes find themselves accidentally letting the exercise slide, and although you might reasonably forgive yourself once in a while you should really try not to do this too often. Remember too that letting them out in the garden is not enough, you need to take them for long walks and give them a chance to run around in a larger area at least a few times a week, if not every day. You will know that you are exercising them enough because they will look healthy, they won't get tired out too quickly, and they will have plenty of energy.
Are They Eating Right?
You would be amazed to discover just how many dog owners don’t have the first clue about how to properly feed their pet. Dogs’ diets are not particularly complex, but still it can be surprisingly difficult to get right. The ideal diet depends on your dog, as it varies from breed to breed and size of the dog, but in general you need to ensure a few basic things. You should remember to feed your dog primarily meat in the form of cold pressed dog food or similar. Beyond that, you can also give them dried food, but not on its own, only as part of the wider diet. It is also acceptable to treat them to a treat occasionally as well. If you want to maximise the effectiveness of that, consider dental treats as these help your dog’s teeth to remain healthy. As well as what you are actually feeding them, you also need to pay attention to how often you are feeding them. Generally, twice a day is what you should be going for, but for certain puppies you might need less. Again, remember to do the research for the specific breed you have.
Are You Taking Care Of Their Coat?
The coat of your dog can be quite tricky to keep as healthy as possible, particularly if they are of one of the breeds with particularly unruly or unkempt hair. But again, the basic facts of hair care for your dog are relatively simple to take on board. Mostly, this is related to something we have already discussed - diet. As long as you are feeding your dog properly, you should find that they have a nice healthy and shiny coat. But you also need to make sure that you are protecting them from any nuisances such as ticks or fleas. Using flea protection is a must, and if you find that ticks or fleas do get in there then you should make sure to have them treated as soon as possible. Brushing might also be necessary, although this is not true of all animals. If it is the case for your dog, you will know by their breed, and you should do whatever is necessary to keep their coat healthy. This might even mean shampooing them occasionally, although you probably won’t need to do this too often.
Are They Socialising?
We often forget that dogs have mental health as well as physical health concerns, and it is important to do whatever we can to keep them happy as long as possible. It might sound strange to ask yourself whether your dog is socialising enough, but there is plenty of evidence which suggests that it is hugely important to them, just as it is for us. If you have any dog parks near you, then taking your dog there is a good idea. This gets them used to the experience of being around other dogs, for a start, but it also helps to genuinely keep them happy as well. You might have more than one dog in the home, in which case you will probably find that they are quite close, unless there is some kind of problem going on. Either way, keep an eye on their sociability, and you will also be keeping an eye on their overall health.
Are They Sleeping Well?
You might just think that your dog will fall asleep no matter what, and that it doesn’t really need to be worried about. But the fact is that dogs can have trouble sleeping just like humans, and when they do - as with any animal - it can lead to further ongoing health issues, both physically and mentally. To ensure that your dog is sleeping as well as possible, keep their bed area as comfortable as possible. Replace their blankets and so on regularly so that they are always comfortable. You should also bear in mind that the more regular your own routine is, the more regular theirs will be, and the easier they will probably sleep. There is also a lot of evidence which suggests that letting your dog sleep in the bed with you is bad for them, as it makes it less easy for them to sleep in their own bed area. So try not to encourage this behaviour if you can at all help it.