Unless you have a hibernating bear, you don’t want your pet to be overweight. Humans, dogs, and cats alike are at risk for an array of health concerns when they start to pack on the extra pounds. Heart disease, excessive pressure on the joints, liver disease are all possibilities, and can worsen over time with long-term obesity. They don’t have to be obese to experience these issues either, that extra pudge around your dog’s belly is just as bad!
Taking your dog to the veterinarian every year can feel tedious and unnecessary, especially when you’ve got a seemingly happy and healthy dog. However, there are things that cannot be seen by the human eye in regards to an animal’s physical well being. Things like cancer, glaucoma, and painful hip problems can be detected by a veterinarian early on.
The ability to catch aggressive diseases like cancer before they spread is crucial in ensuring that your dog is with you for the next several years.
Our bodies work like a well-oiled machine, when one thing starts to break down, it forces other areas to work harder. When our dog’s joints begin to deteriorate, so do the nerves that exist behind them. This can lead to loss of sensation in some areas of the body, and in some pets, it can lead to incontinence and bladder infections. If you notice your dog isn’t able to hold their urine, or seems to have accidents more frequently, it could be that they have UTI or nerve compression.
While there is somewhat of a disagreement as to when the procedure should be done, spaying and neutering your pet makes a huge difference in their lifespan in a number of ways. Intact dogs are more likely to get certain types of cancers, especially older females.
We always hear about how we should make the effort to brush our dog’s teeth regularly, but there isn’t as much emphasis on taking them for yearly dental checkups. While you may not need to do that as often while your dog is in their younger years, they will start to need checkups as they age. Broken and rotting teeth might not seem like a big deal at first, but as time goes on you can expect to see infection begin to brew underneath the gum line.
If you notice that your dog is starting to have trouble eating solid foods, won’t swallow, has bloody saliva, or a smell that’s worse than normal dog breath, it may be time to visit the doggie dentist!
There is somewhat of a debate in regards to how often someone should vaccinate their dog. Many people feel that booster shots aren’t necessary, for example; the idea is that they’ve already been vaccinated for the disease once, so they shouldn’t need to go through the process again.
While that is up for you to decide as the owner, there is an initial list of vaccinations that you absolutely should have administered to your dog by a veterinarian, if you have not done so already:
Keep in mind that laws vary from state to state, so some might require that you make an appointment for the booster shots. If you ever plan to board your dog at a pet facility, boosters are required for each of these shots.
As we age our hair starts to thin and fall out, adult men often start showing signs of balding by their early to mid 30’s. The same things happen to dogs as they age; if you’ve had your furry friend for 6 or more years, you might notice that their fur doesn’t have that shiny, sleek texture that it used to have. Things like salmon oil, krill oil, and other forms of omega fatty acids are extremely helpful in keeping your dog’s skin and coat healthy.