11 Tips for a Healthier Dog

You love your fur baby. The hope is a long, healthy life with loads of wonderful memories and unconditional love. There is nothing like the excitement of your baby dog when you come home after being gone for at least 30 minutes. Our bonds with our beasts are strong and we do what we can to make them feel the love we feel from them.

There are some obvious tips to keep your dog in tip-top shape and maximize their time on earth. Hopefully going over these tips you will think about or pick up something slightly new or different that you can incorporate into your life with your Dog.

Here are the tidbits of technology on how to protect the pup.

1. High-quality diet

Of course, you want to give little wolfy a good balance of nutrition. Take the time to research the breed of canine you share life with and learn what their best diet consists of.  There is the “easy” dry food at the local supermarket and many of them are pretty high quality. There is a lot more attention put on quality

EcoBark 11 tips for a healthier dogingredients then in yesteryear. The spectrum at the high end is raw or cooked homemade food that you know exactly what goes into it. When you prepare your own food you must know the balance of fats, carbs, and proteins that are best for your size and breed of dog.  The vitamins and minerals must be balanced and it takes education and work to get it right. 

Read the labels, know the fat content. Try different foods a little at a time to find what they love to eat and keeps them happy. Dogs have allergies just like people. Get vet tested if you suspect it. Pay attention to the behavior and see if vomiting or skin conditions are happening.   

If you find vegetables that are ok for dogs that are enjoyed give them that.  Like us, a little variety in the diet is good for nutritional reasons.

2. Keep your pet lean

This goes along with a high-quality diet. Lean dogs live longer. Feeding table scraps and stuff obviously bad is just wrong.  My dad had a pug that loved cheese and ice cream. I kept telling him how wrong that was and that he should quit giving him that. “look how happy it makes him” was the response. I am sorry to say that the dog did not have a long life. It was only about half of what it could have been.

Of course, dogs love stuff that is bad for them just like humans do. If you like beer and cigarettes a lot and you have them daily the odds are you will die younger than you should.  

Think of treats that way for your dog. And if you give them peanut butter and fat stuff you run the real risk of Pancreatitis. That can cost thousands to keep them alive. Happens frequently after Thanksgiving every year.

3. Oral Hygiene

Vital! Taking the time to keep the dogs' teeth clean can be the difference between a short and long life. Bad breath is just an indicator that something needs to be done with dog breath. The real problems come from bacteria and plaque that can get to the heart and end life early. If you start young and actually brush the dog’s teeth that is best. Daily dental chewies help, sprays help and worse case is cleaning at the vet.  

BE WARNED it is a risk every time a pet is under anesthesia. If you can avoid it do. 

4. Supervise your furry friend 

Read some of the other articles and google causes of dog deaths. Toxic algae, run over, Wild animal attack, poisoning, even drowning in a pool they can’t get out of. Just like a 3-year-old child you can’t leave them unsupervised. This is super obvious but just recommit in your mind to doing a good job of it. Use the EcoBark harness when walking the beloved mutt so you can yank them out of the grasp of grizzly bears and away from the gaping jaws of alligators.

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5. Regular Vet checkups 

Doctors can find things we may not know are happening and an early discovery can allow for effective treatment. Do the regular check-ups and keep up to date on all the vaccines. Ask for advice specific to your breed of pet.

6. Prevent fleas and ticks

These are common external parasites that plague our beloved family dog. You have choices so you should research further to find what you are most comfortable with.

Flea collars, Topical treatments and ingestibles. The chewable flea treatment should only be used short term for an infestation.  Disease from parasites is real so keep up with the prevention

7. Treat to prevent heartworm

This goes along with treating for parasites. Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets in the United States and many other parts of the world. It is caused by foot-long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body. This is easy to prevent and costly and difficult to get rid of. Long term bad effects will be had so don’t let it happen.

8. Vaccinate

Vaccines for canine parvovirus, distemper, canine hepatitis, and rabies are considered core vaccines. Non-core vaccines are given depending on the dog’s exposure risk. These include vaccines against Bordetella, bronchiseptica, Borrelia burgdorferi, and Leptospira bacteria. If you take your pet to daycare of have specific exposures non-core vaccines are important.  Ask your vet.

9. Exercise

More is better, just like in people. Make your dog your exercise partner and enjoy life to the fullest. Daily exercise of at least 20 minutes is required to be a good dog owner.

10. Know what is toxic to dogs

Gum with xylitol can kill a dog. It is becoming a more popular sugar substitute that pet owners must be vigilant about. It is now found in baked goods and many other things and also goes by the name sugar alcohol. 

Here is a complete list to keep out of your dogs’ stomach.

Alcohol ,Apple Seeds, Avocado, Candy, Chewing Gum, Toothpaste & Mouthwash, Cat Food, Chocolate ,Coffee, Tea & Other Caffeine, Cooked Bones, Corn On The Cob, Fat Trimmings, Garlic, Grapes & Raisins, Hops, Human Vitamins, Liver, Macadamia Nuts, Marijuana, Milk & Dairy Products in quantity, Onions & Chives, Peppers, Persimmon, Peaches & Plum Pits, Raw Fish, Rhubarb & Tomato Leaves, Salt, Sugar, Tobacco, Xylitol, Yeast

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11. Clean your pet bowls 

It is gross but flies and mosquitoes lay eggs in water. Change the water out regularly and clean the bowl.  Food residue has oils in it and that can turn rancid. Regularly cleaning the bowls your pet eats and drinks from will keep them for unhealthy effects.

This is simple but I have witnessed “pet lovers” with infestations of larvae in the water bowl they did not notice. 

We hope this has made you think twice about how to keep them safe and secure and living a long and healthy life.  

Best of luck my friends.