Your dog is an extended part of your family, and you treat them as such too. So you'll want to do everything possible to help keep them happy and feeling well. Here, our Williamsburg vets share some tips to help you keep your dog happy and healthy.
Keeping Your Beloved Furry Friend Healthy
Providing your dog with an abundance of love is a very important part of owning a dog, so it is routine veterinary care. However, helping your dog stay healthy isn't complicated, just focus on providing them with lots of love and follow these 6 easy steps from our veterinarians in Williamsburg to help prevent diseases, health conditions, and illnesses.
1 - Ensure a Balanced Diet and Complete Nutrition
The foundation of your dog's health begins with the food they eat. Speak with your vet to learn more about what type of food best suits your dog's needs. Your vet will be happy to offer tips for finding the right food that meets your pup's nutritional needs. Whether you want to feed your four-legged friend the best food to achieve optimal health or help treat existing conditions through diet, our vets are here to help.
2 - Monitor Your Dog's Weight
Obesity can be connected to a range of serious conditions in dogs, including diabetes and joint pain, therefore it's essential to your dog's health, to help them maintain a healthy weight. Once you have chosen a nutritious brand of food to feed your pup, your vet will be able to calculate the optimal number of calories your dog should consume each day. Once you have an idea of the recommended daily calorie intake for your dog you can convert this to the amount of food they should be eating.
3 - Give Your Dog Plenty of Opportunity to Exercise
The amount of exercise and play that your dog needs will greatly depend on the breed and age of the dog. While some dogs can stay healthy with just a quick walk around the block, high-energy breeds might require an hour or more of vigorous exercise once or twice a day. Adequate physical activity doesn't just help keep your dog's body in good condition, it also helps prevent mental boredom, which can cause destructive behaviors or anxiety.
You can speak with your vet or the breeder to find out more about their exercise needs. Walks, backyard games, and social time at dog parks are all excellent ways to ensure your furry friend meets their daily exercise goals.
4 - Don't Skip Your Dog's Annual Wellness Exam
Early diagnosis and treatment are key to the best outcome possible when it comes to any potential illnesses. This can be accomplished with annual wellness exams at your local veterinary hospital. Routine wellness exams, for your dog every year (when they appear to be healthy), focus on prevention, monitoring your pet's overall health, and checking for early signs of health conditions. Your vet will talk to you about your dog's diet, exercise, and other lifestyle factors.
Your veterinarian will also ask if you have any concerns regarding your pet's health or behavior, and then perform a comprehensive physical examination. Once the exam is complete your vet will share their findings with you. If anything concerning has been detected, your veterinarian will make recommendations regarding diet, diagnostic testing, or treatment.
5 - Bring Your Dog in For Routine Vaccinations
We believe that vaccinations are an essential part of helping your dog stay their whole life. Regularly scheduled vaccines help protect your dog from many highly contagious, potentially life-threatening diseases. Most states require by law, that all pets be vaccinated against rabies. However, there are several other serious conditions that vaccines can help protect dogs against, including parvo, distemper, and panleukopenia.
6 - Don't Forget About Parasite Prevention
Ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes can all carry organisms that cause a range of diseases that could seriously threaten the health and longevity of your dog. A bite from one of these parasites can make your dog severely sick if they aren't protected. Contact your local animal hospital about the most effective ways to protect your pooch against a full range of tick-borne diseases, heartworms, and other parasitic conditions common in your area.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.