As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to keep your dog healthy. Keeping your dog healthy involves taking him to the veterinarian, meeting his exercise needs, feeding him a nutritious diet and keeping him at his optimum weight. You should take your dog to his veterinarian for annual checkups and for any required vaccinations or treatments. It is important that you feel comfortable with your veterinarian so that you are able to discuss any concerns you have about your dog's health and nutrition. Exercising your dog regularly will keep your dog healthy and happy. When training your dog, keep in mind that training and exercise are not the same. Even if you train your dog throughout the day, you will still need to exercise him.
When choosing a diet for your dog, make sure you consult with your veterinarian to ensure his nutritional needs are being met. If you feed your dog table scraps in addition to his regular diet, watch for signs of stomach upset and be sure to account for the extra calories to prevent your dog from becoming overweight.
Health Care of Your Dog
A healthy dog is alert, inquisitive and ready to train with you.
You should take your dog to the veterinarian for a checkup once a year. Check with your veterinarian for information on
which vaccinations your dog should have and when the vaccinations should be given.
You should also ask your veterinarian about preventative measures, such as heartworm or parasite prevention, recommended for your dog based on where you live.
Exercise Your Dog
All dogs need exercise in order to be healthy and happy.
If you exercise your dog regularly, he will be less likely to develop behavior problems due to boredom.
The type and amount of exercise your dog needs depends on your dog.
You should determine what your dog's exercise needs are and then try to meet his exercise needs as often as possible.
How can I check my dog's health?
You should do a health check on your dog once a week to make sure he is healthy and prevent problems from going unnoticed. Check your dog's eyes for redness or discharge and pull up his lips to check for red gums. Part your dog's hair to check for skin problems, fleas and ticks. You should also check inside your dog's ears for inflammation, discharge or odor.
How often should I feed my dog?
Dogs over six months old should have two specific meal times per day. You should follow your breeder or veterinarian's advice for feeding a puppy less than six months old. Typically, puppies from three to six months should be fed three meals a day. If you leave food out all day and allow your dog to eat whenever he chooses, he will not be motivated to work for food treats during training. When your dog knows that you control his meal times, he will pay more attention to you and to the commands you give him.
There are a variety of feeding options for your dog, such as commercial dog food, home-cooked food or prepared raw diets. You should choose the feeding option that best suits your philosophy and budget.
You may also choose to feed your dog table scraps in addition to his regular diet. Proteins and cooked vegetables are fine for dogs, but you should avoid giving your dog chocolate, onion, greasy foods and foods with small, sharp bones, such as fish.
Your dog should be wellfed, but not overweight. When you look at your dog's back from above, you should see an indentation at your dog's waist and no buildup of fat on his ribs.