The new year is always a good opportunity to set some goals for improving your health. But why stop there? As you come up with your new year’s resolutions, consider adding a few to the list that will also make your dog healthier and happier. Here are some tips from our vets on how to keep your dog healthy in the new year.
How to Keep Your Dog Healthy in the New Year
1: Be More Active
Regular exercise helps your dog maintain a healthy weight and good overall health. Exercising also keeps their mind sharp and their joints strong, and even curbs unwanted behaviors like excessive barking or licking.
We don’t know many dogs that would say no to extra walks! And walks are the best way to ensure that your pup gets plenty of exercise. You should be walking your dog at least once every day, depending on their age and size.
And if trying a new activity like hiking, jogging, or roller skating is on your list of resolutions, consider bringing your dog along. Exercising together is a great way to bond with your dog and keep them healthy.
2: Feed Your Dog a Better Diet
Every January, many of us resolve to eat healthier, especially if we’ve overindulged during the holidays. Whether or not you’ve decided to eat a more balanced diet yourself, it’s important that you apply this resolution to your dog, too.
Obesity from overfeeding can lead to various health problems and a shorter lifespan for your pet. Make sure to give them the proper amount of food for their weight by accurately measuring it out every time. Read the instructions on the package or speak with your vet about the best feeding schedule and serving sizes for your dog.
It’s also essential that you limit how many treats you give your dog each day. Treats are like cake for dogs, and eating too many can quickly cause them to gain weight. The amount of treats should never equal more than 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake.
3: Take Care of Your Dog’s Teeth
Did you know that dogs need regular dental care, just like we do? You should be brushing your dog’s teeth every day, or once a week at the very least.
Just like humans, poor oral hygiene leads to gum disease, which allows harmful bacteria to enter the bloodstream through bleeding gums and attack other parts of the body. So good dental health not only gives your dog fresher breath and a healthy smile, but also protects your pup from heart, liver, kidney, and lung diseases.
4: Learn Pet First Aid
The new year is the perfect time to prepare for pet emergencies. Understanding basic pet first aid procedures could save your dog’s life if you can’t get to a vet fast enough.
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Put together a pet first-aid kit, so you have everything you need in an emergency situation.
- Remember that even the kindest animals may bite or scratch when scared or in pain—never hug an injured dog, and keep your face away from their mouth.
- Do not try to restrain a pet that is having a seizure.
- Go to the vet immediately after administering first aid, even if you believe your dog is doing better.
- Call your vet or emergency clinic before you transport your pet, to ensure that they are ready to provide treatment as soon as you arrive.
5: Schedule a Wellness Exam
Regular checkups are vital! It’s not always obvious when a dog is in pain or in poor health. Your veterinarian can detect the early warning signs of serious health problems that require immediate treatment.
Your vet can also answer any questions you may have about keeping your dog healthy. You should schedule a wellness check at least once a year for adult pets, and twice a year for senior pets, as their health can decline more rapidly.
Best Veterinary Clinic in Gilbert, Arizona
If your dog is due for their annual wellness checkup, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Anasazi Animal Clinic aims to keep the pets of Gilbert healthy with routine checkups, vaccinations, and other essential treatments at our full-service clinic. Our compassionate team will always treat your furry friend with the utmost care. Give us a call at 480-497-0505 to schedule an appointment.