Pet health experts say that pet dogs, if not taken care of properly, could be vulnerable to a wide range of dog health concerns – from bacterial and viral infections to kidney problems, heart problems, and cancer.
What makes pet dogs vulnerable to such health problems? Is there a way to treat and prevent such problems naturally? What is the right way to take care of a dog? We are going to take a look at the answers to these questions in this article.
What makes pet dogs vulnerable to such health problems?
There are three main causes – poor diet, toxin buildup, and lack of exercise.
A dog needs approximately 40 food components to maintain proper nutrition. Unlike a human that eats a variety of foods, dogs primarily only eat one food, so whatever you buy needs to take care of all of your dog’s needs.
The first decision is to buy a commercial food or to go with a homemade diet. Each has its pros and cons. A commercial diet is convenient, and is balanced for the average healthy dog. Only buy a dog food that is AAFCO certified, a factor that isn’t a problem for most recognizable brands. There are also two levels of AAFCO certification, with one better than the other. Look for the specific language that says tested and found to be adequate” vs. a lower standard which says “formulated to meet AAFCO standards. Even lower priced foods that meet this level of certification are fine, such as those you’d find at a large national discount chain.
The other way to go is with a homemade diet. The advantage is that you can control the quality of the food and know exactly what your dog is getting Just like the human diet, home prepared foods can eliminate any additives that are un-necessary for your dog. Per the point above, its important to have this diet professional formulated so that essential nutrients are not left out. These diets often require a vitamin supplement and potentially a natural homeopathic remedy for added nutritional support.
In addition to food, water is also essential, since it leads to urination, nature’s way of keeping the urinary tract clear of bacteria and minerals, factors that could lead to dog bladder stone formation if left unchecked.
Oral care is also essential for both dog and human health. A dog’s teeth are subject to the same stresses as your teeth. For this reason, a dog’s teeth should be brushed every day to remove harmful bacteria, and other objects that could lead to bacteria and plaque buildup. If these problems develop, they could lead to gingivitis, and tooth/bone erosion.
A dog’s ear is very delicate and particularly in longer or floppy ear breeds, there are areas of the inner ear that could develop bacterial infections. Owners should pay special attention to the outer ear, ensuring that it stays clean. Some mineral oil on a cotton swab can be an effective way to wipe this area clean.
The inner and middle ear should only be cleaned by a veterinary professional. If you get your dog groomed 2x a year, which is typical, have your groomer or vet check the ear for was buildup and other problems. You should never insert anything into a dog’s ear unless you know what you are doing.
Lack of exercise
Physical exercise is very important for your dog’s health. Pet health experts say that a dog which gets regular physical exercises and stays active is less likely to develop health problems than a dog which stays inactive all the time. So, it can be certainly said that lack of physical exercise is an important factor which causes dog health issues.
In addition to physical exercise, mental exercise is also important to keep the mind active and engage. A Kong toy, which uses a hidden treat to keep a dog interested, is a good option.
Bringing It All Together
Now that we know the factors that cause health problems in dogs, there is just one question that remains unanswered – what can be done to prevent these health problems? Let us take a look.
o Feed your dog high quality AAFCO approved dog food or a professionally designed homemade diet.
o Give your dog plenty of clean, filtered water to drink.
o Make sure you take your dog out for a walk regularly. Play with it whenever you find some time. Make sure it stays physically active.
o Start giving your dog a regular dose of natural health supplements. Look for supplements that contain herbs like Huang Qi, mistletoe, milk thistle, and Indian ginseng. These herbs can cleanse your dog’s system, increase its metabolic rate, and strengthen its immune system.
These factors – food, water, exercise, dental care, ear care and natural health supplements – play a major role in your dog’s health. So, if you want to prevent dog health issues, you need to follow the tips given above. These little changes, like switching from processed pet food to organic kibble, can make a huge difference to your dog’s health in the long run. So, follow these tips and keep your dog healthy and happy for a long time. For more info or advice go to Comet Bay Vet Hospital.