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How do I keep my dog healthy?

Article ID: 21
Last updated: 25 Aug, 2014
Revision: 2
Views: 32193

 

A healthy dog should be alert and responsive.  Most dogs, except for elderly animals, will be energetic and have a healthy appetite.  Your dog should have bright, clear eyes, a glossy coat and clean, white teeth.  If your dog is lethargic or inappetant or has any obvious signs of illness such as a nasal discharge, vomiting, diarrhoea, itchy skin, excessive panting or difficulty breathing, contact your vet immediately.

 To keep your dog healthy you should consider:

  • Vaccination

There are range of infectious diseases that can cause considerable illness in dogs, particularly in puppies.  You can protect your pet from illness by ensuring that his vaccinations are up to date.  Talk to your vet for further advice regarding immunisations.

  • Worm and flea prevention

Puppies are particularly susceptible to a host of internal parasites including roundworm, tapeworm, hookworm, whipworm and heartworm.  Fleas are a common external parasite in dogs. They cause itchiness and irritation which can be quite severe in dogs with flea allergies. Speak to your vet for worm and flea prevention protocols for your dog.

  • Desexing

Desexing is an important part of responsible pet ownership.  By desexing your pet you will be preventing unwanted pregnancies and potentially improving your pet’s behaviour.  Undesexed pets are more likely to stray and fight and are more likely to develop various health problems later in life.  Undesexed bitches are far more likely to develop mammary tumours in old age whereas uncastrated males are predisposed to developing prostatic disease.

  • Exercise and nutrition

Obesity is a common problem among Australian pets.  By ensuring that your pet is fed a healthy diet and receives adequate  exercise you will avoid obesity and associated health problems such as diabetes, heart disease and exacerbated osteoarthritis.  To ensure your pet is provided with a "balanced" diet you should feed your dog a high quality premium commercial food and offer some natural foods for variety. Natural foods include human-grade  raw meat (eg lamb) , raw meaty bones and some vegetables. Please see the article below titled "What should I feed my dog?" and "What should i feed my puppy?" for more information.

All dogs require exercise, regardless of their breed or size.  Make sure that you have factored your pet’s exercise into your daily routine.

Dogs should not be exercised immediately before or after eating as it can cause problems such as bloat (which can be fatal), particularly in deep-chested dogs.


This website provides general information which must not be relied upon or regarded as a substitute for specific professional advice, including veterinary advice. We make no warranties that the website is accurate or suitable for a person's unique circumstances and provide the website on the basis that all persons accessing the website responsibly assess the relevance and accuracy of its content.
Also read
document Can you give me some basic advice on caring for my new dog?
document What should I feed my dog?
document What should I feed my puppy?
document How should I exercise my puppy?
document Why does my dog's breath smell?

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