Big dogs are usually very hardy animals but they still need proper care to ensure that they stay healthy. There are ways that you can easily enhance the health of your big dog. There are some basic steps that you can take that will help to enhance your fur baby’s longevity and improve their all-around health.
Some very simple tenets apply to taking care of your fur baby. Just like you dogs need good nutrition, exercise and medical check-ups. Of course just like you they need to be emotionally well. Understanding how all these factors come together can help you to keep your big dog healthy.
Each part of a good health program for your big dog is individually important but each part cannot work without the other areas being looked after as well. A healthy dog is a well-rounded dog. With a little planning and a little action you can easily ensure your dog’s good healthy.
Taking your big dog to the vet regularly is so important. Vet care will provide your big dog with vaccinations and preventive care. Having a vet check on your pet regularly for heart worm and other medical conditions can easily help to prevent disease. Preventive care is not only necessary for good health but it is also can help to keep health care costs down as well.
Catching disease or other issues can ensure that your pet stays healthy and that any issues that do arise are treated affordably. A vet can check on your pet to ensure that there are no genetic issues that need to be treated early on before it becomes an issue.
Of course it is also important to have a vet on board that knows your big dog and that can treat them in case there are health issues that crop up. When a vet is aware of your dog’s health history it is easier for them to treat your dog successfully should they get sick.
Vets can provide advice and give you the information that you need to ensure that you are taking all the steps that you need to, to keep your dog not only healthy but thriving as well. Your vet can be a great partner in helping you to raise a healthy dog.
Long before dogs were domesticated they ate a varied diet of meats and fish. They are carnivores but most dog food is made with corn or soy as the main ingredient. While dogs have evolved and adapted to be able to digest and live on a diet based in vegetable protein and not meat protein there are many advocates that believe that a dog food that is made with vegetable protein instead of meat protein is detrimental to a dog’s health.
As dogs became domesticated they were introduced to a variety of foods. Kibble was not really become a popular food source for dogs until the 1940’s before that era dogs ate what we ate. They were given the leftovers from the table. This was a much more varied diet than what kibble had to offer.
The question today is should we still be feeding our dogs kibble or pre-packaged dog food? The answer is “it all depends on who you ask”. Dogs have been thriving on prepared formulas for almost a hundred years now. Statistically speaking they live longer now than they ever have but that could be due to breeding out disease and better health care, vaccinations etc..
Back to the problem at hand. What is “good nutrition” for your big dog? Most experts agree that a high quality kibble is the best option for a big dog. A good option is Purina Pro Plan, the first ingredient in the food is chicken which means that it is the ingredient that is most prevalent.
This food is high in protein and rich with balanced nutrition. Purina has been producing dog food and other animal foods for a long time. They are one of the best known global brands in the world when it comes to animal food options.
There are other great option out there as well. Core Wellness is a good choice but it is a more expensive option than the Purina Pro Plan and does not offer any real evidence that it is a better food brand option.
Once you decide which food is best for your dog the next step is making sure that your dog does not over eat. Being overweight for your dog can be just as bad for your dog as it is for you.
- Don’t over feed. Feed on a schedule and feed the recommended amounts.
- Avoid people food. There are some foods that can cause serious reactions in dogs like chocolate.
- Do not feed other pet foods to your dog. Cat food is an absolute no-no it can cause serious kidney issues, even kidney failure and death. Only feed the food that is formulated for a dog.
Exercise is one of the best ways to ensure that your dog does not become overweight. The proper amount of exercise will keep the excess weight in check. Overweight dogs put more stress on their skeleton like their hips and knees. Overweight dogs can develop heart problems and other weight related diseases.
The right amount of exercise will help your big dog to stay heart healthy! Daily walks, fun in the yard, visiting a dog park and playing fetch are all great forms of exercise for your dog and a necessity for good health.
Exercise also keeps your dog mentally healthy as well. It gives them the chance to burn up excess energy. Exercise helps your dog to focus. It is unusual to think of metal health when it comes to dogs but it plays a huge role in their health.
Just like when you are stressed out and start having health issues because of the stress it works the same for your dog. If they are not mentally well then it can affect their physical health. We look at mental health next.
Stress and Your Big Dog
Dogs can produce the same stress hormones that we do. Stress can have the same effect on your dogs body that it has on your body. For example a dog that is stressed out can actually lose patches of hair from the stress. They can also experience behavior issues from stress.
Big dogs can display negative behaviors from stress. They can chase their tail, chew their tail and display other chewing behaviors. They can display other negative behaviors as well when they are stressed. Confusion causes stress for dogs.
When your big dog is confused about:
- What is expected
- Who they should listen to
- Exercise issues
- Confusion in the household (no schedule or when you go off schedule)
To have a calm relaxed mentally well dog they have to know what is expected of them. They have to be trained, receive praise and love so that they can get on board with what you expect. Expectations and meeting your expectations is important to your dog’s good mental health.
Your dog needs to know who the boss is. It is fine if they know to respect all humans but they need to have only one alpha. They need to know that the alphas word is the last word. This helps them to have a peaceful mind.
Exercise keeps your dog balanced it cannot be stressed enough that your dog getting enough exercise is a very important part of not only their physical wellness but their mental wellness as well.
There is one more thing that will ensure the health of your big dog. Proper care. That means that when your dog is outside of your home that they are always secured behind a fence or on a leash. Even the most highly trained dogs are at a risk to run off when something catches their attention across a road.
Grooming is also an important part of proper care. Your job as a big dog owner is to ensure the safety of your dog by providing a safe environment. A safe environment means that there are not objects left on the floor that your dog can pick up and chew on.
Of course ensure that your dog does not have things to chew on is more important when they are puppies but even adults dogs can get into things that they are not supposed. You have to make sure that you do not keep chemicals around that can be harmful to your dog as well. Even chemical residue can be dangerous so you want to be careful with what you are cleaning with.
You can easily improve the good health of your big dog and you can easily ensure that they continue to be healthy by taking steps to ensure that they are getting what they need from you and they are being protected.