When you welcome a dog into your family, it's like having a child. They can't care for themselves on their own, so you have to give them a helping hand. As well as all the daily tasks you need to perform, like feeding them and exercising them, there's a whole range of ways you can look out for their health. Some tasks you should do once a week while others might be once a month or even yearly. Don't forget to put these essential health checks on your schedule to keep your dog happy and healthy.
Your pooch's coat, teeth, and nails aren't just about how he looks. They're also part of keeping him healthy, so checking on them and cleaning them is important. Start with looking after your dog's fur, brushing it at least once a week, if not every day. Remember that what your dog eats will have an effect on how glossy and healthy their coat is too. You might take your dog to a professional groomers to have their coat trimmed, especially in hot weather or if their fur is obscuring their vision. You probably don't need to bathe your dog often, unless they look or smell particularly dirty. Their toenails may need trimming too, and don't forget to check their teeth and gums.
Worms, Ticks, and Fleas
Lots of different parasites can latch onto your dog, from ticks to lungworm. It's essential to give them the right preventative treatments to keep them away. Use a spot-on treatment or similar for fleas. You can also get ones that are combined with worming treatments for an all-in-one solution. Another method of worming for dogs is using a tablet that you can put into their food or wrap up in a treat. Some flea treatments also protect against ticks but watch out for them when walking in long grass. You should use a pair of tick tweezers to remove them and keep on eye on the bite - the same goes for you too.
You probably had your puppy's first vaccinations when they came home with you, but don't forget about boosters. Many vets recommend that you renew your dog's vaccinations each year. It's usually essential to do so before putting them in a kennel or traveling, so make sure you have a vet's appointment booked for at least a few weeks before your vacation. You can vaccinate against parvovirus, distemper, and other diseases.
An annual health check with your vet is a good idea, and you can have vaccinations performed at the same time. Your vet can check their joints, heart, weight and other markers of their health to make sure your dog is well. If you have a senior dog or a pooch with a health condition, you might want to have their check up be a more regular affair.
Caring for your dog is a full-time job, but it's worth it to have a happy and healthy hound. Mark these important tasks on your calendar to ensure you get them done.