What you can do to keep your pet dog healthy
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, not eating, 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.
Here are some guidelines to keep your dog healthy. Please note that this is just general advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for professional advice, including veterinary advice.
Vaccinations to prevent illness in dogs
There are range of infectious diseases that can cause considerable illness in dogs, particularly in puppies. You can protect your dog from illness by ensuring that his vaccinations are up to date. Talk to your vet for further advice regarding immunisations.
Preventing worms and fleas will keep your dog healthy
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.
Spaying or neutering your dog has long-term health benefits
Spaying or neutering is an important part of responsible pet ownership. By spaying/neutering your pet you will be preventing unwanted pregnancies and potentially improving your pet’s behaviour. Dogs that are not spayed or neutered are more likely to stray and fight and are more likely to develop various health problems later in life. Unspayed bitches are far more likely to develop mammary tumours in old age. Un-neutered males males are predisposed to developing prostatic disease.
Keep your dog healthy and happy with exercise and nutrition
Obesity is a common problem among dogs. 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 dog is provided with a "balanced" diet you should feed your dog a high quality premium commercial food and offer some natural foods for variety.
All dogs require exercise, regardless of their breed or size. Dogs should not be exercised immediately before or after eating as it can cause problems such as bloat particularly in deep-chested dogs.