How to Keep Your Dog Fit and Healthy

By Lucy Tate with Doggo Now

Dogs can bring such joy to our lives. They are, by and large, adorable, loyal companions who will do anything for their guardians. Many dogs will live active, vital lives for several years if they are taken care of, so it’s important to make sure your pup stays healthy and gets lots of exercise every day. Not only will this extend his life, it will ensure that he exerts all that energy, which will keep him from displaying behavioral issues.

Making sure your dog is healthy is about more than just a workout, however; it’s also important to get him to the vet regularly for checkups and control his diet carefully. Protecting him against heartworms, disease-carrying fleas, and ticks, and toxic items such as chocolate and poisonous plants are all imperative if you want to make sure he stays safe.

Keep reading for some great tips on how to keep your dog fit and healthy...

Spay or neuter

Spaying or neutering your dog helps population control--which is important in many areas of the country where there are hundreds of animals living in shelters because they have no homes. It can also help prevent your pet from wandering or trying to get loose when he’s in the backyard without a leash. Talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s options when it comes to spaying or neutering.

When out for a walk, always keep your dog on a leash. No matter how well-trained he is, he might become agitated at the sight of another animal, and if he hasn’t been fixed yet, he may bolt toward a dog he senses is in heat. Look for a leash and harness and/or collar that fits well and will be comfortable for both of you; you can start your search here.

Keep him hydrated

Dogs can get overheated, just like us, and it can be difficult for them to recover when it’s very hot outside or when they get dehydrated. Make sure he always has water in his bowl and, if he likes to spend time outside, keep a bowl within his reach there, too. Try to place it in a shady area in the summertime. If you notice that his mouth is dry, he’s panting a lot, or that his skin has no elasticity, you can give him Pedialyte, a liquid formulated for babies to replace electrolytes that are lost due to illness.

Give him lots of exercise

Dogs need plenty of exercise and this can be difficult for pet guardians who work long hours or have lots to take care of once they’re home. You may not always have time for a lengthy walk or playtime, so consider hiring a dog walker who can come over and let him out during your busy day. When you do have time, give him lots of attention and play games, such as fetch.

You can also set up a doggy obstacle course in your backyard using items from around the house; this is a fun way to help him run off some of that extra energy! Dog parks are wonderful areas for pets of all ages, but it’s important to keep his safety in mind when you go. Stay alert and watch for signs of aggression from your pet as well as other dogs, and keep him away from the droppings of other animals, which can spread disease. For some great tips on how to stay safe at the dog park, read on here.

Keeping your pet safe and healthy for the next several years can be a big job, but it’s an important one. Talk to your vet about the specifics of your dog’s care, since some breeds are more prone to illness or injury than others, and get to know his likes and dislikes when it comes to exercise so that you can design a plan just for him.

Photo via Pixabay by 825545

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