Dog Health 101

The Resource for Everything About Dogs

Dog Health 101

by Sally Ricco

Does your dog have lively eyes, and lots of vitality? Is your dog's coat shiny and bright? These visible signs of a healthy dog are pretty easy to spot. And, as a dog owner, it is your role to get your dog into this healthy state and keeping him in this condition is important.

Let's start with something quite basic - food. Every animal needs food and water to stay alive. As we know from human experience, not just any food will do; the quality of the diet matters a great deal too, and contributes towards staying well. We know that human malnutrition can be caused by too little variety in food. Applying this to our much-loved dogs means ensuring they get a diet rich in all the vitamins, mineral and nutrients a dog needs. Luckily for us this has been made very simple these days - all we need to do is buy a decent brand name complete dog food. Try to steer clear of the very cheap versions because they are sometimes little more than cornmeal.

Just like us humans, dogs can overeat and become overweight. In the wild, this problem never happens since an out-of-shape animal can't fend for itself and doesn't stick around very long. The only time an obese animal is found is when it's domesticated. Although some kind-hearted pet owners think they're making their pet happy if little Tito is eating lots and lots, these owners are actually shortening their pet's lives and putting them at risk for respiratory problems, arthritic pain, diabetes and heart disease. These obese pets also are more likely to pass away if they need to be put under anesthesia for surgery. (Unfortunately, this is also true for obese people.) Thus, feeding your dog the correct food in the correct amount is ultimately the most important way to show how much you care for your pet.

The condition of a dog's fur, skin and stools need to be addressed. Dogs can get ill from tics and fleas. Flea collars aren't always good at keeping away these pests. Instead, use a good powder or spray. Make sure to use these correctly according to the instructions. If a flea problem does arise, it's vital that you attend to it right away. First, clean the spots that the dog regularly lies around. Every time that you vacuum these areas, immediately empty the vacuum bags. Also, wash the dog's bed every time he lies in it. These steps will prevent further outbreaks from the fleas and their eggs nested in your home's carpet and fabrics.

Be careful to check your dog's fur after a walk in the country, since this is when they are most likely to have picked up ticks. Finally check your dog's stools for evidence of worms. Roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and tapeworms all can infest a dog's intestinal tract, though not all are visible to the naked eye - this is why a regular worming schedule needs to be followed.

These few steps create a much healthier and happier dog. Further steps like keeping veterinarian visits and keeping your dog's vaccinations up to date also increase your dog's health factor. By following these caring and healthy steps, you are creating a fit and content dog that is sure to live a much longer and healthier life.

Copyright 2006 Sally Ricco. All rights reserved.

Sally Ricco's website Pet Dog Health Inc is an informative site which has topics about common dog health problems and more serious ailments such as canine cancer. View further details by visiting her archive of articles:

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