Archaeologists and scientists suggest that as a species we have been living alongside of domesticated dogs for over 15,000 years, truly backing up the claim that dogs are man’s best friend. Today somewhere between 30% and 37% of the population have a dog living at home. For many, dogs aren’t just pets but members of the family: owning a dog enriches the lives of both the dog and the pet owner themselves. While our furry friends may not have as long of a lifespan that we might like them to have, it is important to emphasize the importance of pet healthcare and nutrition in order to make sure those dog days are happy and healthy.
Like people, dogs can certainly benefit from a regular check-up now and again to ensure that everything is going well and the dog is healthy. Unfortunately, a great deal of pet owners simply take their pets to a spay and neuter clinic and rarely return for regular check-ups at a vet clinic as they may see this as an unnecessary expense. Dogs require regular immunizations and treatments to prevent and treat conditions that they are likely to suffer from at some point in their life. A report from the American Heartworm Society reported that cases of heartworm disease have been found in all states at all times of the year; just one bite from an infected mosquito can potentially infect your pets with this potentially fatal disease. It pays to put pet safety and well being as a priority with annual visits to a trusted veterinarian.
Balancing Your Dog’s Diet
A lot of concern has been raised as of late regarding pet nutrition. In the wild, dogs are carnivorous predators like their wolf ancestors; unfortunately many dog foods on the market are stuffed with grain and dairy fillers that can upset a dog’s stomach and lead to potentially dangerous digestive complications. It is believed that 66% of all dog food allergies are caused by beef, dairy, and wheat products. Professional dog dieticians suggest limiting the amount of treats a dog receives as well: treats should make up no more than 10% of your dog’s daily calories. It is easy for pet owners to overfeed their pets, leading to obesity that carries the same kinds of health risks that humans with obesity may face.
Dental Care for Dogs Too
Dentists constantly remind patients to brush and floss regularly to prevent gum disease and other oral health complications; the same goes for dogs and cats. By the age of three, it is estimated that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some degree of dental disease, stressing the importance of proper dental care for dogs. Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth once per week can help to improve their dental health and ensure that their teeth will remain strong and healthy for years to come; unfortunately only 45% of pet owners brush their pet’s teeth. An adult dog has 42 teeth that can be thoroughly cleaned with just brushing: in other words, flossing is not a requirement for proper dental care for dogs. Having a veterinarian examine a dog’s mouth at least once a year is recommended; dental care for dogs changes as the dog ages, meaning that pet owners with dogs over the age of seven ought to take their dog twice per year to have their teeth checked. By taking early steps to ensure the health and happiness of their dogs, pet owners and pets alike are able to live their lives happily for years to come!
At minimum, your pet should have their mouth thoroughly examined by a vet at least once a year. After your pet reaches 7 years old, they should be examined twice a year.