5 Things to Improve Your Family Dog’s Health

We all love our family pet; for many of us, that’s a furry canine companion.  In addition to a healthy diet and getting spayed or neutered at the appropriate age, there are many aspects to having a healthy happy dog. These six recommendations should be considered for optimal health of your family dog.

  1. Annual Wellness Exams and Vaccines: Taking your pet to see your trusted vet for an annual wellness exam can be very helpful to not only stay up to date on vaccines but also to possibly detect a health problem before it gets worse. However, do not hesitate to take your pet in for a check up if something seems wrong in between annual exams.
  2. Regular grooming: While every breed has different grooming needs, in general it is important for every dog’s health and comfort to be groomed on a regular basis. Regularly brushing your dog will prevent their fur from clumping up and turning into uncomfortable fur mats.  Imagine having your fur all over your body and then having something pull at it at all times. In addition to preventing fur mats, brushing your dog on the regular gives you a chance to check your dog for fleas, ticks, burs, injuries or unusual lumps or masses. Grooming and hygiene for your dog doesn’t stop at a good brushing, it is also important to brush your dogs’ teeth and clip its nails on a regular basis as well to prevent plaque build up and painful nail breaks.
  3. Microchip: If your pet gets lost, runs away or is stolen, a microchip could help bring you back together. Painless to your dog and easy on the finances, this device has reunited many dogs with their owners, some years later. Typically inserted in the dogs’ scruff, a vet can scan your pet to confirm or discover a dog’s owner. While the microchip does not track your pet, it can help return your pet to you if scanned by a vet or shelter.
  4. Unconditional love: While this may seem like a no-brainer to many, it is sometimes hard for others. When we bring a pet into our family we are agreeing to love it and take care of it to the best of our ability for the remainder of its life. Training a puppy or owning a dog during a stressful time in life can be difficult. It is important to remember that your dog will be as loyal to you as you are to them; loving your dog is not only important for a healthy bond, it will make your dog happier and easier to train. If you come home to an angst-ridden dog that chewed up your feather pillows, or a puppy with a pile of poop on your favorite rug, remember they are loving, innocent creatures who just want to be loved by you in return.
  5. Consistent Activity: A giant fenced-in back yard to roam in at will, or three walks a day, or a bunch of dog toys is not always enough for a dog to be happy. Engaging activities and constant training will keep our dog alert, smart and happy to be working its brain. Ever have a dog that destroys your house when you leave it home alone all day? Try more exercise, teaching it new tricks, or taking it to the dog park to be social. Dogs need regular mentally stimulating exercise not only for their physical health, but for their mental health as well.

Bonus tip: Is your family traveling or moving with your dog outside of Alaska? Be sure to talk to a local vet about the different pest and plant dangers there may be in the area such as fleas, ticks or cactuses. Additionally, every state and country typically has widely varying dog laws and regulations that every dog-owning family should be aware of when traveling or moving to a new location.



by Chugach Chiropractic & Massage Center