Here are a few health tips I have put together to hopefully help with the health and well being of your dog. It is a quick reference and an easy read!
A Good Diet
It goes without saying but feed a top quality diet. Dog nutrition and your dog’s nutritional requirements are so important! Your dog’s immune system will be strengthened, their digestive system will improve and if you include Omega 3 Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA) in their diet it is great for healthy brain function. Also, healthy joints and bones can benefit from a great diet, making your dog happy and mobile and in turn you will be happy too. Senior dog nutrition is different from a younger dog’s nutritional requirements and you can read more about this in my other blog article, Senior Dog Nutrition. Feeding our Senior Four Legged Companions here.
Stop Overfeeding with Fatty and Sweet Foods.
Obesity in dogs is the number one killer in the world (mirrored by our own obesity epidemic) and can result in diabetes and cancers. Being overweight also places immense pressure on your dog’s joints and can lead to dog arthritis.Feeding dogs raw meat (protein) instead of human food for dogs like bread, potatoes, pasta etc (carbohydrates) is a better idea and will have a positive impact on their health. Avoid custard creams, hob nobs and jelly babies please!
Brush those Teeth
A strong indicator of disease can be seen in your dog’s mouth. Dental hygiene can prevent pain and make it difficult for them to eat. In extreme cases if not treated quickly can lead to heart and kidney conditions. Brushing your dog’s teeth not only improve their health but also improve the bond between you and them. That has got be a good thing!
Using a good flea treatment like Frontline or Advantage is a good idea but if you don’t want to your pocket to suffer too much then you could use a simple effective homemade spray:
Use a clean spray bottle and fill half with water and the other half with apple cider vinegar. The apple cider vinegar doesn’t taste as bad as some homemade concoctions if your dog licks themselves.
Water, Water Water.
It sounds obvious but making sure shep has plenty of clean water is a necessity! Our body’s are made up of 66% water and a dog’s made up of 60%. Very active dogs like working dogs will need a lot more water than say a chihuahua. Drinking water will replace most of the electrolytes your dog needs to rehydrate. However, if they are struggling due to say blood loss or diarrhea, then you can buy a commercial electrolyte solution to add to their water. These are fine but can contain things that your dog doesn’t really need, like preservatives to give them shelf life. So, you could make your own! Here is a simple recipe if you want to give it a go:
1 teaspoon of ordinary table salt dissolved in 2 pints (1.13 litres) of fresh clean water
If you want to make it more palatable then you could add a tablespoon of sugar or honey to make it more palatable.
This will be sufficient as an electrolyte replacement.
Water Facts - 71% of water covers the earth’s surface. 97% of this water is salt water and 3% is freshwater. Of this 3% we can only use 1% as the remaining 2% is stored in the north and south polar ice caps.
Chewing for dogs is a normal way of life, especially puppies as they learn and explore their new world. Young dogs, just like human babies do teeth as new teeth grow in so chewing relieves pain for them. In older dogs it is a way for them to keep their jaws and bones strong, and a way to naturally clean their teeth.
Mix 10 ounces of apple cider vinegar with 5 ounces of water in a spray bottle and spray the objects your dog likes to chew.
This is more than likely to stop the chewing. Chewing can also be down to boredom, so investing in some good quality dog chew toys that keep the mind active could be a good idea too.
Play with your dog. Playing and exercising your dog is not only good for them but also for you, physically and emotionally. A tired dog is less likely to chew that an energetic one.
Also, having a second dog could stop the chewing and has all kinds of other health benefits for your dog. They won’t be so lonely if they are left on their own for long periods of time and studies have shown that dogs who live with another dog are happier and less stressed.