7 Health Essentials Every Dog Owner Should Know

March 15, 2016 at 9:00 AM by Nikki Wardle

Things you should know about your dog

Nothing is more important to a dog owner than maintaining your pet's health and happiness. If you just brought home your furry friend, it's important to start with a plan of action to keep your pet healthy. Here's a dog health checklist to get you started.

1. Schedule Routine Health Checks

The first thing you should do when you bring your new dog home is schedule an appointment with your vet. Your vet will give your pet a comprehensive check-up and develop a baseline for care, including vaccinations, worm and flea medication, and other concerns.

2. Research Breed Issues

Nearly every breed or size or dog has its unique challenges. Larger dogs tend to have bloat or volvulus issues while flat-nosed dogs are more likely to suffer from heat stress. Do some research so you know what to keep an eye out for.

3. Vaccinate

Vaccinations are an essential part of pet health, and help keep dangerous diseases from spreading among dog populations.

4. Control Worms and Fleas

Worming should start around two weeks. Check with your veterinarian for a regular worming schedule, and be sure you're staying on target. As for fleas, these pesky bugs should be prevented even if you don't already see an obvious problem.

5. Keep Up With Those Pearly Whites

Your dog's teeth need brushing just like yours. Regular brushing prevents infection and disease.

6. Maintain a Healthy Diet

Just as with humans, a dog's diet can largely dictate their overall health. Some pet owners choose to prepare home-cooked meals for their dogs while others choose pre-prepared meals. Either way, select food with quality proteins.

7. Groom & Bathe

Finally, frequent grooming can keep your dog's hair and nails healthy and sweet-smelling. Your dog doesn't need anything beyond a weekly bath and a brush, depending on coat length and consistency. Choose a groomer for more complicated breeds such as poodles.

If you're a new client at Intermountain Pet Hospital, your first exam is free! Bring your new friend in for a jumpstart on pet health.

Topics: Animal Hospital Near Me

Nikki Wardle

Written by Nikki Wardle

Nikki has been writing for Intermountain Pet Hospital since 2014.