Nothing brightens a dog lover’s day more than a very huggable canine. However, dog owners must know that improper diets and irregular feeding schedules may cause very serious health problems for their beloved furry partners. Here are some tips that experts say will ensure that your dog remains fit, healthy and happy for a very long time.
1. Trim the fat
Many dog owners have the tendency to be very liberal about the types of food that they give to their dogs. In fact, some people even have this habit of feeding their dogs directly from the dinner table. While there is nothing wrong with it, pet parents must make sure that when they serve meat scraps to their pets, the fat is removed.
According to veterinary experts, lean meat is ideal for dogs because aside from addressing their protein requirements because it is low in fat and cholesterol. Dogs with high cholesterol are more prone to developing heart diseases, so it is very important for dog owners to regulate their canines’ fat intake.
2. No to doggie biscuits. Yes to fruits and veggies.
Fruits and vegetables make a very good substitute for doggie treats because aside from being loaded with vitamins and minerals, fruits and vegetables greatly aid in their digestion. Fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, an essential in maintaining the health of a dog’s digestive system. Moreover, unlike doggie treats, fruits and vegetables are free from preservatives and artificial coloring. Apples, avocados, bananas and carrots make excellent substitutes for store-bought treats. However, dog owners must keep in mind that not all fruits provide the same beneficial effects. Common fruits fit for human consumption such as grapes, raisins and plums are in fact poisonous to your pet friends.
3. The older they get, the less they should eat
To avoid obesity, dogs aged six months and beyond should only be fed twice daily. Obesity causes an array of health problems such as heart disease, liver problems and even cancer. However, dog owners must consult a veterinarian before planning their pets’ feeding schedules, as breeds tend to have varying nutritional requirements.
4. Burn, Burn, Burn
Veterinary experts recommend daily exercise for dogs as it helps them burn excess fat. Daily exercise also strengthens the dog’s cardiovascular and respiratory systems. Set the time to jog or walk with your dog to make sure he gets enough physical activity. Use healthy treats to motivate an unwilling pet.
5. Watch out for the Big C
Dogs aged 10 years or older are prone to contracting cancer. However, half of the types of cancers that afflict aged dogs are curable if the disease is detected and treated early. Early symptoms of cancer include loss of appetite, sudden weight loss, abnormal bleeding, swelling or lameness in the bone, abnormal growths, discharge and odor, and wounds that do not heal. Dog owners should not worry much though as significant advances in the treatment of dog cancers have greatly improved dog survival rate.
As cliched as it may sound, prevention is still always better than the cure. Knowing how to take good care of your dogs can help their owners save on time and money that would be otherwise spent on medical treatment and maintenance. Just by following these simple tips, dog owners can ensure that their dogs will stay active, happy and healthy for a very long time.