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5 Habits to Keep Your Dog Healthy

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Your dog's health is important to me. So today, I'd like to share 5 habits to keep your dog healthy.

1. Regular Physical Exams - Visit your veterinarian frequently for a routine exam. Since dogs age so much faster than we do, yearly exams can help identify problems early. Be prepared to tell your vet about any changes in your dog's stamina, appetite or behavior, when it began and what might have triggered it.

2. Groom Your Dog Often - Bathe and groom him at least once a week. Brushing removes dead hair and helps to stimulate blood flow to the skin. As you brush your dog, take note of any bumps, skin lesions or unusual hair loss and report abnormalities to your veterinarian.

3. Brush Your Dog's Teeth Daily - Tooth brushing staves off tooth decay and helps prevent gum disease and tooth loss. Brushing regularly will also allow you to notice mouth and tongue ulcers early on. Note any increase in "doggy breath." Dogs have their natural smells and dog food can linger on their breath, but a change in breath to the point that it becomes strong or offensive can signal various illnesses.

4. Encourage Exercise - Exercise helps your dog maintain muscle tone, keeps his heart and digestion healthy and even improves his attitude. Walk or play with your dog at least twice daily.

5. Provide Good Nutrition - Feed your dog a good quality food formulated for his life stage. Stick with a good quality premium food and feed that amount that maintains an ideal weight. Always provide fresh, cool water.

Monitor your dog. Watch his urine and bowel movements for abnormalities. Be aware of any changes in his attitude or habits to identify problems early.

Please see your veterinarian if you notice any problems with your dog.



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