Giving your pup the right vaccinations is essential to giving him the best start to life. “Puppies and adult dogs should be vaccinated against parvovirus, distemper virus and canine hepatitis, even if they never mix with other dogs, as they are all serious, highly contagious and often deadly diseases,” says Bayer Technical Services vet Dr Liisa Ahlstrom. “Most puppies and adult dogs are also vaccinated against canine cough (kennel cough) because although it’s only rarely fatal, it’s highly contagious and reduces the quality of life in affected dogs for weeks or months.”
Once you’ve introduced a puppy to your family, your new pet should never simply be locked in the backyard and forgotten about. Growing dogs need to be given positive exposure to all manner of sights, sounds, smells and experiences as much as possible.
Getting your dog desexed is an important responsibility for every dog owner and has a wide range of benefits. “The benefits to the individual pet include a lower risk of prostatic disease, perineal hernias, perianal tumours and no risk of testicular tumours in male dogs; and a lower risk of mammary tumours, metritis or pyometra (infected uterus), uterine or vaginal tumours and no risk of ovarian cysts or tumours in females,” Dr Liisa says.
There are so many pet foods available that deciding on the right food for your dog can be overwhelming. “The most important thing is to ensure your dog is fed a complete and balanced diet, which can be difficult to achieve with home-cooked foods but isn’t necessarily provided by all commercial foods,” Dr Liisa says.
Ensuring your dog has regular exercise is essential to maintaining its optimal physical health and mental wellbeing. “In addition to the obvious benefits, regular exercise for your dog can help reduce digestive problems and constipation, as well as build confidence in fearful dogs,” Dr Rod says. “Keeping your dog active and energised can also help reduce some common behavioural problems like anxiety, barking, digging and chewing.”
Want to know what else you can do to keep your dog happy? This article was originally published in the May/June 2016 issue of Dogs Life. You can purchase the back issue at Universal Shop.Here are just a few things that can make life with your dog a bit easier - see them now on our DOGSLife Directory