How to Keep Your Dog Healthy: Tips for a Doggone Good Life
As puppy lovers, we all know that dog years go by far too fast. While we wish we could keep our furry friends around furrever, there are ways to help them live the longest, happiest lives pawsible. It all starts with figuring out how to keep your dog healthy! The team at Hounds Lounge Pet Resort and Spa has compiled a list of dog health care tips to help point you in the right direction for your pooch.
Hounds Lounge Knows How to Keep Your Dog Healthy
Hounds Lounge has been around since 2016, and, in that time, we’ve seen all that goes into keeping dogs happy and healthy – including our services! We provide a safe and fun space for our pack to exercise and socialize, which are two key components toward a long life. Keep reading for our full guide on how to keep your dog healthy.
Diet and Nutrition
Your pooch deserves a high-quality diet that’s appropriate for their age, activity level, size and health needs. If you have multiple dogs, they may very well all eat different dog foods.
Whatever dog food you serve your pooch, it should be rich with good ingredients, including meat, vitamins and minerals, healthy carbs and fats, and grains. Never overlook ingredient labels! Look out for these ingredients to avoid when buying dog food.
Once you’ve found a healthy dog food, don’t let Fido go through it too fast. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, “In North America, obesity is the most common preventable disease in dogs. The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention reports that more than 50% of dogs are overweight.” The best way to prevent your pooch from packing pounds is to avoid overfeeding him! Dog food labels should provide guidance on serving sizes, and this is also a topic to discuss with your veterinarian.
When you’re thinking about how to keep your dog healthy, factor in their treat consumption. Too many treats can quickly add up and cause weight gain. Opt for a low calorie treat, especially when training. You can also use veggies, like baby carrots or green beans, as treats. But whatever you do, don’t get in the habit of letting your dogs eat table food. He’ll not only gain weight, but he’ll also become a beggar, and nobody wants that!
Active outdoor play and walks, as well as other dog exercises, help keep your dog physically fit and mentally stimulated. In Arkansas, we are furrtunate to have plenty of access to the grreat outdoors, much of it dog-friendly. Hiking and swimming are great exercise options for dogs – check out some of our top dog-friendly trails and lakes below!
Impawtant Note: While you’re enjoying our state’s natural resources, keep an eye out for its other creatures, such as snakes, ticks and poison ivy. Water safety when taking your dog swimming is also a priority. Read our dog first aid tips to learn how to keep your dog healthy during Arkansas outdoor adventures.
While exercise is very impawtant to a dog’s health, it’s crucial that you know your dog’s limits. Different breeds have different exercise needs. Furr example, while a Labrador Retriever might be capable of going on a 3-mile run, a French Bulldog will likely max out after a short stroll around the block.
Heat can also play a role in exercise safety. Know how to keep your dog cool during hot Arkansas summers. Indoor play is a good option for extremely hot days, and the grreat indoors are always pawfect for doing activities and playing games that mentally stimulate your pooch, especially if you live in an apartment.
Grooming and Dental Care
You might be a bit surprised to hear “grooming” as an answer to how to keep your dog healthy. However, it provides a wealth of benefits:
A dog’s dental health is a good indicator of their overall health, so you want to keep those pearly whites in the best condition pawsible. Regular tooth brushing and dental cleanings are vital, as they can help prevent larger health issues, including dog dental disease that can lead to organ damage. Dental dog treats like Greenies are also handy to use between tooth brushings.
Along with their teeth, your pooch’s breath can also signal health problems. If it smells different or far worse than usual, you should talk to your vet. Use our stinky breath scale below to see where your dog lands.
It might seem like a given to most pet pawrents, but we cannot express the impawtance of finding a good vet and making it to annual checkups! A quality veterinarian knows better than anyone how to keep your dog healthy. Even if your dog appears to be in tip-top shape, your veterinarian can uncover health issues that would otherwise go unnoticed. By staying consistent with your visits, your vet can track your pooch’s health and provide recommendations as they get older.
We mentioned the impawtance of dental health above – a veterinarian will check your pooch’s teeth and gums during their annual visit. If there are any issues, your vet can perform or recommend a specialist to perform dental procedures.
Veterinarians also provide prevention medication that is absolutely necessary in Arkansas. Mosquitoes are constantly buzzing around in the summer, and they can carry heartworms. Fleas and ticks can latch onto dogs while they’re hiking in the woods or simply playing in the backyard. Prevention medication helps your pooch avoid serious illnesses.
While your woof may not love getting shots, your vet also provides vaccinations that keep your dog healthy and allow them to pawty at places like Hounds Lounge! We require:
- Rabies Vaccine (1 or 3 year)
- Bordetella Vaccine (encouraged every 6 months and must be given 48 hours before arriving at Hounds Lounge)
- Annual DHPP Vaccines (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus)
- Canine Influenza (both strains h3n2 & h3n8) Only required for out-of-state clients. Must have completed two booster vaccines that cover both strains of canine flu and meet two week wait requirement before visiting.
If you don’t have a veterinarian, below are vet practices we highly recommend in Arkansas!
Grreat Veterinarians in Arkansas
Bryant Veterinary Clinic
Animal Family Practice Veterinary Hospital
Marketplace Veterinary Clinic
North Little Rock area:
Baeyens-Hauk Veterinary Group
Kiehl Avenue Animal Clinic
Interstate Animal Clinic
PetCare Veterinary Clinic
Northwest Arkansas area:
Stanton Animal Hospital
Gulley Park Pets Clinic
Wedington Animal Hospital
Best Friends Animal Hospital & Pet Hotel
Hillcrest Animal Hospital
All Pets Animal Hospital
SoMa Animal Clinic & House Calls
Cantrell Animal Clinic
Bellevue Animal Clinic
West Little Rock area:
Bowman Road Animal Clinic
Chenal Valley Animal Hospital
Parkway Animal Hospital
Briarwood Animal Hospital
If you’re wondering how to keep your dog healthy, you can’t ignore basic safety practices – both inside and outside of the home. In your house, be aware of:
- Choking hazards
- Electrical dangers
- Poisonous houseplants
- Open medicine bottles
- Access to cleaning products
For first time dog owners, be sure pay attention to these important details while puppy-proofing your pad!
In the great outdoors, continue to be aware of critters like snakes, spiders, coyotes and skunks, as well as insects and poisonous plants.
Of course, you can’t forget about cars. Even the most well-trained dog can dart into the street if a rabbit or squirrel catches its eye. To prevent vehicle-related incidents, it’s always best to keep your dog in a fenced yard or on their leash.
How to Keep Your Dog Healthy with Help from Hounds Lounge
Just like socializing is healthy for people, it’s grreat for dogs too. Hounds Lounge doggy daycare allows your pooch to make furriends and gain new experiences. They get plenty of lovin’ from our 24/7 on-site staff, who provide constant supervision. Our guests play so hard, they usually go home with the healthiest kind of hangover: the #houndsloungehangover.
If you follow this guide on how to keep your dog healthy, your pooch is in for a doggone happy life. We’d love to be a part of it. Bring your woof into any of our five locations across Arkansas for doggy daycare, overnight stays, professional grooming or self-serve dog washes.