Tips for Raising a Healthy Dog

Dog Food for Life

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Whether you are a first-time dog owner or just want to learn a little more about the general needs of a canine, it is important that you understand that there are quite a few different aspects to taking on the responsibility of raising a dog. We’re going to talk about some basic needs that should be met when raising your puppy.

Our first topic of importance is that of protecting your pup from disease. Can you remember going to the doctor for booster shots? Dogs have to go through the same thing to remain healthy. There are three separate injections given to a dog that make up a set of “core” vaccinations. The first of these is usually given when the pup is six weeks of age or older, but almost never younger than this. The next two shots are usually administered three weeks apart with a follow-up checkup to ensure that puppy is handling the vaccinations well. Vaccinations serve as a way to arm your puppy’s immune system against very serious viral disease and should be administered as soon as your puppy is old enough to handle them.

Hygiene is another very important aspect of raising a puppy to which you should provide special care. Dogs require different levels of grooming attention depending on the breed of dog. Some dogs require much more grooming than others, especially if they have very long, thick, or curly hair that much be washed, brushed, and trimmed regularly. There are also breeds which must have regular ear-cleaning (usually those with long or floppy ears). No matter what breed of dog you get, there will always be some measure of hygiene that you must attend to, be it nail clipping or brushing his teeth. Dogs naturally wear down their nails with exercise, but some dogs simply aren’t able to wear their nails down fast enough, which can cause painful side effects. We also suggest that you purchase a toothbrush and doggy toothpaste (never use human toothpaste!) to brush your dog’s teeth. Just as you would brush your own, with a circular motion, give your dog’s teeth a nice brushing about three times a week or so. This will greatly decrease his chances of getting tartar buildup or infection.

Finally, we’re going to talk to you about one of the most important aspects of raising a dog, which is food. The food that you give to your dog ultimately determines what type of health your dog will be in. Many store-bought dog foods fail to provide the high quality ingredients that they claim. Some, in fact, are largely constituted of non-nutritious grains and meat-by products (think: pets that have been put down or even road kill!) that have been cooked at high temperatures or pressurized into bite-sized kibble. The key to choosing the right dog food for your pup is to understand what a healthy canine diet should consist of and learn how to read dog food labels for the correct ingredients. There are five main things that a dog’s diet should include, which are: Protein (majority of any canine diet), Carbs, Fats (both saturated and polyunsaturated), Minerals, and Vitamins. Any dog food that does not contain all of these ingredients is not providing your dog with adequate nutrition. You can read the Confidential Dog Food Report to learn about the best and worst brands of dog food as well as how to determine whether a dog food is worthy of your pup.

You can learn more about doggy hygiene, diet, and health by visiting the Dog Food for Life website.

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