animal hospitalYour pets are like your family. You want to keep them healthy and safe. As much as we provide for our pets, our pets often give it back tenfold in love, companionship, amusement, and cuteness. However, as much as we care for our pets, sometimes trips to the animal hospital are inevitable. If your cat is primarily an outdoor cat, for example, he or she may get in a tangle with a wild animal. Your dog may have periodontal disease and need an oral exam and thorough cleaning. Maybe it’s a visit to the vet hospital for something as simple as a bath and grooming session. These visits can often be nerve-wracking for both owner and pet alike. So how can you avoid trips to the animal hospital and keep your dog healthy?

The Five Best Ways to Keep Your Dog Healthy
Over 45 million households own a dog and the average cost per year is a little over $1,100. Pricy animal hospital or vet bills can add even more to that average total. But here are ten ways you can keep your dog happy and healthy.

  • Shots
    Is your dog up to date on all of his or her shots? Do they have a flea and tick collar? Are they taking medication to prevent heartworm? Spending a little extra on “maintenance” can help ward off a painful trip to the vet later on. Fleas and ticks can be a huge problem if they spread to other pets — or your own bed! — and heartworm can be devastating for dogs.
  • Dental Care
      Did you know that periodontal disease is the top clinical condition that occurs in adult dogs? Most adult dogs have some kind of periodontal disease by the time they’re three years old. With consistent brushing and dental-happy chew toys or treats, you can keep your dog’s teeth in good shape and prevent teeth from rotting or loosening, causing your dog pain as he or she ages.

    • Exercise
      If you live in a more urban area, it’s important that your dog is getting taken on walks. If you can, they shouldn’t just be quick “out to pee” walks, but should be a bit more extended and at a good pace, to keep them active and interested. A bored dog can often be a troublesome dog and walks may also be a good way to socialize them with other dogs. If you can take them to an enclosed dog park and let them play and socialize with fellow dogs, that can also be a great outlet.

      If you live in a more rural environment, let your dog out to play in an enclosed area where he or she can run around freely.
    • Watch it With the Treats
      >We all like to spoil our pets, but be careful about overfeeding your dog or offering too many treats. Once your dog reaches his or her first birthday, usually they just need one meal a day. Too many treats and more than a meal a day can lead to your dog becoming overweight, putting strain on his or her organs and joints.
    • Check-Up
      For best pet care practices, make sure you’re taking your pet to the vet at least once a year for a routine check-up. If anything is going wrong, your vet may be able to tell at an early stage and work to counteract it before it’s too serious. It’s also a nice treat for your pet to get a good bath and grooming, their teeth cleaned, and to be pampered.

    Keeping your best friend happy and healthy means that they’ll be around for a lot longer. With these five easy steps to keep in mind, your dog will reap all the benefits of a caring and loving home and you can reduce your chances of an emergency run to the animal hospital.