04 Apr Dog Health: A Comprehensive Guide for Pet Owners
As a dog owner, your furry friend’s health and well-being is always a top priority. Your dog is likely considered to be a part of the family, and you want them to stay happy and healthy throughout their lives. However, navigating the world of dog health can be overwhelming. With so many opinions and information out there, it’s hard to know what’s right for your dog.
At PetWellClinic, we understand the importance of keeping your dog healthy, and we want to provide you with the tools and knowledge to do so. That’s why we’ve created a comprehensive guide to help pet owners better understand their dog’s health needs. In this guide, we’ll cover everything from common health issues to preventative vet care, nutrition, exercise, and more. Whether you’re a first-time dog owner or an experienced pet parent, this guide has something for everyone.
Your Guide to Dog Health
How do I know if my dog is in good health?
Healthy dogs are typically very alert and energetic. They’re the pups we know and love as our furry best friends, so it can be pretty obvious when something is off. If you’re not sure if your dog is in good health, there are several signs that can indicate that something may be wrong. These include:
- Low energy levels
- Not eating their food
- Not drinking their water
- Irregular bowel movements
- Discharge or redness in eyes
- Other behavioral, appearance, or health changes
If your dog appears lethargic, uninterested in what they usually enjoy, or displays any other behavior or appearance changes listed above, it may be a sign of an underlying health issue.
Has your dog’s appetite disappeared? Click here to discover some potential causes!
Regular check-ups with your veterinarian are critical in ensuring that your dog is in good health. Your vet will be able to examine your dog for any signs of a minor illness or chronic disease, as well as provide necessary vaccinations and preventative care.
If you’re ever in doubt about your dog’s health, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and head to the vet. Taking care of your dog’s health is an important part of being a responsible pet owner, and regular vet visits and the right preventative care can help ensure a long and happy life for your furry friend.
Dog Health Problems
What are the most common health issues that dogs face?
Dogs, like humans, can face a variety of health issues throughout their lives. These include common minor illnesses, like ear infections, skin allergies, and minor coughs, as well as more serious conditions like cancer, diabetes, or heartworm.
Common Minor Dog Illnesses
- Ear infections
- Skin allergies
- Bladder infections
- Fleas and ticks
It’s common for dogs to experience minor illnesses every once in a while. These types of dog illnesses aren’t typically life-threatening, but they do require medical attention to prevent more serious health problems from occurring. Luckily, these illnesses can be quickly treated and even prevented by visiting your veterinarian.
Your dog may also be diagnosed with a chronic condition, such as arthritis, allergies, or diabetes. These conditions may require certain medications or lifestyle changes to help manage your dog’s symptoms, behavior, and quality of life. Your PetWellClinic veterinarian can help provide guidance and treatment for your dog’s specific condition.
Common Chronic Conditions for Dogs
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Which 3 dog illnesses should all pet owners be aware of? Discover the answer!
Dog Exercise and Nutrition
Proper exercise and nutrition are two key components of a healthy lifestyle for dogs. Regular exercise is essential to keep your dog physically fit and mentally stimulated, which can help prevent obesity and behavioral issues. To provide them with enough energy to exercise regularly, it’s also important to feed your dog a balanced diet with all of the necessary nutrients.
How can I help my dog maintain a healthy weight?
Your dog must have a healthy exercise regimen and diet to maintain a healthy weight. In terms of exercise, your dog should spend 30-45 minutes per day doing some sort of physical activity, and they may need even more exercise time if they are a bigger breed. Types of exercise with your dog could include:
- Jogging and running
- Playing fetch
- And more!
If you’re worried about your dog being overweight, you should bring them by PetWellClinic for a physical evaluation and exam. Your veterinarian will weigh your dog, examine their overall health, and identify what their weight should be based on their build and breed.
Your dog’s nutrition and diet is also something your vet at PetWellClinic can help with. It’s important that your dog is eating nutrient-dense foods with balanced ingredients. This will provide them with the energy they need and prevent serious health problems.
Vet Care for Dogs
How often should I take my dog to the vet?
The frequency of vet visits depends on your dog’s age and overall health. As a general rule, you should take your dog to the vet at least once each year to receive a physical exam, preventative care, and the necessary vaccines. This also gives your veterinarian the opportunity to address any concerns you may have about your dog’s health.
However, if your dog is experiencing any sort of health or behavioral changes that seem out of the ordinary, you should take them to the vet. Unusual changes often signal underlying issues. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your dog’s health!
Puppies also require more frequent visits to ensure they are up-to-date on vaccines and are growing and developing normally. Similarly, senior dogs may require more frequent visits to monitor for age-related health issues.
What should I expect at these visits?
From the minute you walk into PetWellClinic, you’re guaranteed a transparent and straightforward process. You will first check-in at the front desk by signing into our user-friendly tablets. While no appointments are ever necessary at PetWellClinic, you can register your pet or log in before coming to the clinic to reserve your pet’s spot in line.
When it’s time for your dog’s care to begin, our veterinary staff will begin by asking you a series of questions about your pet’s history and taking their vitals. They will also help you determine which of our four main areas of veterinary care your dog needs:
- Preventative care
- Minor illnesses
- Chronic conditions
- Laboratory testing
In the physical exam process, your veterinarian will examine your dog’s physical condition by:
- Checking weight
- Measuring body temperature and pulse
- Observing your dog’s gait
- Opening the mouth to observe teeth and gums
- Evaluating your dog’s body for any abnormalities (e.g. lumps and bumps)
- Listening to their heart and lungs
- Checking your dog’s reflexes
At PetWellClinic, we offer three comprehensive PetWell® Packages for dogs that bundle preventative medicine with lab tests and vaccines. These include:
- Ideal Dog Package
- Total Dog Package
- Complete Dog Package
All of our dog wellness packages contain the following vaccines that protect against highly contagious diseases:
- 5-in-1 Vaccine (DAPP)
- Lepto 4-Way Vaccine
- Bordetella Vaccine
The Total Dog Package adds on a heartworm test and a dewormer, and then the Complete Dog Package also includes a Chem/T4 blood test and a physical exam. When you visit PetWellClinic for walk-in vet care, our team will be able to advise you on which wellness package is best for your dog. For example, older dogs can often benefit from the bloodwork and tests that are included in the Complete Dog Package.
Any of our vaccines, elective lab tests, or a physical exam can also be purchased individually. Some PetWellClinic locations do require a physical exam, so make sure to check with your local clinic when you arrive!
Puppies do require more frequent vet visits, so to make your life as a new dog owner easier, we provide two convenient puppy package options:
- Basic Puppy Package
- Plus Puppy Package
If you opt for the Basic Puppy Package, your puppy will receive the following on their first visit:
- A full physical examination
- Canine DAPP
- Fecal test (if sample provided)
- Deworming for hookworms and roundworms
Then every three weeks until your puppy has at least two DAPPs given over 12 weeks of age, they will receive:
- A canine DAPP booster
- Fecal test
On the last two visits, your puppy will receive three crucial vaccines:
- A Leptospirosis vaccination
- Rabies vaccine
- Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccine
These vaccines protect against common contagious dog diseases, which is why we recommend that all puppies receive them during their first year of life. Some of these vaccines are required for your dog to participate in day care programs, training, boarding kennels, and even dog parks. Rabies vaccinations are required by law in most states.
What vaccines does your dog really need? Find out here!
If you opt for the Plus Puppy Package, your dog will also receive a full physical examination, nail trim, and a dose of heartworm preventative at every puppy plan visit. No matter which Puppy Package you choose, we recommend starting the puppy plan at 6-8 weeks of age.
After your appointment at PetWellClinic, your vet will also recommend all of the medication your dog needs to stay healthy and strong. This may include heartworm and flea and tick prevention, which is available to take home with you that same day.
If you still have questions about your dog’s health, ask your veterinarian for clarity on anything you may not understand. We are here to help!
PetWellClinic is dedicated to being here for pet owners. Our hours of operation extend into the evenings and weekends, and our clinic environment is built with your pet’s comfort in mind. Visit your local PetWellClinic to take care of your dog’s health!
PetWellClinic provides convenient, affordable veterinary care for pet owners. PetWellClinic has locations and services built with convenience in mind. Stop by with your pet any time! No appointment necessary.