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Health and Wellbeing for Dogs

 What needs to be done to keep a dog healthy?

If you are feeding your dog properly, grooming him, and giving him plenty of exercise, your dog should stay healthy.

However, there are some regular checks you should carry out. You should also get your dog vaccinated, and worm your dog regularly.

a) Claws.

You should check your dog’s claws once a week to make sure that they are not too long. Pay special attention to the ‘dew claws’ which are the small claws on the inside of the front (and sometimes) back legs.

b) Teeth.

You should get into the habit of looking at your dog’s teeth every day before dinner. Pull back your dog’s lips, and make sure that there is not a build up of thick brown ‘tartar’ on the teeth. If there is, you will have to go to the vet to have this removed. Ideally you should brush your dog’s teeth, again before dinner, using a toothbrush with special toothpaste designed for dogs. Watch our video on dental care for dogs to find out more.

c) Vaccinations.

Vaccinations are injections given to your dog by your vet. They provide the dog with protection against some very serious diseases caused by viruses. All puppies should have two injections, usually at around two or three months of age. All adult dogs should have a ‘booster’ vaccination one year later, at 15 months of age, to make sure that they are still protected. Then throughout their lives, dogs should have regular booster vaccinations, as recommended by your vet.

d) Worming.

There are different types of worms which live in the stomach, intestines and lungs of dogs. These worms can make the dog sick, and also can sometimes be passed on to humans. To prevent worms, you should regularly give your dog a wormer. There are many different types of wormers available and you need to use the safest, strongest wormer for your pet.

Puppies should be wormed once every two weeks until they are 8 weeks old, then once a month until they are six months old. Adult dogs should be wormed at least every three months. (In some cases you may need to worm your dog every month). Follow the petfix worm control guide to find out what’s best for your pet

The average life span of a dog is between ten and sixteen years.  Smaller dogs tend to live longer than big dogs.

If you are worried about your pet's health, visit the Petfix DIY Triage Checker or Ask a Vet. If it is urgent take your pet to your vet immediately.