How To Keep Your Dog Healthy & Happy | 8 Dog Health Tips To Follow In Dec 2023!

Like any of the 85 million pet owners in America, you want to do everything possible to provide your dog with a long and healthy existence. 

While it appears simple to keep them cheerful (dogs are man's best friend for a reason), the proper portion is just as essential. 

But what are the most essential things to focus on? Here are nine dog health tips for keeping your dog healthy and happy.

1. Feed Your Dog The Proper Food 

Feeding proper food to your puppy is very important.  Starting a good diet when a dog is still a puppy will ensure they are healthy in the long term.

Some dogs need food that’s free of grains, avoids certain proteins, or offers them a certain diet. For example, Dalmatians need a diet low in purines since they’re susceptible to kidney disease.

And dogs like Chow Chows need a high protein and lower fat diet to keep them from gaining too much weight. 

The best way to feed your dog the proper food? First, see if they have any serious dog food allergies.

You can do this during their regular check-up or switch them to a Limited Ingredient Diet to see if they start looking and feeling better.

Then, keep a careful eye on them to see if they have any symptoms that may be a result of allergies or intolerances. 

And of course, feed them food that keeps them at a good weight. Your dog shouldn’t be underweight or overweight.

If they are, talk to your vet about switching to a recipe that will fit their needs and help them maintain a healthy size. 

Also, don’t be afraid to search for formulas that would work best for your dog. A simple search of “{dog breed} best foods” will give you lots of options.

Sites like Chewy and Ollie are great for this - and due to their famous dog affiliate programs you can find their deals all over the internet!

2. Get In Daily Exercise 

Daily exercise is just as essential for your pooch as it is for you. For one, daily exercise gets out any pent-up energy that your dog may have. This means less destruction in your home and a happy pup.

But daily exercise is also important for your dog’s health. Not only can it help them avoid diseases like diabetes and heart problems, but it can also keep them from gaining weight.

And dogs who exercise daily tend to have healthier hearts, bones, muscles, and joints. In other words, daily activity keeps your dog healthy and happy.

3. Invest In Pet Insurance

We all want our dogs to live as long as possible. And, it’s easy to think that your canine will always be as healthy and happy as they are right now.

But, it’s also important to plan for the worst. From accidents to aging, a dog’s health can be in jeopardy if you can’t afford their treatment. 

This is why pet insurance is so important. Not only does it give you peace of mind that you can afford an emergency (or vet bill in general), but it gives your dog a few benefits too.

For example, some pet insurance options give you free teeth cleanings for your dog. Or, they may cover check-ups and medications that your dog may need.

Of course, it’s important to choose the right option for your dog. Think about their current health, if their breed has any typical genetic conditions, and their current age.

Then, find a plan that will fit their needs. But don’t skip this step — it can save you money and keep your dog healthy.

4. Take Your Dog For Yearly Check-Ups

Speaking of insurance — it’s also important to get your dog their yearly check-up and shots, with or without coverage. This can help you prevent future issues and keep you on the right vaccination schedule.

And another perk to yearly check-ups is that your dog could also get dental care. Taking care of your dog’s teeth is super important — since mouth issues can cause other health problems. And, just like you wouldn’t want to eat without teeth, neither does your dog.

5. Get Your Dog Neutered Or Spayed

Along with yearly check-ups, it’s important to get your dog neutered or spayed as soon as you’re able to (per your vet’s recommendation). Getting them “fixed” has been shown to extend their lifespan, as well as prevent cancer and other health issues.

And, as a bonus, your dog won’t be in heat or want to roam away from home as often. This will keep them safe, as well as avoid discomfort and potential pain. And, if you don’t want puppies running around, it will evade that possibility as well. 

6. Keep Them Groomed 

Grooming isn’t just about making your dog adorable. Grooming — including trimming nails and cutting hair away from your dog’s eyes — can also help them avoid potential accidents and health issues.

First, grooming can help keep your dog from matting — which can cause discomfort and shedding. And it can also keep your dog from accidentally scratching themselves, prevent fleas and ticks, and even keep ear and eye infections at bay.

7. Provide Adequate Shelter and Water

No pet parent wants to leave their dog out in the cold all alone with nothing to eat or drink. But sometimes, it can be easy to forget that domesticated animals like dogs need a bit more support. For example, while canines like Huskies love snow, they shouldn’t be left outside 24/7.

As a good pet owner, it’s important to provide adequate shelter and water to your pooch. Always have a bowl of water sitting out for them to enjoy at any time. And, if it’s super hot outside, don’t be afraid to add in some ice.

For shelter, whether outside or inside, your pet will need a covered area. This could be your house, of course, or even a shed or dog house. And, to keep their joints and bones limber and pain-free, adding in some bedding wouldn’t hurt. 

8. Make Sure To Socialize Your Pup

Socializing your pup is important for your sanity and their mental health. By socializing early, you can keep your dog from becoming aggressive and help them learn how to play and deal with others.

This is great if you decide to have kids or bring more pets into the home. And, they’ll be less likely to fight or attack when out and about. Plus, you may meet some fellow pet parents with whom you can swap tips and tricks and have doggy play dates to tire out your furry friend. It’s a win-win for everyone.

9. Love Them 

While this doesn’t directly affect your dog’s physical health, love is so important. Many dogs that are abandoned or mistreated can have health issues or be afraid of humans. And, so many of them are euthanized every year because they can’t fit into the “right” home. 

But love can conquer all — and that includes loving your dog to keep them healthy and happy. Give them treats, tell them how good they are, and be kind. They’ll return that love tenfold. 

And, loving them helps you too! Studies have shown that love for your dog is just as special and important as a mother and child bonding. 

How To Keep Your Dog Healthy

As you can see, it’s not hard to keep your dog healthy and happy. In fact, it’s probably one of the easiest things to do.

And, by following these simple steps, you and your furry friend should have years and years of happiness and love together. And that’s what’s most important!