Spring is here! Time to get outside with your four-legged buddy and spend some quality time together. Making sure your pooch is healthy is not only good for him, but it benefits you as well.

Here are some great tips to ensure that your dog is a happy and healthy companion.

Shake A Leg!

Physical exercise and mental stimulation are keys to a healthy dog. When a pooch lacks these, it often leads to bigger, very serious issues, such as obesity and lethargy.

So get Rex, and yourself, out and about! Most healthy dogs require 30 minutes to 2 hours of exercise per day, depending on age, breed and size.

Any type of exercise is good for your dog, whether it’s a leisurely walk or a lightning-fast game of fetch. Exercise will help improve your pal’s mental health as well. If you’re unsure of how much, and what kind of exercise your dog needs, talk to your vet.

Visit The Vet

Speaking of your vet, visiting a veterinarian will help you set the groundwork for your dog’s overall health. In addition to recommending exercise and care regimens, your vet will be aware of the latest care plans and treatments for anything that may be ailing your pooch.

Ideally, you and your dog should visit two times per year (more often if your dog is older or has chronic conditions).

Remember to keep track of all medications subscribed and all vaccines given to your dog.

We Are What We Eat

As is the case for us two-legged folk, quality nutrition is key to a healthy pup. High quality dog food will improve your dog’s weight, skin and coat, gastrointestinal function, and energy level. He’ll not only feel better, but also look better and be in a better mood.

If your dog’s coat is changing or he’s gaining weight, take a good look at what he’s eating. Have you changed his diet? Is someone in the home feeding him food for people? We know that this is a big “no-no”, regardless of how big those puppy eyes get when he’s begging at the dinner table!

A Healthy Smile Equals A Healthy Pup

A few months ago we ran a blog post on the importance of dental health. Poor dental health can lead to, or be a symptom of, serious health issues. Dental health is just as important as the daily run. Brush his teeth, give him dental treats and get him the chew toys we mentioned in the previous post. And remember, clean, healthy teeth often means fresher breath for your pooch. And everyone wants that, don’t they?

Get A Haircut!!

All dogs need some basic general maintenance. Daily brushing, ear cleaning, nail clips and the occasional bath all go a long way in making your dog feel good, healthy and cared for.

But don’t do these things when you happen to remember them. Create a grooming schedule and do your best to stick to it.

A Healthy Pooch Starts With You

Healthy habits don’t just happen. They have to be taught and reinforced by you. When you make good choices for your friend, whether it’s diet, exercise or grooming, your dog will lead a happier and healthier life.

Be aware of your pooch and make note of any changes you see regarding weight, appearance, energy level or temperament. If you see any changes that worry you, trust your gut and contact your vet. Addressing all issues quickly will help prevent them from getting out of control.

Did you know? April is Heartworm Awareness Month. Heartworms spread from animal to animal by mosquitoes and live in the heart and pulmonary arteries of infected animals. The disease is very difficult to treat and is often fatal. Prevention is the key! Giving your dog one dose monthly of a tablet, like Heartguard, can stop heartworm before it starts.