Preventative care and preventative medicine is similar to brushing your teeth twice a day to prevent cavities. It involves maintaining their health early to prevent problems later on.
Feeding is important. Nutrition's important, so you want to feed a well-balanced diet and look for the AAFCO statement, which is a little triangle on the side of most dog foods. I have five brands that I recommend, but this is by no means an exhaustive list. There are thousands of brands of food that I'm sure are just fine, but Royal Canin, Hill's Science Diet, Purina Pro Plan, Eukanuba, and Iams are all well-balanced and healthy over-the-counter grocery store brands. Make sure that your dog has access to water at all times and if they're outside, you have shade, a fan, a pool, or something to keep them cool. Take them for walks so they have enrichment and they're stimulated. If you were to stick a human child in a room and leave for hours of the day, what's going to happen besides the fact that they're probably going to go to the bathroom on themselves? They're going to get bored. Dogs really do need a lot of enrichment. Make sure you keep up with their vaccination so they don't get preventable diseases. Prevent heartworms by giving heartworm prevention and keep them on monthly and tick prevention to make sure they don't get flea bite anemia or tick borne diseases. The list is fairly exhaustive, but it's all about making sure that your dog's healthy, just like you would wash your face every day so that you don't wake up with pimples in the mornings. It's preventative care.
I think this is a great question because while your dog may be very well trained and you can control what your dog does because they're trained, you can't control what other people's dogs are doing. We don't know what their levels of training are. So if you're walking around the block and you have a little Yorkie and they're living their best life, running in the grass, sniffing all the things, and there's a bigger dog that comes around the corner that's not on a lead, what's to stop them from nipping at your dog. Even a nip from a large breed dog to a tiny Yorkie could do a lot of damage. Leash laws are there for a reason. They're also there to protect people because people will get involved. I don't know about you, but I will walk through fire for my animals. Most people will get bit if they try to get in between a dog that's attacking their dog. So leash laws are there for a reason.
Any pesticides in high amounts, like when you're getting your house sprayed. If you're putting out ant bait, make sure they're not actively ingesting it. Moth treatments and rat poison are dangerous, and weed killer is bad if they're eating the weeds. You should just use common sense. Your dog shouldn't eat anything that you're not going to eat.
Flea and tick infestations are very easy to prevent with flea and tick prevention once a month. We recommend NexGard and Bravecto. Heartworm prevention to prevent heartworm disease is also important. You should also practice grooming for long-haired dogs and make sure that your dog is being brushed so they don't get mats. Mats can actually be really painful. If you are a female or if you have long hair, you'll know that if you have your hair up really tight in a bun or a ponytail, by the end of the day when you take your hair down, your head's sore. Why? Because everything's pulling. With dogs, it's the same thing. Matting pulls and hurts the skin and causes sensitivities, and in really severe cases, can actually cut off blood flow and create skin infections. Keep your dogs' nails trimmed because overgrown nails can cause a problem. When their foot hits the ground, it should hit flat. Overgrown nails are kind of like if you put on a pair of shoes that are too small. Imagine walking around all day with that. Your foot would hurt. The nails can also grow into the paw pads. Things like these are going to help you keep your dog happy and healthy.
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