Regarding puppy health, The Royal Veterinary College in London recently published the findings of their study, which looked at nearly half a million dogs. In that study, they focused on the most common diseases that may impact your dog’s health and wellbeing.
the good news is that by knowing some of these puppy health tips, you can maybe avoid some of these issues or at least be able to identify them early.
And in this article, Dr. Alex Avery from the, Our Pet’s Health youtube channel going to give us some puppy health tips so that your dog can live a healthier, happier life.
1. puppy health – obesity
Everyone worries about what to feed their dog. But once the puppy transitions into adult dogs, I’d actually argue that what you feed is less important than how much of it you actually give to your dog or your puppy. Now, of course, this depends to a certain extent on what you’re actually planning to feed because there are some really pretty crazy diets out there and some pretty inappropriate diets as well. But you know, just like us, our pets, they really aren’t in the middle of an obesity epidemic.
And unfortunately, well over 50% of both dogs and cats are classified as being overweight or obese in the US and the situation in the UK, Australia, and really everywhere else in the world is not too dissimilar.
So a massive proportion of our dogs are overweight and this is often starting while our dogs or puppies. they’re putting on a little bit too much weight, they’re carrying too much weight and that stays with them throughout their lives.
So what can we do about this while learning to condition score your dog is really important.
you can tell if they are a healthy weight or if they’re overweight. Feeding them a consistent amount is important because of that way, you know, if they are getting a bit too heavy, you can just cut it back a little bit.
Avoiding high energy treats. Um, and you know, mistaking the fact that the only way to show our puppy and our dog love is by feeding them or both, you know, both habits to break and not to get into.
And really the bottom line here is if in doubt, ask your veterinary team what your dog’s ideal weight should be. You know, talk to them about diet. Talk to them about the amount that you’re feeding.
The most appropriate treatment to give them is, and you can avoid your dog being overweight or obese in the first place.
It’s actually been shown that overweight dog, so not even over obese dogs, but overweight dogs have a reduced life expectancy by as much as two years.
So that’s a massive proportion of your dog’s life that you could be missing out of because they are overweight.
2. dental disease.
Now, this is again, super common. So by the, by the time dogs get and cat and cats as well get to three years of age, about 80% of them will have some degree of dental disease.
So that’s really how common it is. And the ideal time to get into good habits with this is when your dog is still a puppy. you know, there’s a reason that we brush our teeth twice a day to keep our, our teeth nice and clean and our mouth nice and hygienic.
And toothbrushing is also the best thing that we can do to keep our dog’s teeth clean and their mouth healthy.
So we want to be starting this ideally when they’re a puppy. So when your dog’s a puppy, it’s ideal because they’re going to accept this as normal and they’re not.
They’re just going to learn that that’s part of the routine. That’s part of the daily routine. It’s what happens, you know, no big drama.
Start by offering the toothpaste, you know, that comes in lots of different flavors and molt chicken, beef.
Your puppy used to having your finger in their mouth and then you can introduce a toothbrush.
So that can either be a little finger brush that fits over your finger or a Doggie toothbrush.
Now it’s important that we do use a dog-specific toothpaste and not to human toothpaste. And also the pet toothbrushes that brush bristles are softer, so you’re less likely to damage their gums or hurt them. Really, we want to be brushing their teeth at least three times a week, but every day would be ideal. Now there are, of course, other options for keeping teeth clean and that involves some different diets.
Dental Chews, and some supplements, some oral gels, that kind of thing. But brushing really is best.
And if you’re starting off as a puppy, then it’s much simpler process and you’re much more likely to have success with brushing your dog’s teeth. You know, an 11dental disease that impacts a dog’s welfare in a number of different ways.
It’s really painful. If you’ve ever had a two through abscess or any kind of dental problem yourself, you’ll know how much it does hurt.
And just because a dog’s eating doesn’t mean it’s not painful, but it’s also been linked to other diseases.
So dental disease has been linked to things like kidney failure, liver disease, heart failure.
And so it can have a massive impact on not just the pain and comfort levels of your dog, but also their general kind of disease states and how puppy health they are as a whole.
SEE ALSO: Body Language in Cats
3. And then the final condition with the biggest impact on puppy health is arthritis.
then there’s about a 65% chance that they’re going to have arthritis. you know, if you’ve already cut them nice and slim throughout their life, nice and lean, I’m nice and kind of fit and healthy and well-muscled, then you know, the chances of them suffering from arthritis are reduced.
but there are other steps that you can put in place as well, you know, especially while they’re a puppy.
Like I say, getting into good habits is important just to help reduce their chance of developing arthritis. So the first thing is, is that short regular exercises much better than occasional long walks, really intense workouts.
So that kind of the weekend warrior effect where a dog is just sitting at home, bored out of his mind really quiet in the week, but then goes for a 10-kilometer hike or a 10-kilometer jog next to a bike, you know, at the weekend. That’s really going to stuff that joint.
So the other thing is that many dogs will chase a ball or if they’re stimulated to exercise like running alongside a bike and they’re just going to keep going until they drop, they’re not going to stop. When they’re feeling tired, they’re not going to stop.
If they just tweak their leg a little bit and so that’s going to massively increase their chance of developing injuries, chronic stresses and strains and problems later on in life.
So avoiding ball chuckers, don’t Overdo it. Overdo ball chasing. Um, you know, you don’t want a high intensity, kind of the rapid acceleration of stopping the twisting and turning. you know, if it’s not done by a very fit dog who’s used to it, then it can cause real problems with the joints.
And you know, if you have a high vehicle, another thing to think about would be considered a ramp to reduce the impact of jumping down. You know, that kind of thing. It’s all these kinds of things.
The lots of little, little traumatic events. If we can reduce them, we can keep joint health much better.
The other thing we want to be doing is learning to recognize the signs of pain in your puppy and in your dog so that you can take action early so that you don’t ignore it until they’re absolutely crippled or you know, just pass it off as normal for an older dog, which is something that I hear so much as, oh, you know, the dog’s just stiff.
It’s all part of aging. They’re just getting old. It’s nothing to worry about. Rather than saying they’re stiff because they’re in pain.