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General Dog Health Care

Keeping your dog healthy is not just about saving money and time at the vet’s – which you certainly will – but about the dog’s quality of life, which is the most important consideration of all. There are many simple ways of minimizing the risk of poor health – read on!

Breeds Mudi Hunarian herding dog with sheep and goats
Peak condition means peak performance for this vigilant Hungarian Mudi

Keep a Record of Your Dog's Medical History

You should keep a record of your dog’s health history, just as you would keep records for a child. Make a note of all of his vaccinations and when he is next due for boosters. Make a note of any medications, or any medicine or anaesthetic that he is allergic to.

If you’re trying to piece together the medical history a year or two down the line, don’t be afraid to ask your vet or their receptionist to remind you of any history of treatment that you might have forgotten.

After being prescribed medication, always make a note of the names, strengths, dosages and how often you should give your dog each medicine.

Mixed breed dog enjoying car ride
Trips to the vet's will be less stressful if you keep proper medical records for your dog

Observe Your Dog's Normal Behavior

If you’re aware of your dog's normal behavior as he goes about his everyday business, it will be all the more easy to identify when something changes. Any change in normal behavior is a clue that something might be wrong.

Signs of distress include open-mouthed panting, heavy breathing, excessive drooling and foaming at the mouth. These symptoms are common in dogs that become anxious or stressed, usually caused by being left on their own for too long, panicking when introduced to a new pet, or feeling scared and uncomfortable when traveling in the car (some dogs love car journeys, others hate them).

A healthy and happy dog panting
Panting is normal behavior for all dogs - but you need to note exactly what "normal" means for your particular pooch

However, these symptoms can also occur when the dog is feeling unwell. If you notice changes in behavior when none of the things mentioned above are to blame, or notice other physical ailments, it is always best to take your dog to the vet.

Training and supervision also plays a vital role in the success of your dog’s health. This will keep him away from potential dangers such as toxic foods, not to mention busy road traffic.

A very healthy and happy Golden Retriever
A very healthy and happy Golden Retriever

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