Keeping Your Dog Healthy Can Help Keep You Healthy As Well!

People love their dogs. If you ever question this, walk into a crowded room and say you hate dogs. The reaction will be a shocked convalescence of questions that essentially amounts to “Dogs are great, how can you hate dogs?”. Dogs provide great friendship and loyalty. They are adorable and smart. Dogs can play a positive role on human health. 

As people become attached to their dogs, they want to see them happy. A dog that is unhappy or in pain from health problems will cause their owner to feel pain as well. Dogs are a boon in a variety of ways to a person’s natural health. When the dog is unhealthy, those benefits can retreat and their owner may feel unhealthy as well. Simply put, keeping a dog healthy will help to keep the owner healthy as well! 

The Effect of Dogs on Humans

Human life has never been more complicated. There are so many outside pressures on a person that they can be difficult to manage. Owning a dog can help combat many of these issues and assist with health. 

Dogs can help a person stay fit. Having to walk your dog each day can add extra cardiovascular exercise to your day. This helps fight obesity and improves heart health. It can also help with overall stamina and fatigue. 

Dogs also help with mental health. Stress levels are very high for many people. Owning a dog has shown to reduce stress levels thanks to their constant unwavering friendship and the simple act of petting a dog. They can also be key to helping people with some mental health issues like depression and anxiety manage their condition. 

Common Dog Issues

At this point, the goal of keeping your dog healthy should be apparent. There’s plenty of things that can affect your dog. The good news is that many of the main issues that affect your pet can be managed by vigilance and regular visits to the vet. Some common issues to look out for include: 

  • Tapeworms - These are long flat worms that grow inside the small intestines of dogs. Typically, the eggs of tapeworms actually come from fleas, before the tapeworm eggs get released. Tapeworms are arguably the leading cause of dogs scooting around with their rear on the carpet or floor. It can become quite uncomfortable. 
  • Heartworm - This can be a more serious and potentially fatal issue for dogs. Foot long worms grow in the lungs, heart and connected blood vessels. In dogs, heartworms breed and it’s possible for hundreds of them to exist in the dog while it damages the dog’s health. Preventative treatment is available from vets and is usually taken every year to keep a dog from getting heartworm. 
  • Fleas and Ticks - These little pests are the bane of dogs everywhere. As mentioned, flea bites can cause tapeworms, but they are also painful and hurt any dog that is bitten. Ticks have even more severe health issues and can cause serious conditions like Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Lyme Disease, Canine Anaplasmosis and Canine Ehrlichiosis. 

Keep an eye on your dog’s dental health as well. Dogs need to keep their teeth clean and brushed every so often. Train a dog to accept that early in order to keep them from potentially developing painful dental problems. 

Dog Arthritis

Just as humans can suffer from arthritis in their joints, so too can dogs! It’s actually far more common than people realize. Approximately 20% of dogs may suffer from arthritis at some point in their lives. While there are several different types of arthritis, osteoarthritis is the most common. 

It’s usually possible to see when a dog is suffering from arthritis. They tend to limp and perhaps lose some of the energy they have had. They may no longer enjoy running, jumping or playing like they have in the past. There are actually an extensive list of possible symptoms to show that a dog may be feeling arthritis. Typically, if a dog is acting abnormally in any way, it’s possible they are suffering from arthritis. A trip to the vet is important at this point. 

Once diagnosed, it can be treated in a variety of ways. A dog may need to decrease their weight and increase their exercise levels to keep their joints loose. There are also medications which can be beneficial. Some dogs undergo acupuncture to help relieve some of the pain they are feeling. Accomodations can be made to make things easier on a dog as well. If the dog is a bed sleeper, building a ramp for them to walk up can be less painful on their joints than having to jump up and down every night.