Your dog is your best friend and a true member of the family. You'd never intend to hurt him, and you put a lot of effort into ensuring that you do the best for his health and well-being. Unfortunately, a lot of dog owners unknowingly have habits that are bad for their dog's health. Here's a look at three unhealthy things you might do with your dog.
Feed the wrong table scraps.
A little bit of chicken or beef now and then isn't harmful, and in fact, it can be good for your dog's health. But many owners are not judicious enough when it comes to offering their dogs table scraps. Onions, garlic, and chives can be harmful to dogs, so you want to avoid feeding them any meats that have been seasoned with these ingredients. Undercooked meats and eggs are not safe either, as they may carry Salmonella bacteria. You don't want to feed to much salt or fat, as they can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Your best bet may be to keep some plain, cooked chicken or beef in the fridge to give to your dog (in small amounts) while you're enjoying your more seasoned dinner.
Not thinking about dental health.
Just because dogs don't typically go to the dentist does not mean that oral health is not an issue for them. A lot of dogs develop tooth decay and gingivitis as they age, and waiting until these issues appear to treat them is a painful, expensive approach. Instead, get into the habit of brushing your dog's teeth once a day. Use a toothpaste and toothbrush made just for dogs, and make sure that you get each tooth you can reach. Your vet can show you how to brush your dog's teeth if you're struggling. Give your dog plenty of chew toys to promote oral health, too.
Allowing your dog to become too fat.
Just as being too heavy is not good for you, it's not good for your dog, either. Some owners want their dogs to be fat because they think it makes them cute and shows that they're loved. But obesity can cause heart disease and diabetes in dogs too, and that's certainly not cute. Follow the feeding instructions on the back of your dog food bag, and keep treats to a minimum. If you dog is currently overweight, talk to your vet about a weight loss plan based on a lower-calorie diet and more exercise.
For more information, contact Orange Grove Animal Hospital or a similar location.