A healthy dog is an active dog with plenty of stimuli, a balanced diet and a loving caring environment in which it knows it’s place. Big dogs generally need big exercise so be prepared to spend many hours in parks, forests, fields. Not only is it healthy for them, but healthy for you. Taking the opportunity to jog a little with them, chase them about and throw balls for them will give you much of the recommended daily exercise we need to keep us healthy too. It is an excellent opportunity to bond with your dog, to let it socialise and for you to meet people.
Much to do with a dogs health is the same for us humans. Just as we need a balanced diet and regular meals, so do they. Overfeeding or giving your dog too many treats can quickly lead to obesity making your dog more lethargic and less willing to exercise. Extra strain will be placed on bones, joints, the heart & respiratory system. All of these are likely to lead you through the door to your vets & cost you money, when it was probably avoidable in the first place. Just because they look at you with big puppy eyes and make you feel guilty, does not mean you have to feed them. With proper training and an established routine, they will know when they get fed and not pester you.
Regular vaccinations, flea and worming treatments are important to maintain the health of your dog. Visits for vaccinations are an opportunity for your vet to check the overall health of your dog and to let you know of possible problems at an early stage. Owners need to be aware of changes to their dogs as these can all be an early sign of an ill health problem. A change of eating or drinking habits, sleep patterns, level of playfulness, the colour of their skin or faeces can all be little clues that your dog has a health problem. Your dog should also have regular dental checks otherwise complications can be more difficult to put right & will be more costly.
Different breeds suffer different hereditary conditions and it is important when choosing your dog that you know what you might be letting yourself in for. Not all breeders are good breeders and you should spend time doing research before buying. It is often wise to take someone with you who is not emotionally attached to the decision to buy. A little objectivity could save you a lot of problems in the future.
At Cherrydown we think preventative care and making the right choices when you purchase are essential for you to get and maintain a happy healthy dog. If you have or are thinking of getting a big dog, why not come to our free Big Dog Talk on Thursday 10th May at our Basildon Branch. Our orthopaedic specialist will give you information about some of the more common conditions he treats and our Director Jonathan Nurse will be on hand to answer more general questions. With refreshment provided, it is an ideal opportunity to meet other big dog owners and some of our staff on an informal basis.
To book your free place for this event go to http://bigdogtalkessex.eventbrite.co.uk/ and we look forward to seeing you on Thursday 10th May , 8.15pm at our Basildon Surgery (The Paddock, 53 Cherrydown West, Basildon Essex SS16 5AW).