Can you believe that 2022 is less than one month away? Many of us are starting to think about what we would like next year to look like.
While we think about resolutions such as getting more physical activity or even less screen time, we might want to take a second and think about our pets. Just like your own health, a new year means that routine doctor visits and health maintenance are on the horizon. But what does this mean for your dog? We are providing you with an easy dog care sheet for 2022, giving a reference of the best way to care for your pooch in the upcoming year.
How Old is Your Dog?
First, think about the age of your dog. How old will your dog be in the coming year of 2022?
This is a relevant question for several reasons. For example, puppy care and senior dog care look a lot different. There will be a slightly different experience during the vet visit for these two age brackets.
Meanwhile, middle-age dogs will also have their own needs during the upcoming year.
If your dog is a puppy or you are thinking about adopting one, be prepared for several vet visits this year. The puppy will need several series of shots and checkups to ensure that they are healthy and growing on track.
Meanwhile, a middle-age dog, which typically begins around seven years of age, can get away with one or two visits to the vet during the year.
If your dog is a senior, he or she may need more regular veterinary visits. This all depends on the health and even breed of your dog. This is because larger dogs tend to not live as long as smaller dogs, and a 10-year-old Pomeranian can behave and feel a lot different than a 10-year-old Great Dane.
It’s always important to keep the age of your dog in mind for other reasons, such as nutritional needs and exercise habits. If you are unsure of the age of your dog, ask your veterinarian or a vet technician. They can typically provide you with a guess on how old your dog is.
A Look at Your Dog’s Diet
You might be wanting to make adjustments to your own diet in the new year, but what about the diet of your dog? Nutritional habits are also important, and this easy care sheet can give you some guidance into canine nutrition.
As we mentioned, the age of your dog will make a difference in terms of what kind of food they consume. For example, senior dogs will typically need food that is higher in protein than a middle-age dog.
Puppies also have their own special nutrient requirements. The best course of action is to purchase dog food importance to the age guidelines. If you have a senior dog, try to buy pet food that is intentionally made for seniors. The same goes for puppies.
Furthermore, the amount of food that you feed your dogs is also a consideration. Highly active dogs can usually get away with slightly more food intake, as they can withstand the extra calories without gaining weight. But if you have a senior dog that does not exercise much, they can sometimes get away with slightly less food than even a serving suggestion. However, before you consider giving your dog less food than was recommended, always take the advice of your veterinarian.
The idea is to supply your dog with the nutrients they need while preventing obesity. Pet obesity can have serious consequences while impacting your dog’s quality of life.
Your Dog’s Exercise Habits
Now that you have an idea about your dog’s nutritional needs, now it’s time to think about exercise habits.
Exercise is important for all dogs, of any age and all breeds. Wild dogs, especially greyhounds, can be notorious as being couch potatoes, it’s really best if you provide them with intentional exercise opportunities.
What does exercise look like for your dog? This answer can vary yet again depending on the breed and age of your dog.
Small breed dogs such as Pomeranians or miniature pinschers can benefit from a short daily walk.
On the other hand, active dog breeds such as Labradors or golden retrievers need room to run. If you were able to give your lab access to a lake or another body of water, keep in mind that they love to swim as well.
Puppies are naturally active, and they are typically on the go almost always. If you are worried about the activity level of your puppy, it is important that you contact your veterinarian. A very inactive puppy is a potential sign of sickness.
Thinking Ahead for Routine Vet Care
This is a big one for this easy dog care sheet for 2022. Now is the time to think about routine vet care, considering everything that you will need to have done in the year ahead.
If your dog has not been to a veterinary check-up within the last year, it is best to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. The condition of health can change over a year with a dog, especially if the dog is older. You want to have blood work done, which can check kidney levels and make sure they are functioning well. This is especially true if you have a breed of dog that is predisposed to kidney disease or kidney failure, such as Pomeranians are miniature pinschers.
Generally, a routine veterinary check-up makes sure that everything is in working order with your pup. Your veterinarian will check the bones and posture of your dog, checking for signs of potential arthritis if your dog is older. This is also true if your dog is predisposed to potential arthritis problems, such as labs.
Your veterinarian will also do other routine check-ups such as checking your dog’s heart and eyes.
At this routine check-up, you will also want to tell your veterinarian about any behavior changes. If your dog is acting differently, this can be a sign of pain or illness. This is why it is important to keep tabs on your dog’s behavior over time.
Don’t Forget Grooming
Veterinary care is important, but so is the act of grooming. Ensuring that your dog is groomed and bathed on a regular basis not only makes your dog look better, but it makes him feel better as well.
A grooming routine looks different for each dog, especially determining their breed and hair length. A long-haired dog will require regular grooming, including a hair trim throughout the year.
All dogs should be bathed. However, you do not want to be them too often as it will strip the oils off their skin which makes it dry.
Furthermore, every dog breed needs to have her nails trimmed. This is incredibly important for the comfort and health of your dog. Allowing too much time to pass between nail trims risks the nail curling into the pads of their feet. When this happens, it can become incredibly painful for your dog to walk.
If your dog’s nails grow too quickly, you can consider getting them trimmed once a month. Pay attention to the length of the dogs now. If you hear a lot of clicking on the floor when your dog walks, it’s time to contact the vet for an appointment.
If you choose to cut the dog’s nail yourself, please proceed with caution, cutting too far down into the nail will injure the quick, which can cause a large amount of bleeding.
Does Your Dog Need a Dental?
One of the last important elements to consider for this easy dog care sheet is your dog’s teeth. Just like people, dogs need their teeth cared for to prevent pain and tooth loss.
Over time, tartar will build up on your dog’s teeth. Too much tartar can cause problems such as gum disease. Teeth can also become infected, which causes extreme pain for your dog.
Unfortunately, it is common for dogs’ teeth to be extracted during a dental cleaning. However, don’t fret as happens to your dog. Extracting teeth that are infected can bring a lot of relief to your pup in terms of pain.
Are you concerned about the condition of your dog’s teeth? If so, be sure to schedule an appointment and come in sooner than later. We all know how painful it is to have teeth that hurt, and this is the same for your dog.
We hope that this easy dog care sheet helps give you some ideas of how to better care for your dog in 2022. As usual, if you have any questions or concerns about the health of your dog or his or her care, please reach out to us. We are a full-service veterinary clinic, fully equipped to help your pup with whatever you need.