• Login

This section doesn’t currently include any content. Add content to this section using the sidebar.

Image caption appears here

Add your deal, information or promotional text

How to Keep Your Dog Healthy: 11 Tips for New Pet Parents

  • 8 min read

Becoming a dog parent is a big responsibility. You need to invest a lot of time and energy in ensuring they can enjoy a long, happy, and healthy life. It can sound overwhelming, but don’t worry; we’ll help you navigate through the journey of raising a happy and healthy dog.

In this article, we have put together 11 tips that will help you learn more about how to keep your dog healthy. These simple tips will allow you to keep your pup feeling their best.

11 Tips to Keep Your Dog Healthy 

1. Provide a Well-Balanced Diet
2. Exercise Regularly
3. Provide Plenty of Fresh Water
4. Schedule Regular Vet Visits
5. Keep an Eye on Their Weight
6. Keep them Well-Groomed
7. Focus on Their Mental Health
8. Brush Their Teeth Regularly
9. Dog-Proof Your Home
10. Spend Quality Time With Them 
11. Educate Yourself on Pet Care

Let’s discuss these tips in more detail.

1. Provide a Well-Balanced Diet 

We know the importance of feeding a healthy diet to a dog, but it can be hard to understand what constitutes a well-balanced meal. That's why the best way to ensure your dog receives a good diet is to consult with a veterinarian. They can recommend good-quality dog food brands and necessary supplements based on your dog’s nutritional needs. They can also advise you about the feeding frequency and portion sizes.

But in general, below we have listed a few things you should know when feeding your dog a healthy diet:

  • Buy high-quality dog food that contains a balance of quality protein, fibers, fats, and other nutrients. Look for the AAFCO statement that says the food is complete and balanced for the life stage of the dog. 
  • Consider supplementing their meal with healthy fruits and vegetables like blueberries and carrots. 
  • Monitor their portion sizes and avoid overfeeding or underfeeding.
  • Make sure that around 90% of their daily calories come from a complete and balanced diet and the remaining 10% from other sources like treats
  • Don’t feed them table scraps.
  • Avoid certain ingredients like chocolate and onions, as they can be toxic for dogs
  • When introducing them to a new food ingredient, start small and watch out for signs of allergic reactions.

2. Exercise Regularly  

Regular exercise is very important for maintaining the physical and mental health of a dog. It helps in improving their digestion, strengthening muscles and bones, reducing stress, and preventing various diseases. However, the amount of exercise they need depends heavily on their age and breed.

For example, a puppy requires more regular exercise but for a shorter amount of time a day vs. adult dogs. Similarly, low-energy breeds, like Chihuahuas or Bulldogs, require less exercise than high-energy breeds, like Border Collies or German Shepherds.

If you’re a new dog parent, you should understand their requirements and establish a regular exercise routine that works for both of you. It’s also recommended to try different types of exercise, like frisbees and tug toys, to keep your dog interested and engaged. 

Furthermore, if your dog is reluctant to exercise, you might need to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

3. Provide Plenty of Fresh Water 

Your dog’s body needs proper hydration to perform vital functions like regulating body temperature, transporting nutrients, and removing waste products from the body. And just like us, they also have a natural instinct that tells them when they are thirsty and need to drink water. So make sure you keep their bowl filled with fresh drinking water at all times.

As a general guide, a dog needs an ounce of water per pound of body weight per day. So if your dog weighs 50 pounds, they need around 50 ounces of water daily. But this can vary depending on the weather conditions, medication, and activity level of your dog. 

Also, in case you notice anything unusual, like they aren’t drinking enough water or are suddenly drinking a lot more, then it might be a signal for an underlying health problem. You should consult a veterinarian in such situations.

4. Schedule Regular Vet Visits

Regular vet visits allow a veterinarian to monitor your pet's overall health, identify potential health issues, administer proper vaccinations, and provide preventive care that’ll help keep your dog happy and healthy. Ideally, you should schedule at least one veterinary check-up every year, but some dogs might need more frequent visits depending on their age and health.

During these visits, you can expect your veterinarian to perform a thorough physical and dental examination of your dog. They might even prescribe supplements or medications to maintain proper nutrition.

5. Keep an Eye on Their Weight 

Obesity is a common health issue in dogs. It’s often caused due to overfeeding, lack of exercise, or certain medical conditions. If left untreated, it can lead to numerous health problems, including diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and joint problems.

Thus it’s important for you to recognize the early signs of obesity and take the necessary steps to monitor and manage your dog’s weight from an early age.

Below are some practical tips you can follow to prevent obesity in your dog:

  • Use measuring cups or food scales to determine the recommended serving size for your dog

  • Encourage regular exercises like walking, playing fetch, and other physical activities

  • Give them a healthy and well-balanced meal that contains quality protein, fats, fiber, and other nutrients. Look for the AAFCO statement that says the food is complete and balanced for the life stage of the dog.

  • Avoid feeding them table scraps

  • Follow the 90/10 food rule to ensure that their treats don’t exceed 10% of their daily calorie intake

  • If you notice signs of obesity, including weight gain, difficulty in walking, shortness of breath, abdominal sagging, etc., reduce their daily calorie intake by 10% and consult a veterinarian. 

6. Keep them Well-Groomed 

Grooming your dog isn’t just about making them look good, it should be an essential part of their well-being as it helps maintain their physical health and hygiene. For example, bathing them once a month helps to keep their coat free of dirt and parasites, while regularly brushing their coat helps remove dead hair, prevent matting, and distribute oils throughout the coat.

Similarly, other grooming practices like cleaning their ears helps prevent infections, and regular teeth brushing can prevent dental problems.

Now, how often you have to perform these grooming tasks depends on your dog's breed, coat type, activity level, and health condition. If they have thick coats, they might need frequent brushing, similarly, if you have a breed that’s more prone to ear infections, you should check and clean their ears more frequently.

Also, depending on your dog's coat type and grooming needs, you can also consider visiting a professional groomer for regular grooming sessions.

7. Focus on Their Mental Health 

Just like humans, dogs can also experience mental health problems, ranging from anxiety, stress, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and phobias. These can be caused due to an underlying health condition, traumatic past experiences, change in environment, lack of socialization, or aging.    

You should look out for some common signs of mental health problems in dogs, including excessively licking, barking, or whining, destructive behavior, lack of appetite, trembling, etc. If you suspect your dog has a mental health problem, you should consult a veterinarian or animal behaviorist.

Furthermore, we recommend you follow these tips to prevent or manage your dog’s mental health issues:

  • Socialize your dog by taking them to dog parks, organizing play groups, and introducing them to different people

  • Maintain a proper and consistent routine

  • Buy fun puzzle toys to keep them busy and entertained

  • Use positive reinforcement training

  • Avoid aversive training like yelling or leash popping

  • Create a calm & safe environment at home

  • Avoid any sudden environmental changes 

  • Consult a veterinarian in case of a traumatic incident like an accident or loss of a companion

8. Brush Their Teeth Regularly 

Dental health is often an overlooked aspect of a dog’s health. But you should know that poor dental hygiene can result in a buildup of plaque and tartar which cause a number of oral health problems, including tooth decay, gum inflammation, gingivitis, bad breath, and periodontal disease.

These dental problems can also affect your dog's overall health as the bacteria in the plaque and tartar can enter their bloodstream and increase the risk of liver, heart, and kidney diseases.

To avoid these problems, you should take good care of your dog's teeth by regularly brushing them with a toothbrush and toothpaste that’s specifically designed for dogs. Apart from that, you can also offer your dog dental chew toys and water additives to promote good dental hygiene.

9. Dog-Proof Your Home 

Dogs are naturally curious, which means they can easily get into things that can be dangerous or harmful to them. That’s why you should make your home safe and secure by removing any dangerous items or potential hazards that can cause injury or illness to your dog.

Here’re some tips you can follow to dog-proof your home:

  • Keep your medications and household chemicals on high shelves that are out of reach for your dog

  • Secure trash cans or place them inside a cabinet

  • Move electrical cords or use cord covers

  • Use childproof latches or baby gates to prevent them from entering unsafe areas like the pantry or storage rooms

  • Don’t leave loose items like coins or jewelry within your dog's reach 

10. Spend Quality Time With Them 

Spending quality time with your furry friend can be incredibly beneficial for both you and your dog. It can provide them with the right mental stimulation and a feeling of companionship while helping you relax and de-stress after a hard day.

You can either take them for a walk to explore the outdoors, play games like fetch, or teach them new tricks. If you are too tired for this or you want to relax, just snuggle up with them while watching TV and spend some time together. You will quickly find out what activities your dog prefers. 

11. Educate Yourself on Pet Care 

For every new pet parent, the most important thing is to continuously educate yourself about your dog’s needs and requirements, which can vary based on their breed, age, and health conditions. This allows you to learn and understand more about their personalities, behavior, nutrition, training, and safety. It also makes it easier to provide them with the care they need to live a happy and healthy life.

You can start by reading books and online resources, attending workshops, and consulting with veterinarians or animal trainers. There are also many online groups and forums that you can join to connect with other dog owners to share experiences and for support.


Summing Up: How to Keep Your Dog Healthy?

Keeping your dog happy and healthy includes taking care of their physical and mental well-being. It requires a combination of regular exercise, a nutritious diet, socialization, proper grooming, preventative care, and loads of love and attention.

Additionally, it also includes scheduling regular veterinary check-ups to identify and treat potential health issues and administer proper vaccinations. This also gives you an opportunity to talk to your veterinarian about creating a customized nutrition and exercise plan as per your dog's age, breed, and activity level.


Let’s answer some frequently asked questions about keeping a dog healthy.

1. How do you keep your dog healthy?

Keeping your dog healthy is a big responsibility that requires attention to both their physical and mental well-being. It includes providing a well-balanced diet and regular exercise that promotes a healthy weight and proper growth. It also includes keeping them well-groomed, maintaining good dental hygiene, and taking preventative care.

2. How much exercise does my dog need?

How much exercise your dog needs depends on their age and breed. For example, puppies are very energetic, and they might need more regular exercise, but for a shorter time, vs. an adult dog. Similarly, there are some low-energy breeds, like Chihuahuas, that need less exercise than high-energy breeds, like Border Collies. 

Ultimately, it's best to work with a veterinarian to determine an exercise routine for your dog.

3. How often should I schedule vet checkups for my dog?

Generally, it’s recommended to schedule vet checkups once every year, however, some dogs might need more frequent visits depending on their age and health.

Join Our Pack

Sign up for our monthly newsletter focused on dog digestion health, cute pup stories, and the latest scoop from Nextrition. 





. . .


Please select any recipe