Caring for and raising a healthy and strong pup can be overwhelming at times. In many cases you just need simplicity. So here’s some simple and straightforward daily checklist type to-do’s that will keep your pup healthy, happy, and keep you away from expensive vet bills. Here’s a quick at a glance list! Be sure to keep reading for a full breakdown of each act of love your pup needs.
Daily Health Checklist for Your Pup
- Brush teeth
- Train your pup
- Age appropriate exercise
- Feed healthy meals
- Brush/comb coat
- Clean eyes
- Check foot pads for cracking/objects
Monthly Health Checklist for Your Pup
- Bathing or grooming
- Trimming nails
- Heartworm pill
- Flea and tick medication
Brushing Your Dog’s Teeth
You should be brushing your dog’s teeth every single day. The better care you are taking of your pup’s teeth at home, the less often you’ll need expensive professional cleaning.
One very important note about brushing your dog’s teeth is to only use dog-specific toothpaste. Human toothpaste typically contains xylitol which is extremely toxic to dogs.
Train Your Dog
Whether you have a brand new puppy, a new-to-you-dog, or even a senior pup, there is always an opportunity to train your pup! There are some great online dog training resources that can help with the basics like potty training, biting, leash pulling, and more!
5-10 minutes a day can dramatically strengthen your bond with your pup.
Age Appropriate Exercise
Just like us humans, exercise carries a host of benefits for dogs like a healthy heart, proper weight, and better behavior.
Of course, breed, health condition, and circumstances vary for each dog, so find out how much exercise your pup needs by consulting with your vet. Hiking, fetch, running, walks, swimming, and tug of war are just a few ways to help get your pup’s energy out!
Feed Healthy Meals
Have you ever walked down the pet food aisle? The only more complex and confusing thing out there is a tax return form.
I won’t dive too deep into this topic, but find a high-quality food that has real-food ingredients. Look for a high protein recipe made from real meat sources, healthy fruits and veggies, and all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
Just like you and me, pups need mental stimulation every single day! When dogs aren’t mentally stimulated, that’s when problem behaviors from boredom will occur.
Try games like tug of war, fetch, puzzle games or other fun forms of play!
Brush or Comb Coat
Whether you have a short or long-haired breed, it’s a good idea to brush or comb them every day or so.
For long-haired breeds, it can help with matting and other common problems. And for short-haired pups, it will help reduce shedding.
Some dogs are extremely prone to “tears” and constant gunk. For dogs that have excessive gunk or tears, you can find eye cleaning solutions and prevention solutions.
For the everyday tears and gunk, use a clean damp rag to remove it, not your bare fingers.
Check Foot Pads for Cracking or Embedded Objects
It can save your pup from serious pain by just checking their paws once a day for any splinters, thorns, or other objects.
Another thing to keep your eye on, especially in the winter, is cracked paw pads. There are lots of natural remedies, like coconut oil to help repair the paws.
Bathing or Grooming
You should bathe or groom your pup at least once a month. Of course, you may need to clean your pup more or less depending on their circumstances.
Keeping your dog bathed and groomed can help you notice any growths or skin issues. Plus, it’ll help your pup’s coat stay soft and shiny!
Letting nails get too long can cause serious foot and joint problems and pain for your pup.
You can choose to have this done professionally (many groomers offer this service) or even at home with clippers.
Of course, this should be done according to your vet’s direction. It’s very important to keep your pup up to date with their heartworm pill!
Flea and Tick Medication
Depending on where you live, fleas and ticks can be a major nuisance for your dog. Not only can that be bothersome and painful, but they can actually cause more serious viruses and diseases.
Some medications need to be applied topically while others are administered orally. Stay on top of your flea and tick medications monthly or as is required for your pup.
Keeping your pup happy and healthy doesn’t have to be overwhelming or stressful. Just stick to these simple to-do’s! Because, ultimately, a healthy pup is one that stays with your family for many years to come.