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Dogs are family. Unlike our human family though, dogs can’t tell you if they are hurting or sick, which can turn even a minor illness into a major emergency. There are steps we can take to keep our dogs out of the vet’s office and on the couch enjoying snuggles. We love our dogs and want to do anything we can to make sure they live a long and joyful life. Here are three tips for keeping your dog happy and healthy.

Feed Them Nutritious Food 

It’s important to feed your dog healthy foods. Feeding them protein, grains, fruits, and vegetables is a great way to infuse nutrients and variety into their diet. Foods like chicken, rice, carrots or blueberries are good for dogs and can easily be incorporated into their meals. Although there are many foods that are safe for dogs, there is a fine line between which of the foods we eat are good for dogs and which are toxic.


One of the most common reasons for emergency vet visits is animals ingesting something toxic to them. The effects of animals eating toxic foods include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and, in severe cases, even death. It‘s a tragic situation that happens often, but is easily preventable. This is why it’s so important to keep a list of foods your dog can and cannot eat handy. Having a list like the one pictured below on your fridge could prevent one of your family members from feeding your dog a grape or a piece of chocolate that could make your pup sick.

Keep Track of Your Dog’s Health

Keeping track of your dog’s health makes vet visits and your daily life much simpler. Keeping a medical log and medication tracker on the fridge can help the whole family keep tabs on your pet’s wellbeing. The medication tracker is great for everyday use, as it can help you avoid forgetting to give your dog it’s medication and can help avoid incorrect dosing. A medical log is also great for tracking your pet’s vaccinations and helping you decide when to schedule their next check-up. 

Consider Pet Insurance When They’re Young

Puppies are quite accident prone, making emergency vet visits very common. They also don’t have well-developed immune systems yet, making them susceptible to illnesses or infections. Print out a pet health profile and keep it on the fridge for family members so they know who to call and where to go when your pet needs medical attention. 


Additionally, getting pet insurance while your dog is still a puppy has many advantages. Not only will pet insurance be beneficial for accidents or injuries, but it can also help cover them before they develop pre-existing conditions. Obtaining pet insurance after your dog has already developed pre-existing health conditions means that your insurance won’t cover veterinary care for that specific condition and you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket. 


If your pet has insurance before developing pre-existing conditions, your pet will be covered for any health issues that arise and you’ll get the financial support you need to prioritize their health. Even if you have an older pet, you’re still able to get coverage for them, but it’s best to start as young as possible so fewer pre-existing conditions will affect your policy. 


Most dog owners are more than willing to invest in their happiness and health. It’s so important to keep your dog healthy to avoid any suffering and ensure they have a good life. Although sickness and accidents are not completely preventable, feeding your pets nutritious food, tracking and prioritizing their health, and covering them in case of emergency will go a long way towards making sure they live a long, happy life.


Finding the best pet insurance policies through The Zebra (who provided these amazing printables) is another great way to make sure your dog is always taken care of. With a good pet insurance policy and a priority on maintaining their health, you can have peace of mind for your family and focus on enjoying life with your pet.

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