(NewsUSA) - Just like people, dogs feel much better when they are healthy. But unlike people, dogs can't take care of themselves. To keep your favorite furry friend on the track to wellness and better living, follow these tips:
* Exercise builds efficient bodies. Nothing makes a pooch happier than a stroll through the neighborhood. And while your dog's satisfying his curiosity by sniffing trees and bushes, he's also burning calories. For more intense physical activity, try throwing some balls or frisbees. This should make your dog run a little harder, helping expand lung capacity and tone muscle. No matter what activity you choose, your canine companion will enjoy the benefits of regular exercise while forging a stronger bond with you in the process.
* Protect your smiles. You probably remember to brush your own teeth, but doggie dental care often goes by the wayside.
* Read food labels. Unlike people, dog's can't read food labels. They are dependent upon their owners to give them the best possible nutrition. For dogs, make sure that the first ingredient listed is, for example, "Chicken," not "Chicken Flavor" or "Dog Food with Chicken" -- items that list the name of the meat contain 95 percent of that ingredient, while the "with" designation means that the food only contains 3 percent of chicken or beef.
* Visit the vet regularly. Similar to people visiting the doctor, dogs need regular veterinary care. Every dog has potential health risks it must guard against -- and many risks vary according to dog breed. Your dog's veterinarian will let you know when recommended vaccinations are due, give proper care to keep your dog healthy and notify you about potential health risks and treatments.