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To Your Dog’s Health: Starting 2016 on the Right Paw

By: Jeff Noce, Voyce President

The start of a new year is the perfect time to take additional steps to ensure your dog lives a healthier, happier life. Begin by making an appointment to get your pup thoroughly checked out by your veterinarian.

During a routine visit, the following are typically checked by your vet. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or relay any concerns you may have. Being an engaged member of your dog’s “health team” is one of the best things you can do to keep him in tip-top shape!

Weight

Approximately 54% of American pets are overweight, according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. As with humans, excess weight can lead to life-threatening health issues including diabetes, kidney disease, heart and respiratory disease and osteoarthritis. It can also decrease a pet’s life expectancy by up to 2.5 years. If your pet needs to shed a few pounds, ask your vet for a diet and exercise program appropriate to his needs.

Appearance of Teeth

Periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition in dogs and cats. Like excess weight, this condition can compromise your pet’s overall health. Luckily, this is relatively easy to treat, especially if caught early. Certain chews can help keep plaque to a minimum, and regular professional teeth cleanings will do the rest.

Condition of Skin

If your dog has dry, flaky skin, your veterinarian will try to uncover the cause. Many times, this is simply a result of low humidity during the winter months. But it can also be due to more serious conditions such as allergies, poor diet, bacterial infections, fleas or parasites, or thyroid issues.

Heart and Lungs

During your visit, your vet will listen to your dog’s heart and lungs for any abnormal sounds. About 10% of all dogs have heart disease, and the incidence of heart disease increases as dog age. Although it can be a frightening diagnosis, there are a variety of treatment options available to extend both the quality and quantity of a dog’s life. As with so many health conditions, though, the sooner it’s caught, the more effective the treatment.

Joints and Mobility

We often think of joint and mobility problems as a senior dog issue. But the truth is that even young, active pups can experience joint injuries and pain. Unfortunately, even the most observant pet parent may miss subtle signs of pain because dogs are so adept at hiding their discomfort. An experienced professional should be able to diagnose both acute and chronic joint problems before they get worse.

For additional peace of mind, ask your vet about The Voyce Pro Wellness Monitoring Program™. By remotely accessing data collected by your dog’s Voyce Health Monitor™, your veterinary team is able to gain crucial insight into how your dog is really feeling by tracking key vital signs, activity metrics, quality of rest and more.

With this information, you and your vet can work together to proactively identify potential problems and/or modify current therapies as needed to improve your dog’s health and comfort level.

Enrollment in the Voyce Pro Wellness Monitoring Program empowers you and your vet to provide a new level of personalized care to your best friend.

I’d like to hear from you! If you have questions you’d like me to address on this blog regarding pet health or behavior, send an email to askjeff@mydogsvoyce.com.