Whether you’ve decided to bring a new member into your household or you’re already the happy owner of a furry friend, you surely want what’s best for your pet. Dogs are great companions, but they can be a lot more than that. They’re great for alleviating stress and anxiety, they give you unconditional love, they encourage you to be more active and even make you more social. There’s simply no denying that life is better with a dog. For all the joy and happiness they bring, dogs deserve all our affection and care.
As a dog parent, you have to brush up on your pet care tips, to make sure your four-legged friend is living its best life. So, here are a few tips that will help you keep your dog healthy and happy for many years to come.
Dogs have a lot of energy, especially when they’re younger. Unlike cats, they’re not going to spend it if they’re kept inside the house all the time and only taken outside for short walks. That can make your dog feel restless and lead to numerous health issues such as obesity or anxiety-based conditions.
Make sure your pooch has enough outdoor time to burn all that energy. They need ample space to run around and play. Regular walks and hikes should become a routine for you and your dog. When he’s inside, you have to keep him busy and provide mental stimulation and give him plenty of toys to play with.
Different dogs have different nutritional needs, so keep this in mind when creating a meal plan for your pet. First, you have to make sure that the food you choose suits your dog’s specific dietary requirements. Try not to give in to the marketing hype and learn to read the labels instead. A bit of research will help you figure out if common dog food ingredients, such as chicken meat powder, are good for your dog or not.
You might also be tempted to spoil your dog by giving him as many treats as he wants. While this might come from a good place, it may be detrimental to your dog’s health. Make sure not to overfeed your dog and try to limit treats. Also, if your dog has any allergies or intolerances, it’s best to consult with your vet before introducing any new foods in his diet.
Avoid dangerous foods
Knowing what you shouldn’t feed your dog is just as important as knowing what you should feed your dog. A lot of people don’t realize that certain human foods are toxic for dogs, so you should think twice before sharing your meal with your furry friend.
Apart from researching healthy and unhealthy ingredients for dogs or finding out where pet food producers source their ingredients, you should also be aware of the foods that might make your dog sick. There’s a whole list of things that you should never feed your dog, including chocolate, alcohol, coffee, grapes and raisins, macadamia nuts, onion, salt, garlic, avocado, or xylitol. If your dog eats something that it shouldn’t, take it to the vet right away, so it can receive proper treatment.
Regular visits to the vet
Speaking of vet visits, some pet owners only take their dogs to the vet when there’s something wrong with them. Unfortunately, in some cases, when symptoms appear it might be too late to do something. A lot of health issues that dogs experience could be prevented by regular checkups.
Find a vet that you trust and take your pet for annual health checks, even if they appear to be in top condition. By assessing your dog’s health condition regularly, vets get the opportunity to identify any health issues early on and prescribe the necessary treatments before they turn into something bigger. Prevention is always better than cure.
Spay or neuter
There are multiple benefits to getting your dog spayed or neutered. For females, spaying not only helps avoid unwanted pregnancies, but it also stops them from going into heat and prevents various cancers and ailments such as breast cancer and pyometra, or infection of the uterus.
For males, neutering can help keep certain undesirable behaviors at bay, as it will reduce the tendency to roam and fight. From a medical perspective, neutering can help prevent common health issues such as testicular cancer or prostate disease. These small interventions can help dogs live a longer and healthier life.
You might think of dog grooming as something that might seem a bit superficial, but apart from the aesthetic aspect, grooming is also important for your dog’s wellbeing. All dogs need to have their nails trimmed, their fur brushed, and regular baths to keep them looking and feeling great. You can do this at home. The frequency of these actions largely depends on each breed, as long-haired dogs might require extra care and attention, and maybe a visit to the grooming salon every once in a while.
Grooming sessions also provide a good opportunity to check for any signs that might indicate a health issue, such as dandruff, skin spots, bald patches, or lumps. If you notice anything worrying, you should contact your vet and he’ll be able to give adequate advice.
Spend time together
All the aspects that we mentioned above can ensure a healthy lifestyle for your dog, but there’s one element missing from the equation and that is affection. A dog is the happiest when it’s next to its owner, so do try to spend as much time as possible with your pet.
Dogs can never get tired of cuddles and belly rubs, and they yearn for your love and attention. Spending time together and showing your dog affection will help you form a stronger bond, which will make both of you happy.