Owning a dog is a big responsibility. As a pet parent, you want your dog to be as healthy as possible, so you can enjoy quality time for as long as possible. While there is no guarantee for a healthy dog, there are many things you can do to help keep your dog as healthy as possible.
Is your dog drinking as much as he should? The answer may actually surprise you. Your dog’s ancestors got most of their hydration from their prey, so their thirst reflex is not as strong as it could be. On top of that, the most common food type is kibble, which is an abnormally dry food no matter what species you are.
Keep clean, fresh water available for your dog at all times, and consider supplementing your dog with moist food or adding water to kibble for extra hydration.
Your dog spends most of his life waiting for you to come home. Many destructive behaviors crop up due to boredom, including destroying the house, digging holes in the yard, and excessive barking. You can help reduce these behaviors by providing enrichment activities for your pet, such as a sandbox with treats and toys hidden to dig for, and a kong stuffed with food when you’re gone.
#3 Quality food
Just like humans have junk food and healthy food, there are healthy brands of food and unhealthy brands. Look for quality ingredients in your pets dog food, and avoid feeding your dog food with poor quality ingredients. Most people choose to only feed one brand for your dog’s lifetime, which means if your dog is being fed a poor quality food, it’s junk food for life.
#4 Regular check ups
By the time you notice a health problem with your dog, it may be too late for life saving treatment. Regular checkups can help pinpoint problems like heart failure, cancer, and diabetes early, while they still have the best chance at being treated. Your dog should also have his teeth evaluated every year to see if he needs a dental, as well as other basic health maintenance.
#5 Regular Exercise
Obesity is one of the most common health issues in pets, and can shorten their life by several years. A fat dog is an unhealthy dog, and more prone to metabolic diseases such as thyroid problems and diabetes. Help your dog stay fit by taking them for regular walks and staying fit through other mediums of exercise!
#6 Regular grooming
Even if your dog is a short hair, he needs regular grooming in order to be healthy. This means keeping the nails short and the teeth brushed at the bare minimum. Dental disease effects almost all dogs over the age of 3, and can be deadly. Brushing your dog’s teeth daily can save his life. Nail trims are also vital to your dog’s health, as nails that are even slightly too long can push on your dog’s joints, making them more prone to arthritis.
If your dog is nervous about nail trims, try offering him the best cbd oil for dogs so he can feel more relaxed about the process.
Training may not seem like it is directly linked to your dog’s health, but it can be deceptively important. A dog that isn’t kennel trained may complicate his own recovery if he’s ever injured or has to stay overnight at a vet, and a dog that won’t come when called can get struck by a car and killed.
Regular training is vital to your dog’s health and wellbeing, and should be ongoing even into old age. It’s never too late for your dog to learn something, so you can start today even if he’s an older dog.
#8 Love your pet
All the things we do for our pet need to come from a heart of love. Even if you can’t afford the fanciest food, or the most expensive collar, your dog will know if you love him—and he’ll shine that love back to you. In the end, that’s what dog ownership is really about.