We love our dogs. They are always happy, always fun, and always making our lives so much better just by being there. In the U.S, 69 million households own a dog, and there’s little doubt that they are the country’s favourite furry friends. But as much as we need our dogs, they need us, too. Keeping your dog happy means keeping your dog healthy – and because they can’t tell us what they need, this is down to you to take care of.
Luckily, there are some top tips that you can follow to give your pup the best chance of having the happiest, healthiest life with you.
Taking your dog for daily walks should be a given, but many pooches are not walked enough. How much exercise a dog needs often depends on the breed, but a good rule of thumb is that dogs benefit from at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, and more energetic or working breeds will need longer than that. This does not just have to be walking – you can play fetch and catch, take them for a jog with you, teach them how to swim, and even set up an obstacle course to challenge their mind and body. Whatever you do, make sure your dog has plenty of water to see them through the activity.
Getting the right nutrition is an essential part of your dog’s healthy life. Make sure that your dog isn’t just eating scraps of human food – balanced, organic dog food is the best choice for them. Always keep them stocked up with fresh water and watch out for the number of treats they are given, as too many snacks can lead to obesity.
Dogs are, by nature, social creatures. Whatever age you get your dog, you need to normalise interacting with a range of different people and other dogs so that they become well-socialised creatures who won’t get spooked easily by new faces. Not only that, but play sessions with other dogs help them to expend their energy and decrease the chances of them becoming antisocial as time goes by.
Taking your pup for a yearly wellness check at the vet is a vital part of keeping them healthy. However, it is also essential that you keep on top of their health all throughout the year. If you notice that your dog seems lethargic or just not quite like themselves, then make sure to take them in for an extra check-up. Identifying and dealing with any issues as and when they arise is the best way to avoid them developing into more serious health conditions.
One thing your dog needs above anything else is plenty of affection from you and your family. This also strengthens their understanding that humans and even other animals are not a threat and encourages positive interactions elsewhere. Spending quality time with your dog where all you do is pet them, talk to them, and hang out is important when it comes to forming and sustaining a bond that will last a lifetime.
Dogs give us so much, and in return, it’s our responsibility to ensure they can live a happy and healthy life. Follow these five simple tips that anyone can do, and you’ll be well on your way to giving your dog the life they deserve.
Author: Elizabeth Long
“She earned a bachelor’s degree in English Language. She adores animals and currently owns a three-year-old Persian cat. She enjoys creating thoughtful blogs that provide readers with actionable takeaways.“