How to Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy

If your pooch is more than a pet, it’s important to look after their health and help them have a long and happy life as part of your family. There are a variety of ways you can do this.
Know The Breed’s Needs

Different breeds have different needs, and it is very important to know the exact requirements of your pet to keep them both happy and healthy. Some basic needs are universally essential for keeping any dog healthy regardless of its breed. They are as follows: a well maintained and healthy diet, regular exercise, plenty of care and affection, and regular visits to the vet to make sure the dog’s body is performing as it should be. All dogs need both mental and physical stimulation, but some more than others. Keep high energy dogs such as border collies and spaniels well stimulated to prevent boredom.  Should you have to leave your dog alone make sure there are a variety of toys for them to play with. When your dog is bored, it is far more likely to destroy items in your house. When you leave your dog alone, especially if the dog is young and not yet trained, it finds its own entertainment - making your favorite sofa cushions more appealing than ever.

Maintain A Healthy Diet

Some dogs require specialized diets, and the age of the animal, its size, and its health dictates this. Puppies need added protein and fat in their diet in comparison to adult dogs. Puppies grow 20 times faster than adult dogs, so it’s clear why their nutritional diet varies from that of adult dogs. Many tried and tested commercial brands can contain all the nutrients your dog needs, often by way of dried food. Some wet foods, containing fresh meat have been found to be in-fact 80% water - falling short on all accounts of healthy canine nutrition.  Buying the cheaper dog food might sound appealing to you at first, however, in the long run, purchasing the premium branded dog food might actually save you money in vets bills further down the line. Pick a brand that uses natural and wholesome ingredients when you can, and see that your dog’s bowl doesn't vary in its contents too much. Stick to a routine as much as you can, as variety in your pooch’s diet can wreak havoc on their digestion.

Regular Vet Check-Ups

Although both you and your mutt might similarly dislike the prospect of going to the vet, health check-ups are an absolutely necessary part of being a responsible pet owner. In the event of your dog being prescribed medicine to take, you want to administer the drugs with the least stress caused to your pet as possible. Getting your dog to swallow pills can be borderline impossible; even with gentle persuasion, your pet will often refuse to take the tablets, which is quite understandable considering they are far from being a palatable meaty treat. Your dog isn't silly, and has a sense of smell that outreaches far beyond the capabilities of the human nose, making it able to sniff straight through your thinly veiled guise. If you’re tired of trying and failing to coerce your dog to take its pills, even when masterfully (so you thought) disguised in its food bowl, then it’s time to look elsewhere for resolution. Pop your dog's medication into PawsIQ pet pill pockets to fool it into thinking they’re getting a tasty treat without their dose of daily medication hidden inside.

Limit Treats 

Any dog whose weight exceeds that which is considered healthy for its breed is at risk of disease. The worst offending items for causing weight gain are sugar and fat, although any food consumed in too great a quantity can put your dog’s health at risk. Try to keep excess sugar out of your dog’s diet; either limit sugar or remove it completely. Your dog can get its full nutritional needs from a balanced diet of good quality dog kibble. You may know that dogs shouldn’t have chocolate as the cocoa in chocolate is poisonous, however, did you know that they shouldn’t have raisins, sultanas and grapes either? There are toxins in the latter that can be fatal for dogs if consumed even in a small amount. Find out more about keeping your dog safe from intoxication by conducting thorough research and asking your vet - you cannot be too careful when it comes to the health of your beloved pet.

Check for Lice

Regularly check your dog’s skin for signs of lice, fleas, ticks and any other undesirables that may be hiding. Have a look inside their ear - this is best done when your dog is relaxed so as not to cause unnecessary irritation and head shaking. Have a look inside the ear when your dog is sleeping beside you on the sofa, for example. Should you see any critters or small droppings inside the ear, then be sure to apply treatment and ointment as quickly as you can. If you’ve been walking near or through any type of field, its advisable to check your dog for ticks afterwards and after every time you’ve been out in these areas. Get hold of a  handy tick remover and some ointment to rub on the affected site after you’ve pulled out the critter.

Walks and Talks

Large muscular dogs, like hunting dogs, require the most activity. Smaller dogs with shorter legs, like the Yorkshire terrier, require the least. As a general rule of thumb, excluding those that are unwell or elderly, dogs need to be exercised daily for between 30 minutes and 2 hours. Some breeds, such as the pug and the bulldog are classified as being low energy, so a brisk walk of about 30 minutes should suffice. For optimum mental health and happiness, ensure you don’t leave your dog alone for repeated lengths of time. Try not to make a habit of leaving your dog alone for the full day.  Ask whether a neighbour can pop in during the day to make sure your pet is all right, not trashing the house out of boredom, and that they have enough to eat and a full bowl of fresh water. Should you have to leave your dog at home while you’re at work, consider leaving the radio playing quietly - having this background noise can be comforting.

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1 comment:

  1. I no longer have a dog, Tim and I go away too often now days so a pet doesn't fit in with our lifestyle at the moment that said this was a bloody great post


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