Your dog isn’t just a pet, it’s as much a companion as any member of the family. And because you love it as much as anyone else you share your life with, you want to keep your dog healthy and happy. But how do you avoid dog health problems? Here are 7 tips for good dog health you can follow to ensure your canine companion a happy life:
- Proper and Nutritious Diet.
Provide a high quality dog food in the proper amount for your dog’s weight. A high quality dog food is specifically formulated to meet your dog’s physiological needs without a lot of needless fillers and chemical additives. Also, limit the snacks and treats to fruits, veggies, and high quality dog snacks to avoid dog health problems like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Avoid sharing junk foods. They’re aren’t any more healthy for dogs than they are for people.
- Exercise Daily.
Dogs are naturally very active and require a lot of exercise including even the smallest breeds. Taking your dog on a 20 to 30 minute walk at least once a day keeps it’s body functioning properly, joints lubricated and muscles toned. It also helps to burn off excess energy and allows your dog to stay relaxed. Without this type of release, dogs can become nervous and that leads to destructive habits like chewing, barking and jumping. Besides, a little fresh air can benefit both of you.
Every dog needs rules. They’re pack animals by nature and psychologically require a clearly defined hierarchy to be relaxed. Spending a little time each day training and teaching your dog basic commands like “sit”, “stay”, “down” and “leave it” not only makes your life much easier, but your dog will have a clearer understanding of who’s in charge and what’s expected. Consistency is key. Lack of rules or inconsistent rules can leave a dog confused and nervous and it could lead to destructive or aggressive habits. Keep it fun and you’ll both enjoy it.
Everybody needs play time, including your dog. It’s a great way to blow off stress, provide some mental stimulation and just have some fun. You should spend time playing with your dog every day. This isn’t the same as training, however. Playtime is about having fun while reinforcing you are in control in a light-hearted way. Avoid games like tug of war or that require direct use of your hands. These can confuse a dog into viewing the play as a challenge for dominance and can lead to aggression. Keep it light and end play time on your terms.
- Provide proper shelter or a crate.
If you leave your dog outside while you’re away, be sure there is proper shelter against the elements, plenty of clean, dry bedding and a good supply of fresh water. If you prefer to keep your dog inside the house, a crate is the best way to ensure your dog is comfortable and safe until you come home. A crate should be big enough for your dog to stand, lie down and turn around comfortably. While this may seem like a small jail cell, most dogs actually prefer an enclosed place that is their own. It feels like their own den which helps them relax and it’s also insurance that your dog hasn’t gotten into something it shouldn’t while you’re away.
- Parasite control.
Dogs can be victim to parasites like fleas, ticks, intestinal worms and heart worms. Some parasite bites can cause allergic reactions, and some can have deadly results. To keep dog health a priority, have a regular parasite control regimen which includes repellent collars, sprays and baths, and a regular intestinal de-worming.
- Regular Vet Checks.
Have your dog checked by a veterinarian at least once a year. The vet will check your dog’s weight, vitals and joints, examine for parasites, and update your dog on needed immunizations. This is also the perfect time for you to raise any dog health questions or concerns you have. Your vet can provide you with proper guidance to be sure you have no dog health problems in the future.
By following these 7 simple tips, you’ll never need to worry about dog health or happiness again. Your special companion will be getting the best love and care you can possibly give. And you’ll have peace of mind.