Owning a dog can be wonderfully rewarding, but any dog owner will tell you that it’s a lot of hard work too. Dogs have a lot of needs, and as their family, it’s up to you to provide and care for them.
Maintaining your dog’s health makes things much easier, helping to ensure you have a long and happy life together. There are some basic steps you can take to make sure your dog stays healthy, saving you trips to the vets and dealing with a poorly pooch.
Help your dog stay happy and fit with these useful tips for keeping your dog healthy.
Take them for regular check-ups
A regular check-up at the vet is good advice for pet owners. Starting from when they’re a puppy, you should make sure you take them for regular checks. This can make sure that they get all of their vaccinations taken care of, as well as keep an eye out for any issues they might have with their teeth, ears or eyes. In between vet visits, keep an eye out for signs your dog is unwell and take them to the vet to get them the help they need.
Feed them the best diet for their needs
A dog’s diet is important and can affect everything from the condition of their coat to their behavior. It can be difficult to find foods that agree with your pet, so it could be a case of trial and error at the beginning to see what suits them best.
Dogs with certain conditions need even more care when it comes to their food. A dog with a sensitive tum might have to eat a fairly bland diet, while you’ll need to look at different types of foods if your dog develops and intolerance. There isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ solution for feeding your dog, so researching the best food for shih tzu with allergies can be very different from finding the best food for a labrador with a weight problem. Do your research carefully and consult your vet if your dog needs special diet requirements.
Give them plenty of exercise
Dogs need plenty of exercise to help them stay fit, burn energy and relieve boredom (some breeds are more athletic than others). Going outside can be a lot of fun for your dog, and you should aim to take them on at least one walk a day – more for larger dogs. Exercise in the morning can help create a routine for your dog and keep them entertained. If you’re not going to be home during the day, then hiring a dog walker can be an excellent way to make sure your dog is entertained and get the exercise they need.
Keep them busy
Dogs love to be busy, and the more activities you can give them, the better. Having plenty of fun things to do stops your dog from getting bored, and also ensures they focus on their toys rather than your furniture! There are plenty of fun puzzle toys for dogs that can help to keep them entertained all day long. Make sure you spend plenty of time playing with your dog too, all of that time can help you bond and can have wonderful effects on your own mental health too. Having other pets in the home can also help keep them busy, and makes sure that they have some company when you’re out of the house.
Make sure you socialize them
Socializing your puppy from an early age can help them avoid behavioral issues further down the line. By introducing them to all kinds of people, including children, and other animals and pets, you can help normalize their environment and keep your pet happy when they’re out and about. You can socialize your puppy at a puppy class as a great way to introduce them to other dogs and owners and could be a great way for you to make friends too.
A dog can really make your house feel like home, so it’s important that you give them all of the love and attention in the world. When you’re a first-time dog owner, you’ll have a lot to learn about keeping your dog healthy, which is why it’s a decision that you need to take seriously. By taking care of the basics and ensuring the best quality of life for your dog, you can look forward to having a fit and healthy pooch that will be a much-loved member of your family.