5 Ways to Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy

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September 20, 2016
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One of the great joys in life is owning a dog. They are excellent companions and can bring excitement and joy to your life. A dog is also a huge commitment. They have many needs that you as the owner must meet. Yes, it’s true that dogs need love and attention, but just as important are proper nutrition, veterinary visits, and training. If you want your dog to not just be happy and healthy, but to thrive, then these five tips will help. Apply them and your dog will live a long and enjoyable life.

 

  1. Take your dog on regular walks

 

This may seem obvious, but it’s worth explaining beyond the normal scope of things. You may be like many dog owners who believe that letting your dog run around and play outside in a fenced yard might be all your dog needs. However, it is still vitally important to take your dog out on regular walks. Aside from your dog getting exercise, releasing energy, and maintaining a healthy heart, there are several other benefits to walking your dog. Walks allow your dog’s mind to be stimulated by introducing him to new smells, sights, people, and animals.

 

Aside from your dog’s health, going on walks is excellent for human health. It is also a great time to spend quality time with your dog outside of his normal environment. This will help you both bond even better. Regularly try new routes, new parks, and new trails to mix things up and keep things exciting for both of you.

 

  1. Choose the right food for your dog

 

The food you feed your dog will greatly impact his life in many ways. You must be very intentional about the food you give your dog each day. Not all dogs are the same and each one requires different nutrition at different times in their life. For instance, a puppy eats much differently than an older dog. The quality of the food you give your dog can vary quite a bit as well. Make sure your dog food doesn’t have grains or fillers as the main ingredient, especially potatoes or corn. You also may find that your dog is a picky eater. Experiment with different foods to find one that your dog really likes. Most importantly, you should consult with a veterinarian to determine the right food for your dog’s health needs.

 

  1. Choose a veterinarian and schedule regular visits

 

Visiting the vet is not only for major health issues with your dog. Just like you should schedule regular visits to your doctor for routine checkups, you should do the same for your dog. With regular visits, your vet can make sure your dog stays healthy and help prevent any conditions or diseases that can be common with dogs. It’s also great for your vet to get to know your dog. By getting to know your dog’s personality over time, he will be able to tell if something isn’t quite right and can treat your dog accordingly. It’s also important for you to have a good relationship with your vet so you can ask questions and learn more about how to take care of your dog.

 

  1. Learn how your dog communicates and expresses himself

 

Just like humans, dogs communicate their needs to us. They tell us what they feel, want, and need in their own way. Some of the more common ways dogs communicate is by barking, crying, using specific body language, and many other ways. Also just like humans, each dog has its own personality. It is important for you as the owner to learn how your dog communicates and what those messages mean. This not only helps you provide for your dog, but it will also help you recognize when something is wrong with your dog. If your dog seems down, sluggish, unresponsive, or is communicating in unfamiliar ways, you will know and can help him. Learning how you dog communicates will ensure you are able to meet your dog’s needs and that you have a happy and healthy relationship.

 

  1. Stimulate your dog’s brain

 

Dogs, like us, need to exercise their brain to stay happy and healthy. Without enough mental stimulation, your dog can behave badly, become depressed, or act out in negative ways – like destroying things. This is why going out on walks is so important. It introduces many new things to your dog and keeps their brain active and excited. Other ways to stimulate your dog’s brain are playing games with your dog, like fetch, using toys that make sounds or have unusual textures, or hiding things for your dog to find. These activities will keep your dog from getting bored while also helping him expend excess energy in a healthy way.

 

 

A dog is much more than a pet. It’s a companion that adds love and meaning to your life. Get to know your dog and practice these steps regularly. You will not only have a healthy dog, but you and your friend will be happy – and thrive.

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