Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Keeping Your Dog Happy and Healthy


How to keep your dog happy and healthy, mandy charlton, photographer, writer, blogger

Keeping your dog healthy and happy
There’s no relationship quite like the one you’ll have with your dog; loyal and loving to a fault, dogs are our best friend in times of crisis, our partner in crime during those lighter moments, and a constant presence in life regardless of what we’re going through. Though you may have chosen to adopt a dog under the pretence of getting more exercise, or because you wanted to feel safer, you’ll always end up with a best friend in training – and there’s no feeling quite like it.

How to keep your dog at its healthiest and happiest
As a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your pet is fit, happy, and healthy, and provided with everything they need to enjoy life to the full. While all of that love, care, and attention is going to do your dog the world of good, it’s also likely benefit you, enriching your relationship with a dedication that’s shared wholeheartedly. Dogs have an amazing way of returning the love that they’re shown. Whether you’re considering getting a puppy, have already adopted your first rescue dog, or have been enjoying the company of a dog for years, here are some of the things that are expected of you.

Ensure that your dog’s medical needs are met
First and foremost, you need to ensure that your dog’s medical needs are met. It’s up to you to keep your puppy’s vaccinations up to date, regularly treat your dog for fleas and worms, and to seek medical advice immediately if your dog becomes unwell, or displays distressing symptoms. Yes, such care can be expensive – but that cost is your responsibility. You’re also going to need to establish a routine of oral care for your dog, whether that involves regular cleaning or the supply of dental health snacks. These days, it’s a great idea to insure your dog from the moment that you adopt them; this can really help out when bigger bills rear their ugly heads, and ensure that your pet is cared for no matter what comes their way. You’ll also need to get your dog micro-chipped, which is a procedure now required by law.

Feed your dog the right diet
The best way to keep your pet in great condition is to provide a healthy diet for your dog. Familiarise yourself with the kinds of food that definitely shouldn’t be given to a dog, such as dairy products, onions and garlic, tea, chocolate, grapes, raw eggs, and bones. It’s a common misconception that dogs eat bones, but this treat could actually cause more harm than good; bones are prone to breaking up, exposing sharp edges that could pierce your dog’s digestive system on their way down. Instead, stick to foods and treats that have been created especially for your dog’s breed, size, and age. It’s a good idea to research the brands that feature the most natural ingredients, using supplements that will promote healthy bones, muscles, and joints. The benefits of such a diet should never be underestimated. You must always provide a steady supply of water. 

Go For Walks
Your dog is going to need a lot of exercise, including at least one walk a day. While it’s certainly true that some breeds require longer walks than others, getting outside into the fresh air is one of the best ways to bond with your dog – and to improve your mood. The daily walk can also be a great way to socialise your pet, bringing them face to face with dogs of other breeds and ages in order to make friends. You may even make a friend or two yourself. Depending upon your dog’s breed and age, it’s recommended that you aim for at least two 15 minutes walks a day, though you may prefer to enjoy a longer walk all at once. If possible, give your dog access to an outside space so that they can stretch their legs at intervals during the day, and provide chew toys, treat-dispensing toys, balls, and comforting soft toys that your dog can enjoy with you, and when you are out.

Master the tummy rub and grooming
More than anything, it’s important to be there for your dog. Dogs are the most sociable pet you can imagine, and will crave your attention, approval, and love. Perfect the art of the tummy rub, spend hours grooming your dog’s fur, and curl up together once the walk is over; the healthiest dogs are those that have that unbreakable bond with their owner, so do all you can to nurture it. If you’re likely to be out all day at work, consider meeting your dog’s needs in other ways, such as hiring the services of a walker or sitter to provide company and exercise. Your dog will still look forward to the sound of the key turning in the door as you come home.

The best way to ensure your dog’s happiness and health is to ensure that you’re providing the basics of pet care, and then some. Your dog needs a warm place to sleep, plenty of exercise, the right diet and access to water, medical care, stimulation by way of toys and company, and grooming on a regular basis. More than that, though, your dog needs love, which will be returned to you in ways you could never imagine; there’s no relationship quite like it. 




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