Owning a dog is an awesome responsibility. There is nothing better than arriving home after a long day to find your pet waiting for you. The unbridled love and affection are guaranteed to make you happy, no matter how bad your day was. Your dog is always ready to listen to you, always willing to play and is unquestioningly loyal and devoted. What more could you ask for in a friend?
Being a dog owner requires a great deal of commitment on your part. Your canine friend needs lots of proper care and attention to grow healthy and strong. Since different dog breeds have differing needs, you need to do quite a bit of research to ensure you can give your pet the best care possible.
Whether you are a novice or experienced dog owner, you need all the help you can get to keep your companion healthy. Here are the top ten tips to get you started on the right foot…
Top 10 ways to keep your dog healthy
10 – Plenty of exercise
All dogs need exercise. However, the amount depends on the dog’s breed, size and energy levels. Some might prefer a good walk around the neighbourhood, while others might require more intense exercise, such as running, flyball and other types of dog sports. Generally, though, it is a good idea to start off with a walk twice a day, then see if more is required.
9 – Healthy diet
Just like humans, your dog needs a well-balanced diet with the right nutrients to grow strong. Once again, some breeds have specific dietary needs and your vet is likely to give you the information you need concerning your pet. Also, ensure that all the food you give your pet is high-quality, ethically produced dog food to promote your dog’s vitality.
8 – Hydration
Dogs should be given as much water to drink as they need. This helps them ward off dehydration as well as a host of other health problems. It might be necessary to keep several water bowls in various rooms in your house to make sure your dog gets his daily quota of water.
7 – Regular baths
Water is not only good for drinking. Dogs need regular baths to keep their fur soft and clean. A good shampoo will also leave the dog’s skin moisturised and prevent or eliminate any skin conditions.
6 – Dental hygiene
Left unattended, your dog’s teeth can develop cavities, leading to painful toothaches and difficulty when eating. To prevent this, you should regularly brush your pet’s teeth. Start this habit when they are puppies so that they get used to it as they grow. Also, remember to use toothpaste specially formulated for dogs, as human toothpaste can be harmful.
5 – Bones
Another good way to ensure your dog’s teeth are strong and healthy is by giving them bones to gnaw on. Raw bones are better, as cooked ones often have all their nutrients stripped off.
4 – Regular grooming
Other than regular baths, your pet also needs regular grooming. This involves trimming the fur – especially around the eyes – and even clipping the claws. Some dog breeds might need their fur to be shaved during the hot season to help them cool down.
3 – Pest prevention
Ticks and fleas not only suck your beloved dog’s blood but also spread disease. To keep them at bay, ensure you take appropriate measures, such as using medicated shampoo and similar products. Also, remember to ask the vet for deworming medicine to keep your dog free of intestinal worms.
2 – A designated space
Dogs are territorial and love their space just as much as we do. This can be their own kennel, a special cushion or even a sleeping mat. Ensure that this area is kept clean and free of bodily waste, fur and other kinds of dirt, to avoid making your dog sick. If you have more than one dog, make sure that each has their own space to avoid conflict.
1 – Toys
It goes without saying that dogs love to play. Develop their playful nature by buying them lots of interesting toys. These toys are a good way to prevent boredom and keep them occupied whenever you are not with them. When shopping around, make sure that the toys you use are safe and have no sharp edges to hurt your pet.
Hopefully, these tips have given you a good idea of some of the ways you can keep your canine companion in good health. If you need more advice on your dog, be sure to ask your vet for assistance.