Adopting or purchasing a dog is like adding another family member to your life. They bring joy and unconditional love into your world, but are also a serious responsibility that requires daily, monthly and yearly maintenance. Caring properly for your dog is an important part of making sure they stay healthy and are part of your family for many years to come. Follow some simple steps to enhance your dog’s wellness and give them the happy life they deserve.
Feed Your Dog High-Quality Food
Avoid low-quality brands when choosing food for your dog. These blends can include unhealthy fillers like grains. High-quality foods, on the other hand, contain healthy ingredients like real meat, vegetables, fruits, fats and carbohydrates. These foods should also have a high moisture content, which will help keep your dog hydrated. Be sure to choose food based on your dog’s age and personal needs. When in doubt, talk to your veterinarian about the best food options for your pet. You may also want to supplement your dog’s diet with vitamins and CBD oil for pets.
Schedule Yearly Check-Ups
Schedule a yearly exam for your dog with a local veterinarian to double-check that they are in good health. The vet will check their coat, skin, ears, eyes and teeth, as well as check for ticks and fleas. They may also receive any necessary vaccinations or tests at this appointment. If you have any questions about your dog, this is a good time to ask the vet for their advice and guidance. The veterinarian may prescribe heartworm and flea medication at this visit, which you can then give to your dog throughout the year to keep them healthy.
Make Time for Exercise
Giving your dog regular exercise keeps them strong, spry and healthy. Take your dog for a daily walk and, if possible, make weekly visits to your local dog park. Encourage activity by providing them with toys and playtime. Keeping your dog busy gives them mental stimulation, which can keep them from becoming frustrated or destructive in your home, and also prevents obesity, which can shorten their life. Be sure to make exercise fun for your pet by encouraging them with treats and praise. Also, keep your dog’s breed in mind when planning activities. Some breeds are high energy and need lots of exercise, while others are unable to keep up with long, strenuous play sessions. When in doubt, talk to your vet about the amount of time your dog should be exercising.
Focus on Training and Socialization
Dogs that don’t behave properly can be stressful to be around and, sometimes, a danger to humans and other animals. Making sure your canine is properly trained and socialized is part of being a responsible pet owner. Focus on the basic commands of “come,” “sit” and “stay” before moving on to more complicated concepts like rolling over. Waiting too long can make the training process much more challenging, so start training your dog when they are a puppy or as soon as they come live with you. If you are unsure of how to train them yourself, invest in a training program that you can complete with them or schedule sessions with a dog trainer. A good way to make sure your dog is properly socialized with other animals is to take them to a local dog park. Your pet will not only be able to interact with other dogs, but will also receive a workout at the same time.
Groom Your Dog Regularly
Depending on the breed of dog you own, grooming can be a huge part of regular maintenance. If you have a short-haired pooch, trimming their fur may not be necessary. If your dog is of the long-haired variety, make sure you take them to a groomer or learn how to groom them yourself to keep their fur short, neat and out of their eyes. For any breed of dog, clipping their nails is important and can keep them from experiencing joint stress and injury.
Caring for your dog can certainly take lots of time and attention, but remembering to follow a few basic guidelines can be incredibly helpful in keeping them healthy and well for many years to come.
Author | Emily Forbes
An Entrepreneur, Mother & A passionate tech writer in the technology industry!