How to keep your dog healthy and live longer!
Whether we get our dog as a puppy or rescue an older dog, we want to see them grow into strong healthy animals that will stand by our side for many years.
Dogs like all animals excel when looked after correctly, it doesn’t matter if you have a yorkshire terrier or a Great Dane.
There are some easy steps to keep your pet as healthy as possible both physically and mentally.
Here’s a list of nine ways you can help keep your dog healthy and happy as possible.
1 – Feed a balanced diet and avoid obesity
One of the most important factors is what you’re feeding your dog and maybe even more importantly is how much obesity and dogs can occur for a number of reasons but the most common is a higher intake of high-calorie foods combined with the lack of exercise. If your dog becomes obese it can cause a number of health problems and shorten his life by up to two years, you may think that you’re showing your dog love by giving him an extra ton of food or the scraps from your own plate..
A dog However doesn’t see this as loving and will only be momentarily happy with the extra meal before looking for more.
Human food is often too high in salt for our canine friends and things like chocolate are actually poisonous for our dogs, this is due to the fact that their bodies can’t process theobromine a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant as fast as ours can. Keep up to recommended guidelines for your dog’s size and stick to a nutritious dog food to avoid heart breathing and joint problems.
2 – Give them the opportunity for plenty of exercise
Dogs are naturally playful and hunt in the wild, this means they cover vast amounts of land per day looking for food and are built for this in mind.
Domesticated dogs don’t need to hunt but that doesn’t mean they don’t need to run around, most dogs will appreciate a walk twice a day but a dog like a husky needs more than this.
Letting your dog exercise enough will make sure they keep fit keep their muscles strong and allow them to keep doing the activities they enjoy into old age.
The time spent together on walks will also improve your dog’s sense of well-being plus it’s good for you too if you needed another reason.
3 – Make sure your dog is vaccinated and take them to the vet regularly
All pets should be taken for a regular checkup to help spot early signs of possible diseases and keep them in the best possible health. We also need to make sure that our furry friends are vaccinated to keep them and other dogs around them safe.
Rabies is still a huge problem in developing countries due to lack of vaccines and we’re lucky to have access to the vaccinations we do, however, without vaccinations dogs anywhere can still carry and pass on disease so it’s incredibly important to vaccinate and protect both your dog and others.
All dogs are susceptible to preventable illness such as gastric torsion keep tabs on your dog’s health and be aware if anything changes, make sure your dog is up to date with these shots to keep them as healthy as possible.
4 – Keep your dog’s mouth healthy
We are told to brush our teeth at least twice a day to prevent plaque and keep our teeth strong and healthy, so why don’t we pay as much attention to our dog’s teeth?
Although different from ours and not as prone to cavities they still require lots of care and there are some easy ways to spot if something is up. If your dog has really bad breath changes as eating habits or starts pawing at his face get to your vet soon as he may have a bad tooth.
Trying to check your dog’s mouth once a week and help prevent teeth problems by introducing dog friendly toothpaste and treats that clean his teeth, you may also want to stick to dry dog food as it’s better for teeth than the wet alternative
5 – Remember dogs are social animals
Dogs enjoy the company of other dogs and/or humans and if you leave your dog for too long during the day or without the opportunity to play with other dogs or yourself then they can become depressed. Dogs are pack animals and so instinctively want to be part of a group.
If you don’t have more than one dog make, sure you spend enough time with your friends so they don’t feel abandoned and even if you do have more than one dog, they will both. Appreciate the time you spend with them after all, you’re the leader of the pack.
Some people remedy this by getting two dogs which does often help but you still need to make sure you’re taking your dog out enough to meet and to interact with other dogs and people.
6 – Train your dog properly
Laving on from the last point to make sure that your dog interacts with other dogs and the world around him safely you must make sure you train him properly.
We’ve all heard horror stories of dogs attacking other animals’ old people and the truth is it’s not the animal’s fault but usually a lack of training.
Whether you rescue an older dog or get a puppy you need to start training straight away and make sure you and your pets are on the same page, you can find classes in your local area or watch some videos on tips to train your dog.
7 – Give your dog a suitable place to live
It’s important for your dog to have a space that is just his away from people and other animals and where he can relax. Your dog needs a warm comfortable place to sleep or spend time when you’re at work, whether your dog lives inside or outside most of the time there are some basic requirements that you need to abide by law in a lot of countries.
Make sure he has a comfortable dry place to sleep in away from the elements, imagine how you would feel if you had a drafty bedroom or one where the rain could fall on you, it would it make you feel cared for at all it’s the same with your dog he needs somewhere dry and warm to chill out in. It should also be clean and quiet, it means he has a place to hide if anything scares him or he feels unwell
Sometimes, we all need some time alone and if your dog isn’t feeling as sociable for any reason then it gives them a chance to recuperate, you also need to make sure that his bed is big enough so your dog can go through as natural setting routine of turning around a number of times before finally settling down to sleep.
8 – Make sure there’s access to fresh clean water at all times
Depending on your dog’s size and the weather conditions you may see his water bowl empty more than you thought you would just like you, your dog’s body is made up of around 80% water to make sure your dog stays hydrated and energetic keep his water topped up at all times.
On average a healthy dog drinks about an ounce of water per pound of body weight each day, a small dog such as a pug or terrier will only need about 500 milliliters per day, however, a large dog over 20 kilograms.
For example, a Labrador or a golden retriever requires around 1.25 to 2.5 liters per day, that’s the same as a person, also make sure you clean out your dog’s water bowl every day.
Germs and bacteria can breed at SuperSpeed around the edges of the bowl and if your dog is thirsty, he’ll drink from it even if it’s dirty, this can cause stomach upsets or end in dehydration if he chooses not to drink. So, use a little soap to clean his bowl every day just like you would one of your cups.
It may be worth purchasing a collapsible water bowl four times you’re away from his bowl such as on a long walk or playing in the park.
Running causes your dog to pant which dries out his mouth with one of these travel water bowls you can quickly pop it up fill it with water and let your furry friend have a nice long drink, he’ll thank you for it and it can also help avoid dehydration and digestive problems that can occur due to this.
9 – Never leave your dog alone in your car
A car can become a hot oven in a short amount of time and there are cases every year of dogs dying because they overheat in cars on a hot day. Although, you might want to take your dog with you everywhere, if you’re concerned you might have to leave your dog in a hot car while you go shopping or into someone’s house do not take your dog with you.
even if it’s only 22 degrees outside it can quickly rise to an unbearable 47 degrees inside your car.
Keep your dog at home on hot days and if you need to leave your dog in the car for five minutes make sure the windows are open enough to allow it through breeze, your dog will thank you for it.
Whether you’re a new dog owner or have been doing it for years, we hope these tips help you look after your best friend and keep them as healthy as possible with the right amount of care you can expect a long and happy life together.
Those were our top 9 tips for keeping your dog healthy. What tips have you found useful? What would you recommend to other dog owners? Let us know in the comments.