4 Tips for a Happy and Healthy Pup
Every dog owner wants their pup to be in the best physical shape possible, but leading our busy 21st century lifestyles, it can often be tricky to stay on top of your furry friend’s health. It takes serious commitment, both time and energy wise, to keep your dog fit and healthy but if you are willing to put in the effort, you will increase both your dog’s life expectancy and their quality of life. Having a dog is like having a best friend, so if you invest a small amount of time and energy into their physical and mental wellbeing every day, you will have a happier and more content companion by your side.
Check Up on Their Joints
Joint health is something that is essential to think about when looking after your pup, but it’s often something that is overlooked. Joint pain can be extremely damaging for your dog – it can mean that they find it hard to get up for a rested position and have trouble enjoying the physical activities they used to do with careless abandon. It can be tricky for owners to spot joint pain in dogs, but it’s essential that we look out for the warning signs, as if left too long, joint pain can develop into a serious and debilitating condition that can be hard to treat.
Look out for signs like how long it takes your pup to rise from a sleeping position, if they are lagging behind on walks, or they’re having trouble climbing the stairs – any of these can be indicators that something isn’t right. Click on this page for All You Need To Know About Joint Aids for Dogs – YuMOVE provides a great range of joint aid for dogs and joint supplements. Their carefully crafted formulas will help ease joint pain and prevent it in the first place. Head on over to YuMOVE if you want to find out more about how to treat joint pain and what products can be purchased to best treat it.
Walk Your Dog Frequently
Walking your dog frequently is absolutely essential for a healthy and happy companion. Depending on the size and breed of your dog, a quick walk around the block often isn’t enough. Your pup will benefit from long and varied walks, walks where they can be fully immersed in nature and interact with other dogs. Remember that, whilst a daily walk might be a chore for you, for your dog, it is often the highlight of their day – a chance to stretch their muscles, let off some steam and interact with other animals, so don’t deprive your dog of a good, lengthy walk. Walking your dog will also decrease the chances that your dog will behave in a destructive way inside the house – dogs that chew your shoes or tear up carpets after often dogs that have been deprived of essential physical exercise and are looking for other ways to let off some steam.
Regular exercise will also help to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, muscle mass and weight – remember that if you can’t be bothered to walk your dog regularly you will be paying for it later with frequent vet visits and often hefty vet bills! Remember not to over-exercise your dog – make sure you look out for the signs that your dog is tired or is getting older and requires less intense physical exercise. Walking your dog is also a great way of getting your daily exercise – don’t underestimate how much better you will feel for getting out in the fresh and air and getting in your steps for the day!
Keep Your Dog’s Brain Engaged
Making sure that your dog’s brain is engaged and that they are mentally stimulated is an important factor in their overall health. There are loads of great ways that you can keep your dog mentally stimulated. One of the easiest ways is to allow your dog to sniff about and explore on walks. If you are constantly pulling your dog away from trees and bushes on walks then you are depriving your dog of essential mental stimulation! A dog’s brain becomes engaged when they smell exciting new smells, so give your dog a bit of time to roam around. You will be pleasantly surprised by how much more tired and satisfied your pup is after a walk that includes lots of sensory enrichment.
Another way to keep your dog mentally stimulated is to teach them lots of new tricks. Teaching and learning new tricks is a great way for you to interact with your dog and improve your pet/owner bond whilst keeping your dog’s brain engaged. Dogs have to use their brains to figure out what you are trying to teach them – make sure you reward good behavior and new tricks that are learnt with lots of treats for positive reinforcement! Learning new tricks has been proven to increase your dog’s confidence and focus – so teach your pup some new tricks today!
If you want to purchase something that could improve your dog’s focus period and engage their brain, then consider purchasing a dog puzzle toy. Interactive puzzle toys keep your dog focused and engaged for a significant period of time. They are a great way to give your dog some natural problem-solving skills and to tire them out mentally so they won’t be destructive around the house.
Brush Your Dog’s Teeth
Everyone makes jokes about dogs having bad breath, but bad breath on your furry friend can actually be a sign of teeth or gum problems. Just like humans, bits of food and bacteria (plaque) can build up on the teeth and gums and, without a proper teeth cleaning ritual, can result in nasty infections. These infections can cause tooth decay and gum problems which is extremely damaging for your pet’s overall health. Keep your dog’s oral health in check by inspecting their teeth and gums regularly and buying some canine toothpaste (having consulted your vet for a recommendation). Make sure you stay on top of your pet’s oral hygiene as a tooth infection can spread into the bloodstream and cause horrible diseases of the lungs, kidneys, bones and joints. If you want advice on how to best care for your dog’s teeth and what kind of brushes to buy, have a conservation with your vet – that is what they are there for after all!
Even if you only take an extra 20 minutes a day to increase the length of your dog’s walk, drive to a more interesting location for your dog’s walk, or give up a small portion of your day to teach your dog a new trick, you will be doing them the world of good. Remember that dogs thrive off connection with humans and will notice if you start to engage with them more by making sure they are mentally engaged and physically fit. Taking care of your dog’s health is a long-term investment and will save you stress and vet bills at the end of the day. A healthy dog is a happy dog, so have a read through these 4 tips and try your best to implement them into your daily routine – your furry friend will certainly thank you!