Dogs are often referred to as our best friends. Many people consider their dog a part of their family, so it’s only natural to want to give them the best life possible. Our dogs do so much for us, like reducing our anxiety, so of course we want to make their lives easier as well.
But it’s hard to know where to start and what to do, especially when there is so much conflicting information out there, so we’ve put together a few easy, simple tips that anyone can use, and that are guaranteed to keep your canine friend’s tail wagging.
Give your dog good quality food
The first, and probably most important, thing for you to consider is whether the food you’re feeding your dog is really the best you can offer them. Many people opt for generic store-brand food, since it’s cheaper and they assume that all dog food is created equal. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Cheap dog food is often cheap because it contains a lot of fillers, instead of the nutrients your dog needs. They’re also often loaded with ingredients that aren’t doing your dogs any favours. Opt for natural dog food instead, so that you can rest assured that your dog is getting everything that they need from their food.
Take your dog to the vet when needed
Getting your dog vaccinated is very important. The last thing on earth that you’d want is for your four-legged friend to get a disease, especially if it’s one that could have been prevented. Take your dog for checkups, especially if they’re older. The more they age, the more frequent the checkups will need to be, since the risk for complications is higher.
Make sure your dog is getting plenty of exercise
Dogs are highly energetic animals, and they need a way to let that energy out. Running around your house or garden might not be enough for them. Be sure to spend time playing with them, and take them for regular walks. Knowing how much exercise your dog should be getting is a tough thing to do, since it is dependent on a lot of factors, such as their age and breed. Talk to your vet for guidance and research your dog’s breed to get as much information as possible. Your dog might also be trying to tell you when it isn’t getting enough exercise. What you might consider naughtiness might just be your dog’s way of telling you they need more physical stimulation.
Groom your dog
While some animals don’t need any grooming, most dogs do. Again, the level of grooming will be dependent on your dog and its breed. Many people shave their long-haired dogs in the summer, hoping that they won’t get as hot, but for many breeds, their long hair actually helps them cool down during hot days. Again, be sure to consult your vet and research your dog’s breed before shaving them. Brushing your dog’s fur regularly can help prevent knots.
Neuter and chip your dog
Neutering is very important, since you definitely wouldn’t want your dog to get unexpectedly pregnant. Aside from that, there are various other benefits to neutering your dog. Another thing you should also consider is chipping your dog, if you haven’t already. No matter how careful you are, there is always a risk of your dog escaping and getting lost, and a microchip is an excellent way for people to contact you should that ever happen.
Consider getting a companion for your dog
If you only have one dog, you might notice them getting lonely, especially if there used to be more than one dog. If your dog is used to having a playmate and then have to get used to being an only dog, they might have some trouble adjusting. Dogs are often social creatures, and while many dogs are happy on their own, other dogs might not cope too well with it, especially if you’re out of the house a lot. You can also consider hiring a house and pet sitter to look after your dog and keep them company when you’re on holiday.
Never get physical
While dogs do need to be disciplined, especially when their behaviour starts getting dangerous, there is never any need to physically hurt your dog. Your dog probably loves and trusts you more than anything, and it’s important to nourish that bond, instead of breaking it. Your dog will be able to learn your different tones of voice, and they’ll come to realise that a firm tone means they made a mistake. A hard ‘No’ will most likely work better than any hiding will.
Focus on your dog’s hygiene
Your dog can’t always maintain good hygiene on their own, so that’s where you come in. Certain dog breeds need to be bathed more than others. Depending on your dog’s diet, you may realise that their breath smells, no matter how often you brush their teeth. In this case, you can buy them dental chews, which are designed to make their breath smell better. You should also regularly deworm your dogs and check for any ticks or fleas. You can also wash their bedding regularly.
Make your dog feel at home
While many people don’t like their dogs jumping on their beds or couches, that’s no reason to make your dog feel unwelcome. It is, after all, their house as well. If you want to keep them off of the couches, make sure that they have a comfortable bed and that it’s close to you, since your dog will probably always want to be near you. Keep an eye on weather forecasts and bring your dog in if there’s any sign of extreme weather conditions.
The last one is the on that matters most. Love your dog. They love you with their whole heart, and no fancy toys or expensive treats could ever be better than the love you give them.