When you welcome a new puppy home or take a look at your furry best friend now, you want him to stay with you for as long as possible. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to ensure your dog is healthy for longer and prolong his lifespan. Fewer illnesses and a healthier dog will also mean fewer vet bills, which is always a win.
- Regular Vet Checks
We’re going to start off by suggesting regular vet checks. Even if there are no visible symptoms, getting your dog checked out is very beneficial. There are lots of diseases that do not show symptoms on the surface, which will require a professional to diagnose.
For more serious issues, the earlier you catch them, the more likely your dog will come out unscathed. Dogs require booster shots every year after the first year, which is also when vets do their regular checks. We would suggest making a vet visit a biannual engagement.
Early screenings can prevent serious illnesses, and a good teeth cleaning at the vet will eliminate tartar and plaque buildup.
- Plenty of Exercise and Mental Stimulation
Your dog needs plenty of stimulation both physical and mental for health development. Many people do very well in the physical aspect but forget to give their dogs some mental engagement. The two go hand-in-hand for sufficient cognitive development.
Depending on the size of your dog, 30 minutes to an hour outside each day plus some time indoors tackling puzzle games and training will make even the most energetic dogs well behaved.
Dogs can get bored too, so changing up your route and routine will keep things fresh. It’s also important to not overdo it as too much of a good thing, in this case, can lead to negative results. For example, if you overwork your puppy before he is one-year-old, the development of his growth plates will be compromised.
Mental stimulation can be just as draining, so make sure to give your dog a break and reward him for his hard work.
- A Nutritious Diet and Supplements
Your pooch’s diet is one of the most important indicators of failing or good health. You want to always make sure your dog gets nutritious meals and supplements when necessary. Again, too much of a good thing can be bad as too much of certain ingredients can lead to strained organs.
A good and nutritious diet can prevent obesity and a myriad of other illnesses. Supplements can be necessary for some dogs, but make sure to check with your vet first. Omega 3 for dogs is an excellent example of a supplement that promotes skin and coat health and protects the joints.
Keep harmful foods away from your dog at all costs. We’re talking about onions, chocolate, and grapes to name a few. Treats can also contain healthy amounts of added vitamins and minerals that can benefit your dog. However, you have to factor in the extra calories into your dog’s daily meals.
It’s very easy to overfeed treats, but there are plenty of options that are low in calories. You can also consider healthy snacks such as carrots and celery that are excellent sources of vitamins, beta-carotene, and fiber.
- Training and Socialization
The training aspect can guarantee a harmonious existence with your furry best friend. Socializing your puppy well will result in a more even-tempered pet that doesn’t scare easily or get aggressive. An example of a poorly socialized dog is one that exhibits fear and aggression without reason.
Think about humans in our formative years, when our experiences, relationships, and environment shape who we become. It’s the same for dogs, and they need healthy engagements with other people and animals and the chance to explore their surrounding environment for their growth.
Excellent ways to socialize your dog include doggy daycare, doggy dates, trips to the dog park, meeting new people, and early subjection to various environments.
As for training, puppy classes will help lay the groundwork for a well-behaved dog. You need to make sure your pup grows up to be a well-mannered dog, and that takes work and time. You have to teach your dog to understand the basics such as sit and come. Doing so will also strengthen the bond between the two of you.
- Lots of Love and Affection
Many living creatures thrive and grow better in an environment filled with love and affection, and the same goes for your dog. Giving him lots of attention, cuddles, rewards, and plenty of encouragement are all pillars for a well-rounded pup in adulthood.
Loving your dog is more than just expressing it via words or actions, it’s also about caring for him the right way. Keeping your dog safe by puppy-proofing the house and considering tips 1 to 4 are all ways to show your dog love.
Knowing what needs to be done such as proper grooming and going through with procedures that will benefit your pooch such as spaying or neutering are also examples of love and care.
You don’t have to panic about everything little thing that seems off about your dog, but you should know when a vet trip is necessary. Changes in appetite and energy levels can be due to many things such as the weather, his activity level that day, or even his mood. These are not causes for concern if the issue spans for a day or two, but if it extends to a few days, a vet trip is definitely warranted.
Your dog is your responsibility, and loving dog owners will agree that it’s our job to do what we can to ensure a long, healthy, and happy life for our dogs. It may cost a little more, take more time, effort, and patience, but it’s all worth it in the end. Spoiling your dog from time to time is a great way to keep him smiling, but make sure you don’t overdo it. Remember, a happy and tired dog is a well-behaved dog.