Who doesn't love their little fur baby? Dogs are the best, but keeping them healthy is crucial to sustaining a long-lasting bond. While the current pandemic has made it easy to spend time with your best friend indoors, what happens now that things are reopening? How do you keep your furry companion happy and healthy? Dog's can experience anxiety and depression, just like people, so making sure they are OK is a significant concern for many pet parents, especially as the world returns to normal. To make sure your favorite pooch stays happy and healthy, focus on five key lifestyle areas.
A dog's diet is not the same as a human diet. Dogs are carnivores, which means they need meat in their food. Granted, people feed their pets vegan and vegetarian diets, but to keep your pup as healthy as possible, mimic what they would eat naturally. If you want to switch to a specialty diet, talk to a veterinarian first, making sure your dog receives all the essential nutrients they need to live a healthy life.
Dogs are social creatures, and they absolutely love to be around other dogs. However, they need to learn how to be around other pooches first. When a dog is a puppy, take them around all kinds of dogs, so they learn about natural behaviors. There are several ways to socialize your pup.
Proper socialization ensures that your pup is comfortable around other animals and people. During walks, you are also familiarizing the animal with the sites and sounds of the city, their habitat. It's a great time to get back out there with your pup, but make sure your leash is long enough to help you keep that 6 foot distance from other owners.
3. Training and Interactive Play
Dogs can get bored. Unfortunately, when your pup gets bored, they can become restless and misbehave. Some common misbehaviors include chewing, barking, aggression and other nuisance habits. The best way to cure boredom is with interactive play and daily training. You can buy and make toys and games, like puzzle balls, that will keep your dog busy for hours. Beyond toys, train your dog every day. Helping your furry friend learn new tricks through repetitive practice and commands will strengthen your bond and keep their brains healthy.
4. Outdoor Activities
Think about how bored and depressed you can get in the cold winter months when you are stuck inside. The sun does wonders for energy and health. Dogs need time outside. They need to breathe the fresh air and feel the sun against their backs. Honestly, most people need fresh air, too, especially now.
5. Vet Visits
The primary way to ensure that your dog remains healthy for a long, carefree life is to commit to routine veterinary visits. According to Dr. Barry Kipperman, a veterinarian working with PETA, dogs under 10 years of age need to go to the vet at least once per year, and senior dogs over 10 should go twice or every six months. However, depending on any underlying conditions your dog may have, you may need to go more frequently. Talk to a veterinary professional to discuss specifics.
Pets, especially dogs, offer incredible companionship during uncertain times, but they are also excellent allies even when all is right with the world. It is only fair that dog owners reciprocate affection by providing a well-balanced life, including lots of cuddles, but don't forget about you in the animal health equation. Your dog depends on you and loves you, so while you may pour your heart and soul into creating a beautiful life for your furry buddy, make sure you are prioritizing yourself. You need to stay happy and healthy to keep your dog happy and healthy, so take the time to understand your own diet and needs.