We do all we can as pet parents to provide them the best lives possible. It’s our job to keep them healthy and happy – doing whatever we can to keep their tongues hanging and their tails wagging. But exactly how do you keep your dog healthy?
Just like humans, dogs need regular check-ups and doctor visits to keep up with their health. And just like humans, there are better foods they can be eating, better habits they can be having, and better ways they can be growing. To make sure your furry friend is feeling their best and living their longest life, these 6 healthy dog tips can help.
1. Feed them well.
Most dog parents know the basic points of pet health, like to never give dogs chocolate. But did you know there are a lot of foods you should never give your pet? Your dog’s diet has a huge impact on their health and it’s not just about knowing what foods to avoid, but what foods to feed. With so many choices these days, it’s really beneficial to your pup to do some research on the brands available. There are plenty of great options out there, but talking to your pup's Vet is the best way to find find the healthiest dog food for your dog with the flavors they love AND nutrients they need.
2. Plan a playdate. Everyday.
Chances are, getting outside with you will be the best part of their day. Hit those heart healthy goals for yourself and your furry friend. They may not have a step goal to make, but a simple every day stroll has huge effects that benefit their health. Getting dog exercise through walking and playing will keep your fur baby not just physically fit, but mentally healthy. Plus, research shows that dogs who don’t get to play or exercise are more prone to develop conditions like musculoskeletal deformities, diabetes and obesity.
3. Take care of their teeth.
Cleaning their pearly whites is more important than you may think. And it won’t just help give them better breath, but improve their overall health. Just like us, their teeth can get build-ups of plaque and tartar and these kinds of dental problems in dogs can cause big problems, like heart disease or other serious health issues. You don’t have to brush your dog’s teeth daily, but you should be giving their pearly whites a good polishing at least a few times a week.
4. Go to the doggie doctor.
Dogs can say so much without saying anything at all. But what we wish is that they could actually tell us when things are wrong. It’s important to make sure that they’re actually healthy year to year, because often they’ll pretend they feel fine even when they don’t. Routine veterinary exams can uncover issues you might not know about. And knowing what to ask your vet can help. Never worry about asking too many questions, because finding out any issues as early as possible not just improves the chance of successful treatments, but is usually less costly than waiting until it becomes super serious.
4. Clean their dishes.
You wouldn’t believe what can grow in those bowls on your floor. Pet’s food dishes can be the most welcoming place for harmful bacteria. In fact, dog dishes were recently named one of the germiest items in American homes. The microbes that live in your dog's mouth and their saliva is easily transferred to the food and moisture in the bowl, creating the perfect place for harmful bacteria to grow. Experts recommend to wash their dishes after each meal with hot water and soap. Scrubbing your dog’s dinnerware won’t just keep them healthy, but keep your family healthier, too.
6. Make them feel at home.
There’s no place like it – and your dog thinks the same. They love living amongst their human’s smells, their favorite blanket and their treasured toys. We love being home because we feel comfortable and content and cozy, and dogs need this same kind of environment. Providing your pooch a place they feel loved and protected keeps them happy. Giving them a warm bed, surprising them with delicious dog treats, spoiling them with belly rubs and encouraging them with positive attention really goes a long way, strengthening your relationship with them and keeping them mentally healthy.
Providing the best kind of care for our pups is a privilege. We know we’ll never get enough birthdays or time with them, so while we have them, it’s an honor to give them the best days and happiest moments. There are countless ways to put their health as a priority, and if you’re wondering what other ways you can keep your dog healthy and happy, check out this longer list of 15 simple ways to improve your dog’s life.
Image: Amanda Shaw of The Barkday Planner treating her dog.