Our loyal four-footed companions enrich our lives with their love and fun-loving attitudes every day. Pet parents everywhere are dedicated to giving their furkids a great life, but there’s always room for improvement. In this article, we’ll be listing ten things you can do to make your dog’s life even better!
1. Dental Care
Taking care of your dog’s teeth is something a lot of owners really don’t think too much about, but it’s a vital part of their overall health. Dog teeth pick up plaque and tartar just like ours, often leading to painful cavities and even life-threatening infections. Regular brushing at home is the gold standard of keeping those chompers healthy. Home care, along with making dental care a priority with your dog’s annual veterinary visit can help add years onto their life.
2. Work Their Brains
Physical exercise is incredibly important to your dog’s health, but many owners forget to work out an equally important muscle: your dog’s brain. Engaging your dogs with puzzle toys and small, regular training sessions is a great way to get those mental juices flowing and keep them sharp for years to come. It can also help wear them out just as much as physical romps!
3. Feed Them Better
There’s been a big movement in the dog food industry to provide healthier, quality food for our pals. That being said, there’s still an awful lot of garbage – or worse, garbage masquerading as quality. Do your homework to learn what your dog’s nutritional needs are and truly research foods before purchasing. Don’t neglect caloric needs either, as overfeeding takes years away from your dog’s life.
4. Take Adventures
Your dog’s world is only as big as you allow it to be. You may go to a lot of places yourself; work, the store, restaurants, etc…but often times your dog only knows your home and whatever walk route you frequent. Make an effort to expand their horizons and explore different areas. Local walking paths, hiking areas, parks; there’s a lot out there that will blow your pup’s mind!
5. Make Play a Staple
A lot of people mistakenly think surrounding their dogs in toys fulfills the play requirement, and that couldn’t be further from the truth. Often times the toys just lay there, ignored. Dogs are social and they want you to play with them. Take time out of every day to really play with your dog. It’s fun for them, fun for you, and increases your bond!
6. Learn About Them
It’s been many years since trainers worldwide denounced the archaic and harmful practices of Caesar Milan, yet many owners still have ignorant and old-fashioned ideas about their dogs. Take the time to actually investigate reliable sources on dog body language, behavior, and sociability. You’ll probably be surprised by how much you didn’t know.
7. Prioritize Grooming
If your dog could brush itself, maybe it would, but until then they need your help. Regularly brushing your dog’s coat helps clear out loose fur, prevent painful mats, and helps your friend look and feel their best. It is also a great way to familiarize yourself with your dog’s coat and body, noting any changes such as lumps, growths, or changes in fur quality that might signal a trip to the vet is needed.
8. Pay Attention
Guess what, cellphone addicts? Your dogs know when you’re sucked into your phone, and it’s depressing them. Dogs are intelligent creatures, and they know that even if you’re physically present, your attention isn’t with them. Your dog depends on you for social interaction, so put the phone or laptop away and give them some quality time each and every day.
9. Choose the Right Collar/Harness
It seems like there are a million different collar and harness choices out on the market, but there’s a reason there are so many different styles. No one collar is going to work for every dog, and it’s important to find one that both fits your dog comfortably and works for them. Many flat collars do more harm than good if your dog is a puller, as they can cause damage to their trachea. Some harnesses are ill fits that put pressure on incorrect areas of your dog’s chest and back. Experiment and research to find what works best for your pooch.
10. Adjust for Their Age
Just as people start changing as they age, your dog does too. Really pay attention as the years pass to catch signs of aging. Is your pal starting to slow down on walks? A little more hesitant to jump up on the couch? Maybe seeming a little unfocused? There’s a lot you can do to help your dog age gracefully so long as you’re proactive and attentive.