Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Keeping Your Dog Safe, Happy and Healthy: 4 Things You Need To Do


Bringing a new dog into your life is a big responsibility; you need to ensure you can give the dog everything they need, as it will be solely reliant on you. Dogs are the most popular pet in the US, with the French Bulldog recently unseating the Labrador Retriever as the most popular dog breed. But regardless of the type of dog you bring into your life and whether or not you buy your new puppy from a breeder or you rescue a pup from a shelter, you need to know exactly what you are getting into to keep your dog safe, happy, and healthy.

On that note, this post looks at some of your responsibilities as a dog owner to ensure your four-legged friend is physically and mentally in their best condition.

Training

You need to train your dog; there is no way around that. And don't let the old saying "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" put you off if you rescue an older dog; all dogs have it in them to learn new things at any age. It’s not always as easy as getting electric dog fences for your backyard for them to hang out in and just magically expecting them to obey you without actually teaching them. Like humans, dogs need to learn right from wrong.

At a minimum, you need to house-train your dog so they don't have toileting accidents. From here, you can teach your dog a whole manner of tricks and training practices to ensure their safety. 

Some of the more popular tricks include sit, down, paw, spin, roll over, and so on. However, there are some things you need to implement with your pup to keep them safe too.

Firstly, teaching them how to settle down and stop and take a break is vital. Use a "place" or "bed" cue to give them a space they can stop and relax in, be it their bed, a crate, or another space in the house. This prevents them from constantly being on the go and becoming stressed because they can switch off. You also need to teach your dog how to walk nicely on a lead so they know how to behave when out in public; threshold training can help you to avoid your dog running out of the house when the door is open and the "leave it" command will be handy for getting your dog to drop anything they have that they shouldn't have like poisonous foods or items they can chew on.

You can train your dog on many other things, and you can implement this using tips online or work with dog trainers to help you and your dog get where you want to be.

Diet

There is a dog obesity epidemic right now, and many owners are mistakenly overfeeding their dogs in the name of love. Dogs rely on humans to feed them, and as such, they cannot become overweight on their own unless they are being overfed or food is being left where they can access. 

Giving your dog healthy treats occasionally won't harm them, but consistently giving them extras on top of feeding them can harm their health. Excess weight puts added pressure on their joints and their heart and can put them under stress. You must ensure you are feeding your dog high-quality food with all the nutrition they need. On top of this, you need to use the feeding guides as just this; a guide. Adjust how much you feed your dog based on how active they are, their age, and how many treats they've had that day. Female dogs who have been spayed need fewer calories than non spayed females, while senior dogs will be likely to rest more, meaning they don't need as many calories as younger dogs. Exactly how much food they need is based on their lifestyle, so endure until you find the right amount to keep them satisfied without helping them to pile on the pounds.

Exercise

Your dog needs both mental and physical stimulation. A half-hour walk twice a day might not be enough stimulation for some dogs, but entirely too much physical exercise for others. While you do need to get your dog out of the house every day if possible, you also need to ensure they are getting enough breed stimulation. For example, beagles love to sniff, so playing sniffing games `man trailing," and scent work can help them to get the mental exercise they need, while labradors and the springer spaniel, as well as the beagle, are gun dogs and are perfect for hunting games. Border collies, on the other hand, are working dogs, and they need to be kept mentally stimulated at all times with games designed to fulfill their best instincts and thrive from plenty of training in both obedience and tricks, as well as physical exercise.

Another way to provide mental stimulation for dogs is to use enrichment toys and chews such as lick mats and long-lasting chews. Chewing and licking are natural actions for dogs, and this is something you need to encourage them to do safely.

Health

Lastly, you need to ensure you know how to identify issues with your dog's health. Taking your pet to a vet at least once a year for a check-up and vaccinations will help you identify potential health concerns and know how healthy they are.

It can also be a good idea to look into breed-specific conditions and ailments your dog might be susceptible to. French Bulldogs, for example, and flat-faced breeds like the pug are susceptible to brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome. At the same time, Dachshunds are more likely to suffer from IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease), which is a herniated spinal disc, along with beagles and the labrador too.

You also need to keep on top of a regular worming and flea control program and look into giving them supplements to support their gut health (probiotics are currently popular to help support gut health), joints, fur, skin, and dental health too. 

Don't overlook the importance of good dental health in dogs. You should try to brush your teeth frequently, or failing this, giving your dog chews that can work to clean teeth regularly can help you avoid decay and getting teeth removed.

Protecting your dog from mosquitoes and ticks is another integral component of keeping them in top health. These pesky pests can spread diseases such as Lyme disease, heartworm and Rocky Mountain spotted fever which have serious adverse health implications. Proper mosquito and tick control measures should be implemented not just to safeguard their wellbeing but also that of all members in your household; prevention always works better than cure!

Conclusion

As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to ensure your dog is always happy, healthy, and safe. It can be a massive responsibility and not one you can shirk if you don't feel up to it. Dogs love unconditionally, and as such, you need to return this love by making sure you are taking care of all of their needs at all times.

25 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great information. It sounds very helpful.

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  2. These are good tips. We have a toy poodle and one of his issues is allergies.

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  3. Thank you for sharing these tips on pet care for my pooch!

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  4. Can't wait until I can adopt another dog one day

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  5. These are great tips for keeping your pet safe and well.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  6. Good information and tips to pass on to pet owners. Thanks!

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  7. Dog ownership is complicated, but worthwhile!

    —Elizabeth

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  8. So many great tips on keeping your dog happy & healthy! Thank you.

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  9. These are great tips for potential st owners.

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  10. Along with the fun of having a pet comes the responsibilities of being a pet parent. These are great tips to keep in mind for successful pet ownership.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  11. This is very useful information. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Our dog just turned 1 years old, and we are still training her every day. I've learned so much over the past year.

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  13. I am sharing this with my mom her dog is a terror!!!

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  14. Pet parents will find these reminders very helpful.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  15. Thank you for sharing this

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  16. Wonderful tips, thank you for sharing

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  17. Thank you for the great article.

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  18. great info thanks for shareing

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  19. Glad you pointed out the obesity issue. So sad to see dogs that are overfed.

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  20. Thank you for the information. I've been training my dog lately.

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  21. Great tips. You are right that dogs need both mental and physical stimulation.

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