Whether you're a veteran pet owner or plan to adopt soon, your goal is the same: to keep your dog happy and healthy so you can live a long life together. Thankfully, dogs are known for their happy-go-lucky personalities. Here are some of the best tips we can offer:
1. Provide the Best Food
The best food will vary from one pet to the next. Generally, you want a food that offers balanced nutrition with few, if any, fillers. Each dog's nutrition needs are different, however, so it's best to speak with your vet to get a few good recommendations.
2. Offer Clean Water
Dogs need to stay hydrated, so it's best to provide constant access to clean, fresh water. In the summer, make sure the water doesn't get too hot. You should also check the water regularly for bugs and dirt.
3. Exercise with Your Pup
Regular exercise is a must for both people and dogs, so why not take a walk together? This will help you bond with your dog and keep you both healthy, too. The amount of exercise needed will vary from one pup to the next, but it's great to aim for 30 minutes or so per day.
4. Play with Your Dog
Dogs are very social creatures, which is why you should never leave them alone for too long. Your dog craves human engagement, so fit a little playtime in each day. You might play a simple game like tug or fetch, or you could take him outside for a little more strenuous exercise. Either way, your dog will love you after being cooped up all day.
5. Get Regular Checkups
People need health checkups to make sure they're doing well, and dogs are exactly the same way. Experts recommend bi-annual wellness exams, but a yearly exam is the absolute minimum your dog needs. With regular checkups, you can discuss any problems or concerns with your vet, and they can catch more serious problems early.
6. Train Your Dog
Believe it or not, a well-trained dog isn't just good for your own sanity: it's also best for the dog's own health and safety. Dogs are pack animals, and they enjoy having something to do. When you train your dogs to perform small tasks, it helps them stay mentally fit and happy. You should also train your dog to listen to your commands so you can keep him safe. For example, if your dog pulls off his leash and runs toward traffic, you can easily call him back if he's already trained to listen to your voice. Training is a long and sometimes difficult process, but it's well worth the effort. With a well-trained dog, you'll see fewer behavior issues from your pet, and he will be happier knowing that he has a strong leader at home.
7. Confine Your Pup
While many people choose to crate their dogs during the day, this is not the type of confinement we mean. Each year, many dogs run away and get lost or injured because their owners didn't keep them properly confined. You should always keep your dog safe by keeping him indoors, fenced in, or on a leash. If your dog is especially well-trained, you might consider walking him without a leash in safe areas. Keeping your pet confined in these ways is not harsh or meant to be a punishment; it's just a good part of being a responsible pet owner.
8. Use Preventive Medications
Dogs are especially susceptible to pests like fleas, ticks, and heartworms. Thankfully, there are medications available to protect against these pests so your dog stays healthy. For easy administration, try using a brand like Trifexis chewable tablets for dogs, which addresses all three.
9. Love Your Pet
The very best thing you can do for your dog is love. Pets can tell when they're loved and cared for, and this will make them happier than anything else. Thankfully, it's the easiest advice to follow, so you shouldn't have to think about this one at all.