Deciding to have a dog is a big responsibility. So if you do have a dog, ensuring that they are happy and healthy for many years to come should be your number one priority. Remember, dogs love their owners unconditionally. They put all of their trust in you, which is why it’s so important to give them the best home you can. In this blog we’ll go through some simple tips to keep your dog happy and healthy – but remember the list is by no means exhaustive…
Provide safe and comfortable shelter
One of the first things you should provide for your dog is a clean and warm shelter. Every dog should have its own little space which it feels comfortable to relax in – a happy dog is a comfortable dog! Ensuring you have space for your dog is crucial, so measure up before your new dog arrives. Your scent makes your dog happy and feel safe so leaving an old piece of clothing in the bed can be a good idea.
Comfort outside is as important as inside, so make sure your garden is secure. This is important for a healthy dog (especially if you live in a city!) but it also makes life a little more relaxing for you as well!
Always provide fresh water
Your dog should always have access to clean fresh water from an easy to reach bowl. Just like us, dogs need to drink water regularly to keep healthy and hydrated. This is especially true after a long walk or an extended period of exercise. Simply refresh the bowl with clean water twice a day.
To see if your dog is drinking the right amount of water you can estimate based on 30ml-50ml per kg weight if your dog, if your dog is drinking in excess of 80-100ml of water per kg then this could be a sign of drinking too much (polydipsia) and a signal to further health issues, so veterinary advice should be sought.
Maintain a healthy weight
You should do your best to maintain your dog’s weight at a healthy level. Dogs that are overweight can become subject to heart disease, low energy, diabetes and skeletal problems. To ensure that this doesn’t happen, make sure you don’t feed your dog big portions at each meal, and go for regular walks. It’s also important to feed your dog the right type of food. Where possible, avoid processed dog food and stick to natural alternatives instead. A sign of a healthy dog is easy to see with its weight, a fit dog is a happy dog!
Nothing beats taking your four-legged friend out for a walk. The good news is that it’s a very healthy activity for you and your pet to do together. It is advised that dogs are walked for at least 30 minutes, twice a day. Once in the morning and once in the evening is a good rule to follow. You could also try to fit in a special trek at the weekends, see our blog on what to look for in a memorable dog walk.
Love and attention
Needless to say, the most important thing you can give to your dog is love and attention. Doing this makes them feel part of the family and increases their happiness. Don’t forget, dogs need companionship to survive. By playing with toys and simply being enthusiastic around your dog, they’ll feel like a valued and helpful member of the pack. With time you will soon learn how to make your dog happy.
Regular check ups
The last thing to remember when it comes to keeping your dog happy and healthy is arranging regular check-ups at the vets. Even if your dog is problem free, it’s important to get their general health checked at least once year. Your vets will be able to detect any unseen problems and advise on necessary vaccines and injections. These trips can be very positive with a good vet pointing out the signs of a healthy dog- always nice to know!