Last updated on December 19th, 2023 at 09:48 am
The responsibility of caring for a dog is more than rewarded in the form of the unconditional love you receive back. In just the same way that your cherished canine shows that they love you, making sure their every need is catered for will show your love for them.
With this in mind, here are three key checks to make regularly to ensure your dog is happy and healthy.
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1. Stimulate Their Mind
Mental stimulation in varied forms and from different sources is a hugely important component of a happy and healthy dog, with the simplest being making your dog work for their treats.
With their main meals, they can be simply put inside the bowl at the appropriate time, but with treats, use them as training aids, hiding them around the room for them to sniff out and giving your dog a puzzle chew toy that they must access to win a treat.
Other effective methods of stimulating your dog’s brain and keeping them alert, sharp, and focused include:
- Allowing them to go (within reason) where they like on their walks
- Teaching them a new trick every six months
- Teaching them the names of their favorite toys and playing fetch
- Creating an outdoors obstacle course in the backyard
2. Be Careful with Food
Even the most well-trained and obedient dog, especially younger dogs and puppies, will still be more than a little interested in the food on your plate at mealtimes and while they may not beg outright, falling for the classic puppy dog eyes is understandable.
However, there are a number of foods that, for example, can cause serious issues with your dog’s digestive system and that should, therefore, be kept well away from your dog. Familiarize yourself with such foods and be sure to check out some of the most common pet nutrition myths, so you’re feeding your beloved pooch the right kinds of food, at the right time, and in the right quantities.
3. Regular Veterinary Appointments
Dogs, just like human beings, are entirely individual and what’s perfectly acceptable for the diet of one breed or specific animal, can be totally inappropriate for another.
This is why it’s absolutely essential to register your new dog or puppy with a vet immediately after bringing them home and even more sensibly, as soon as you know the dog you’re getting.
Your dog should be neutered, vaccinated, and have a full health check performed by a qualified veterinary surgeon or nurse as soon as possible. Be sure to ask for the paperwork with the purchase or adoption of your new dog and ask the old owners, animal rescue, shelter, or reputable breeder for any additional information they deem to be useful.
Finally, you should always make sure that you or another member of your household who live there permanently have at least a week off from work and can dedicate this time to helping your new furry family member to acclimatize.