When you own a dog, you have the heavy responsibility of keeping it healthy and happy – giving it the best possible care to live the best possible life it can as a dog. Your responsibilities are actually enshrined in law, via the Animal Welfare Act of 2006. This sets in law your obligation to provide a safe environment for your pet, and do your best to protect to it from harm, pain, suffering and distress – though of course as a responsible and loving dog owner, this is something you’d surely want to do anyway!
Today we’re taking a look at some of the ways you can help give your dog the best care possible.
Watch What Goes In
Your dog’s diet is one of the ways you can exert the most influence over its day to day wellbeing and long term health. And it’s not just what you put in its bowl at the beginning and end of the day! Many dogs are keen scavengers, and if you’re frequently complaining “my dog has vomiting and diarrhea”, it could be because they’re eating stuff that’s harmful to them during walks!
Make sure the food you’re feeding them is nutritionally complete and right for their age group – if it’s not, then they’re not getting all the nutrients they need to be healthy.
It’s also important to keep your eyes on your dog when you’re out walking. Even when they’re exploring off the lead, you need to be paying attention. If your dog is forager – if it eats almost anything it finds on the ground, you’ll need to do something about it, from more training right through to considering getting a muzzle. It might be time, effort, even minor discomfort for your dog, but it’s well worth it in averting consequences from brief bouts of vomiting right through to poisoning!
Another key part of your dog’s health and wellness comes exercise – and not just their physical health. Walks and play give them exercise, but also provide vital mental stimulation. Dogs love to walk, but it is possible to give a dog too much exercise – especially when they’re a puppy. This can cause muscle and skeleton problems in their development. Look up the age and breed of your dog to find the right amount of exercise for them.
It’s also worth planning your route in advance to try and make sure you’re giving your dog some variety. The same walk every day could get boring, so have a few different routes in mind and vary your daily walk to give your dog more sights, sounds and smells to experience!
Meeting other dogs and people too is important for your dog’s development and happiness. If they don’t start to meet other puppies and dogs early in their life it can be hard for them to learn to be comfortable around other dogs.
If you can, try making arrangements with other dog owners to meet up to let your dogs play together in a supervised, safe environment. Some dogs are never happier than when they’re playing together in make-shift pack, while others prefer to keep apart, but regardless, the company of other dogs is vital to your own pet’s happiness!
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