This is a guest post submitted by Mark Gray of Gray Media Consulting…thanks Mark!
We all love our dogs. That’s why it’s only natural we let them get away with some things which really shouldn’t be allowed. While that’s fine in moderation, prolonged spoiling of your canine chum can lead to health problems further down the line.
In a recent study carried out by Direct Line, it was discovered that a staggering 1.7 million dogs in the United Kingdom were overweight (source). As many as 54% of the owners interviewed admitted to over-rewarding their dogs with treats, as a means of showing them love.
Balancing snacks with a healthy diet is tough for some. In fact, this is something a lot of humans struggle with when it comes to taking care of their own bodies. If you’re confused about what you can do to help your pooch remain healthy, happy and thriving, here are our four simple tips for a happy and healthy dog.
4 Simple Tips for a Happy and Healthy Dog
1. Spice up your daily exercise
If you’ve ever found yourself in the middle of a health kick, you’ll know that running the same old route over and over can get very boring, very quick. Your dog is the same.
Spice things up by trialling new paths (you can do them on your own first if you’re unsure if they’re safe for your pet). And remember to ensure they get enough exercise to begin with. Some professionals suggest taking them on as many as three-to-four walks a day (depending on their breed).
Generally speaking, the smaller the dog, the less they’ll need to go out. This won’t always be the case of course. Your dog will have a very obvious way of letting you know they want to go out. Make sure you listen to it.
Also, don’t forget the mental exercise too! Brain games, activity mats and other canine enrichment toys are a great way to keep your pooch mentally stimulated when they can’t be out and about. For more info on canine enrichment and why it’s important, you might like to check out this post (when you are finished with this one of course!);
2. Keep them vaccinated
Nobody wants a poorly pooch on their hands. In order to prevent the chances of picking up a nasty infection, you’ll need to make sure they get all their shots. This is especially important if you have a puppy.
The Blue Cross highlights when you should get your new pet vaccinated. They suggest around the six-to-eight week point. From then until about week 13, they shouldn’t really go outside at all.
From this point on, the dog will probably need a follow-up injection every year. If you’re unsure what vaccinations a dog you’re adopting has already had, you can take them to a vet for a full assessment.
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3. Clean those gnashers
Gum and tooth health is just as important for dogs as it is for humans. That said, you probably don’t need to clean theirs as regularly as you do your own. It’s usually recommended you give them a brush at least twice a week.
The idea of putting your hand in their mouth might seem a little daunting at first. Make sure to slowly work up to it. First massage their lips with the brush, then move onto their teeth and gums. There are lots of specialist doggy toothpastes and brush options to choose from online.
It might seem like a real chore (for both you and your pet), but it’s ultimately for the best. Poor dental hygiene can cause their gums to recede and their teeth to become loose. In some cases even falling out.
4. Keep the bedding clean
Your dog might seem like he enjoys playing around in the mud (and he probably does), but that doesn’t mean he wants to come back to a dirty bed every night.
Failing to clean this regularly will result in a build-up of bacteria, as well as heightening the chance of infections like ticks or fleas becoming a factor. All you need to do is wash any removable covers, blankets or towels every week, as well as giving the bed a vacuum every few days.
For 15 affordable dog bedding options with washable covers, check out:
Have these tips helped provide you with a better picture of how to keep your dog happy and healthy? Be sure to follow this advice if you want to keep your pet in tip-top shape.