It’s well known that health and happiness are interlinked, but did you know that your dog’s physical and mental wellbeing is also important to its overall happiness? Dogs make wonderful companions but to ensure they have a happy and healthy life, there are several factors you should keep in mind.
Know their traits
Pay close attention to your dog’s habits and get to know what’s normal for them. Does your dog have certain rituals or follow specific behavioural patterns? Perhaps it runs around the house after every mealtime, or it needs to go to the toilet at 9am every day on the dot. Such habits might seem trivial, but they say a lot about your dog’s routine. By getting to know your dog’s individual behaviours, you’ll notice when they do something out of character that might indicate a health issue. Remember, your dog can’t tell you if there’s something wrong, so any deviation from its usual routine might be the first indication that all’s not well.
Watch their weight
Just like humans, dogs can suffer from obesity and all the negative associated health issues, such as diabetes and heart disease. A dog that’s struggling to walk because it’s uncomfortably overweight is not just unhealthy; it’s likely to be unhappy as well. It’s crucial, therefore, that you ensure your dog stays within a healthy weight range. You can be sure of this by trying not to spoil your dog with treats and by keeping them active with regular exercise. Avoid giving your dog human food, even if they’re giving you cute begging eyes that are hard to resist. Food designed for human consumption is often high in calories and is likely to be of little nutritional value for dogs. Some human snacks can even be toxic to dogs, so it’s doubly vital that you’re careful what you feed them.
Get regular check-ups
One of the best ways to maintain your dog’s health and happiness is to take it for regular veterinary check-ups. Annual veterinary visits will ensure that all your dog’s vaccinations are up to date and should help to detect any health problems early while they’re easier to treat. Unfortunately, you can’t always avoid your dog becoming ill, especially as it gets older and is more prone to physical ailments. What you can do though is make sure you’re well prepared to cover any unexpected veterinary costs with decent pet insurance. Having a dog insurance policy with no upper age limit is advisable, even just for peace of mind.
Look after their teeth
It’s easy to forget about your dog’s teeth, but it really is important that you stay on top of their dental health. Neglecting your dog’s dental hygiene can cause nasty ailments like gum disease and tooth decay. Not only can these be extremely painful and cause your dog misery, but they can also be detrimental to your pet’s overall health. Periodontal disease is associated with a range of health problems in dogs. There is evidence that it can cause inflammation in the heart and liver and has been shown to increase the risk of cardiopulmonary problems such as endocarditis. It’s therefore essential that you look after your dog’s oral health. There are many ways in which you can do this, such as regularly brushing their teeth, feeding them the correct food, and encouraging them to munch on dental chews.
Make time for them
Dogs need social interaction to stay happy, so it’s important that you make time for them. Playing with your dog helps to strengthen your bond with them and will keep them entertained and content. You should also make sure that you show your dog love, whether that be by telling him he’s a good boy or giving regular pats and belly rubs.
By following our tips, you have a good chance of giving your dog the health and happiness it deserves.