Dogs are generally among the most joyful of animals, with a true lust for life and hearty enjoyment of everything that approaches them. This joy can of course enhance the lives of their owners as well, and there is no doubt that owning a dog is a very positive endeavour for the dog lover! It is great to have a happy dog, but have you ever wondered if there is anything specific that you can do to make your dog happy and reward them for their presence in your life?
Read on for our list of ten great ways to make your dog happy and healthy.
Doctor Google is the bain of many modern vet’s lives, and there are few things more frustrating than spending five years in veterinary school and many further years in practice, only to reach a carefully thought out diagnosis and be told by the dog owner “but when I looked up the symptoms on the internet, it said something else!” Google is of course, not a recognised veterinary resource, and a lot of the information on the internet is highly questionable! If your dog is sick or you have any concerns, it is of course fine to investigate for yourself what might be amiss, but do not take the word of Google, a pet shop employee, or a friend over the word of an experienced veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse.
While some dogs need to be groomed on a daily basis in order to keep their coat in good condition, even shorthaired dogs that do not necessarily need to be brushed can benefit from just five minutes a day of grooming. Brushing helps to stimulate the circulation and improve the condition of the skin and coat, and grooming also provides a valuable opportunity for quiet time and bonding with your dog.
Feed your dog the best quality dog food that you can afford, and you will almost certainly notice subtle changes in your dog’s health and condition. Feeding good quality food also goes some way to ensuring that your dog will stay fit and healthy into their old age, and helps to support healthy aging and everyday activities.
All dogs need to be walked, and many of us could certainly be doing more about exercising our dogs to the optimum level for them. While your dog certainly shouldn’t be pushed too hard or be close to dropping by the time that you come back from a walk, they should have burned off their energy and be appropriately tired, and ready to settle down and relax. If your dog is as lively as ever when you come back from your walk, you haven’t walked them for long enough!
Good training and management of your dog is important, but equally important is letting your hair down and just going wild with your dog from time to time, and letting your dog do the same! Bounding around with your dog, rolling around wrestling with them or encouraging them to chase you or jump around with you are not generally things that most of us do every day, but now and then, let loose and have a giggle with your dog; you will both benefit from it.
Different dog breeds have different traits; some love to run, some love to chase, some love to socialise, some love to dig, some love to sniff... The list is endless! Find out what makes your dog tick, and what makes them the happiest, and do what you can to provide for suitable and safe outlets for this behaviour.
Ooh! A new toy, awesome! Buy your dog the odd treat now and then to show them how much they mean to you, and spend plenty of time with them sharing their enjoyment of it. A new collar or lead now and then is appropriate too, and your dog’s food and water bowls should be replaced when they start to become scratched or damaged.
Treat your dog for fleas regularly, without waiting until you see fleas on your dog. Don’t let fleas take hold on your dog, as anyone who has been bitten by a flea knows, even one bite can be highly irritating! Flea infestations can also lead to fleabite sensitivity, an unpleasant and potentially dangerous condition for your dog.
If your dog loves car trips, try to take them with you when you can, allowing your dog to sniff the air (without getting their head out of the window) while you are driving along. Travelling at any speed and scenting the air has almost the same effect on dogs as catnip does on cats, as their highly sensitive sense of smell is bombarded with an ever-changing plethora of different scents to delight them.
Don’t let your dog’s claws get overly long to the point that they are uncomfortable and prone to snagging on things. Keep them at a suitable length, and if they do not wear down naturally, clip them or have them clipped to keep your dog comfortable.