Becoming a dog owner is a big responsibility: you get the loyalty and love of man’s best friend, but in return you need to provide for their needs, and even more, to know what those needs are and recognize what your dog is showing you. Dogs can’t tell you when something is wrong – they rely on you to recognise when they’re sick or in pain and take action to help! If you want to own a dog, you need to know about dog vomiting and diarrhea treatment, healthy dog diets, and how much exercise your dog needs, among many other topics.
Today we’re taking a look at some of the ways you can keep your dog healthy and handy.
Common Health Problems
Take the time to research some of the most common health problems that can affect dogs in general, and your breed in particular, so you’re ready to spot the warning signs, and can tell a serious problem from a minor discomfort.
One of the most frequent health problems dogs encounter are digestion related – it’s helpful to know that if your dog’s not able to keep food down, you should switch to offering them a ‘little and often’ diet of easily digestible food like boiled chicken with rice, and plenty of fresh water. This can help to keep them fed nutritiously until they’ve recovered and of course if they don’t show any improvement you shouldn’t hesitate to take them to the vet.
Dogs can suffer physically and psychologically if they don’t get enough exercise – and if they get too much, especially if they’re puppies! The amount of exercise they need can vary based on their breed and on their stage of life, but for many adult dogs, one long and one short walk a day is sufficient, as long as you are guided by your dog’s energy levels over what constitutes a ‘long walk’.
Merely walking might not be enough to stimulate your dog, mentally or physically. Bringing a toy like a ball or a stick to chase helps to keep walks interesting, and can help you encourage your dog to burn off more energy than simply walking alongside you. They can also be useful tools to distract your dog or command its attention if you need to!
If you can, it’s good to vary the route of your walks, going to different places and providing lots of different sites and smells for your dog!
While variety might be helpful in the outside world, it helps a dog to feel safe and happy if they have a routine at home, built on stable rules they can trust. While it’s not a disaster if unexpected events overtake, try to stick to similar feeding and bed times from day to day.
Routines like this help to reduce anxiety, they make house training much easier, and feeding routines can help make sure you don’t over or under-feed your dog!