Dogs are known for their loyalty, affection, and dedication to their owners. But owning a dog is also proven to improve your health, increase your confidence and increase your happiness.
1- Play with your dog
Regular exercise is as important for dogs as it is for people. Try to find activities that both of you can do while you pump your blood. Throw a Frisbee around, take your dog for a swim or strap on your rollerblades if your dog likes to run.
Veterinarians recommend taking your dog for at least two 15-minute walks a day. Well, it’s just a guideline. Dogs that are taller and have more energy may need more or longer walks, and some dogs may do without a single walk a day. See what works best for you and your dog.
If your schedule doesn’t allow you to do enough time, hire a professional walker to spend time with your dog.
2. Take your dog to a groomer, or do it yourself
Dogs benefit from regular bathing, brushing, nail clipping and haircuts if they are a continuously growing fur breed. They may not like having done this, but they are sure to feel better afterward.
Also, if your pet has fleas or ticks, get them treated as soon as possible, either professionally or at home.
Cleaning your dog’s ears is another important grooming task. It prevents dust mites and infections, which can lead to hearing loss if left untreated. Check out these tips on how to keep your dog’s ears clean.
3. Include social time
Socializing with different people and other animals naturally reduces canine stress hormones, making them less aggressive and fearful. Well-socialized dogs often accept unusual or new situations, such as going to the vet, more often. They look forward to going out and seeing new places, and grooming often goes much more smoothly with a calmer dog.
Try to take your boyfriend to a dog park, or visit friends who also have dogs. Sign up for a dog training course. You can also try to play with other animals, such as cats or horses. They can surprise you and get along well together.
Spending time with you and other members of the human family is one of the best ways for your dog to have social time. Set aside time alone every day to give love to your best friend.
4. Exercise their minds
You can buy commercial toys that are designed to challenge your dog’s intellect. But you don’t need to spend a lot of money to create fun games for your pet. Try some of these easy ideas:
Fill the cups of an old muffin tin with items such as balls or other chewing toys and let your dog understand how to release them.
Hide their favorite treats around your home or yard for a tasty round of sniff-and-go-seek.
Set up agility parks with common objects in your home or yard.
Tie a string to the end of a long stick, then a toy or object to the end of the chain. Angle the object in front of your dog, varying how fast and slowly you move it to keep the game interesting.
5. Have candy in hand
Giving treats to your dog may seem frivolous, or like spoiling your pet. Rest assured that this is not the case. Like human children, dogs need to focus on something and keep them occupied, while improving their physical and mental abilities.
Treats will keep a dog engaged and prevent them from chewing on your furniture, digging up your flower beds or other acts of boredom.
A treat can be any toy or food your dog likes. You can give them as part of a formal training session, just to be good all day long or if you see signs that your dog is bored.
6. Keep your dog safe during extreme weather conditions
It may not be immediately obvious, but dogs can suffer during extreme cold or hot temperatures. Don’t forget to be very careful at these times.
Fur is often not enough to keep dogs warm during cold weather. They need extra layers as well as protection against skin damage and other winter hazards. Consult the Cold Weather Safety Tips of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for Dogs.
Excessive heat can also be dangerous for dogs. They do not sweat to cool down like humans, so they can be exposed to heat stroke. Avoid taking your dog out during the hottest hours of the day and make sure he always has enough water and shade. Discover the warning signs to watch for and how to identify and treat an overheated dog.
7. Visit the veterinarian regularly
The first visit of a new puppy to the vet should be about 8 to 10 weeks. Your puppy will receive a physical examination and potentially worming. You can also discuss important issues such as sterilization, vaccination and the microchip.
Veterinarians recommend annual examinations for adult dogs, and twice a year for dogs over 7 to 10 years of age. This gives you the opportunity to catch all health problems before they become a problem, ensuring that your puppy stays healthy and happy for years to come.