We all want our pets to be happy and healthy, but how do we actively make that happen? Now I’m not suggesting that you allow your dog to tear up your living room sofa or dig you a new swimming pool in your back yard, but there are some simple things you can do on a day to day basis that will benefit your pups overall well being.
What do we normally do in the mornings? We drag ourselves out of bed (after hitting snooze up to a dozen times), grab some coffee, get ready and rush out the door without a moment to spare. This doesn’t leave much time for your well rested, energy charged pup. Waking up 30 minutes earlier for a quick walk or hike through the woods is something I highly recommend. Walking your best bud regularly promotes weight control and digestive health, alleviates hyper-active and destructive activity, encourages socialization and strengthens your bond. Not only that, this quick daily adventure allows you to shake off morning cob webs and promotes a better start to your day.
2) A healthy diet.
Eating healthy isn’t just important for the human members of the pack. Studies show that a lean, healthy diet can add as many as two years to your dogs life span. When choosing your dog’s food the most important words to look for are “complete and balanced nutrition.” That means your dog will get a healthy diet from his food, and won’t need vitamins or supplements. You can also look for a message from the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). That’s a guarantee that the food meets nutritional standards.
Dogs are special in that they enjoy human interaction just as much as they do interacting with other dogs. A short (15-30 minute) play date is great for you and your pup. They get to socialize with another dog, release energy, and you gain trust in their ability to be well behaved in other situations where you might have the opportunity to bring him or her along. We recommend setting up play dates with friends who have dogs that you know are good with other dogs.
4) Mental stimulation
Dogs have the ability to work and problem solve. Experiencing the same old smells and daily routines can become dull for our canine companies. A mentally stimulated dog is a happy dog so find time to integrate small training sessions and games into your daily routine. Hide and seek, hiding treats for them to find or learning new tricks are all great ways to keep your pup satisfied.
5) New and exciting toys
This last one may seem obvious, but it’s important non the less. Dogs are instinctual chewers and providing them with toys is one way to make sure they don’t make their own toy out of your new shoes. Finding something new and different every once in awhile is also good for mental stimulation. To your dog a unique chew toy is like a puzzle they have to solve!