These suggestions are great for creating and maintaining a healthy routine for your dog.
Food and Nutrition– Let’s face it. It’s hard not to give your dog treats from the table when they are staring at you with those big, sad eyes begging for food. But feeding your dog table scraps can be a bad habit. Too many foods that humans eat are dangerous for dogs causing upset stomach, gas, diarrhea and possibly a costly trip to the vet. Always check with your veterinarian before giving your dog human food. It is important to maintain a solid nutritional regiment. Some human foods can actually be healthy.
Exercise– Pets can be very active, especially puppies, and we should take the initiative to become actively involved with the exercise maintenance of our pet. Especially for larger and more active breeds, exercise is almost a necessity or your pet will become bored, get separation anxiety and possibly begin destructive behaviors. With any outdoor activity, such as walking or running, always make sure your pet is on a leash. Eventually, you may possibly want to mix up walking/running with hikes or bike rides. Playing fetch or ball is also a great bonding technique.
Train Your Dog! – Come on folks, spend the money. It is worth its weight in gold to get a trainer for potty training proper behavior and socialization. Far too many pet owners end up wanting to find a new home for their pets because they failed to get proper training to break habits like:
- Tearing up furniture
- Licking or biting
- Excessive barking
- Humping on guests
- Stealing food
Techniques learned during training can be reinforced by playing games and teaching new tricks. Having a well-mannered dog can significantly increase the happiness of your home.
Visit the Vet– Taking your pet to the vet ensures the longevity of your pet’s health and life. Your veterinarian also provides routine tests, vaccinations, and a physical exam that your pet needs. Always maintain monthly or yearly check-ups with your pets and don’t ignore new lumps and bumps that might appear as your dog ages.
Don’t Forget the Pearly Whites– Just like we have to brush regularly, so does your dog. Brushing your dog’s teeth, gums and tongue can insure that your dog does not get a case of ‘yuck mouth’. Plaque and tarter build up can make your dog’s breathe smell like death, not to mention cause gum disease and other very serious issues. Use an old toothbrush to combat bad breath. A regular soft adult toothbrush for large dogs and a baby toothbrush for smaller dogs will work. You may also use a finger brush (although they do not work as well); dental chews and water supplements to make your dog’s dental care easier. Start slow and build up. Brush in a circular motion. Try brushing the top teeth one day and the bottom the next. Be sure to use toothpaste intended for dogs and fluoride free since fluoride is toxic to dogs.