When we decide to have a dog we must be aware of all their needs. Most people would think that they only need food, water, and a daily walk but the list is much longer than that.
Having a dog is like adding a new member to the family, and that means taking good care of them instead of just doing the bare minimum.
A healthy puppy can turn into a very malnourished dog very quickly, and we don’t want that. As a pet parent, you should always prioritize your dog’s health!
So, without any further ado, let’s talk about 8 simple ways you can maintain a healthy dog.
1. Go to the vet
This is extremely important, and unfortunately is the most outlooked aspect of the list. Why? Because it involves money.
If you have a tight financial status that barely covers you and your health, we don’t expect you to stop taking care of yourself to take care of your dog, but what we do expect is that you don’t get a dog in the first place if you can’t afford their needs.
People might think that having a dog is a great idea until they realize how much money goes into it, and when they do realize, it’s too late, and often these people either treat their dogs poorly or abandon them.
You don’t have to go to the vet every week or every month. Depending on your dog’s lifestyle, you might just need a check-up once or twice per year.
just like us, dogs need dog vaccines to protect them (and us) from any possible disease that they might contract. Also, pet insurance exists so you can have payment facilities, cheaper exams, and check-ups.
2. Provide healthy food
Another aspect that people don’t follow through is making sure that they’re giving high-quality dog food and healthy dog treats to their pets.
Normally, you go to the store and get whatever dog food is the cheapest or has some type of discount.
Dogs, however, cannot be put in the same box. Puppy food is different from adult dog food, and adult dog food might not be appropriate for an elder dog who probably has health problems.
Also, some breeds might need special food and special dog treats while others can eat whatever. That’s why it’s important to inform yourself about your dog, go to a specialist if you have to.
The key is to make sure that what you’re feeding your dog is healthy and that they enjoy it, and if so, keep it that way. Don’t feed them with different dog food each day, instead, maintain a consistent, healthy diet.
3. Take care of their dental health
A good way to spend less money on the vet for dental care is to make sure that you’re brushing your dog teeth.
If you’re wondering how many times you should brush your dog’s teeth, once a day is enough. By doing this, you’ll be avoiding eventual cavities or gum diseases and of course, avoiding the pain that would come with it, which is the last thing you’d want for your dog.
Make sure that you buy a dog toothbrush and dog toothpaste, normally found in vets or animal stores. Do not use your personal items or your own toothpaste, humans’ toothpaste contains fluoride, which is incredibly toxic for dogs. Besides, a dog’s toothbrush plus toothpaste set can be cheaper than our own set so there’s no excuse here!
4. Give them dental chews
Even though dental chews do not substitute teeth brushing, it’s a good alternative for dogs who are not as flexible when it comes to obeying commands, or maybe they just simply hate it when you try to brush their teeth.
These dental chews are available at almost every supermarket, and of course, vets and pet stores. They’re tasteful which will attract your dog, and they’ll effectively help with plaque and tartar buildup.
However, they do not provide the same care as brushing teeth, so we encourage you to not give up and try to teach your dog to behave while you do it.
5. Exercise daily
Worried about your dog being too energetic? Especially at night? If so, maybe that’s a sign that your dog isn’t getting the regular exercise they need.
Go for a walk with your dog in the afternoon when it’s sunny outside, or just let them play on the patio, play catch or simply go for a run with them! There are countless activities that you can do with your dog that would help them stay active, and who knows, maybe it can also be a workout for you!
6. Bathe them regularly
After a walk around the park, rolling in the grass and sniffing every possible object, your dog is in need of a bath! However, you should keep dog baths to a maximum of one time per week since excessive washing can cause damage to their skin. To maintain good hygiene, you can brush their fur to remove daily dirt and even pass a wet towel on their paws.
But when the end of the week comes, a bath is necessary, so, how to bathe your dog properly? Firstly, get a dog shampoo that is appropriate for their type of fur. Then, try to be as calm as possible, especially if it’s their first time. Use lukewarm water and let them air-dry after removing water excesses with a towel.
7. Cut their nails
Dog nails can accumulate a lot of dirt underneath, not to talk about the possible inflammations and pain that mistreated nails might provoke to your dog.
A lot of dogs might not be a fan of the experience, but you should never make them feel as if it’s some sort of punishment.
The good news is that you only have to do this every two weeks. But when you do decide to cut their nails, make sure you give them a treat after! Teach them not to be scared of a basic hygiene procedure!
8. Be aware of potential danger
Last but not least, it’s no secret that our houses are full of toxic products and foods that are poisonous to dogs. The best we can do is pay attention to these items and make sure that our dogs won’t reach them!
The same goes for toxic plants, dangerous furniture, and so on.
Next time you clean your house make sure your dog is locked up in a room, or, don’t leave cleaning products lying around the house floor.
There’s one more requirement for maintaining your dog’s health, and that’s love.
Giving love and showing affection is the easiest thing you can do. It takes no money, no effort, and your dog will appreciate it and reciprocate! A happy dog is a dog who’s loved by their family.
Don’t forget to cut all the bad habits and start taking care of your dog properly! He/she deserves it.