For most pet owners, one of the biggest worries when it comes to raising a dog is how to keep him healthy. For those who lead busy lifestyles or work long hours, it can be especially difficult to make sure your dog gets enough exercise, yet it’s an imperative part of keeping him fit and vital.
It’s also important to make sure your dog sees the veterinarian regularly for checkups so he’ll receive all the shots he needs and to make sure he’s free of ticks, fleas, and worms. Depending on the breed, he may have special needs for staying healthy, or there may be underlying health issues that need to be addressed. Keeping him at a good weight is also imperative when it comes to ensuring that he’s where he needs to be in his development.
Owning a dog is a big job, and as such, there are many responsibilities to consider. Keeping him safe and healthy is a major priority; here are a few tips on how to get started.
Give him daily exercise
Having a large backyard will certainly help your dog get some exercise, but he also needs to be walked and allowed to run around in an open space. Check to see if your town has a dog park nearby, and set a goal to take your pup there once or twice a week. It’s important to remember while you’re there that other dogs can create issues, either by not getting along with your pet or by leaving droppings when they’re sick. Keep your dog away from the waste of other animals, and always keep him on a leash until you’re sure he’s safe to run untethered (such as in an enclosed area specifically designed for dogs without leashes). For more tips on dog park safety, click here.
Keep his diet in check
It’s important to make sure your dog is on the right diet for his breed and size. If you’re unsure of how much he should be eating, talk to your vet and come up with a plan. Small dogs are especially burdened by extra weight, which can cause joint pain and other issues, so maintaining a daily feeding routine and making sure he gets plenty of exercise is the best way to keep him healthy for a long time.
Clean his teeth
You can have your dog’s teeth professionally cleaned, but it’s an expensive process because they generally have to be given anesthesia. Talk to your vet about how best to clean your dog’s teeth; there are special toothpastes and finger-brushes on the market that will make the process easier, and keeping them sparkling white will not only improve his breath, it will ensure that tooth decay and gum disease don’t strike and send him to the vet for a costly evaluation.
Hire a dog walker
If you work long hours and are unable to get home in time to take your dog for a walk every day, consider hiring a dog walker who can come in while you’re out and ensure he gets some exercise and attention. It’s a very cost-effective way to help your pup stay fit even when you can’t be there.
Finding some fun games to play with your dog will not only keep him active, it will help with his mental agility as well. Playing hide-and-seek or hiding his favorite toy and rewarding him with a treat when he finds it will help the two of you bond while remaining active and having fun at the same time.
Keeping your pup fit and healthy will ensure that he’s around for a very long time. Talk to your vet about your dog’s ideal diet and exercise regimen and come up with a plan; share it with your family members to make sure everyone is on the same page.
AUTHOR: Aurora James.