Tips for keeping your dog healthy and happy
The best thing you can do to insure a happy addition to your family, is to choose a dog that is a good match for your home and lifestyle. If you have a young and active family, it makes sense to have dog that loves exercise and has lots of energy. If there are no children in your household, and you are not physically active, you probably want a smaller dog that requires less activity. Some dogs require a lot of attention and want to be with the rest of the family as much as possible. I learned how important this is when I ended up with 3 Dobermans. This is a breed that will not do well if left home alone on a regular basis, or tied up in the yard by himself. Dobermans are known as “velcro dogs” for a reason.
Maintaining your dog at a healthy weight is something you can do that will improve the quality of his life. Overweight dogs, just like overweight people, have more health problems. Arthritis and joint pain, diabetes and heart trouble are common in overweight dogs. Older dogs and less active breeds obviously require less calorie intake. On the other hand, puppies and young, active dogs will need to be fed differently. Growing puppies need to be fed several times and day, eventually tapering off to 2 meals a day. A high quality meat based diet is best and a human grade, quality pet vitamin is a great way to supplement your dogs diet, providing important nutrients, such as omega fatty acids and antioxidants that most commercially available dog foods do not have.
An important ingredient for happy dogs and happy dog owners, is learning some manners. You should enroll your puppy in a basic obedience or puppy kindergarten class. This will go a long way in keeping harmony in the house! Socializing your puppy or even your new adopted adult dog is also crucial. You want your new family member to be familiar with your kids friends as well as your neighbors and your neighbors pets.
Exercise, both physical and mental will go a long way in keeping your dog happy and healthy. Exercise should be fun for your and your dog. Its a great way to get out and meet people and gives your dog a chance to explore all the different smells he comes across. This may not sound very exciting to us, but your dog will love it. The amount of physical activity required is dependent on the age and breed of the dog. Working dogs in particular require adequate physical activity, but they also thrive on mental challenges. They are intelligent and like to learn, especially to please their owner. The best exercise for your four-legged friend can be as simple as running around and playing in the yard with the kids.
Routine vet appointments for keeping shots up to date, toys to chew and play with, and lots of love and affection from you will guarantee your dog will live the good life and bring you years of devotion from your furry family member.
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