Top 10 Ways to Better Care for your Dog

Spending time with our dog at the parkJulie, Murry and Blue Belle recognize the importance of taking good care of your dog. The picture to the right shows Blue Belle shortly after she was adopted. We took her for a walk in the park. She loves to go for walks. Our guest blogger shares ten ways to better care for your dog, including spending time with them.

Guest Writer: Ryean Bishop

We all do what we can to make sure that our pets are healthy, happy and well loved. But could you be over looking something? Here are the top 10 things to do for optimum health and happiness in your pet.

  1. Spend time with them! It is not enough to simply leave them in a room with a toy all day, every day. Dogs need that interaction with you to form a bond, trust you, and respect and take direction from you. They need cuddle time, walks, or play time with you to combat loneliness and feel loved.
  2. Exercise, exercise, exercise! Our pets need exercise to keep them healthy just like we do. Exercise will help keep them from getting more health problems or becoming overweight. It will also help to work off all their built up energy; thus creating a less crazed, well behaved pet.
  3. You are what you eat! Make sure that what your pet is eating is helping out his health instead of causing more problems. Your Veterinarian will be your biggest help in this department-don’t trust what foods the neighbors use, but get professional advice about what is healthy for your pet specifically. Whether they have allergies, digestive problems, or constipation, switching dog food may be the simple answer.
  4. Healthy, Positive Discipline. Mastering this will make both you, and your dog happier. You will be happy because your dog is behaving better and he will be happier because he knows what is expected, right and wrong, and what is allowed versus what isn’t. This sets him up for success more than guessing and trying feverishly to get approval when he doesn’t quite know how.
  5. Vet Visits. The minimum requirement for Vet checkups is once a year for most dogs. Doing this can help prevent future health problems from happening or properly treat existing ones. When a pet is healthy inside and out, it is easier for him or her to fully enjoy life.
  6. Keep Their Brain Active! One of the most common causes of behavioral issues in dogs is that they are simply bored. Keeping their mind active will not only help their overall well-being, but keep your house intact. A dog that is not being challenged mentally by you will make up their own challenges and games, and their ideas you probably wouldn’t like. Having toys with treats trapped inside or training them new tricks are ideas of how to give them constructive challenges.
  7. Gorgeous Grooming. Grooming will not only make your pet pretty, but healthy as well. If fur becomes matted it is unhealthy for the skin, and skin infections may occur. Grooming also helps prevent dogs from getting ear infections, excess tartar on the teeth, and ticks or fleas.
  8. Use Positive Reinforcement. Pets need to be appreciated just like we do. You don’t want the only attention that he or she gets to be negative. Let them know when they are doing something right or being obedient. Give them lots of praise and positive attention when they are behaving well, and they will want to do that more often.
  9. Social butterflies! It is important for dogs to be socialized to other dogs, animals, and humans. Socializing your pet will make it easier to go for a walk, to the vet, or into a pet store without pandemonium. Teaching your dog to maintain his or her manners and remain calm in lots of different situations will help him to be a better behaved and well rounded pet.
  10. All you need is love! Your pet feeling love from you and a secure attachment to you is obviously crucial. However, do not confuse the concepts of love and treats. Throwing the dog a bone is a nice reward, but will not help him to feel the love. Spend the time, and give him actual love instead of just treats.

Add these ideas to your routine and customize them to your pet and your life. There is no cookie-cutter, perfect way to take care of a pet; so do it your way. By following these simple steps, your dog is on its way to being the healthy, happy pet you want him or her to be.

Author Bio– Ryean Bishop is a health and wellness expert for dogs. He is a strong promoter of annual Veterinarian visits. Please click here to learn more about pet checkups and what you can do to keep your pet healthy.