Do you have a happy dog? Do you know what to do to keep them happy? Your dog can be a friend, exercise partner, emotional support, and personal guardian. Dogs fill all these roles easily and ask very little in return. If you want to thank your canine companion for his many contributions to your life, provide the right care that will ensure his physical health and emotional well being. Here are 10 ways to ensure your dog is happy and has all he needs for a good life.
1) Healthy Food
Commercial pet food companies provide a wide variety of foods for dogs, which are formulated to provide the right nutrition for canines at every stage of life and special dietary needs. These products come in many different forms, such as dry, canned, fresh and frozen. Talk with your veterinarian about the best type of food for your dog's needs. Raw foods have become a popular trend for canine feeding, but owners must have the time to mix individual ingredients carefully to provide the right nutrition.
2) Regular Exercise
As soon as you get your puppy, begin teaching him or her how to walk on a leash. Your dog will look forward to daily walks around the neighborhood. You can also take your dog along with you to parks or other parts of town so that he can become accustomed to unfamiliar surroundings.
Dog owners can find an almost endless number of dog toys for their pets. However, not all of them will appeal to every dog. For some dogs, a simple ball for playing fetch is all they require. Other dogs are especially fond of tugging toys, and others seem to prefer toys that squeak or make noise in some way. You can also find puzzle toys that make dogs figure out how to extract a treat. Trial and error is the best way to learn which toys your dog will enjoy.
4) Playtime with Your Dog
One of the most important ways you can keep your dog happy and well-adjusted is by spending time playing with him on a daily basis. Just a short play session will help to ensure that your dog gets the attention and stimulation he needs to feel valued and loved. A few rounds of fetch, a brushing session or just snuggling in front of the TV is all your dog needs to feel appreciated.
5) Social Time With Other Dogs
Dog experts recommend providing opportunities for your dog from an early age to socialize with other canines. This idea allows your pet to learn the fundamentals of "dog etiquette" that allows them to romp and play comfortably with other canines. Your dog can spend time with others at the dog park, at doggie daycare or just while taking walks around the neighborhood. However, some dogs may not be good at reading "dog language signals" and may become aggressive or timid. Monitor your dog carefully during interactions with other dogs. If he or she does not enjoy the time with other dogs, accept this and provide more time with human company.
6) Scheduled Immunizations
An annual visit to your vet will ensure that your dog receives the immunizations he or she needs to protect him from common diseases that affect canines. Core immunizations include those against canine parvovirus, canine hepatitis, distemper, and rabies. Non-core vaccinations include those against bordatella and leptospirosis. Other vaccines may be necessary for outbreaks of other illnesses that may occur. Your veterinarian will advise you on the best immunizations to protect your dog.
7) Dental Care
Like humans, dogs depend on their teeth to help them get proper nutrition. Your vet may recommend daily brushing of your dog's teeth and periodic teeth cleaning procedures. If you cannot provide regular dental care for your dog, look into one of the many dental chews that are on the market that help to remove plaque from dog's teeth.
8) Basic Grooming
Your dog will also appreciate basic grooming to keep his coat in excellent condition. Some breeds require professional grooming services. Even shorthaired dogs benefit from occasional bathing and brushing. Don't forget to have your dog's nails trim periodically to prevent paw and nail problems.
9) Appropriate Boarding While You're Away
Some people enjoy taking their dogs along when they go on vacation, but this is not always possible. You will likely have to arrange dog care at some time for your pet, either at a boarding kennel or in private care. Some pet sitting services will come to your home periodically throughout the day to care for your dog. Or you may prefer leaving your pet with a trusted friend. The type of service you choose will depend on your dog's needs. Older dogs may not be able to handle a kennel stay well. Other dogs become stressed in group-boarding facilities. Experience will tell you which type of care is best for your dog.
10) Proper Training
Your dogs will be happier if he (or she) knows, exactly, what you expect and what he is allowed to do in different situations. Give your dog the training needed for everyday activities to keep him safe and ensure he is a good citizen. That should include basic commands, such as "sit," "come," and "stay," as well how to greet guests without jumping on them and climbing on laps without an invitation. Of course, you should housebreak your dog thoroughly, praising the animal generously for good behavior.
Bringing a dog into your life is a responsibility, as well as a pleasure. Experience will tell you what your dog needs and the best ways to satisfy those needs. If you follow these 10 strategies, you will have a good start on keeping your canine companion happy and healthy at all stages of life.