Supporting your dog to maintain a healthy lifestyle is one of the most critical responsibilities you have as a dog owner. While it can seem like an overwhelming responsibility at times, there are simple but impactful measures you can take to ensure your dog lives a life of optimal health.
We’ve narrowed down 3 of the most essential things you need to do to keep your dog healthy. Follow through on them, and you’ll be able to look forward to many more happy years with your beloved four-legged companion.
1. Take your dog on regular walks
We can all admit to occasionally groaning when it comes time to take our dog for a walk. It can certainly be difficult to find the time to squeeze in an exercise session when your own schedule is hectic, or when you’re just plain tired. Consequently, many dog owners find themselves skipping a walk, or two—or three.
Of course, with our busy lives, it’s inevitable that we’ll have to make modifications to our dog’s walking schedule from time to time. But when skipping walks becomes a regular occurrence, it’s time to buckle up. All dogs require daily physical activity because it plays a crucial role in keeping both their physical and mental health in check.
As petMD explains, exercise “tones the muscles, helps the body and metabolic system to function properly, and engages the mind.” It’s therefore integral that you keep up a regular exercise schedule which is suited to your dog’s particular needs.
Not all dogs, after all, need a 2-hour session running around in the park. Older dogs, certain breeds, or injured or sick dogs usually require less time and intensity with their workouts. In any case, be ready to set aside some time during your day for exercise and it’s probably a good idea to invest in the right pet collar.
2. Prepare delicious and healthy meals
The food you give your dog has a considerable impact on their health. Giving your dog the right dog food can help them maintain a healthy weight, heart, mind, as well as overall health. Unfortunately, with countless products on the market all touting to be the very best dog food out there, it can be difficult to know what to buy. The truth of the matter is that a lot of dog products rely on deceptive marketing to make their pet food products seem better than they really are.
For this reason, it’s critical that you research exactly what your dogs need to be eating and how often. Ideally, your vet can advise you what type of food will help your dog be as healthy as they can be. You can also read up on tips for improving your dog’s diet – but just be sure to fact check to ensure you’re getting correct information. Similarly to exercise, your dog’s food needs will differ depending on many factors such as their current health, size, age, and breed.
Choosing the right food is not only essential for prolonging your dog’s health, but also improving it. For example, if you have an older dog who suffers from arthritis and joint pain you should consider trying out ElleVet Science’s soft chews, which help relieve pain and inflammation and aid with joint function, stiffness, and mobility loss. If your dog has a different health concern, you’ll find that with a bit of digging, there’s probably a pet food out there that will give your dog a bit of a boost.
3. Take necessary precautionary measures
If there’s ever a topic for a dog owner that remains at the back of your mind, it’s pet insurance. While we wouldn’t think twice about getting insurance for our house, car, or expensive personal belongings, many pet owners “um” and “ah” about whether pet insurance is worth the cost.
While there’s no skirting around the fact that it can be a costly added expense to your monthly budget, pet insurance is something that more often than not turns out to be an investment you won’t regret.
Just think of pet insurance as a precautionary measure which offers peace of mind “just in case” your dog gets sick or injured. You can’t know when that may happen, but if your dog does fall ill, would you rather foot a $1000+ bill upfront? Or have it covered in part or wholly by pet insurance?
It’s most definitely a personal choice, so whatever you decide to do, make sure you’ve given it ample thought and have factored in all considerations.
While we’re on the topic of precautionary measures, another important one we recommend you take is to book regular checkups with your vet. They are the key to detecting any medical issues early on, as well as giving you the opportunity to receive advice from a vet about how to stay on the right track with keeping your dog healthy.