Dogs can be our best friends. They give us support, help us laugh, and even encourage us to exercise. However, dogs don’t have the luxury of living as long as we do.
As humans, it’s easy to put off getting healthy another year because that one year is so short in the whole scope of our life. But our dogs can’t do that. One year to them is a significant portion of their entire life. And that one year of health could make all the difference to their lifespan.
Check out these health tips so you can help your loyal companion live their best life. And maybe, in turn, they’ll motivate you to get healthy.
1. Make sure their diet is healthy
There are tons of options for dog foods out there, but some are just plain unhealthy. Unfortunately, the unhealthy options are usually the cheaper ones. Just like fast food—you can pay $4 for a full meal that’s extremely unhealthy, or you can pay $8 for something that will actually make you feel better after.
If you want your dog to be healthy, it’s important not to compromise on their dog food. Talk to their vet about the best options for their breed. It might be more expensive, but it’ll be worth it in the end.
2. Checkups with the doctor
Just like we have countless appointments each year, your dog needs to head to the doctor. A healthy adult dog should probably go to the vet at least once every year for basic health checks. There are also some vaccines that are important to stay on top of.
3. Check out their teeth
Dogs’ mouths are notorious for being especially grimy. Their teeth get stained and their gums get red—not a pretty sight. There are tons of diseases that go along with unhealthy gums and teeth in a dog. Instead of letting your dog’s teeth get stained, try brushing them more frequently. It would be ideal to brush your dog’s teeth every day, but that might not be practical for you. At least try brushing them once every week.
4. Regular exercise
This one is so important for a dog’s health. To prevent weight gain and the health issues that come along with that, make sure that your dog is getting regular exercise. If you run regularly, try taking your dog with you next time. If not, you could find a local dog park where your dog can get out all of their energy.
5. Reduce anxiety
When my family was going through some major changes, our dog started acting more anxious. Several times he had some panic attacks that scared us quite a bit. The vet recommended that we try giving him a pheromone collar. These collars release synthetic hormones that mother dogs release. This will help to calm the dog as they’re going through life changes. Some people don’t notice major changes, but my dog started to calm down significantly. After four weeks of wearing the collar, he was back to his normal, happy self.
There are other ways of reducing anxiety in dogs, including pheromone diffusers and weighted vests. Talk with your dog’s vet about some of these options and figure out what works best for you and your dog’s lifestyle.
Dogs are some of our best friends—it’s important to treat them like it! If you need ideas for exercises you can do with your dogs, check out these exercises for you and your dog.