Dogs have changed a lot since they decided to join humans around the campfire, and not always for the better. Like humans, they can suffer from many ailments. The following exercise and nutritional tips may help keep your dog healthy so the two of you can have a long, mutually beneficial relationship.
First, Get A Checkup
Contact your veterinarian before you make any major changes to your dog’s diet or activities. They will be able to advise you about the basics and let you know if there are issues with your dog’s condition or breed that can affect diet and activities. How you follow through with their advice can make all the difference in your dog’s health.
Tip One – Play Time Is Exercise
Dogs love to play, and it burns up a lot of calories. The following games are consistent favorites among most breeds.
Fetch with a favorite toy is one way to get your dog to burn calories. It’s not uncommon for the human to get worn out first, however, so try not to disappoint your dog by stopping this activity too soon. If you search the internet you can find some hacks that can make fetch easier on your arm or the rest of your body and still exercise your pup thoroughly.
Hide-and-seek can be easier on your body since you can hide the items ahead of time and watch your pet go wild trying to find them. If you have a big backyard or play area, make sure to spread the items out so they get maximum exercise.
Tip Two – Special Exercises
You know what activities get your dog zooming but check with your vet to make sure the activity is safe. Some exercises, like obstacle courses, can hold hidden dangers. Walking dogs or taking them along on hikes is usually safe, but pay attention to subtle signs of pain. Your vet may suggest special exercises for certain breeds.
Tip Three – Expensive Food
Expensive dog food is not always better. Many human companions have discovered that lower-cost dog food brands are as good or better for their furry buddy than expensive dietary options. So, be vigilant with pet care supplies and check the nutritional information panel on whatever food you buy. Consult with your dog’s veterinarian to find the healthiest and most cost-effective choice, if necessary. Then, pay attention to your dog, because they will be the final judge.
Tip Four – Human Foods Are Not Treats
Sharing the living room with your dog is fine, but sharing your diet is not, generally speaking. Cooked meat, for example, is so easy to digest that it can weaken your dog’s digestive system.
Human food can contribute to weight gain and canine obesity. Then, there’s the cholesterol content to think about – dogs can get clogged arteries just like human beings.
Some human food is toxic for dogs, like chocolate, for example. The list is long and includes the following:
- Macadamia nuts
- Chewing gum
- Salami, prosciutto, pepperoni, and other cured meats
- Plums, peaches, grapes, and many other fruits.
Tip Five – Measure Food
Measuring food is essential so you know how many calories are going into your doggo.
Check the nutritional label on your dog food and consult your veterinarian. Then, calculate the amount of food your dog needs, taking their weight and activity level in mind, and serve it to them consistently every day. Weigh your dog periodically to keep track of changes, and make compensations if necessary.
Remember snacks are food, so make sure to count those calories too.
Show Your Love By Keeping Them Healthy
Part of your relationship with your dog is keeping them healthy. This means you may have to make decisions that are contrary to their desires, and this may cause friction. But this will pass and your pup will adjust to the changes, as long as you give them room to change. Hang tough and offer extra attention and love (and maybe some extra healthy treats), and your dog will go through this transitional phase and end up being healthier for it.