How to Ensure Your Dog Lives a Long, Healthy Life

Sharing your home and your life with a four-legged furry friend is a huge privilege and is certainly not a responsibility you should take lightly. Joining the dog owner community and embracing everything canine will afford you daily physical exercise, new friends, and best of all, a loving and deep bond with your new pet. Naturally, you’ll want to do everything you can to ensure that your dog is happy and healthy, and here’s how!

Brush Their Teeth

Brush Their Teeth

As important as dental hygiene is for humans, it’s also crucial to take care of your dog’s teeth, and if you fail to ensure their teeth are kept clean and their mouth is healthy, this could lead to painful periodontal disease.

Worse still, bad teeth in dogs is also linked to the development of bacterial infections which specifically target the heart and can cause serious, possibly even fatal, issues.

Thankfully, it’s both affordable and simple to ensure that your dog’s teeth are strong, and it involves a three-point system, as follows:

  • Asking your vet to check your dog’s teeth during every annual checkup
  • Using a dog-specific toothbrush to clean each tooth regularly
  • Providing dental chews and safe toys for them to gnaw on

Feed Them Healthy Food

Feed Your dog Healthy Food

With the dog food you feed your precious pooch, make sure that you check the ingredients on the back of every pouch and bag, as low-quality dog food manufacturers often pack their food full of ash; yes, that’s right, ash.

Make sure the commercial food you buy is also from a reputable supplier and that it’s appropriate for both the health status, age, and the life stage of your animal.

There’s currently an ongoing debate: is raw or cooked meat better for dogs? The conclusion, although not absolute, seems to be that raw food contains purer sources of the important vitamins and minerals that your dog needs.

In addition, always make sure that there are several water bowls scattered around your home, which should always be full of fresh, clean, and cold water, and replaced every day at the absolute minimum.

For older dogs, it becomes more important to be very careful when you decide to feed them any treat that isn’t officially made for dogs, such as the leftovers from your evening meal, as when dogs get older, their stomachs are a lot more sensitive.

Be Aware of Foods That are Poisonous to Dogs

Poisonous food Dogs

As previously stated, owning a dog is a huge undertaking, and as with any animal that you decide to rescue or buy from a reputable breeder, it’s your responsibility to learn everything you can about the species and the breed of the animal.

You should also be acutely aware of the foodstuffs which are either partially, or entirely, toxic and even fatally harmful to dogs, which include the following:

  • Garlic
  • Milk and other lactose products
  • Chocolate
  • Onions
  • Citrus products
  • Fatty foods
  • Raw dough
  • Salty foods

Any item on the above list should always be kept entirely out of reach of your dogs at all times, with no exception, and if they do consume any item on the list, make sure that you contact their registered vet immediately.

Varied & Regular Exercise

dog exercise

Just as important as a healthy diet, your dog needs regular and large amounts of exercise. As well as at least one long walk a day (ideally two), you can also incorporate different kinds of exercise with your dog when playing with them, too. Instead of just handing them their treats, for example, hide treats around the house before giving them one to sniff and eat, encouraging them to go on a treasure hunt for treats.

Invest in a vast array of different soft toys and chew ropes and play fetch and tug of war with your dog, allowing them to flex their muscles and get their heart rate up, which will contribute to a healthier heart and therefore, a longer life.

Mental enrichment is also a vital component of your dog’s health and well-being, too, and a depressed dog is a poorly one, so make sure you give your pup plenty of attention and challenges to keep them alert and interested.

Allow Them Their Freedom & Independence

Freedom & Independence

Finally, as much as you love your dog and have cultivated, or will cultivate, a deep and intimate bond with them, you still need to allow them their own space and freedom, and not crowd them.

On average, although different breeds require different amounts of sleep, in addition to your dog’s full night’s sleep, they should also be asleep or resting for around two hours during the day. In actual fact, it’s entirely possible to overtrain your dog, as well as overfeed them, so make sure you give them plenty of time to chill out, too.


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