There’s a reason for the saying “Man’s best friend.” The bond we have with our dog is like no other. Which is why we want to do anything we can to keep our faithful and furry companions happy and healthy. Luckily, there are many things you can do to keep your friend’s tail wagging and to keep him with you for as long as possible. Make sure you check the boxes on our list, and your pup will thank you in lots of slobbery kisses.
Perhaps the easiest thing on our list is to show your dog affection. They love us just as much as we do, so it’s important to show it frequently so that they feel loved in return. Showing your dog affection comes naturally. A belly rub, ear scratch, or snuggle all allow our dogs to feel loved by us. Even eye contact is stimulating and a sign of affection for pups. Dogs also understand more language than we give them credit for, so a lot of “I wove you”s don’t hurt either.
Dogs love spending time with us at home, but they really need time outside to thrive. Frequent walks help keep your dog healthy both physically and mentally. Allow them to sniff occasionally to stimulate their senses and their mind. While it’s easy to get into the habit of taking the same walking route daily, try to branch out and explore new routes sometimes. New streets and trails bring new smells, sights, and sounds that excite your pup and tire him out.
While it may seem like you are being kind to let your dog make his or her own decisions, they prefer for you to be the alpha. The alpha of a pack of dogs is the leader, and makes the decisions for the whole pack. You should be comfortable and confident being your dog’s alpha, and they will appreciate it! Set boundaries and train your dog regularly. Obedience training is essential for both the dog and his owner. Don’t hand out treats for no reason. Discipline your dog with a firm “No” when he does something wrong. While it seems controlling, your dog will be thankful to have such a strong and confident alpha to take care of him.
It is important for your dog to have time to socialize with other dogs. Bring your companion to a local dog park and let him run and play with other dogs. This is another activity that gives him both exercise and stimulation, the perfect combination for a tired pup. Don’t have a dog park nearby, or a park is over-stimulating for your dog? No problem. You can still socialize your pup by spending time at a friend’s house that has a dog, or inviting other humans and their dogs over.
- Healthy high protein diet
The food that you give your dog is extremely important, as it provides all the nutrients that your dog will need to live a long and happy life. Feeding your dog high protein dog food can help increase their energy. A dog’s diet needs to be anywhere from 18-25% protein in order to fully meet their needs. The more protein they have in their diet, the more energy they will have to play, walk, and snuggle with you!
- Vet you can trust
In order to take adequate care of your faithful friend, you must find a veterinarian that you can trust. Take the time to read reviews online and potentially talk to other clients before choosing the vet you will stay with. Make sure your vet is relatively close by and has hours that work with your schedule. The right vet will keep your dog happy and healthy by providing thorough check-ups and regular vaccinations.
While we know the bond you share is deep, it’s always important to allow your dog to have some downtime or alone time. Even if you have a breed that seems to move a mile a minute, they still tire out and, just like humans, require some recharging time. Make sure your dog has his or her own safe and comfortable space within your home that they can go to for some rest and relaxation. This can be a bed, a crate, or a mat, just as long as your dog knows that it is theirs. When they choose to go to their personal space, take the hint and leave them alone.
If you’re reading this article, you’re already taking a step in the right direction to giving your best friend the happy and healthy life they deserve. If it seems overwhelming, start to incorporate these actions one at a time until they become habit. Both you and your dog will notice, and welcome, the benefits.