It goes without saying that once you adopt a pooch, your life changes in the most wonderful and unexpected ways. Taking care of a dog allows you to experience the joy of interspecies love, helps cultivate compassion, practice kindness, and learn responsibility. Speaking of responsibility, being a devoted dog parent means making sure your furry family member has everything they need to lead a healthy and happy life.
Provide Your Pooch with High-Quality Dog Food
Just like you, your canine companion needs a well-balanced diet to keep them satisfied and healthy. A lot of veterinarians say that the key ingredients of healthy dog foods are: real meat, vegetables, no fillers, and no artificial preservatives. Such dog foods can easily improve your pooch’s overall quality of life, but they can also keep their coat shiny, their teeth in good condition, and their weight in check.
Opting for quality dog food with real meat is crucial because canines require meat to satisfy their hunger. When shopping for dog food products, make sure you choose ones that have information about the type of meat they contain: lamb, chicken, or beef.
Vegetables are extremely important as well. According to experts, it’s best to look for dog foods that list at least a couple of different types of vegetables within the first few ingredients. Keep in mind that corn is to be avoided because dogs can’t easily digest it and it is usually used as a filler.
Steering clear of fillers and artificial preservatives is highly recommended because simply put, they don’t offer any benefits. Fillers, such as cereal by-products, peanut hulls, and corn bran, add very limited nutritional value to dog food, whereas artificial preservatives (chemicals used to make the food last longer) are associated with many health problems for canines.
Please remember that finding the best food for your furry pal might take some time because each individual dog reacts differently to different dog foods. Another thing to keep in mind is the necessity of feeding your four-legged companion foods that are suitable for their age, lifestyle, and health status. Last but not least, feed your pooch at least once a day (unless your vet advises you otherwise) from a dog food bowl that is safe to use and it’s suitable for the purpose.
Supply Clean Drinking Water
Giving your furry friend constant access to clean and fresh water is a must because they may become seriously ill within several hours if they don’t have water to drink. Make sure the water bowl you decide on is short enough for your pooch to drink from it. Stainless steel bowls are some of the most popular options nowadays thanks to their durability and weight (hard to turn over). Plus, they’re really easy to clean. Please remember to check your pooch’s water supply at least twice a day.
If your canine companion lives inside all the time, make sure he doesn’t drink out of the toilet by keeping the bathroom door closed and/or putting the toilet lid down. In case this doesn’t work, consider training your pooch to not drink from the toilet.
Create a Comfortable Space
Providing your dog with adequate shelter as well as clean, dry, and cosy bedding is not open to debate. Whether your pooch sleeps indoors or in your yard, they need to be properly protected from the elements and have a spot of their own.
If your four-legged buddy lives outside, you should provide them with a dog house that’s large enough for them to turn around and stretch with ease when inside. Aside from the size, you also need to pay attention to the materials it is made from. Dog houses made from high-quality waterproof materials are a perfect choice. Once you buy or build one yourself, choose a shaded area to place it so that it remains cool and comfortable to stay in during hot summer days.
When it comes to bedding, you can line the dog house with blankets or straw. Make sure to remove and wash the blankets every now and then as well as replace the straw. If your pooch lives in your house/apartment, your best bet is choosing a dog crate lined with a blanket, a towel, or a dog pillow because dogs love dens. In case crates are a bit too prison-like for your liking, orthopedic beds for dogs might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Investing in an orthopedic dog bed is a smart decision, no matter how old your furry pal is. Both puppies and senior pooches can benefit greatly from orthopedic beds for dogs. Since adult dogs sleep from 12 to 14 hours a day, resting in comfort is immensely important. Luckily, many orthopedic beds for dogs are made with memory foam which reacts and moulds to the contours of the dog’s body.
Aside from comfort, orthopedic beds promote joint health, alleviate pain, and relieve pressure points. Yes, these beds are ideal for old(er) dogs, but young ones can use them as well. Sleeping in an orthopaedic dog bed with good support is a great way to prevent common joint problems. It’s best to be proactive while your pooch is young.
As you may already know, senior dogs, as well as large dog breeds, are prone to arthritis, hip dysplasia, bone injuries, soft tissue injuries, and muscle loss. This is precisely when orthopedic beds can save the day. By distributing the pooch’s weight and supporting their spine, muscles, and joints while they rest, these beds can help relieve pressure on the joints. Orthopedic beds can also encourage healing (which makes them the ideal after-surgery beds), reduce stiffness, and reduce the chance of your furry family member developing bedsores from prolonged periods of resting.
For the ultimate comfort, consider purchasing a waterproof orthopedic bed for your dog (especially if he’s old and incontinent). Machine washable and dust-mite resistant orthopedic beds are amazing as well. Easy zip covers and non-skid bottoms to prevent slipping are two more orthopedic bed features you might want to look for. If you decide to provide your canine companion with an orthopedic bed, make sure you choose one that’s made to last for years.
Exercise Your Pooch Regularly
Physical activity is another key piece of this puzzle. Adult canines should exercise at least once a day, whereas puppies require several short walks or play sessions due to their high energy levels. ‘Short’ is the keyword here because the exercises shouldn’t be too hard on the little one’s developing body.
Don’t forget that a dog’s exercise needs depend on their health and breed as well. If you decide to welcome a senior dog into your life, consult with a vet about developing an exercise routine that’ll help your pooch stay healthy without causing them discomfort.
Walking, running, swimming, the simple yet fun game of fetch, playdates with other dogs, and running up and down the stairs are just some of the many dog-friendly exercises you can choose. Observe your furry friend’s behaviour when introduced to new physical activities and opt for those they enjoy the most.
Show Your Pooch You Love Them
Looking after your furry pal can be overwhelming at times, but you shouldn’t let that keep you from showing them how much you care for them. Giving them physical affection is possibly your dog’s favourite way of bonding with you, which is why they love cuddling with you, kissing you, and hanging out with you while you work.