Giving your dog his best life isn’t always doing things that your dog will approve of. Sometimes it means doing what’s best like making a lazy dog exercise.
When you’re a dog owner, giving them the best life possible is a worthy goal. Different approaches work for different owners and their pets. However, some ways work well across the board or, at least, the majority of the time. Those are the ones that we will focus on in this article.
1. Feed them well, so they’re stronger for longer
Select the food that best suits your dog’s requirements.
Dogs don’t always do well on a regular wet food diet or kibble on its own. It typically contains far too many processed ingredients, carbs, and sugars to be healthy for dogs. Unless they’re extremely active every day, it can easily cause them to put on weight and have dietary-related health issues later in life too.
A raw dog food diet is much healthier. Companies like Bella and Duke make top quality dried or frozen food for puppies and adult dogs that deliver the necessary protein, offal, vegetables, fruit, and other ingredients for a balanced diet. This is far better for your pet than the low nutritional value of high carbohydrate pet food that doesn’t support their wellness over the years (and especially when they’re at their youngest).
Raw dog food can be delivered straight to your door, as fresh as the moment it was first prepared. Simply select the food that best suits your dog’s requirements.
2. Remember your love of play from childhood
When you were a child, you probably loved to run around on the playground or in the street with your friends, tearing it up, having fun and laughing much of the time.
With a dog, their sense of fun and wanting to play never ceases to amaze those who witness it. They don’t have the same worries or stress that humans do, and it shows. Subsequently, they remind us that we’re all too serious, with too much work and not enough play.
When you have a dog, it’s a great excuse to run around, be silly and re-engage with our childhood. The playful side of our personality which we’ve probably forgotten all about in favor of “Netflix ‘n’ Chill” reemerges. Take advantage of the fact that you have a dog and every excuse to be playful once again!
3. Don’t skip the vet visits even when they dislike them
Every dog needs to maintain a regular schedule of visits to the vet.
Initial checkups and follow up visits
This starts with initial checkups, inoculations and then leads to various scans and the odd medication when it’s required. The sooner your dog gets used to vet visits, the better.
Getting your dog microchipped
When they reach the right age, every dog should get a microchip so they can be registered properly.
In the United States, it’s not currently a legal requirement to have your dog chipped, but it is advised. In the United Kingdom, the law is that at 8 weeks or older, all dogs must be chipped. Other countries have different laws about microchipping dogs. It’s worth knowing that when traveling to a foreign country with your dog, a microchip is usually a requirement, along with their pet passport.
Ensure your dog can be found if he or she gets lost in the park or jumps over the garden fence. Not everyone in the neighborhood will recognize your dog either. While there are now small pet trackers that use GPS to locate a beloved pet, this shouldn’t replace a microchip.
4. Exercise is necessary
Your dog must get enough exercise. It’s good for their heart and cardiovascular health in much the same way as it is for humans. It’s also a great way to get you out on hiking trails or to local parks enjoying the fresh air and physical activity.
There are few things dogs love as much as getting to run around in nature. Some breeds are natural hunters and others have performed working roles. However, every breed of dog needs to get some exercise, no matter how small they are!
A dog will naturally slow down as they get older. It’s common for senior dogs to develop arthritis or have problems with their knees which can impact their level of daily physical activity. However, unless instructed by their vet, or the dog is refusing to exercise as they once did, it’s still beneficial for dogs of all ages to be encouraged to fit some movement into their day. A raw diet can help delay or even prevent these inflammatory conditions.
5. Address boredom early and often
Dogs get bored quickly. Some breeds are naturally smarter and require being kept mentally occupied more than others.
Boredom is the enemy of every dog. They like to move around, wag their tails and get involved. They’re naturally inquisitive, wanting to sniff everything and learn what they can about who’s been in this place recently.
Play games with them like “tug of war” and something that confuses them like pretending to throw their favorite ball in the park for them to fetch. It will stop games from becoming predictable. Anything safe to do and that keeps them mentally engaged is a good idea.
6. Give them evenings free of the dog collar
While they must wear a dog collar when they’re outside, it’s not required at home.
Most dogs probably don’t enjoy wearing a collar – many owners have switched to doggie harnesses with a lead which they feel is more humane – so take it off for the evening. Give them a little rub to soothe away any irritation on their neck that a collar has caused. They’ll appreciate it and probably give you some loving right back too.
7. Train them to behave well
Most dogs aren’t automatically well behaved. Some are quite good, but most need to be socialized and trained on how to behave in different situations.
Ensuring they have the basic commands down and respond appropriately to them is very important. It avoids them acting out with no effective way to bring them back under control again.
8. Don’t neglect their grooming
Dogs benefit from being regularly groomed, especially if they have thick coats. Now, we do understand that some dogs believe they’re allergic to having a bath! But that commanding doggie smell needs addressing, so they can be let back in the house again.
Grooming should include cutting back their fur and trimming their nails. Make sure the fur near their ears or over their eyes is tidied up. They’ll learn what’s to be expected when they’re going to the groomers. Unless they hate having a bath, they’ll get to love being all cleaned up. However, don’t expect them to not roll over on the nearest muddy ground or sprint to the lakeshore because they probably enjoy getting dirty too.
Best life rules
Giving your dog his best life isn’t always doing things that your dog will approve of. Sometimes, they have to take their medicine for a high blood pressure condition even if they dislike it. Similarly, encouraging them to get more exercise than they’d prefer for lazy dogs is helping them despite themselves.
Blend in things they enjoy as well as necessary actions that are good for their long life. They’ll be with you for longer that way.