8 Tips to Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy

A dog is a wonderful companion, but whether you’re a seasoned pet owner or a first-time adopter, your top priority is ensuring your new pooch is happy and healthy. Here are a few tips for all dog owners on providing the best care for their four-legged friends:

#1: Form a relationship with your veterinarian

We don’t say this because we love playing with your pets—we truly have their best interests at heart. Let us use our education, knowledge, and experience to help you provide top-notch care for your furry friend. We’re here to solve any questions, concerns, or problems. We can determine what is normal or abnormal for your pet throughout her lifetime, make recommendations for optimal care, and catch signs of illness in their earliest stages. 

#2: Practice preventive care for your pet

Working with you, our veterinary team can help fulfill all the requirements that will ensure your pet lives a long and healthy life. We can prevent infectious disease, parasite infestations, dental disease, obesity, and behavior problems by discussing appropriate wellness care. Since each pet has different needs, we will tailor a preventive-care plan that includes the necessary vaccinations, parasite preventives, dental care, diet plan, training, and environmental enrichment specifically for your canine companion. 

#3: Feed your dog high-quality nutrition

All animals, including your dog, have different nutritional requirements for each life stage. Your friend’s teacup Chihuahua puppy and your elderly Great Dane will need vastly different diets. The farmer needs to feed his border collie a high protein food, while you may need to restrict the protein for your dog suffering from renal disease. Regardless of age, breed, size, disease condition, or activity level, feed your pet high quality food. We can explain your options and help you choose an appropriate food for your canine companion.

#4: Exercise your dog daily

Obesity is a growing problem among our companion animals—a smorgasbord of rich foods, coupled with a lack of activity, leads to expanding waistlines. Ideally, your dog should hit the sidewalk or trail for a minimum of 30 minutes per day. More active sporting or working breeds may need up to two hours of daily physical activity to prevent boredom and behavior issues. 

#5: Provide mental enrichment for your pet

In addition to daily physical activity, exercise your pup’s mind, because a bored dog gets into trouble. Find games, puzzles, and activities that stimulate your dog’s brain and keep her occupied. Feed your pooch from food puzzles, enroll in an agility or scent work class, teach new tricks, or play interactive games together. Mental stimulation is more effective than physical activity at exhausting your dog, making it a must for dogs with high energy levels.

#6: Never stop socializing with your dog

Dog owners often believe that only puppies need socialization to be happy, well-adjusted pets. In fact, socialization should be a life-long process for all dogs. Create positive experiences for your canine companion on every adventure. Meet new people and pets, travel to different places, listen to odd sounds, sniff out new smells, and walk across strange surfaces to acclimate her to novel experiences. Learning and growing should be life-long activities, so introduce your dog to something new each week, ensuring she always has a positive experience.

#7: Groom your pet, as needed

All dogs require routine nail trims, brushing, and baths, although some breeds need more frequent grooming. Floppy-eared dogs benefit from a weekly ear cleaning, long-coated dogs must be brushed often to prevent matting, and some small breeds need their anal glands expressed routinely to avoid impaction. Although your pup doesn’t need gorgeous sparkling nails, we also offer that service, in addition to the standard baths, haircuts, nail trims, ear cleaning, and anal gland expression. If you need grooming help, we’d be happy to make your pet beautiful.

#8: Create a dental-care regimen for your pet

Although dental care is included in a standard preventive plan, dental health is so important to your pet’s overall health that it deserves special attention. Dental health affects your dog’s entire body, as oral bacteria can infiltrate her bloodstream and harm her organs, especially her heart, liver, and kidneys. At-home preventive dental care is critical for keeping the plaque and tartar accumulation on her teeth and gums to a minimum between professional cleanings. By reducing tartar, you also reduce bacterial infections, painful gingivitis, and potential long-term health issues. 

For all your canine companion’s health-care needs, contact us. We’d love to be a part of ensuring your dog lives a happy and healthy life.