Rocky’s Viewpoint

Rockys Viewpoint

A blog for people who treat their dogs better than family

Ways to Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy in 2013

It’s a new year, and we know one of the top things on people’s minds right now is how to become healthier. When you’re thinking about ways to improve your health, think about your dog as well. What can you do to keep your dog healthy – physically, emotionally, and mentally? Here are just a few ideas.

The first action you can take is to look at what you are feeding your dog. Read the labels, become familiar with the list of ingredients, educate yourself on what’s good and what’s not good, and then decide what you will feed. If you’ve already done this, congratulations! If you’re still unsure, seek out a holistic veterinarian or a qualified holistic pet nutrition store. Poor nutrition can affect your pet’s skin, coat, muscle tone, and potentially cause a myriad of health problems.

Next, look at your dog’s exercise and look at ways to increase or improve the quality of exercise they are getting. Regular walks are great, and should be part of your daily routine. These walks also provide great bonding opportunities with your dog, and can help reinforce your dog’s manners. If your dog enjoys organized activities, enroll in an agility class, an obedience class, or any of the other types of fun classes offered for dogs. (Look at the classes we offer.) Classes and activities that make the most of your dog’s natural instincts are the best, but any organized activity improves their physical and mental capacity and is a great bonding opportunity.

If your dog is overweight or needs more exercise than you can provide, use the services of a dog walker, and consider swimming or other types of structured exercise for your dog. Weight problems can shorten their lifespan and bring on a host of medical problems such as diabetes, heart disease and joint problems.

If your dog is home alone most of the day, fight boredom by regularly giving him different toys to play with while you’re not home. Food dispensing toys like Kongs and other activity type toys will keep your dog mentally stimulated and provide some fun while you’re away.

Play games with your dog. Try to spend a few minutes every day playing a variety of games, such as fetch, tug of war, hide and seek, and more. Dogs love the challenge of these types of games at the same time playing them helps to build a strong bong between you and your dog.

Last but not least, give your pets lots of love and attention. This may seem obvious, but because of our busy lifestyles, our pets often are neglected. Take time to focus individual attention on each of the animals in your life and nourish that special relationship. You will be rewarded many times over!

Category: Health Management