A new puppy in the house is like having a new baby in the family. It brings many happy feelings. In fact, being a pet owner can actually provide countless health benefits such as decreasing blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and feelings of loneliness. Having dogs can also become your ticket to get more exercise, and to mingle with people more often.
Fido has no training, habits, and cemented manners yet. It is up to you to shape him into the responsible dog that you want him to be. As a dog owner, it is your responsibility to teach your dog how to behave properly and ensure that they stay happy and healthy today, and in the years to come.
Dogs go beyond being a pet—they provide love, loyalty, unconditional love, and companionship. Dogs can also instill life lessons to children like responsibility and compassion. Caring for a dog is no walk in the park, but one look into that lovely face makes it all worth it.
Establishing healthy habits in the formative years will lay the foundation for a long-lasting relationship.
Most American dogs are overweight and are at risk of ailments. An active body will keep them healthy and physically fit. Before anything else, visit a canine rehabilitation specialist to be sure that Fido’s body can withstand the physical exertion of the workout.
Brisk walking will keep the heart strong, lower blood pressure, wired, firmer bones, and cut down depression. There are no restrictions on the distance and duration of the walk. Work slowly toward the goal and gradually increase the pace and the distance.
When introducing walks to your dog, make sure to start slow, and gradually progress every day. You can start by walking for 30 minutes daily, and then add 10 more minutes in the following weeks. Gradually increasing the duration of the walks will make it very easy for your dog’s body to adapt to the routine and prevent injuries from occurring as well.
If he’s not interested in long walks, try dancing—of course, you’ll take the lead. When the music is on, Fido will run between your legs, around you, and do other tricks. Your pooch will enjoy the moment while burning calories and improving stamina, too. Introducing dance to your dog will require a lot of time and effort, so make sure that you’re willing to exert all of these for your pet.
Swimming will help manage his arthritis. The exercise will build stamina, avoid stiffness in the muscles, and keep the heart and lungs in shape.
Frisbee is a dog’s favorite exercise. Actually, it’s an all-around workout, with jumping and running every part of his body is moving, and he’s playing around keeping him happy.
While you’re walking your dog, you are having a workout yourself and having a great time, too.
Diet and Healthy Nutrition
Breed, age, eating habits, and lifestyle are some things to consider about the food and nutrition intake of your pooch to keep it healthy and energetic. Is it a lap who dozes all day? Or is the weight just right for his daily workout?
Selecting the right dog food starts by checking the statement of nutritional adequacy on the labels. If it’s obese and lazy, go for the one labeled with adult maintenance. For feeding purposes, a dog is considered an adult if it has reached 90% of its expected weight.
The amount of food intake relies on size, age, and physical activity. Check the feeding chart on the labels and look for the amount recommended for your pet’s weight range. Lapdogs may need 10% less and active dogs need over 40%.
You can say that the food is right if the coat is glossy, bouncy, and healthy-looking.
Fido should have two meals a day for easier food digestion and to control hunger.
Be mindful of the intake of these nutrients per day for an adult dog: 10% protein, 5.5% fats, 50% carbohydrates, and up to 4.5% fiber.
For you to easily choose the type of diet to give to your dog, spend some time consulting your vet. These professionals have acquired the necessary training and experience to easily determine which food and diet best suit your dog. If you’re eyeing to buy Royal Canin dog food, for example, vets can give you information about this brand, and how this product can benefit your dog.
Communicate with Your Dog
Communicating with your dog is challenging since you speak different languages. Communication is a two-way street, and the message of the sender should be understood by the receiver and vice versa
Fido uses face and body language and you need to be good at translating their movements and actions. Meanwhile, you use verbal, physical, and on-leash communication to get your message across.
Communicating through Voice
Dogs understand 165 words. If delivered in a sweet-sounding, high-pitched, or excited tone, they will respond no matter what the age and gender of the speaker. On the other hand, they act as if they hear nothing if it is an angry, booming, or quiet voice.
Communicating through Body Language
Dogs communicate with their bodies and so can we. Our bodies can communicate better with actions than words. Take for instance the words sit and down—Fido can catch it with a hand signal than verbal cues.
Communication through the Leash
A leash is an important tool in dog-human communication. Dogs are aware of human emotions and the leash connects our brains and bodies with theirs.
You’ll tighten the leash if you’re stressed, hold it loosely if you’re feeling carefree, and if you’re in a rush, the leash is frequently tugged.
Always Keep Fresh Water Available
One of the most important nutrients for Fido is water, more than protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Just like human beings, your dog needs water in order to function properly. Regardless of how well you feed your dog, if they don’t receive enough water during the day, don’t expect that they will remain healthy.
He can lose water during the day when he sweats through his paws, when he pants, pees, and poops. Losing too much can cause dehydration, which will make him very sick and even die.
The rule of thumb is an ounce of water per pound of body weight and should increase if it is hot. A 30-pound dog needs 30 ounces of water a day. Always keep the water fresh, clean, cold, and within reach to encourage him to drink. When taking your dog for a walk, or engaging in any physical activities outdoors, make sure to bring a bottle of water for them as well. You should never leave home without a bottle of water for your dog as your furry friend can easily get thirsty when moving.
Dental Care is Very Important
Never neglect your dog’s oral health. By the time Fido’s four years old, signs of gum disease, bad breath, and tooth decay will show without proper mouth care.
Just like your child, start them at a young age with good brushing habits for their dental care and protection from health conditions. Their gums and tongue should have a healthy pinkish-color, and there should be an absence of brownish tartar and cavities on teeth.