Every dog owner wants the best for their furry baby. But what else can you do to improve your pet’s quality of life? In this article, we’ll discuss 7 such ways, and additional tips for older dogs. Have a notebook ready and a pen to write this down.
How can you make your dog’s life better?
These extra efforts will help make your dog happier and healthier. And healthy dogs live longer.
1. Buy an orthopedic bed
Just think about how much time your dog spends in his bed — probably half of his life. Of course, the quality of the bed can affect your pet’s health. A lousy bed is not only uncomfortable but also has the potential to develop musculoskeletal disorders.
Large dogs with a lot of weight are especially at risk. As a result, their joints are under even more strain. Orthopedic beds with a memory effect help to reduce the load on the joints and prevent the development of diseases.
2. Switch to a natural, balanced diet
One of the most important components of health is a healthy diet. Good food should be made from natural ingredients and contain various micronutrients + vitamins. It should contain vegetables, fish, meat, cereals, and fruit.
The nutritional needs of dogs differ from breed to breed and age to age. That’s why good dog food companies have different products for puppies, older dogs, etc.
Also, count how much food you give your dog. Very often, owners overfeed their dogs. Unfortunately, that results in excessive weight, which negatively affects the health and longevity of the pet.
Few people think that it is also helpful for dogs to have a massage. However, such procedures are not only enjoyable but also healthy.
Massage helps improve blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, which helps improve various body functions, from digestion to the immune system. It is also an excellent way to relieve tension and stress. And if your dog is elderly, massage can help relieve pain and discomfort.
You can read about different massage techniques or ask your veterinarian for help.
4. More exercise (both physical and mental)
If you want your Fido to be healthy and happy, provide him with daily exercise. Allow at least 30 minutes a day. And some breeds need 1-2 hours of intense exercise.
Dogs, like humans, like variety. Therefore, playing different games, for example, ball, Frisbee, and puzzles, will be good. It is also useful to have scent games and learn new commands. Mental stimulation will help your pet stay mentally healthy even at an older age. Also, animals that get enough activity are less likely to suffer from behavioral disorders and stress.
5. Make an area for your dog in the yard
If you live in a private house with enough space in your yard, why not set up an area specifically for your dog? You can build many interesting things there, such as a sandbox, tunnels, ramps, and a pool for the summer heat. Your dog will thank you!
You can also think about creating a sensory garden. This kind of garden uses different materials so your dog can engage his senses more and learn new things. Again, it is good for the mental state of the animal.
6. Let your dog socialize with other animals
Socialization is an essential part of a dog’s life. Without socialization, they can become frustrated and develop psychological problems. To keep your puppy happy, you can take him to doggy daycare, training classes, or just throw a doggy party in your yard.
By the way, some animals feel very sad when left home alone. Getting another pet to keep them in the company can help in this situation.
7. Stop smoking near your dog
Secondhand smoke can be even more dangerous for dogs than it is for people. The consequences of inhaling tobacco smoke can include respiratory disease and cancer. That’s why you shouldn’t smoke near your dog and let other people do it.
Caring for Older Dogs
Dogs become elderly after 7-9 years of age and may not feel well due to various conditions caused by old age. So how can you make their lives easier?
- Put ramps to make it easier for your dog to climb elevated areas. You may need ramps for the car, for stairs, and near the bed or couch if your pet likes to rest there.
- If you have a slippery floor in your home, this can cause falls. Therefore, you can purchase non-slip socks to help your dog stay on his feet.
- Pick up a high-quality orthopedic bed with a warming effect. That is especially important since older dogs often have joint problems that cause pain.
- Put a dog toilet in the house. Older dogs have difficulty controlling urination, so accidents in the house are not uncommon. A special potty or pee pads will help. Also, make a potty area close to the house so your elderly Fido doesn’t have to walk far when he has to pee.
So set up a cozy and quiet enough place in the house for your pet.
Signs that a dog’s health is not good
Unfortunately, dogs can’t talk and tell you what they don’t like, whether they are well or not. So lastly, we will list some signs of ill health in dogs. These will help determine if something needs to change in your furry baby’s life.
- Dull coat, dandruff, severe hair loss. That can result from an unbalanced diet, but proper coat care also plays a role. Get a proper hairbrush for your pet so you can comb it out regularly.
- Skin rash. That may indicate an allergy to certain foods or, for example, plants in your yard.
- Bad breath and plaque on the teeth. If you don’t brush your dog’s teeth, he may have a plaque on his teeth and a bad odor. That is not the norm. Learn more about proper oral hygiene, and buy your dog a toothbrush, toothpaste, and special gummies.
- To see if your dog is overweight, palpate his chest. You should be able to feel the ribs easily.
- Cloudy or red eyes, mucous discharge, yellowed whites. There can be many reasons for these symptoms, so a specialist should be consulted.
Also, any sudden changes in behavior may indicate that your dog is sick. For example, if your dog has become irritable, lethargic, cranky, aggressive, disruptive, or weepy, it’s worth going to the vet for a checkup.