Many Americans have pets these days, and nearly 40% of those households with animals have dogs. With our busy schedules and increasingly stressful lives, it can be difficult to ensure our pups are getting the attention and exercise they need, yet it’s important to do so to lengthen their life spans and keep their quality of life as high as possible.
In determining how much exercise your dog needs, it’s important to do a bit of research on his breed. You can also make a vet visit for a physical to ensure his joints and bones are strong and can withstand running and other workouts; this is imperative for older dogs. Making time for your dog and tending to his needs can be tricky, especially if you have a family or work long hours, but there are several ways around it that will make both of you happy.
Here are a few tips on how to get started.
Look at your schedule
If you work long hours, your dog may be suffering. Even if he has a way to get outside (via a doggy door or similar), he still needs attention and one-on-one playtime. If there’s no way around your work schedule, consider hiring a dog walker who can come over and give your pup an outdoor break and show him some love until you can get home. Dogs are social creatures who enjoy spending time with people, so allowing him to have some playtime while you’re gone will keep him happy and might even curb behavioral issues.
Learn his cues
Dogs are great communicators; it’s just up to us to figure out what they’re trying to say. When your pup needs a long walk, a break from the heat, or some playtime, he’ll let you know. Pay attention to his cues and get to know his needs by observing him over time. This will help keep him happy and give you peace of mind at the same time.
Keep his coat shiny and new
The seasons can be hard on a dog, just as they can be on humans. Your pet may fall victim to burrs in his fur, fleas, ticks, ice, and chemicals such as antifreeze if he spends any amount of time outside, so it’s important to pay attention to his physical appearance and make sure his coat and paws are healthy and clean. Keep gentle pet wipes handy in winter to clean off the sensitive pads on his feet and check his coat every day in the summer to make sure he hasn’t brought in any hitchhiking insects. Talk to your vet about flea and tick medication.
Get in a workout
Dogs love exercise, even if it’s just a walk around the block, so carve out some time to go outside with your pup every day. A dog park is a great option, because it allows your dog the freedom to both burn off energy and socialize; just be sure he’s up-to-date on his vaccinations and under your supervision at all times while you’re there. If you only have 15 minutes to spare before work or after dinner, that’s perfect. You don’t have to give up huge blocks of time; a little bit every day will help keep your dog in shape and may even motivate you to get fit at the same time.
Taking care of your pet can mean any number of things but ensuring that he’s healthy and happy can go a long way toward giving him a longer life. Talk to your vet about simple steps you can take at home to make sure he’s in good shape and communicate with your family so that everyone is on the same page. It’s the best way to be certain that you’ll have your pup around for a long time.
This was a guest article written by Aurora James. Please check out her website dogetiquette.info
We thank her for taking the time to write this article as well as well as the information shared.