10 Simple Ways To Be a Better Dog Owner
We all love our dogs, however, there are always little adjustments that we can add to the way we care for our dogs. Just a small tweak can bring on fantastic results. I put together a series of 10 bullet points that I use with my own dogs, I hope you might find something helpful.
How’s your dog’s diet?
1 Give green beans instead of treats. They can be raw, cooked or even frozen.
A cup of green beans is only 40 calories
2 Add coconut oil to the food.
There are so many benefits to adding just a half teaspoon of coconut oil to your dog’s food both internally and externally.
To see the full list of ways that coconut can help, take a look here
3 Add some fish oil to their diet by occasionally adding sardines (my dogs favourite) tuna or salmon.
4 Make some healthy dog treats. Using just a few ingredients, tasty and healthy snacks can be made instead of shop bought treats. There are hundreds of recipes online and they are all super quick and inexpensive.
My dogs love frozen dog treats in the summer to keep cool. I put some yoghurt in ice cube trays and add a blueberry before placing in the freezer. They are great if you are concerned about your dog overheating.
If you would like more information about weight loss for dogs there is more information here.
2. Does your dog get enough exercise?
1 Next time you go for a walk, take a ball with you, the dog will cover more ground chasing after it and you can get some recall training done at the same time.
2 Another easy thing to do is to change the route that you use every day to walk your dog. Your dog will pick up different scents and get more sensory stimulation from a different area.
3 Walk with a friend who has a dog, this will make your dog more sociable and you will cover more miles having a good old gossip!
3. Is your dog Insured?
Take out a policy or open a savings account for your dog’s care and add to it each week. It will give you the peace of mind to know that the help will be there if your dog needs it.
4. Is your dog mentally stimulated?
Make your dog work for his food or treats by adding a food puzzle.
This Bob-a-lot interactive dog toy has kept my miniature dachshund amused for hours. I bought this two years ago and it is still in good working order.
This Video from Amazon demonstrates how to put treats in different sections of the toy. There are also adjustable openings so that you can choose a difficulty level. When your dog gets the hang of how to release the treats, simply make the openings a little smaller.
They also come in different sizes, the small one is perfect for my mini dachshund.
5. Is your dog microchipped?
There is a legal requirement in the UK that all dogs should be microchipped. However, dog owners forget to change the details on the chip when they move house or change telephone number. Keep the details up to date and attach a tag to the dog’s collar so that you can be contacted as soon as your dog is found.
1 Brushing or combing will not only improve the dog’s appearance, but it will also give you the chance to get a close look to see if he has any skin irritations, fur loss, hot spots, sore paws etc
2 Keep your dog’s nails short with specially designed dog clippers. If you struggle with this (like I do!) a vet or groomer will do them for a small charge. My dog causes an awful fuss when I take him to have his nails trimmed but the professionals are used to nervous dogs and can do them very quickly.
Walking your dog on hard surfaces is also a good way to keep his nails filed down.
You don’t have to be an expert to massage your dog. Just gently stroking and running your hands over the dog’s muscles will make both of you feel bonded and relaxed. It also gives you a good chance to spot any lumps or bumps which may appear.
Here is more information about canine massage.
Buy good quality, durable dog toys that cannot be destroyed or chewed up, possibly causing a blockage in the intestine.
Sometimes a small plush toy will give comfort to your dog. My dog likes to carry a small toy around, she even takes it to bed with her.
If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, get an unwashed T-shirt or old sock belonging to yourself and put knots in it until it resembles a ball. The dog will get comfort from the smell when you are not there and it will provide hours of amusement for the dog too.
(There is a short video so that you can see how the toy works)
The reason I like the Wobble Wag Giggle Ball is because there are special clutch holes which allow the dog to get a good grasp of the ball. The dog is entertained by the ‘giggling’ sounds and will benefit from lots more exercise when he runs to fetch the ball. Use both indoors and outdoors, great for those wintry days when you are stuck inside.
1 Check your dog’s teeth and gums regularly, brush with some special doggy toothpaste if you can every day.
2 Make sure they have regular dental chews. Mine love fish skin cubes. The smell of fish is very strong so I keep mine in an airtight container. They are 100% natural so no nasty additives.
This dog toothbrush is designed to remove plaque and tartar. There are even holes where you can put tasty doggy toothpaste to make it even more effective.
3 I always sprinkle a tiny amount of Plaque Off on my dog’s food. We achieve good results with most dogs. However, there was one dog it didn’t work for so we booked her into the vet for a scale and polish. Plaque Off is very economical because a little goes a long way, so a small pot lasts for ages.
4 Coconut oil will also help with dental hygiene. In addition, it is natural and helps give a beautiful shiny coat too.
5 Just the addition of some raw carrot or apple can cut down on dental plaque and freshen breath.
More canine dental facts can be found here
Always keep an eye on your dog and watch out for anything out of the ordinary. Check that the dog is eating, drinking, urinating, emptying bowels and playing as normal. Detecting early signs that your dog is unwell can prevent serious illness and costly vet bills.
Thank you for reading.
Do you have any tips to keep your dog physically fit and well?
I would love to hear all about them.
Keep those tails wagging!
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