Your dog is part of the family, so of course you want him to live life to the fullest. Part of that entails finding ways to support his health and fitness. Luckily, keeping dogs happy, healthy and fit can be easily achieved with a proactive plan. Here’s what you can do today to make your dog healthy that will ensure his long-term well-being tomorrow.
Make Your Dog Healthy With Preventative Care
One of the best ways to make your dog healthy is through routine veterinary care.
As Everyday Health explains, your veterinarian can assess your dog’s health at an annual exam.
The doctor will evaluate your dog’s weight, look for early signs of medical issues, and administer vaccinations.
Your dog’s veterinarian will also check for parasites and provide appropriate measures such as flea control or heartworm medication.
Keeping Dogs Happy, Healthy And Fit Through Exercise
Dogs need routine physical activity for their minds and bodies to remain healthy, just like people do.
However, dogs’ fitness needs and capabilities vary greatly.
Therefore, in order to make your dog healthy and not over or under worked, it’s important to match your dog’s breed and type with the right exercise.
For example, flat-faced dogs like Pugs, Pekingese and Bulldogs are exercise intolerant.
Short walks on cool days or a simple game of indoor fetch is normally enough to keep these dogs healthy and happy.
However, working breeds like the Beagle, which was bred for hunting, or Siberian Husky, bred to pull sleds, made the AKC’s list of most active breeds.
Dogs bred for work need lots of activity, and if they don’t get enough exercise, they can develop behavioral issues as well as physical ones.
Size and Type
It’s important to note that when determining the right amount of exercise for keeping dogs happy, healthy and fit, you can’t go by size. For example, the Beagle and Pug are about the same size.
You also can’t go by dog type alone; the Pug is a toy breed, but so is the Toy Poodle, and Toy Poodles made the AKC’s list of most active breeds.
Things can get especially confusing if your pooch is a blend of breeds.
It’s always best to discuss exercise with your vet before beginning a new program. So if you have questions, that’s a perfect place to start.
There are plenty of ideas for keeping dogs happy, healthy and fit through exercise that is fun for the both of you.
If you’re looking for a workout partner and your dog is an athletic breed, running together is a wonderful workout.
If your dog is more of a couch potato but you still want something to do together, Health suggests taking Fido kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding with you; they are activities that give humans a great workout but are suitable to most canines regardless of athletic ability.
Whatever exercise option you choose to make your dog healthy, enhance your outdoor fun by selecting a leash that is comfortable for your dog and easy for you to use.
Dog legs tangled up in the leash or a handle that hurts your hand will take all the fun out of your adventures.
Change It Up
Dogs benefit from variety, so make your dog healthy and happy by switching up your dog’s exercise regimen.
You can enjoy periodic alterations in routine or engage in a new sport.
For instance, one idea for a change of pace is to follow in your dog’s footsteps instead of you selecting a walking route.
Or you might add a new skill set to your dog’s obedience repertoire.
If you’re considering a new sport, a high energy dog could enjoy fetch taken to the next level: flyball. It’s a competitive sport involving tennis balls, a relay race and hurdles.
If you have an older dog who isn’t so spry but is still a good sniffer, sport tracking can be big fun.
Tips For The Dog Park
Dog parks offer tons of fun for keeping dogs happy, healthy and fit no matter the size or breed.
If you do choose to venture to your local dog park, brush up on dog park safety tips before you go.
For example, owners should stay alert at all times. Watch for signs of aggressiveness in both your own dog and others.
Also be alert to whether there are dogs who are possibly sick in the park, and steer clear of them.
Fit And Happy
Just like people, dogs need care to stay healthy. Make your dog healthy by ensuring your dog’s medical needs are met, and find exercise options you both enjoy.
You’ll be providing your furry family member a wonderful quality of life!
Article written by Aurora James.