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8 Tips To A Healthy And Happy Dog

Updated on March 7, 2014
Angelo, My Miniature Schnauzer
Angelo, My Miniature Schnauzer | Source

Many people say that your dog is your best friend, but a dog is always there for you and never lets you down, which makes a dog better than a best friend in my books.

It is important to treat such a loving friend, who is dependent on you, in a way that promotes their health and happiness. Following are 8 tips to help you foster a healthy and happy dog.

Keep Them Healthy And Happy With These Tips

1. Brush Their Teeth

Many dog owners do not do this, and many dogs suffer the health consequences because of it.

Plaque can develop, periodontal disease can occur, and internal organs can eventually be damaged when tooth and gum issues become severe. The mouth is where all health begins for both humans and dogs, so it is important to take care of your dog's oral health.

Buying the 'bones' that are supposed to clean dog's teeth is not enough. Brushing, and flossing if possible, is the only way to remove all the tartar and keep teeth and gums healthy.

It's funny because I had recommended this to someone who writes about dog's health daily, and they scoffed at it as not important! I'm assuming they don't understand that their dog's teeth need care, which saddens me considering they are giving advice to people on how to keep their dogs healthy! I hope they don't own dogs!

Believe me, oral care is important.

2. Give Them Exercise

Dogs need regular exercise in order to be both healthy and happy. Exercise does many positive things.

  • It keeps your dog physically healthy.
  • It prevents boredom and bad behavior.
  • Walks allow your dog to go out and explore the world.
  • It puts their breed's skills (tracking, jumping, fetching, etc.) to use.
  • It promotes happiness in your dog.

In short, exercise is the number one way to foster a healthy dog and a happy dog.

3. Feed Them Good Food

Food provides energy and much needed nutrients to your dog's body. Not all foods are made the same, however.

Some dog food is highly processed, which involves high heat that destroys most of the nutrients, while other food is full of ingredients that are not beneficial, or even necessary for your dog.

Therefore, it is important to learn what your dog needs for good health and look for a dog food (or make your own) that ensures they are getting the nutrients that promote good health for a long life.

Look for food that is high in protein (meat sources) and vegetables, without grains or other fillers. Take into consideration your dog (age, activity level, any disease occurring) and add ingredients that are beneficial for you dog. This will take some research and education, but it is well worth the effort to create a healthy dog that lives a long happy life.

My Man And My 10-Year-Old Miniature Pinscher
My Man And My 10-Year-Old Miniature Pinscher | Source

Take The Poll!

What Type Of Food Do You Feed Your Dog?

See results

4. Spend Quality Time With Your Dog

Dogs are social animals and they need love and companionship in order to thrive. If your dog sits in the backyard all day without spending quality time with his or her family, then he or she can become depressed, aggressive, or suffer from many other physical and mental ailments. When a dog is treated as a part of your family, it will be a happy dog.

5. Don't Overfeed Your Dog

As tempting as it is to feed your dog during their meals as well as yours, it is not recommended.

Some dogs are more prone to being overweight than others and once they become overweight, they can suffer from issues such as arthritis, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney disease, and more.

Take into account your dog's age, activity level and breed when determining how much to feed them, and monitor their weight to adjust their diet accordingly.

6. Pay Attention To Grooming

Obviously some dogs need to be groomed more than others, but all dogs need proper grooming in order to be a healthy dog.

For instance, cleaning around a dog's eyes can help prevent eye irritation. Cleaning inside a dog's ears can help prevent ear infections, especially in floppy eared dogs. Brushing your dog, no matter what the hair length is, can help promote healthy skin by stimulating the skin and releasing natural oils.

Moreover, grooming is a way to bond with your dog, which promotes a happy dog.

7. Train Your Dog

By teaching your dog tricks and commands, you are promoting a mentally healthy dog who feels good about the skills they have. In addition, a dog that has been trained and understands what you want is a happy dog who can behave in a way that earns him or her praise for being a 'good dog'.

8. Supply Consistent Fresh Water

Water is an essential part of all life, and your dog requires consistent fresh water in order to stay healthy and happy.

This may not be high on your radar, considering that dogs will drink from any source of water. But, dogs can pick up disease from dirty water and suffer internal issues from lack of water.

Plus, by paying attention to your dog's drinking habits, you can spot increased or decreased thirst, which will help you determine your dog's overall health.

7 More Important Tips To Keep Your Dog Healthy And Happy! A Must Watch Video...

Got Any Tips For A Healthy Dog Or Happy Dog? Please Share!

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    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thanks for sharing the useful tips and the lovely dog photos!

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 3 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      I am one of those who answered "raw" in your poll. It is not as convenient as buying kibble, but the benefits are worth the extra time.

    • Relationshipc profile image

      Kari 3 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Thanks DrMark for the pin :)

      I was thinking of Orijen when I wrote that. I thought that it was processed in a slightly less harsh way...although I could be wrong, and you are totally right - nutrients would still be damaged through any sort of cooking.

      We feed our dogs raw and I am a huge advocate of doing so.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 3 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      All good tips.

      You mentioned that some dog food is highly processed--all commerical foods are highly processed and ruined by cooking. Their is a reason your nutritionist recommends eating raw salad. Dogs are only truly healthy when eating raw food that has not been processed.

      Pinning Angelo´s photo to one of my popular pages--cute picture!

    • Relationshipc profile image

      Kari 3 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      @Bk - I love the Maltese. :) He's a lucky boy to have you as an owner!

    • Relationshipc profile image

      Kari 3 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      @Jaye - Thanks! We like him. :)

      I'm sorry about your little girl.

      We take our dogs to a holistic vet, and get titers, and we have not had to get any boosters as well. I hope your experience helps others out.

      And I agree about the dog food! It is hard for me to watch people buy commercial dog food, but pet food commercials have the money to sway people the wrong way.

    • Bk42author profile image

      Brenda Thornlow 3 years ago from New York

      Great tips! Just got my first dog about a year abd a half ago, he's a Maltese. I love reading up as much as possible on care and health tips, etc as I'm so new to the dog scene. Thanks do much for sharing! Voted up!

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Angelo is beautiful!

      Although I've done all the "right things" to care for my mini schnauzer girl for several years, she has numerous health issues that were likely caused by a compromised immune system. She had a severe reaction to combined vaccinations when she was a young adult, and her health went downhill beginning then. I wish I'd known about titers before she began having vaccine boosters. Her current vet runs titers, and at age 9 she still has immunity so doesn't get vaccinations.

      I strongly believe that a healthy diet (NOT commercial dog food) and not giving unneeded vaccinations can make all the difference in a pet's health and quality of life. It's just too bad I didn't learn it before my schnauzer girl suffered from my ignorance.

      Voted Up++