Making your dog happier and healthier does not have to take a lot of time, nor does it have to cost a lot of money. You can make small changes that will make a huge difference to your dog’s quality of life, and help you build an even stronger bond.
Try these three easy ways to improve your dog’s life:
Does your dog have an impressive collection of toys… that they never play with? Playing alone isn’t exciting, your dog will be more interested in their toys if you play with them. It’s not difficult to find a few minutes each day to play with your dog. Try playing while you watch television or when you take breaks from working on your computer or using your phone.
If your dog doesn’t seem very playful, you may need to try different types of toys to pique their interest. Some dogs like soft stuffed dogs, others like Skinneeez Stuffing-Free toys, others like rubber bones and balls.
Though it might make you feel silly, you can actually invite your dog to play by acting like a dog. When dogs want to play with one another, they bounce around and lower their front legs to the ground, rump in the air. They also make breathy, “laughing” sounds.
Go on more adventures.
Dogs love car rides, especially when they lead to exciting adventures in places full of new sights and smells. Explore all of your local parks and dog parks, and take a long trip a nice hiking site once in a while. Though your dog probably won’t mind going to the same park every day because there’s bound to be new scents each time, it’s fun to explore new places with your best friend.
Taking your dog to new places has a positive impact on their behaviour. If they are anxious or carsick on car rides, you can take them on brief, frequent rides until they are calm enough for longer trips. Going on more adventures generally helps your dog learn to focus on you even in distracting environments, especially if you work on training wherever you go.
Your dog should always be restrained while your vehicle is in motion. Use a carrier, crate or seat belt to keep the dog from wandering around the car, distracting the driver, and getting shifted around at stops and turns.
Keep up with grooming.
Grooming is easier when you keep up with it. Dogs with long coats are prone to tangles and mats, which can be avoided with frequent brushing and grooming appointments. If you take too long to clip your dog’s nails, the kwik gets longer, making it impossible to trim them back to a normal length in just one session.
Aim to groom your dog at least once a week, clipping any overgrown nails and brushing through the coat. Some dogs need more frequent brushing, especially during moulting season. You can use treats and calm music to help your dog relax during home grooming sessions.
Regularly brushing your dog’s teeth can reduce the need for veterinary dental cleanings, which often require anaesthesia. Use dog toothpaste to clean your dog’s teeth daily, or as frequently as possible.