Your dog relies on you to keep them in tip-top shape. And the good news is, from making sure they have a healthy diet, to being attentive to signs things are a little off, you can make a huge difference to their wellbeing. Just follow these simple tips.
1. Feed them well
We’ve all heard the expression ‘you are what you eat’ and this is equally true for dogs as it is for us humans. All James Wellbeloved naturally healthy pet food is packed with wholesome ingredients full of natural goodness. We’ve also just launched a fantastic new Superfoods range for puppies and adult dogs which comes in two great flavours: Natural Turkey with Kale & Quinoa and Natural Lamb with Sweet Potato & Chia Seeds. If you’re the health-conscious type yourself, you’ve probably already heard the buzz around things like kale, quinoa, sweet potato and chia seeds, and what makes them ‘super’ is that they contain lots of great, health-supporting things, such as fibre, vitamins, minerals, beta-carotene, essential fatty acids and antioxidants. This means they’re thought to be beneficial to health, whether that’s human health or dog health.
2. Take them to the vet regularly
The right time to find a good vet isn’t a desperate search when your pooch is poorly. Instead, start asking friends and family for recommendations as soon as you know you’re going to be a dog parent. It’s important to get into the habit of taking your furry friend for a regular dog health check. For a healthy adult dog, once a year should be fine, but puppies and senior dogs will need to be seen more often. As well as spotting any health problems at an early stage, your vet will be able to ensure your dog has all their vaccinations and is treated to prevent worms, fleas and, depending on where you live, ticks. They’ll also weigh them which leads us neatly to …
3. Don’t let them pile on the pounds
It’s all too easy to let your dog get overweight. When they look at you with those big eyes begging for just a little morsel of roast dinner, it’s very hard to say no! But overweight or obese dogs are at higher risk of a whole host of health conditions, from high blood pressure to diabetes, to heart disease. This means you need to make sure you give your canine companion the right diet for their age, activity level and breed. Of course, you’ll want to offer a few treats, but go easy and factor them in when it comes to working out your dog’s daily calorie allowance. And remember that you can ‘treat’ them with food that’s as good for them as it is tasty. Our new Superfoods range is created with health in mind but also gets a big paws up from our doggy taste testers!
4. Make sure they get enough exercise
Of course, not piling on the pounds isn’t just about food, and it’s also vital your dog gets enough exercise. How much this is will vary according to breed, size and age, but chat to your vet if you need guidance. Once you get into a routine, it’s important to stick with it – and, yes, that will mean a few walkies when it’s pouring with rain or you really don’t feel like it! Don’t forget about playtime too. It’s an excellent way to boost activity levels and great for bonding.
5. Mental stimulation matters too
Mental exercise is also important for your furry friend, so banish boredom with mind-engaging activities such as enrichment puzzles, new toys, visits to new places, and learning new skills and tricks.
6. Look after their teeth and gums
Your dog’s dental health is a key part of their overall health and wellbeing. Problems with their teeth can not only cause a lot of pain, but can lead to periodontal disease and even more serious health conditions. To avoid this, you need to brush your dog’s teeth daily. Now, if this isn’t something you’re used to doing, we admit it can sound like a big ask! But with a bit of love and patience, your furry friend will soon get used to it and even start to enjoy it. if you use a toothpaste make sure you use one that’s specially formulated for dogs (human toothpaste is not suitable) and use either a finger toothbrush or a human one depending on the size of your dog. It’s also important you keep an eye out for any signs of a problem, such as bleeding gums or consistently bad breath (contrary to popular belief ‘dog breath’ is not normal! Always consult your vet if you’re unsure).
7. Don’t forget about grooming
Keeping your dog well-groomed isn’t just about them looking their best. Regular brushing will keep their coat healthy and glossy and remove dead skin, dirt and dandruff. It also helps to stimulate the natural oils in their coat. And, of course, regular brushing is even more vital if your furry friend is long-haired and has a coat that can easily become matted. You should also clip your dog’s nails regularly as if they get too long they can become ingrown and painful.
8. Be on the lookout for signs they’re poorly
Your dog can’t tell you if they’re not feeling great. Which means it’s up to us as owners to be aware of any signs they’re a bit below par. Because you know them best, you’re well-placed to notice anything that seems abnormal for them. Then there are the common signs they might be feeling a bit off, such as lethargy, loss of appetite, excessive thirst or a dull, dry coat. If you’re at all concerned, it’s best to take your canine companion to the vet.
9. And finally…
We saved the best, and easiest, tip for keeping your dog healthy until last! Be sure to give your four-legged friend lots of love because, just like humans, their overall wellbeing is dramatically improved by how happy they are. Make time to play with them, give them praise and show them lots of affection. Shouldn’t be difficult, right?