Dog owners want to give their pets the best life possible. Sometimes that takes the form of splurging a bit on high-quality food — which is a great idea as long as it’s nutritionally balanced, of course. Sometimes it means lavish toys and designer collars, both of which are fun, though we all know such things are more about the owner than the dog. Really, improving your dog’s quality of life can be very easy with a few simple changes. Read on and see the sorts of things you can do to improve the day-to-day of your favorite companion.
Dogs need guidance from their owners. They are pack animals, and thus need to know who is in charge—otherwise they can become anxious, nervous, and insecure. Basically, knowing how to behave, and when and where, is essential to your dog’s happiness. Understanding the rules will make your dog more secure and at ease than one who is forced to guess. Dogs need boundaries to feel happy, so it’s important to teach them good and bad behavior, as well as to enforce consequences. Build a routine, be consistent, and offer praise. A few obedience classes will help any dog and its owner have a happier life together.
Dogs are intelligent creatures. They need stimulation and enrichment in their lives. A bored dog is an unhappy dog, and often their intelligence will manifest as misbehavior if not properly channeled. Take the time not only to walk your dog and play with them, but also to train them to do tricks, build their vocabulary, or even retrieve specific toys. An agility class can also help keep your dog’s mind active. For a dog, improved focus means an improved life.
As we mentioned, dogs are pack animals. They need to have a social life to be happy. But some dogs need different sorts of socialization than others. While one dog might enjoy the freedom of the dog park, another will need smaller social circles or risk becoming stressed or aggressive. Watch your dog carefully and see what they like, and plan doggy play dates around your dog’s individual needs.
Naturally, you want your dog to be in tip-top shape. Good quality food is essential, of course, so ask your greater Philadelphia area veterinarian about what sort of nutrition your dog needs at every stage of life. Also, make sure your dog gets all their regular vaccinations, and that you take them in to the vet to talk over any issues such as joint problems, allergies, or strange behaviors. It’s also essential to keep your dog active. Dogs that are sedentary tend to gain weight, which affects their overall health. Go to the park, go jogging—whatever it takes!
VRC is a specialty veterinary healthcare hospital located in the greater Philadelphia area. Consult your dog’s regular vet for any concerns, but we’re here when you need us. As a specialty veterinarian, we’re open 24/7, 365 days a year.