Nothing brightens a day quite like coming home from a challenging shift at work and being greeted by your tail-wagging, good health, happy, adoring dog. Keeping your pet healthy will help prolong that natural mood enhancement (as well as from hurting your finances).
Pet insurance is one way to relieve the financial stress when your pet needs help the most. Read pet insurance reviews to help navigate the coverage that interests you.
While dogs are expressive, it can be hard to tell when they’re experiencing problems. Read on for symptoms to be aware of and courses of action to pursue. Included are some preventative tips to keep you and your pet in a happy state.
#1. Budget for Your Dog
When considering human/pet relationships, many negative factors have to do with the human side of the equation. Finances are a top stressor for the average American. So when a pet becomes a financial burden, the owner may feel antagonistic toward the animal.
Avert this stress by budgeting for your pet. A dog can cost well over $20,000 over their lifespan. This may not surprise you, but if it does, take note—so often, families buy a puppy for Christmas and think the big cost is over.
However, feeding, grooming, vaccinating, dog-sitting fees and caring for your canine all add up. Be wise about caring for your pet and include the cost in your household budget. Then it will not shock or aggravate you every time you pay a pet bill; you’ll already be financially prepared to handle the costs.
#2. Keep Up With Oral Hygiene
Most adult canines experience active dental disease. Oral health is important in the dog world and periodontal disease is preventable.
Brush your dog’s teeth. Use dog-specific toothpaste and keep up with it; use treats to make the experience positive.
Provide dental chews and other veterinarian-recommended toys to work on plaque build-up. Finally, have your canine’s canines scaled by a vet under anesthesia.
#3. Develop Good Grooming Habits
Grooming can be quite expensive. Find a groomer that is a good fit and ask them to teach you basic maintenance tips. Care between appointments makes their job easier and keeps the entire grooming routine smaller and less stressful for your pet.
Things like trimming nails and brushing their fur are easy for you to do. Use treats and take it slow. Work into a good routine so that Fido knows and is comfortable with the process.
#4. Feed With Age-Appropriate Food
You may take your diet seriously, but when was the last time you thought about your canine’s menu? Most people make their initial dog food choice and stick with it until the end. But did you know that dogs experience life cycles much like humans, but in a shorter timeframe?
Just like they need puppy food to keep up with their calorie burning in the early months, dogs may need diet food for their less active years.
#5. Stay Current With Vet Visits
Once again, a pet expense that can be stressful is vet visits. But if you’re already budgeting for them, you will see their benefit without stressing over the cost.
A vet will routinely evaluate for dental health, heartworm and indications of physical distress. Veterinarians check coat, skin, nails, heart, lungs, eyes and walking gait to ensure your dog is healthy. With regular visits, it’s easier for vets to develop a baseline for comparison.
#6. Provide Positive Bonding Experiences
A dog is happiest when secure in their owner’s trust. Your dog picks up on your emotions and relies on you for reassurance. By carving out time for specific attention to your dog, you can build trust with each other.
Bonding is also essential if you have a protective breed of dog. Dogs like a giant schnauzers can recognize the difference between their owner’s friendly and hostile encounters with other people. Bonding with your dog trains them to identify differences in your emotions.
#7. Prevent and Reduce Anxiety
When you know your dog, you also know what stresses them out. The majority of household dogs experience anxiety. It shows up in many ways, from destructive behavior to excessively licking lips. As the ir owner, you can help them by diverting stressors.
While your vet will be able to discuss specific anxiety treatments, you can handle primary concerns. Obedience training with your dog can build a strong, positive bond that prevents anxiety. It will also help you understand your dog’s body language better.
Avoid situations that trigger your furry pal. If they don’t respond well to children, don’t take them to a park with a playground. Give them comfort and attention during thunderstorms.
#8. Provide Physical Play
Physical play is so vital to your dog’s health. Do your research on the breed of your canine pal. Discovering the character traits and type of play your dog needs to thrive is impressive.
Play is the best way to prevent negative behavior. The amount of physical exercise needed depends on your pet’s breed characteristics and temperament. Herders like collies are notorious for needing space to run. A bichon frise, known for lower energy, can get their fill of exercise by a short walk every day.
#9. Challenge With Mental Play
Along the lines of play, exercising your dog’s brain can be just as important as exercising their muscles. When intelligent dogs aren’t mentally challenged enough, they can get themselves into trouble.
Their inquisitive minds will create their own challenges if you don’t. You can mitigate many destructive habits by creating brain-stimulating games. Try treat dispensing toys, trick training, hide and seek and obstacles.
#10. Explore Pet Insurance
Pet insurance gets a bad rap for being a rip-off, but that’s because people neglect the idea until their pet is in a dire situation. Like life insurance, pet insurance offers better rates for policies purchased while the pet is young and in good health.
Look for pet insurance premiums, deductibles and other limitations. Look at customer reviews to get a picture of how claims are handled. If you have a beloved veterinarian, ask which insurance companies they could recommend.
Keeping your dog happy and healthy is important for you to enjoy them fully. So much owner stress is self-inflicted because the dog may not be healthy or happy. You can sleep better at night knowing your precious pup is well-cared for.
To keep the relationship with your pet strong, exercise their body and mind, carve out bonding time and keep up with health maintenance. Lowering your pet’s stress reduces your stress as well.