Let’s be honest. The reason most of us adopted our pets was due to the mere fact that we have a deep love for them. Whether it be a feline, a canine, or other animals that have sparked our interest, we didn’t go into adoption thinking of ourselves.
It’s especially true for individuals who decided on dogs as their pets. At first, we didn’t think of the benefits we will have with their companionship, only that we—as humans and canine lovers—have the urge to care for them. Little did we know we benefit so much more from them (read more) than they do from us. It turns out they’re serotonin-making machines that are responsible for lesser heart attacks, stroke, stress, and mental health issues in a human’s life.
Which brings up a very important question we all need to answer right now: what can we do to give back to them? Though if they can understand us and speak, our canine best friends would never accept our gratitude. Still, it’s a nice gesture and would surely show them how much we love them.
#1: Have Some Fun Exercise With Them
It’s easy for us to say, “bring the dogs to the park for a little fun”, but when was the last time both of you had fun together? Our dogs may not be picky with how they do their exercise, but they will be extra happy if you participate in the activity with them. In fact, they’ll be able to thoroughly exercise because they’re so stoked you chose to play with them instead. On your part as the owner, you’ll be able to maintain their health as well as their ideal weight.
This can be especially true for dog breeds that are prone to obesity, such golden retrievers, cairn terriers, and pugs. Though a proper diet and constant motion can help with this condition, you’ll need to give extra care to the aforementioned breeds in regards to maintaining their ideal weight.
#2: Avoid Their Boredom
When a dog becomes bored, they’re prone to either mischief or inactivity, both of which are negatives. Buying them new, interesting toys, bringing them to new places and sights, or teaching them new skills or tricks can help with preventing their boredom. However, take note that not all toys are beneficial and safe for dogs. Pick one that has neither small parts prone to breaking nor anything with the material they shouldn’t ingest. The former can cause them to choke or while the latter may interfere with their normal bowel movement.
We recommend chewing toys in different shapes, textures, or sizes if you want to go for safer choices.
#3: Rotate Kibble Flavors
Just like a human eating the same food for the past week, it’s no doubt our pet’s appetite sometimes wanes just enough for us to panic a bit. However, it’s nothing serious! All you need to do is rotate those kibble flavors and wet food accordingly throughout each day of the week. They’ll appreciate the change and will happily say goodbye to a whole seven days straight of tuna-flavored dog food!
#4: Be Thorough With Grooming And Care
Contrary to popular belief that dogs like being sticky, icky, and dirty, canines actually feel a hundred times better if you bathe them thoroughly, cut their nails before they get too long, brush their mane, and even clean their ears. They’ll feel refreshed, relaxed, and happy to snuggle on the couch or sleep by your feet peacefully. Plus, grooming can fend off health issues (link: https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/pets/dogs.html) like lice, skin conditions, and problems with their immune system. Make sure you do this routine twice a week and as needed.
#5: Be Aware Of The Common Diseases And Prevent Them
Canine bodies won’t stay healthy forever, which is why knowing the common conditions your pet might have and being armed with the knowledge of treatment will greatly help you in the long run. Do this if only to not get caught unawares and panic if they suddenly lose appetite or become lethargic for longer periods of time.
Oral conditions become the most common ones your dog can have as they gradually age into adulthood. Gingivitis and tartar are the most common cases in veterinary clinics, while more serious cases such as periodontal (with abscess) happen more commonly to older dogs. You can quickly detect oral problems by watching out for symptoms, such as bad breath, excessive drooling, avoidance with hard, solid food, such as kibbles, appetite changes, and blood/pus discharge from the mouth.
The next and closest to the area of the mouth is the ears, where infections occur commonly to both young and old canines. You can detect an ear infection by observing if your pet scratches their ear often (and only their ear/s), frequent shaking of the head, or rubbing their ear against the floor or furniture. Advanced symptoms are abscess, redness of the inner ear, balance issues, and hearing problems.
Cleaning the ears can help, but veterinarians are a better choice of treatment for ear infections, as they have antibiotics available if they deem the case to be severe.
Perhaps the signature problem of older dogs, joint pains are very painful. They can be quite severe that some canines don’t rise from where they lay on the floor for days on end. And if they do, they usually let out a high-pitched whine, have an uneven walking gait, or have visibly swelling joints. Joint pains can only be treated through effective pain management, and sadly do not have a cure as of today.