If you own a dog, caring for it is an important responsibility that requires a real and genuine personal commitment. It is important to make sure that everyone in the family shares in this responsibility and commitment. The dog that you bring into your home must honestly feel loved by each family member.
You can do five important things when caring for a dog to ensure it stays happy and healthy.
The first thing to know is that your dog needs water. Like any other living thing, your dog always needs fresh water to stay healthy. Poorly regulated contaminants, including harmful chemicals such as lead and even low levels of prescription medication, can enter into your tap water supply. The solution is to have a good water filter. A water filter will help remove most harmful toxins, making the water much healthier for both you and your dog.
The second thing your dog needs is highly nutritious, quality food. When you feed your dog, it is important to choose healthy ingredients. Many dog food labels on the market today are nutritiously quite deceiving. They may have dubious sourced ingredients or product mixes to comply with government labeling standards. They may contain things that you would probably not want your dog to eat. A good dog food is one that meets the higher labeling standard of being “complete and balanced.” When you choose your dog food look for one with more meat than fillers. When you are looking at the package look to see that it lists meats like lamb, beef, or chicken and that the fat to protein content meets recommended nutritional guidelines. Also, look to see if it contains natural preservatives, as these are much healthier for your dog.
The third thing you can do is make sure that your dog receives proper health care. It is very important that you take your dog to the vet for regular check-ups. Flea and heartworm control are common canine conditions that are easy to diagnose and prevent but extremely costly if not treated. Heartworms are parasitic mosquito-borne infections known to kill or injure dogs by damaging the heart and blood vessels. To paraphrase Benjamin Franklin, taking your dog to the vet is an ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure.
The fourth thing you can do is exercise your dog. Many people don’t think about this as being one of the most important things that keeps a dog healthy, but it is. In the United States, 40 percent of dogs are considered overweight. Just like humans, it is important to keep your dog’s weight under control because it can lead to health problems. Help your dog exercise by doing things like taking it for daily walks. Exercise and playful workouts not only enhance the bonding experience but also can help avoid some behavioral problems.
Lastly, and probably the most important thing you can do for your dog is show affection. Letting your dog know that you care affects their health in the most positive way.