Keeping Your Dog Healthy and Happy As A New Owner

Table of Contents

Overview | Nutrition and Diet | Problem Signs 


"Taking care of your pets may seem as easy as feeding and playing with them occasionally, but experienced dog owners will tell you that’s not the case, as there are so many factors to raising a dog properly. These factors that you must consider will help to turn your dog into the perfect pet, providing them with social experience and discipline, as well as good health and fitness. Ultimately, your dog should be treated with the respect and care they deserve and in return, they’ll provide you with the great benefits of having a loyal companion at your side. Here are our top tips for keeping your dog happy and healthy as a new owner"

Lhasa apso dog laying on back

Nutrition and Balanced Diets

One of the more important aspects to a healthy diet for your dog is to maintain a good body weight. It’s not uncommon for dogs and other house pets to become overweight and in some cases obese. This does tend to stem from overfeeding of treats and table scraps though, especially if a family doesn’t have the discipline to refrain from feeding them these scraps, or the knowledge of who has given treats out. There are a lot of obesity-related diseases that dogs can suffer from, so it’s imperative that you refrain from overfeeding them snacks, even though it can be hard to resist.

Exercise For You and Your Companion

Dogs can be a great incentive to get outside and get fit yourself. Use this symbiotic need to keep you both in tip top shape. Dogs need regular, daily exercise to maintain a healthy weight, as well as keeping their muscles and joints healthier. This also provides a strong level of mental stimulation especially if you bring some toys for them to fetch if they’re inclined to retrieve. Don’t forget to bring some treats along for recall training as rewarding your dog for returning when called will make it much easier to do so in case of an emergency.

Veterinarian Checkups

While it’s easy for us to speak to a doctor if we’re not feeling well, and to inform others of any symptoms so that we can get help, dogs can’t do that too effectively. When in severe pain, a dog might whimper or favor an injured limb, but most other illnesses can progress fairly hidden. This is why it’s worthwhile taking your pet for regular checkups, at least annually, to ensure they’re in good condition. Your vet can check their weight, teeth, and look for any signs of illness that the average pet owner might miss.

Giving Affection

Giving affection to your pets can greatly benefit you due to the release of serotonin and dopamine both of which make us feel good and happy. The act of petting our furry friends is processed as a pleasant experience in our brains but it has similar effects on our dogs too. Not only can this feel relaxing and comforting for our animals, it also promotes a healthy and stronger bond between your pet and your family, and also helps them to get used to physical touch, reducing the risk of any aggression or fear if someone does go in to pet them.

Supplements and Medication

Sadly, many dog breeds are susceptible to severe health problems especially in later life. Many pedigree breeds, due to years of specific breeding have become more likely to develop degenerative joint problems for example, which can cause great pain and reduces their maneuverability. This is why it’s a good idea to provide your dogs that are at a higher risk of developing these diseases, with targeted medication and supplements that help to reduce their chances of getting these diseases as well as reducing symptoms for those that do. Joint supplements for dogs, like those you can get from Native Pet, can strengthen your dogs’ joints and provide them with some respite from these diseases. Speak to your vet before giving your dog any medication or supplements as they’ll provide you with quality advice and guidance for treating these issues.

Regular Grooming

Keeping your dog’s coat groomed, and their claws trimmed will help them in a number of ways. Brushing their coat can help to remove excess fur which they’re struggling to shed. They need to do this to grow a healthier coat as well as staying cooler in the hotter months, and warmer in the winter. This also counts as a bonding activity, improving the trust between you and your dog, and also allows you to better spot any lumps and bumps that may need to be checked by a vet, as well as any other subtle changes to their fur, eyes, and skin. Try to groom your pet once a week to keep on top of this process and develop a positive routine.

Socializing With Other Animals

If you want to get other pets, it’s important that you get your dog accustomed to other animals from an early age. Not only that, but you’ll also want your dog to not see others as a threat while on a walk. A dog that hasn’t socialized with other dogs can become fearful and aggressive and could cause harm to someone else’s pet or even another person. Consider taking your dog to training classes and dog parks so they get used to the presence of other dogs. Try to also dissuade aggression from your dog when it comes to other animals too. The last thing you want is to find out that your dog has harmed another animal that may have wandered into your yard, especially if it’s someone else’s pet like a cat.

Socializing With Other Humans

This is a very similar concept to getting your dog used to other animals, as people can make a dog feel just as threatened as another animal, if not more so. Many dogs have quirks when it comes to what type of person they’ll let approach them. It’s quite common for timid dogs to prefer women as their voices aren’t as deep and their physique tends to be less imposing than a man. If your dog has developed a fear of certain people, especially children, it’s very important to consider behavioral therapy with a dog trainer. To prevent your dog developing these fears, introduce them to many different people from a young age, in a calm and safe environment. Inform others of your plans and encourage them to be gentle and approach slowly to give your dog time to assess the situation and realise there’s no threat.

Spaying and Neutering

One thing that many dog owners still avoid doing is spaying or neutering their animals. There are many benefits to doing this, on an individual basis and a societal one. First off, this actually can extend your dog’s life expectancy, and helps to reduce the risk of certain cancers and diseases. In male dogs, neutering can reduce aggression too due to their testosterone production being diminished. Female dogs that are spayed won’t go into heat and become irritable either. Ensuring your dog cannot breed is also an incredibly responsible choice as a dog owner. There are hundreds of thousands of stray and abandoned dogs out there that need a home, and there are so many dog owners that see their pets as a cash dispenser. Sadly, many people pay thousands upon thousands of dollars for pedigree breeds, and this also encourages puppy farms and the mistreatment of these animals. If you’re intending to become a breeder to make some quick cash, or you are buying these expensive breeds, you’re directly contributing to the mistreatment of these animals, so avoid it.