There is a reason why so many consider dogs to be members of the family. They provide companionship, comfort, unconditional love, and even emotional support for everyone in the family. We love our dogs so much because they improve the quality of our lives, making us healthier (because of walks) and happier (because of their adorable qualities).
Taking care of a dog is not so simple. Children will often beg their parents to get them a dog, not understanding the adult’s hesitancy to take on this immense responsibility. They are living creatures that need to be fed and taken outside, and are just as prone to health conditions as people are. It is no small thing to adopt a dog, and committing to caring for their health will take some work.
Though they are not human, you have to protect their interests. They rely on you to survive, so you need to provide care that will promote good health. Here are some ideas for caring for the health of your dog.
Dog food can be expensive, and even though most of our pets never tire of the same bland meal every day, you should be willing to invest a little more to get healthier options for them. Cheap dog food does not provide as many health benefits and key nutrients as some of the higher-quality brands do. It’s easy to think “well, it IS just a dog,” and then choose the option that is a bit lower in price. But paying a little more now for better food could save you from expensive vet bills down the road when health issues come up. A healthy diet matters to people, so why shouldn’t it matter for your dog too?
Unexpected vet bills are the worst. They can be massively expensive and set back your financial future for years if a major surgery or other procedure is needed to deal with the issue. You never know what your dog could face as it gets older, so you might want to consider purchasing pet insurance. So many things can happen that put the health of your dog at risk, from dog park accidents to unexpected illnesses to hereditary conditions. Rather than be unprepared for a massive bill, pet insurance can help you cover the costs of caring for the dog with quality healthcare that doesn’t destroy your bank account. Giving your dog a long and happy life is one of the best ways to care for them, and pet insurance can help you do that.
While it may be enjoyable to watch your dog go free every once in a while, animals are unpredictable. You never know what might cause the dog to bolt and attack a neighbor or run into the street to chase a squirrel. If you don’t have a fence or leash to secure them, you open yourself up to the potential of the dog attacking someone. If that person gets injured, they could file a personal injury lawsuit against you. Securing your dog protects others and your pet from dangerous situations that could lead to injuries and serious financial consequences.
If you are a dog owner, you probably know how important it is to walk them. Some breeds certainly need walks almost every day because of their energy levels, like a Husky. Others might be so big that they would rather sleep all day, like a St. Bernard. Do some research about your dog’s breed to see what their exercise needs are and then make sure you are walking them enough. Dogs that do not get out as much as they should become depressed or experience weight gain. Plus, walking the dog frequently will benefit your health as well. If possible, try to add some variety to the routes that you take. This will allow your pet to experience new smells and engage their curiosity.
Hydration is just as important for dogs as it is for humans, especially if they are active animals. Having an empty water dish may mean that they are not getting sufficient hydration, and many dogs cannot communicate that they are thirsty unless they are trained to do so. Keep that water dish full as much as possible so that they always have the option to lap it up and stay hydrated.
Though dogs are certainly a lower maintenance member of the family compared to children, they still have needs that must be met to survive and be full of energy. The above suggestions can help ensure that your pet lives a long and happy life, providing you and your family with an unending source of joy and love. Invest in their health and care for them as a member of the family to get the most out of your dog’s personality.