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Important Health Tips for Your Pet Dog

What you should know when taking care of your K9.
Paisley Hansen Jan 13, 2020
Dogs are more than just four-legged critters that live at your house, they’re part of the family. You don’t look at your dog and see whiskers and a snout, you see the face of your companion, the best friend that you will ever have in your life.
As the New Year approaches and everybody begins thinking of ways to better themselves, don’t forget about making resolutions for your furry housemates too. What are some ways that you can make the next year a fantastic one not just for you, but for your dog too?

Get Him Into Shape

Everyone’s New Year’s resolution always seems to be to get into shape. That’s a noble and very achievable goal when you follow a diet and exercise routine — and lucky for both of you, that can be done together.
Extra weight gain is dangerous to the heart, joints and organs whether you’re a human or an animal. If your beloved doggo is carrying a little extra December weight, help him to get back on track to being healthy again.
Despite your personal feelings on the matter, dogs love to exercise. Since they’re playful by nature, there is no shortage of fun ways to give yours a workout that you can enjoy together. If you need more inspiration you can always check out Dr Marty Pets on Instagram for healthy lifestyle tips for all pets, not just dogs.

Run His Butt Off

What better way to get him worked out and having fun at the same time? Running is a universal favorite pastime for our canine companions. If you’re a jogger, clip on his leash and hit the pavement to start a morning running routine once the holidays are over.
Not only will you both get a workout, but this will set a timer in Fido’s internal clock and he can serve as inspiration on especially tough mornings.
If you prefer to work him out separately, don’t forget about the dog owner’s BFF: A Chuck-It ball flinger. Retrievers can’t get enough of anything remotely resembling a ball, which results in a nasty, slobbery one after a little bit of playing. Using a Chuck-It, you can keep your hands clean and fling the ball super far at the same time.

Just Keep Swimming

Dogs that were bred for water will fling themselves headfirst into any body of water, no questions asked. If yours is one that tries to swim in everything from puddles to your father-in-law’s prized koi pond, feed that instinct and exercise him at the same time.
Find a lake or a pond in your area and, equipped with his favorite ball, let him get into all the watery shenanigans he could ever want. (Remember to check ahead of time if the water is safe for swimming; there are some pretty dire horror stories about dogs consuming toxic algae in certain areas.)
Alternate swimming and throwing the ball so that whenever he starts to get hot, he can jump into the water and cool off before taking off again.

Take the Stairs

Whether you live in Seattle or you’re just having some bad weather for the day, that doesn’t slow down your dog any less. If he’s hippity-hopping all around and you can’t go outside to play, burn off the crazy by using the staircase inside your home.
You can do things like shine a laser pointer up and down or toss the ball down the stairs. This is a surefire way to wear him out — you will just have to clean up a little drool off the walls and steps when all is said and done.
Exercise is important to all living creatures and helps to keep them alive for many years. Give your dog a workout and make sure that he’s as healthy as he can be and lives a long, happy life.

Take Him for a Check Up

Everyone puts off their yearly wellness exam at the doctor’s office, but there comes a time when you need to just bite the bullet and make yourself an appointment anyway. Ultimately you know that it’s important for you and your overall health, so it’s worth it in the end.
The same argument can be made for your pup. You know he’s healthy based on the food that he eats and his energy levels, but you want to ensure that he stays in good health. Make an appointment to have his yearly check-up and to update any vaccines that need to be done.
This is also a great time to take advantage of other optional services by your vet such as:
* Nail clipping
* Anal gland purging
* Bloodwork/tests to address any concerns you might have
Just because he doesn’t talk that doesn’t mean your dog doesn’t need to visit the doctor every so often too. If the idea of loading him in the car and hauling him into the vet’s office overwhelms you, check into traveling veterinary services.
These professionals are fully licensed animal doctors, but they come to your home instead of keeping a brick-and-mortar practice. This can be a good alternative too if your doggo gets especially nervous at the vet.

Keep Him Stimulated

Have you ever come home to find a shredded magazine, pair of shoes, couch cushion or some combination of all three? If your dog is a power chewer, chances are he’s getting bored from not being stimulated enough.
This can also be evident in holes that he’s digging outside too. You have to work, so it’s tough to keep your dog from getting bored during the day, but try some ways to keep his doggy brain whirring even in your absence.

Switch Out Toys

Remember when you were a kid and forgot about your old toys the second something shiny and new appeared in your toy box? Our four-legged pals feel the same way. Mix up his daily routine by switching out toys every couple of days.
Give him rope toys and dog bones on Monday, then midway through the week rotate to chewies and soft plush ones. His doggie mind will be blown and he will be excited about the changes you’re making just for him.

Take Him for a Morning Jog

Again, getting into shape is a great goal that you should take seriously. Serve a dual goal in the early morning by waking up with the sun and going for a run. This will jumpstart your morning and wear out Rover at the same time, and a tired dog is a happy dog!

Think About Social Options

It kills you that you can’t be at home playing with your dog all day, especially since you know he misses you too. If you’re genuinely concerned that he’s not getting enough attention, why not sign him up for doggie daycare?
These facilities get your dog socialized and familiar with other dogs and humans, plus they get to do extra-fun things like sniff smelly things and run in endless loops.
Another option might be a dog walker or sitter. You’ve probably heard of apps like Wag! that offer pet-sitting services, which can be an invaluable resource for busy pet parents. Check into options nearby and decide where your budget and your comfort levels lie before making the decision.

Give the Spa Treatment

Even if your dog hates baths, that doesn’t mean that he needs to skip the ritual altogether. Though dogs only need to be bathed once every three months or so (more or less as needed), make sure that when you do give yours his bath that you’re doing it properly.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Use a shampoo made specifically for dogs. It can be tempting to use whatever shampoo you use for yourself, but note that the harsh chemicals can have a different effect on a dog’s skin than yours. Check into dog shampoos that are made with natural products like oatmeal and lavender to help soothe pupper’s skin.

Trimming the Claws

Nail clipping can be risky. Even the most well-behaved dogs can turn into Kujo when it comes to anyone touching their paws, so you may need to outsource for this project. Most vets are happy to schedule you for a quick nail clipping for cheap or sometimes free if you’re lucky.

Clean His Ears

Since dogs’ ears shaped so differently, they can be a hiding place for infection-causing bacteria. Get some towels ready and grab a buddy to flush out Fido’s ears. It’s not a fun process for anyone involved, but it is an essential one to prevent your baby from getting sick.
Your dog is the love of your life and you want him to live the best life possible. It might require some lifestyle changes and some serious hard work, but if it gives him a longer lifeline and increases his quality of living, isn’t it worth the time and energy?