We all love our pets and the joy they provide us is immeasurable. The best way we can show our pets that we care, is to take great care of them. This means being a responsible owner and prioritising their happiness, health and wellbeing.
As much as your pooch may enjoy a heated and padded bed or a day trip to the doggy spa, they will benefit much more from the ‘boring’ things like routine veterinary care, consistent training and high-quality food, so here are our TOP 5 things that every dog owner should do. Can you tick all 5 boxes?
1. Don’t forget about those vaccines. Most owners know their puppies need a set of vaccines before they can go outside. However, it is not uncommon for owners to leave their older dogs unvaccinated, sometimes for years at a time. While not every vaccine needs to be administered annually, Leptospirosis (core) and Kennel Cough (non core) do. This yearly trip to the vet also provides a great opportunity for a full check over and weigh-in and allows you to discuss any health or behavioural issues with your vet.
2. Microchips are a must. It is the law in the UK for all dogs to be microchipped, meaning they can be traced back to their owner at all times. This ensures you would be reunited with your dog if they were ever stolen or if they go missing. If unsure if your dog has a chip, ask your vet to scan them the next time you’re in. If your pet needs to be chipped, this can be done during a consult and costs from £10-25.
Top Tip: Don’t forget to update your microchip details if you move home or change your phone number.
3. Continue with your dog’s training, even beyond their puppy years. A happy dog is one who knows what is expected from them. Dogs truly thrive when they have a set routine and a predictable training programme. Try to involve the whole family and to establish that everyone is on the same page when it comes to ‘rules’. Importantly, always reward good behaviour with lots of verbal praise and some treats. This is true even for senior dogs; it’s not just puppies who need to be shown appreciation.
4. Offer a high quality diet. While premium diets will cost more, if you can afford them, they are worth the investment. Not only will your dog appreciate the fresh flavours, there are health benefits too. Diets like Pooch & Mutt use quality ingredients to support optimal health; ensuring a shiny coat, better stool quality and a settled gut. Premium diets are generally supplemented with ingredients such as probiotics and joint supportive ingredients, keeping your dog in tip top shape.
5. Be their advocate. Where you can, try to understand your dog’s needs and to ‘be their voice’. Some example of this would include:
While the five things discussed above may not seem ground-breaking, it is the little things that can make a big difference in the long run.