50 ways to keep your pooch Hale, Hearty & Healthy!

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Alka Paul
We all want our canine companions to live long, happy, and healthy lives. This can be done by making positive lifestyle choices. With a little caution and planning, we can keep them hale and hearty.  –by Alka Paul

Celebrating the 100th Issue of Dogs & Pups, here are fifty quick wellness tips that will keep your pet in excellent physical and mental health.

1. Robust and strong with regular health check-ups: Early detection is the key to good treatment. Know the signs and symptoms of common illnesses and if you notice them, get veterinary help at the earliest for your pooch.

2. Choose a nutritious diet and healthy snacks: Make healthy eating choices for your pet as a part of their daily regime. Over feeding can lead to obesity and can cause stress to the joints and other medical problems like – hypertension, high cholesterol, etc.

3. Spaying or neutering to save life: Get your pets spayed or neutered to prevent uterine infections and for the betterment of their overall health.

4. Fit is the new hit: Your pet needs exercise to stay active, fit, and build body muscle. Going for regular walks or runs and playing games such as fetch can boost her physical as well as mental health.

5. Fight fleas and terrible ticks: Protect your pet from ticks and fleas by using effective tick collars or medications as advised by your vet.

6. Must microchip: You must microchip your pet. It will be easy to find her if she gets lost.

7. Trust the goodness of ID tags: Make your pet wear an ID tag with her name and your contact number imprinted for safety.

8. There’s nothing like the love of a wet dog: Bathing should be a part of your pet’s grooming routine. Ask your vet about the frequency to bathe and always use a pet friendly shampoo.

9. Woosh goes the brush: Brushing your pet after a bath is essential to remove loose hair and distributing natural oils in her coat. Also dry brushing is integral to maintain the coat’s smoothness.

10. Keep‘em cool: If your pet is panting excessively on a hot day, you need to cool her down by giving cold fresh water or placing a wet towel on her.

11. Allergy season ahead – be cautious: Your pet can get skin allergies or food allergies due to certain kinds of food or a particular ingredient in the skincare products. Some of the signs are – itching, redness, flaky skin, and runny nose. A little alteration in their diet and lifestyle can save them from all the troublesome allergens.

12. Superheroes brush their teeth: Brush your pet’s teeth at a frequency that your vet recommends and give her some dental chews or chopped carrot to keep them strong and healthy and reduce plaque build-up.

13. Sticking to schedules is a good idea: Fix a schedule for walks, sleep time, food, water, and play time for your furry friend. It’ll make your and her life easier.

14. It’s all about making time: It’s not about having time, but making time for your pet. Strengthen the bond with fun activities like play dates, going for a long walk, car rides, or grooming session. This will also build her trust in you.

15. Happiness is the key, no matter what the lock is: To keep her happy, get her noisy toys such as squeaky balls, a toy that has food inside it, chewable toys and some new toys she hasn’t played with for a while.

16. Chill and unwind to rejuvenate: Give your pet ample time to relax and unwind, whether that’s snoozing in the sun or playing alone in the garden. It will keep her refreshed and will be great for her mental health.

17. Train her to be alone: Your pet should be trained to be alone at home. Make sure that you get her tired, give her a chew toy or a piece of cloth that smells like you, when you step out. Go out for smaller durations at first to avoid separation anxiety.

18. The superpower of belly rubs: Most pets love belly rubs. Rolling over on their back is a submissive sign to show they trust and adore you.

19. The hype about hydration is worth it: Clean fresh water should be available 24×7 to prevent dehydration. And maybe we should learn from our pets to drink more water and keep ourselves well hydrated.

20. Be careful of poisonous household items: Few household items could be poisonous for your pets such as detergents, floor cleaners, and insecticides. Keep away from their reach.

21. Pets do talk, but only with those who understand: It’s true that your pet might not be able to speak, but she is constantly communicating with you through signs. As a pet parent you need to watch out for her health. Look out for the following symptoms which might indicate that she is unwell – loss of appetite, coughing, itchy skin, red or cloudy eyes, bad breath, being inactive, excessive urinating or drinking and stiffness in legs. Contact your vet immediately.

22. Colour of pee indicates your pet’s health: If your pet is healthy, her urine will be transparent yellow. If she has dark yellow urine, she could be dehydrated. And if the colour is orange or any other colour, then you need to see a vet as it indicates something serious.

23. Scoop that poop: You need to be aware of her poop too. Normal poop is firm and moist. Black or red stool indicates bleeding and it’s time to visit a vet.

24. Indoor games to keep your pet busy: There are great indoor games to play with your pet during rainy days for e.g. search and sniff out toys that are filled with treats, play tug-of-war, roll a ball down your room for her to run and get it or watch a dog movie with her and give her a relaxing massage.

25. Say ‘yes’ to more pet friendly vacations: If you are planning on a road trip vacation, take your pet along. Give her the opportunity to see new places and have new experiences with the entire family and it will be an unforgettable memory for a lifetime!

26. There’s no end to learning: You’d be surprised to know that your pet is always up for learning new tricks and commands. Teach them in the right way and it’ll be beneficial for their mental stimulation.

27. Take care of those floppy ears: Cleaning your pet’s ears regularly will prevent bad odour and ear infections.

28. To give supplements or not: This is a debatable question. It is suggested to take your vet’s advice. If your pet eats a healthy nutritional diet, supplements can be avoided. But if you want to add a dose of essential vitamins, minerals, omega 3 fatty acids, and other essential nutrients, then supplements are a good choice.

29. A little praise goes a long way: Reward and praise your pet when she is at her best behaviour. It’ll help her become more confident and also strengthen the love between you two.

30. No table scraps: Do not feed your pet scraps or leftover food. This will add excess weight gain, causing obesity.

31. Maintain a vaccine chart: Yearly vaccinations are vital for protection against parvo, distemper, rabies and other dangerous diseases. So maintain a vaccine chart and follow it!

32. Stay calm, stay Zen: Always stay calm around your pet. Pets can sense your energy and vibe, so if you are anxious, she will also become nervous and aggressive.

33. Good health starts with good gut: Yoghurt and gutwell powder are the best probiotics for your pet’s gut. Include them in your pet’s diet for a healthy digestive system.

34. Keeping your heartbeat’s heart healthy: Some breeds are prone to specific heart conditions symptoms of which are shortness of breath, fatigue, fainting spells, pale gums, rapid weight loss and swollen tummy. Get in touch with your vet to know more about cardiovascular health of your pet.

35. Is your pet a water baby? Get your pet a baby pool if your pet loves to play in water. This will especially help small breeds as swimming will be a great exercise for them.

36. Let loose the leash: Allow your pet to sniff around on walks, giving her a chance to explore the world around her. This will stimulate her mental health.

37. Don’t ignore behavioural issues: The way your pet behaves will give a true picture of her overall health. You need to learn to read your pet’s actions, identify any abnormal behaviour and get expert help to deal with it.

38. Who’s that intelligent little fellow? Your pet has the ability to understand upto 250 words and gestures. They are capable of learning something new every single day. Make use of this ability and don’t give up on teaching them, even if it takes a time.

39. Clip those nails off: Overgrown nails need to be trimmed for your pets as it would be difficult to walk with them. They can break and cause pain.

40. Quality of life matters: The best ways to give your pet a good quality life is by feeding healthy food, exercising daily, grooming, playing and spending quality time with them.

41. Clean it up! Keep their food bowls clean after every meal. Water bowls need to be cleaned frequently and filled with fresh water.

42. Keep the window to the soul clean: You can maintain good health of their eyes by wiping them with a damp cotton ball and adding leafy green vegetables to their diet.

43. Define a designated spot: Right from young age, define a designated spot for your pup to eliminate.

44. Positive reinforcement: Practice positive reinforcement when she has eliminated in the right spot.

45. Don’t scold her: If she mistakenly pees or poops outside the designated spot, don’t shout or scold.

46. Walk to lighten her mood: If your pet barks unnecessarily, take her for a walk to lighten her mood.

47. Socialisation a must: Socialising your pet with other pets and pet parents is a must.

48. Introduce to all surroundings: Introduce her to all kinds of surroundings to make her feel at ease.

49. Let her wear a harness: A harness connected to the leash in front of her chest is the best as it prevents pulling.

50. Let her sleep well: Sleep time is vital for your pet, so give her enough time to snore and relax.

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