Keeping your dog physically and mentally fit and healthy

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According to canine professionals, daily physical exercise and mental stimulation, a healthy diet and appropriate training will give your dog the very best chance of living a long, happy and healthy life.

Regular exercise

Dogs that are exercised daily generally look good, feel good and live longer.  Regular exercise maintains healthy muscles, bones and joints in dogs and keeps major organs functioning well as they age.

Every dog is unique and different sizes and breeds need varying levels of exercise so it’s important to establish a routine that is regular and balanced and suits the energy level and personality of your dog.

Most dogs don’t need to run; walking is fine as long as you keep moving during the exercise period. Depending on the weather, a daily walk of around 45 to 60 minutes will benefit the physical and mental health of both you and your pup.

If you’re jogging, skateboarding or enjoying another high energy activity with your dog, remember these activities use different muscles and dogs are like people, they need to warm up before an intense workout.

On hot, summer mornings or afternoons, choose a partly shaded location and bring along water and a bowl, stopping from time to time to keep your dog hydrated and cool.

When you finish a walk, let your dog spend time inside before going outside. This gives him or her time to adjust their behaviour to indoor living and rewards their good outdoor behaviour, making it easier to transition to quiet time.

Healthy eating

There are many choices when it comes to dog food and most vets agree it’s important to make sure your dog’s diet is complete and balanced for his or her stage of life and takes into account any medical issues.

Some people choose to feed their dog a pure kibble diet while others prefer cooked or raw meat, fish, chicken, vegetables or rice. In recent times, a plant-based diet has been advocated to reduce the environmental impact of meat-eating domestic animals, estimated at over 25% of the total across Australia.

In conclusion, there is no one size fits all when it comes to choosing dog food, however by ensuring your dog is always well hydrated and by monitoring his or her health, preferences and energy you can make any changes necessary.

Intelligence training

Studies reveal that dogs have memory skills equivalent to a human toddler aged around 2.5 years. They are able to read human body language and react appropriately to a range of voice commands.

Like humans, dogs’ benefit from new learning experiences and challenges. Mental activity or neurological stimulation is defined as anything that stimulates, activates or develops the mind.

It takes repetition for a dog to learn a command so consistent training and practice is a powerful tool to stimulate your dog’s brain and teach him or her new tricks and how to behave and interact with family, friends and the outside world.

Involving your dog in activities like washing the car, walking to the shops or meeting up with friends for a coffee will provide experience to different situations and experience. Find out where the closest agility dog park is located and take your dog along to exercise and socialise.

Training builds confidence and strengthens the bond you share with your dog. Cognitive challenges also help curtail destructive behaviours like chewing and barking by keeping your dog engaged and entertained.

Even if confined indoors, dogs enjoy watching outdoor activity through a window.  Make your dog part of the daily flow of life in your home so it doesn’t become isolated.

Puppies need a brain workout too

A puppy’s cognitive skills develop as they grow, and early mental stimulation and active play will assist with memory and problem-solving as the dog matures.

Chew toys can keep puppies and young dogs busy and encourages them to spend some quiet time relaxing on their bed. Chewing is a natural stress-busting activity and leads to the release of calming hormones, which make a dog feel happy and content.

Dog daycare makes a difference

Dogs are like people, they enjoy socialising and meeting new friends and they don’t like being left home alone. With younger and insecure dogs’ loneliness can lead to excessive barking and other problem behaviours.

Dog daycare is a great option for busy people with dogs. It provides a weekly or daily play date with dogs of a similar size and personality and a range of activities that focus on the needs of your individual dog.

Furbaby offers small dog daycare

Furbaby is a popular dog daycare centre that specialises in providing daycare for small dogs under 12ks.

Regarded as one of WA’s finest small dog daycare centres, Furbaby combines its daycare facility with a professional dog grooming salon on the premises with experienced, creative stylists grooming for dogs of all ages and sizes.

Furbaby Dog Daycare Centre & Grooming Salon, 29/386 Wanneroo Road, Westminster 9440 6690