Your dog does so much to help improve and enrich your life! Let’s make sure you are giving back to them, ensuring they have the happiest life.
We have done some research and found the top 5 ways that a happy home will benefit your dog.
Make sure that your dog has their own place that is safe, warm and cosy. This allows them to feel relaxed and comfortable. It is also better, especially for where they will be sleeping, to have a quiet comfortable space away from loud noises or busy areas of the house. Some dogs even prefer to sleep in a crate or a doggy den – somewhere that is theirs.
It is crucial that your dog maintains a healthy weight for their size. Your vet will have a lot of advice about the most suitable food for your dog’s size, age and activity level. Believe me, I know how tempting it is to give in to those puppy dog eyes and sneak them some food from your own plate. However, not all human food is suitable for your dog and can badly affect their health. Remember how important it is for your pet to eat healthily. Now, we all love to give our pups treats, but they can contribute to weight gain. Treats are a great training tool, so we need to keep using them, but just in moderation. A nice bowl of clean fresh water is also essential, especially on hot days.
Your pup needs regular exercise for their physical and mental wellbeing. Getting outside for walks gives your dog the chance to stretch their legs, have a sniff around all the different smells and get fresh air. It also gives the opportunity keep them in shape and give them a change of scenery to break up their day. I would say that it is important to consider each dogs individual personalities. Some dogs like a calmer life, to cuddle and nap whilst others may prefer to play and be outside. Others may prefer long walks and meeting other dogs whereas others would rather spend their time pottering and sniffing around the local park or the garden.
It is so important not only to exercise your dog’s body but also their mind. Providing your dog with enrichment activities is a great way to prevent boredom and teach them new skills. Also, if your dog is suffering from an injury or recovering from surgery, it can be a great way to tire them out. Training your dog is also crucial to make them feel safe and secure. It will also build their confidence. Start your training young as this will give them the best start and help to prevent behaviour problems from developing as they grow. Dogs are very intelligent and will get bored if they’re not regularly stimulated.
Check out our blog “How to Entertain Your Dog While Working from Home” for some enrichment ideas.
Everyone deserves to feel loved, especially our canine companions. Showing them love and respect will help you build a bond with them. It is also important to praise and reward good behaviour. Another way to show them love, is by taking care of their grooming and medical needs to keep them looking healthy and feeling comfortable. We know that a trip to the vet isn’t always an enjoyable experience for some dogs, but it is essential that they have regular check-ups to they are healthy. If your dog is nervous, try dropping in with them to say hello and enjoy some treats, to help future treatments trips go as smoothly as possible.
However much we would love to have a good chat with our pups, we can’t. So, although they can’t tell us how they feel, they will show us through their behaviour and body language. Spending time with your dog will allow you to get to know their behaviours, so you will know when they’re happy and notice if there are any changes.
We would love to hear how your dog has helped you, send us a message on our socials – @wild_at_heart_foundation
Disclaimer: talks of mental health, anxiety and depression which can be triggering
It is important to recognise when we feel anxious and find ways to deal with it, so we have been exploring the benefits of how man’s best friend can have a significant impact on your mental health and anxiety.
Some studies have shown that stroking your pet can lower your blood pressure and your heart rate, which helps with your health and reduces your stress levels. Having a dog can also help your body release dopamine and serotonin, the happy hormones, which relieve your stress hormones and help with creating a feeling of calm.
Dogs need regular exercise to maintain a healthy life, going out for regular walks will not only keep your dog healthy but also keep you healthy. Daily walks outside boost physical well-being, and it is proven that being outside in nature really benefits anxiety.
Check out our blog Control of Your Dog on a Walk for advice on the best practices for walking your pup.
When you suffer with poor mental health, there can be a decline in socialising, and it is often met with feelings of loneliness. Taking your dog for a walk is a great way to make conversation, as having a love of dogs can provide a common ground which you may not have previously had – helping reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. Having your dog by your side will also help you to feel more confident.
Looking after a dog is a big responsibility, they rely on you for their food, exercise and love – being responsible can have a positive effect on your wellbeing. Having a set routine can give you focus and can give you clarity on otherwise uncertain feelings. Your dog can give you a reason to get up, put one foot in front of the other and having them by your side will encourage good behaviours and habits.
Being in a happy home will ensure you have a happy pooch. Keeping your dog stimulated through exercise and play will stop them from feeling bored, making them feel happy and loved. Dogs also crave routine which will make them feel secure and safe in their environment.
It is so important to give your pup a healthy and happy life and in return they will offer you, love, companionship, fun and a feeling of routine and purpose. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.
If you’re struggling and need some support or advice, there are some brilliant platforms available. Check out our top 3 below.
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