Sometimes in this chaotic world, there is no better medicine than having a dog. They’re so incredibly innocent, pure, and provide us with a wealth of unconditional love and loads of hilarious entertainment. So let’s spoil our pupperonis and look at nine things that will give them a full-filled, long, and healthy life.
We think we love being comfortable, but our dogs have us beat hands down — I’m convinced my dogs have ranked every single thing they lay on by their comfort level and they always go for the most comfortable option first.
Getting your dog their own bed is a fantastic idea because it gives them their own place/bed to call their own — even when they still prefer yours. I’ve found that you can tell if they like having their own beds because they show nesting behaviors like walking around in circles a few times, etc.
Identification: Dog Tags and Collars
This goes without saying, so instead why not spice up their fashion with alternative tags and a collar or even a custom design? My American Bulldog rocks a purple leather collar while my Siberian Husky rocks a Nightmare Before Christmas collar — I like to think they’re the talk around doggy town.
Speaking of Huskies and other dogs that love to escape your house and run off into the distance, microchipping is a great idea for most dogs — remember to update your info if you move or change your phone #.
Heartworm Prevention Medicine
Don’t even think about not giving your pup preventive heartworm medication like Heartgard, Interceptor, etc. Heartworms are carried by mosquitoes and can live in your dog’s system for 5-7 years causing a lot of damage that can lead to death. A year’s supply is around $50-100, but worth it because not only will treatment will run over $1000, you’re also not putting your pup in danger in the first place.
You need to be diligent about giving them their heartworm medication during the summer months when mosquitoes are the worst. I strongly recommend still giving them their medication during colder months as all it takes is one mosquito. Heartworm prevention can kill heartworms, but it can take years to do so; giving the worms ample time to cause serious harm. Combine this with the fact, that most adult dogs only go to the vet once a year. This means there is always the rare chance they get infected right after a checkup, and you wouldn’t know for a year — avoid this by never missing more than a month or two.
This next one is surely a statement that we’re in a new modern era of pet health. Many pet owners have started giving their pets a hemp product called CBD oil to improve health in a number of ways from anxiety to cancer.
While its popularity has seemingly sprung up overnight, there is a lot of great research showing that hemp may finally be the natural health supplement we’ve long been looking for.
CBD oil is rich with phytocannabinoids that resemble and promote endocannabinoids created by the brain in all mammals. Acting as neurotransmitters, the brain sends these endocannabinoids to attach to various receptors in the body where they promote stabilization and regulation over biological functions and the region said receptors are located in. Endocannabinoids are involved in most biological functions from a mammal’s immune system response to controlling their appetite to even cell health and death.
Since CBD oil is new for many people, here is some helpful tips when buying pet hemp products online:
- CBD oil can be derived from both marijuana and hemp, but hemp lacks the active psychoactive chemical (THC) found in marijuana. This means hemp is safe, legal, and won’t get your pet high.
- Great CBD companies provide a Certificate of Analysis (COA) that will confirm their CBD products contain no THC.
- Check out the customer reviews!
Taking care of your dog’s teeth might be something you never thought you had to pay attention, but unless you want to pay $500 to $1000 for a teeth cleaning bill, you need to keep an eye on it.
Fortunately, most dogs never have an issue, so it’s perfectly fine to check every few months. Great dental health is becoming more and more popular among pet owners, however, and after seeing the price tag, it makes sense why.
When keeping their teeth clean, you’re looking at three options: dental bones, brushing their teeth, or regular bones. Dental bones are OK, but it can be difficult finding one that’s the right hardness for your pup. Plus, they are a digestive nightmare if accidentally swallowed. Toothbrushes work great if your dog likes them, but they probably won’t.
Animal bones are nature toothbrushes and can give them some additional nutrients they may be missing from their diets, but you’ll want to follow a few rules:
- Only Raw — Cooked bones can splinter.
- Bone density — Before buying a cow or large animal bone ask yourself if you think your dog could hunt the animal in the wild.
- Bully Sticks — Way better than rawhides that can get sharp and cut their gums. As well, they won’t splinter since they’re not technically bones.
- Watch the calories — Bones are often loaded with calories, so I recommend them only once or twice a week.
All good pups deserve toys, and all dogs are good pups, so you know what you have to do. Toys serve a lot of purposes as well. They’re great for teething puppies or anxious dogs looking to relieve stress. It can help bond two dogs that are strangers and are apprehensive of each other. When moving into a new place with your fluff nugget, toys can help ease the transition.
The list of reasons your dog should have a bountiful toy collection is endless, so it’s time to grab the leash and head to your nearest pet store. Your dog is your best friend. It makes sense that you also want your dog to have everything that he needs, including suitable dog collars.
Some dogs handle car ride well while others go slipping and sliding, and this can be a dangerous issue if you have to hit your brakes, etc.
Fortunately, there are a few options available. Option #1 involves a safety harness that easily connects across the back seat onto the side door hangers. After that, you just attach a leash that can run across the zip line so they can still access both windows.
Option #2 is a car hammock that safety prevents them from falling in between the seats — they take a little more work to set up but not much.
Tools for Being Productive
OK, I’ll fess up and admit that this next one isn’t an item, but it’s free unlike the others, so there’s that! But in all seriousness, dogs want to have a purpose in life just like us. That may seem weird but think about! You can always tell when your pup is bored because they’ll act unsatisfied, mopey, and are generally disgruntled.
Many dogs, especially bigger breeds, want to work, accomplish tasks, and make you proud because they were bred to work, feel useful, and be a contributing member of your family. Others might want to go on long walks, get in a good run, bring back a stick, or comfort you when you’re sad. Just make sure to reward them — they really love that!
A Place to Call Their Own
Don’t fear the crate. Far too many owners have mixed feelings when it comes to crates, and while dogs are social creatures, sometimes they just want to get away for a while. For many adult dogs, their crate is their sanctuary and security — it’s their own home away from yours (kinda).
As well, crate training is considered to be one of the best forms of training for puppies, and it doesn’t have to be a cruel thing. Here are some tips to make it a great experience:
- Never leave them locked up for more than 8 hours — expect puppies to only be able to hold their bladders for around one hour for every month of age.
- When disciplining, calmly send them or take them to their cage; never yell!
- For crate size, you want a cage big enough for them to comfortably move around in but not large enough so that they can defecate in a corner — this teaches a young dog to hold its bladder which strengthens it.
- Try to slowly introduce the crate to help avoid early cage anxiety — if the dog whines, remember to stay calm and relax to avoid triggering your dog to associate the cage as a bad thing.
- After 18-24 months crate training can usually come to an end, and you’ll find your dog now views the cage as his vacation house. This is right around the time that many dogs can freely roam the house without destroying it when you’re gone.