The average dog lives about 10 to 13 years, but they impact our lives for years after. A dog is a friend in the tough times, helps you deal with negative emotions while increasing positive ones, and is one of the most adorable critters on four legs.
So why wouldn’t you want to make those few years with your dogs the best they can be? Here are a few things we can do to improve a dog’s quality of life to show Fido our appreciation.
Focus on All Their Needs
Dogs don’t ask us for much—a little food, a little water, a trip to the vet once a year. But even though dogs are creatures of simple pleasures, they’re still animals with complex needs. A few key ones include:
- Sufficient exercise for the breed
- Mental stimulation, such as puzzle toys and basic trick training
- A feeling of safety, security, and trust
- Basic hygiene and grooming
Hygiene doesn’t just include a hose off whenever they smell like, well, dog. Monitoring your dog’s dental hygiene provides a host of benefits for your dog. Also, keep an eye on your dog’s nails. Long nails can break or splinter, causing pain for your canine companions.
Make the Switch to Harness
As we said, exercise is essential to a happy dog, and keeping your dog under control during walks is essential to keeping them safe. That’s why switching from a collar to a harness is a good idea to improve your dog’s life during walks.
Harnesses offer a plethora of benefits, such as:
- Being safer for smaller dogs
- Preventing strangulations and cutting
- Discouraging pulling
- Making it easier to control a dog in crowded places.
You don’t need a harness or a leash to give your dog a chance for exercise. Switch things up by visiting a dog park. Your dog gets time to run at full speed without a leash, and the change of pace offers much-needed mental stimulation.
Prioritize Bonding Time
Since dogs can’t talk, it’s easy for us to take for granted how much they love us. Taking intentional time to play with and pay attention to your dog is something they notice. It also helps boost their mood, decrease anxiety, and build trust. Go on—take those few minutes to pet your dog or play fetch. It’s medicinal.
Our dogs are only around for a few years. By making sure they have everything they need to live happy, healthy lives, we can help them make those years count.