Tips on keeping your dog happy and healthy
Dogs wriggle their way into our hearts - and occasionally worm their way into trouble. But although we
never know what life will bring, vet surgeon Martin Stevens has some simple steps you can take to keep
your dog happy and
healthy from nose to tail:
Provide the basics
All pups need a balanced diet, fresh water and regular
exercise to keep them healthy. The recommended amount of food and exercise for your dog will
depend on its lifestyle, diet, age and general health, all of which your vet can help you
Keep them entertained
Walks, playing fetch, chasing their tail - whatever
they're into, encourage it! Playing is vital for a dog's mental and physical health. It's
also important for dogs to socialise - both with humans and other animals. They're most
receptive when they are puppies, so the earlier they can be socialised, the better.
Watch your food
Certain 'human foods' are dangerous for dogs to eat, such
as chocolate, onions, garlic and grapes. Be sure not to leave these lying about the house,
as we all know dogs have a habit of sniffing out forbidden snacks!
If they're home alone... take them out on a long walk
before you leave
The physical and mental stimulation should tire them out, so they'll appreciate some quiet time
when they're home. You could also try some interactive, food-dispensing toys. But remember,
dogs shouldn't be left alone for lengthy periods of time.
Do home check-ups
While visits to the vets for regular check-ups are great,
giving your dog a once-over yourself every now and again will help you spot any issues
early. There are a few key areas you can check to keep your dog comfortable, such as their
ears, claws, eyes and teeth.
Depending on the breed of your dog, they may require a little
TLC to help them look and feel their best - whether that's the odd shampoo or a regular