Paws For Thought – How To Keep Your Dog Happy And Healthy

Happy dog

Man’s best friend – and for good reason too.

Dogs provide companionship, entertainment and an excuse to get some exercise!

Whether it’s a cute, clumsy puppy or a special rescue dog, having one could increase your lifespan. But with the average dog living to a healthy ten years of age, it is a big commitment to make and one that should be given careful consideration…

Do you have the time to dedicate to a new best friend? Dogs enjoy a walk every day and they don’t like being left alone for long periods of time. They need lots of love and games – even after a hard day at the office! And of course, if you’re thinking about getting a puppy, be prepared for the chewing and the odd puddle on the floor. But let’s face it – just one look into those big eyes and it doesn’t seem so bad after all.

You can buy your dog from a variety of sources, including breeders and rescue centres. If you’re buying a puppy though, it is worth asking to see its mother. If she has a good temperament and characteristics it bodes well for your new friend. An ideal age to purchase a puppy is when it’s between 7 and 8 weeks old.

You’ll need some doggy essentials too, including a dog bed big enough to stretch out in and a comfortable collar with an identity tag. You should be able to slip two fingers between the collar and his neck. You’ll also need a lead for those all important walks and bowls for his food and water. Pink coats, furry boots and diamonds are all optional!

There are a number of food options available from dry complete food to semi-moist and tinned foods. Depending on your dog’s breed and age, there are also more specific foods available. And don’t forget the odd treat as well to keep his teeth healthy and tail wagging.

Depending on your pet’s vaccination history, you may need to phone your vet and book an appointment for vaccinations before you can take a walk together. Your vet will also carry out a ‘nose to tail’ MOT to make sure your new friend is in tip top condition. They may also be able to recommend puppy or dog training clubs to help socialise and train your pet; right from house training to sitting and staying.

Having a dog is a big commitment, but by providing him with everything he needs to have a happy and healthy life, you will be able to enjoy each other’s company for many years to come.

Dog Facts

• A dog’s heart beats between 70 and 120 times a minute, compared with a human heart which beats 70 to 80 times a minute.
• It is a myth that dogs are colour blind. They can actually see in colour, just not as vividly as humans. It is akin to our vision at dusk.
• A dog’s sense of smell is more than 100,000 times stronger than that of a human’s.
• A greyhound can run as fast as 45 miles an hour.
• Eighty percent of dog owners buy their dog a present for holidays and birthdays. More than half of them sign letters and cards from themselves and their pets.