For dog owners, keeping their canine healthy is often more important than addressing their own well-being. However, dog ownership can have numerous benefits, whether you opt to use a dog as an Emotional Support Animal or as a family pet.
Whether you have one of the healthiest dog breeds or a pooch that needs some extra TLC, there are many steps you can take to ensure both you and your dog stay healthy together. Here are some of the best tips for human and canine health.
Go Outdoors Often
Being outside has many positive benefits for both humans and canines alike. Walking your dog gives both of you plenty of exercise and fresh air, both of which have physical and mental health benefits. Exercise can ensure your canine companion stays lean and burns off extra energy while you get your blood flowing, release endorphins, and reap the benefits of your physical activity.
Many dogs have high energy levels and require exercise to tire themselves out, lest they find a way to do so in the house. Having this outside time can prevent issues later on when a bored animal decides to entertain themselves by chewing on shoes.
Eat a Minimally Processed Diet
Both canines and humans are subject to processed, packaged meals on a daily basis. However, not all food is created equal, especially for dogs. When you go grocery shopping, be sure to read labels and make the best choices possible for both you and your pooch. For dog food, avoid brands that use a lot of fillers, such as corn and wheat, and opt for brands that have lots of fruit and vegetable components instead.
The same mentality applies to human food. Avoid unnecessary additives and artificial food coloring. You don’t want to buy a lot of food with long ingredient lists. Rather, aim to buy ingredients and make your own meals. Many people are shifting their dogs over to homemade food diets and seeing wonderful results on their dog’s physical and mental health.
There’s an adage that states, “we do not stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” The same idea applies to both you and your dog. A dog’s years in our lives is short and losing them can be a tragedy. Make the most of your time together by forming a bond and filling your life with laughter.
Playing with an animal is often a form of exercise, and increases mood-boosting hormones in the bloodstream. Like taking a long, leisurely walk, play can be positive for both you and your dog’s physical and mental health.
Prioritize Dental Health
Many people don’t brush or floss enough themselves, let alone doing the same for their dogs. However, dental health can be indicative of overall health and even be used as a preventative measure for many common ailments. Take time to floss and brush your teeth and schedule regular visits with your dentist.
For your dog, you should also do regular teeth cleanings and invest in treats or bones that will help keep their teeth clean and strong. Check their teeth and gums to ensure everything is happy and healthy, and that there are no damaged teeth or abscesses from chewing on something they shouldn’t have.
Support One Another
Take time to show your dog the affection that they show you, and apply the same mentality to self-care. Scheduling time for self-care and treating yourself the way you deserve will drastically improve your mental and physical well-being. Ensure you get lots of rest and schedule lots of dog snuggling time to improve your socialization and feelings of affection.
With their affable personalities and unfaltering loyalty, it’s no wonder that dogs are the number one choice for Emotional Support Animals and one of the most loved animals of all time.