We’re cruising toward that fresh start of a new year. And it’s a busy life! So we thought we’d energise you with some quick tips on making your dog’s life even better. So here you go.. some great tips in a nutshell from Both Ends Of The Lead.
As dog owners and carers, we all share something in common apart from our love for our fur kids – our desire to take the BEST care we can of them. With our increasingly busy schedules, how many of us feel that we actually do that?
Here are 10 practical tips to becoming a better parent to our four legged best friends.
1. Exercise and play appropriately – We all know exercise is great for our dog, but take into consideration your dog’s age, breed and condition when exercising and playing with them. For example, asking an ageing dog to chase a ball can significantly increase the risk of injury for them and potentially speed up degenerative changes. The high impact and twisting and turning can be very stressful on an ageing body, so be realistic about what you are asking your dog to do when you are exercising them.
2. Stretch – As dog owners, we can relate to how much better our muscles feel after a stretch. With the high activity levels many of our dogs have, stretching can be a wonderful way to help them move and feel better, as well as prevent injuries. The most effective time to stretch your dog is after exercise when their muscles are warm. Always ensure you are calm and relaxed whilst stretching your dog and they are ideally lying down and relaxed too.
3. Massage – The power of therapeutic touch is well documented. A regular massage is shown to have significant therapeutic benefits, both physically and emotionally, for both dog and owner and is a great way to help you do the best for your best friend. Massage can be a great way to help keep your dog healthy and moving well, and be an important rehabilitation resource to use if your dog is injured to help speed up their recovery.
4. Feed well – You are what you eat. We know if we eat good quality natural foods rather than convenient processed foods, it will enhance our wellbeing over time and help us stay healthy for longer. It’s the same for our dogs too! Investing a little extra time to prepare good quality food for your dog can help them significantly over time by improving their digestion, boosting their immune system, improving their skin and coat and reducing the risk of allergies.
5. Don’t feel guilty, just do it! – In our busy lives what could be more important than giving some quality time to those who give so much to us unconditionally and look for so little in return! If you have committed to sharing your life with your dog, then commit to taking the time to walk, play and enjoy life with them. Our dogs have relatively short lives, so don’t have regrets and make time for your dog now.
6. Socialise – This is a great way to connect with other dogs and people, make new friends and for you and your dog to have some fun in the company of others. It can teach your dog how to interact appropriately with others in a different environment and learn important life skills. A well-socialised dog is generally a better behaved dog, and more confident in all their different surroundings, which can only enhance your connection to them and theirs to you.
7. Understand them better – Spend some time watching your dog move, as this can help you become more familiar with their movement quality and be a good way to potentially pick up on any early signs of possible injuries and discomfort. Watching how they walk, run, and get up or down can be useful benchmarks in giving you a greater understanding of your own dog’s movement patterns and gait.
8. Environment – Aim to keep a calm positive environment for your dog to live in, as our dogs will pick up on our stress. The transference of our moods and emotions can be easily absorbed by our dogs due to our close connection to them. They can become four legged sponges that not only soak up the good stuff but our stresses too. This in turn can then also affect their behaviour, so it is always useful to be aware of your own head space and internal environment when you interact with your dog. If appropriate, consider making changes in your physical environment that would help your dog particularly as they start to age, such as minimising climbing stairs or jumping up and down on furniture. If you have floors that could be potentially slippery and hazardous for your dog, then consider some rugs in key areas around the house to help your dog move around more safely.
9. Take a preventative and proactive health care approach – Prevention is better than cure and cheaper in the long term. Just as you might see a wellness practitioner to maintain and enhance your health, why not do the same for your dog? Make positive changes now to keep your healthy dog healthier for longer which means they will be with you longer!
10. Take better care of yourself – It starts with you! A healthy mind set will lead to you taking better care of your dog, as health aware people tend to have healthier dogs.
This article was contributed by Both Ends Of The Lead, a canine and owner wellbeing service in Sydney which provides a range of natural therapies including laser therapy/acupuncture, heat therapy, Bowen, myofunctional therapy/massage, rehabilitation for dogs, and wellness coaching for owners.
Visit bothendsofthelead.com.au for more information and to download your FREE Healthy Owner Healthy Dog Wellbeing Guide. Alternatively, you can contact Tim Norris on 0408 699371 / 02 8985 7131 or Mimi Fong on 0412 911099 / 02 8985 7136 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.