Cute-as-can-be celebrity pups seem to be the accessory of the last few seasons. But experts say that the health of your hound should always be a priority over how pretty they are!
Here are five essential factors to ensure your furry friend is happy, healthy and friendly for the long term.
1. How To Create A Glossy Coat
A dog that’s ‘on the nose’ can be unpleasant says Veterinarian Dr Alister Webster – founder of Pure Animal Wellbeing (PAW) By Blackmores. But he points out that the culprit can be as simple as the cleanliness of the dogs coat, so keeping it free of grit, grime and skin infection is paramount. “Regular grooming is the simplest way to improve the coat and manage odours, especially long coat breeds,” he says. “Daily brushing will help remove dirt and dust, aerate the coat and remove excess hair whilst also helping to distribute the natural oils, prevent knotting/matting and stop moisture becoming trapped under the coat.”
2. How To Nurture Camera Ready Chompers
Brush your pets’ teeth twice a week, advises Alister. “You can buy appropriate brushes and tools at pet shops. Dogs, cats and even pet rodents can come to enjoying a regular tooth and gum scrub!” Feeding your pet a raw bone at least once a week will also help prevent the build up of tar and use a mouthwash in their drinking water. “Just make sure it is designed for your pet!” Alister cautions.
3. How To Nurture A Happy Disposition
The most important parts of your dogs’ personality are learnt in the first 12 weeks of life. In fact whether your pet grows up to bark at the postman or yap at passing buses can all be outcomes of what they are uncomfortable with in the first three months. “They’re very impressionable during this time so make sure your pet has the right positive experience with other people, children, other pets, noises and even buses so they are likely to accept them throughout their lives.” On the flip side, don’t isolate them as dogs that have minimal interaction and exposure to these influences early in life may develop irreversible fears, leading to timidity and possible fear aggression.
4. How To Cultivate Great Nails
Trimming your dogs' nails is important, says Alister. “If they get too long they can cause injuries and even lameness.” Many pet owners are concerned about causing their pet stress or discomfort, or of cutting the small blood vessel called the ‘quick’ but Alister assures that once you learn to do it, its almost as easy as cutting your own nails. “Choose a sharp pair of pet nail trimmers of appropriate size. Sit with your pet and have them comfortably restrained. For pets with paws, applying pressure on the pad will extend the nail, making them easy to see and avoid the quick (a pink colour for non-pigmented clear nails’ and for dark nails its best to start with a series of small clips,” he says. Remember, you are only trimming excess nail so start conservatively and trim regularly. “If you do nick the quick, apply pressure with a clean bandage or use products that help stop the bleeding.”
5. How To Maintain A Healthy Weight
A whopping 60% of Australian pets are overweight so Alister insists it’s never been more important to show them your love through other ways aside from food! Exercise twice a day, control their diet and feed them more regular meals of less quantity if they are gaining weight, he advises. “Don’t get them graze without control. If they don’t eat the meal straight away, remove the bowl and reintroduce later.”