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Owning a dog is a little like owning a piece of love. An excitable, fluffy, non-verbal piece of love that follows you around and is always happy to see you. Have you ever noticed that when you get home from work, even if the day has been long and hard, your mood instantly lifts when you see your dog? Spending time with a pet in the home can have a very fast impact on your mood and health and can make you feel better and the reverse is true, too. Your dog is happier and healthier when you are around. Additionally, the time you spend with your dog can allow you to see any health issues that may need to be looked after quickly.

There is much evidence to suggest that your dog improves your health which you can read about here, but in return you have to look after your pet as if he were a member of your family rather than just another animal wandering around! If you love your dog, as well you should, the idea that he may not be around forever will be a painful one. As their owner and friend, it’s up to you to make sure that their life is the happiest and healthiest one they live while they can.

There is so much research to suggest how the way we look after our dogs has gotten better over the years. There was a time we didn’t think about cancer in a dog being something that was curative, that putting the dog down was best for them. We vaccinate our pets for rabies but today we know there are other things we have to do to care for our dogs. There are many ways you can improve your dog’s health and that comes down to you and how much you are around as well as their general day to day living. It’s not just physical health, it’s emotional, too, as our dogs feel things like we do.

The dietary staple for dogs would have been scraps from our table, but thankfully, due to constant research of animals we now ask ourselves is this the right food for my dog and make better, more informed decisions on the brands we use. We must avoid grains and processed foods, as these are known to contribute to joint inflammation and therefore make them hurt. Scrap food off the table is not the best way to go for your dog’s health and they need to visit the vet for regular check-ups in the same way we need to go to the doctor to get a once-over! We know they need to have their teeth looked after and checked for gum diseases and that their ears are sensitive so need regular checks for infection. As a responsible owner, you’ll already have the right pet insurance in place for the bigger issues that come in during their lives from cancer to arthritis.

Even simply stroking your dog can make them happy and healthier. It’s a simple idea, but touch is powerful and being held, stroked and played with lowers their blood pressure and releases happy hormones. Much like humans need contact to feel happy, dogs are the same. It should be seen as a privilege to look after a dog and once you get yours, you’ll find yourself worrying about it like any other family member.

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