If your dog is drooling more than usual or it has particularly bad breath, then it could have problems with its teeth like tooth decay or gum disease. It’s impossible for us as people to be in good moods when we have toothaches, so it’s understandable that your dog may be a little withdrawn, snappy or off its food when it’s suffering from this sort of pain. Make sure that you get your dog’s teeth checked during twice-yearly physicals, and if it seems to be suffering from tooth problems then get it to the vet as soon as possible. In the future, get your pup used to tooth brushing – you can buy doggy toothbrushes and toothpaste from pet stores. Remember not to go for toothpaste intended for people as dogs are allergic to fluoride.
It’s important to groom your dog at least once a week to keep it happy and comfortable – this can happen even more often if your dog has long fur. Make sure that you comb out any burrs carefully and that you stroke your dog as you groom it, looking for any lumps, bumps or sore areas that you should talk to the vet about. If your dog has fleas then medications like Frontline Fleas can solve it, and if it has a skin problem like eczema then there are plenty of creams and lotions that your vet can prescribe you to make your dog more comfortable.
Make sure that your dog gets the right amount of exercise – if it’s a small dog then it might be satisfied with a couple of short walks a day, but larger dogs may require up to two hours off leash every day. If you don’t have time to facilitate your dog’s exercise needs then it’s important to hire a dog walker or to send your dog to doggy day care every day when you’re at work – if your dog doesn’t get enough exercise then it may start gaining weight, and it might also get bored. Boredom can lead dogs to be destructive within your home so it’s important to try to avoid that. You should also make sure that you feed your dog a balanced diet packed full of all the nutrients it needs – look at the ingredients on the side of the dog food that you buy and make sure that they’re pure and that there aren’t too many bulking agents in there. You should also provide plenty of fresh water for your pup.
Dogs are very sociable animals so it’s important that you spend plenty of time with your pet, whether that’s at home together curled on the couch or taking it out on plenty of long family hikes. If you show your dog affection then that will be reciprocated tenfold. Remember that you may only have your dog for ten to fifteen years of your life, but you represent a dog’s entire life – and it deserves you to be the best owner possible.