I met this amazing gal on none other than Instagram. She takes a mean pic and I couldn't help but be curious about what @healthyasahorsevet stood for! Well, you got it, she's a VET! and I was lucky enough to get some great photography and some excellent animal vet tips!
1) Exercise is extremely important for you and your dog. Even breeds that are not high energy, benefit greatly from a nice walk in the park. You will find a decrease in unwanted behavior such as chewing, digging and barking if your dog is adequately exercised and stimulated. Daily outings are a big commitment, if going for a walk on a dark, rainy, freezing night sounds like something you just can't handle...don't get a dog!
2) Remember that routine things like clipping your dog's nails, cleaning their ears, flea and worm treatments and baths often need to be done on a monthly basis. If you have a naughty dog (aka if nail clipping turns into World War III), get your vet to help.
3) Don't turn into Dr. Google! If there is something concerning you about your dog, don't assume that your internet search will provide an adequate diagnosis and treatment. Sometimes serious illnesses can be overlooked and remember, medical issues are never black and white. Get a vet's opinion sooner rather than later.
4) Dogs should be a member of the family. You are the centre of your dog's universe. Include them in your life as much as possible, give them a space by the couch to sit with you in the evening (my dogs prefer to sit on top of me but hey....whatever works for you!), take them on holiday, include them in games in the backyard and make sure they know how important they are to you!
5) Consider alternative therapy for your dog. Holistic veterinarians, massage therapists and naturopaths are widely available for our pets! Alternative therapies can often enhance standard veterinary care. Seek out recommendations of reputable alternative pet therapists in your area.