10 Healthy Dog Habits
Making sure that your dog is healthy and happy is a lot of work! While it’s definitely worthwhile, it can be challenging without the right information and products. The good news is that Bougie Bakes is here to help keep your dog both happy and healthy with these tips:
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1. Healthy Diet
It should come as no surprise that a healthy dog starts with a healthy diet. But with so many different dog foods and treats on the market that all claim to be “healthy” it can be difficult to discern which products are actually good for your dog.
A dog’s diet should contain plenty of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and proteins derived from natural sources. Some of the best ingredients to look for include almond flour, carob powder, collagen, flaxseed, pumpkin, and ginger. Alternatively, some ingredients to avoid include BHA, BHT, MSG, sugar, salt, and artificial color.
2. Daily Exercise
Every dog needs daily exercise to stay healthy, but some dogs need more exercise than others. At a minimum, your dog should be getting at least 30 minutes of exercise per day whether that means taking a walk around the neighborhood or playing fetch at the dog park.
And while some dogs are perfectly content to just walk around the neighborhood, other dogs need a more intense outlet for their energy. So if you have a high-energy breed, you may want to consider dog sports like agility, herding, or dock jumping.
3. Mental Stimulation
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But dogs don’t just need to exercise their bodies, they need to exercise their minds as well. Believe it or not, 30 minutes of mental stimulation is equal to about two hours of physical exercise!
Keeping your dog mentally stimulated requires a bit of work and creativity on your part, however, it’s well worth it. Some of the best mental exercises for dogs include puzzle toys, scent walks, nose work, and the shell game.
4. Consistent Training
Training is another form of mental stimulation that’s essential for a happy and healthy dog. Training is also a key component of keeping your dog safe. For example, good recall is critical if your dog runs out of the house or gets off their leash.
Knowing the “drop it” and “leave it” commands are also helpful in the event that your dog picks up something they shouldn’t be eating and could potentially harm them. Your dog should also know other basic commands, including sit, stay, down, come, and look.
5. Safe Play
While it’s easy to assume that all the dog toys you see at the pet store are safe for your dog, that’s not necessarily the case which is why safe play is so important. Generally speaking, you should always supervise your dog when they’re playing with anything.
Stuffed animal toys can easily be ripped apart and ingested which can then lead to internal blockages. Squeaky toys can be a choking hazard if your dog is able to rip apart the toy to get to the squeaker. Certain types of bones that may look harmless can get stuck on or in your dog’s mouth.
6. Annual Vet Visits
No one knows how to keep your dog healthy more than your veterinarian, which is why it’s important for your dog to have annual vet visits. The vet will physically examine your dog to make sure that everything looks good. The vet may also administer vaccinations designed to keep your dog healthy by preventing potentially devastating diseases like rabies, bordetella, distemper, and parvo.
7. Heartworm Prevention
While vaccinations from your vet are key to preventing many types of diseases, it’s also recommended that you give your dog flea, tick, and heartworm prevention on a monthly basis. Talk to your vet about the best prevention products, how to administer them, and how frequently to administer them. Sometimes it’s as simple as giving your dog a single “treat” every month that fully protects them from fleas, ticks, and heartworm.
8. Routine Grooming
Grooming is another component of a healthy dog, although it’s one that’s often neglected. And while different dogs require different levels of grooming, all dogs need to be bathed and have their coats brushed, their nails clipped, and their teeth brushed.
Grooming your dog on your own can be challenging, which is why many dog owners choose to go to professional groomers that are trained and experienced in these tasks.
9. Proper Socialization
Going to the groomers also helps your dog with socialization, although you should still socialize your dog in other ways. For example, you can invite people over to your house, arrange playdates with other dogs, take them on walks in public places, or take them to a dog-friendly restaurant. Just make sure to start slow so that your dog learns to feel comfortable around new people and in new environments.
10. Regular Routines
Dogs are creatures of habit, which is why sticking to a regular routine is necessary for a happy and healthy dog. This means that you should wake up at a certain time, let them out at a certain time, feed them at certain times, go on walks at certain times, etc.
Keep Your Dog Healthy (and Bougie) With Bougie Barks
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Your dog’s diet is the foundation of a long, happy, and healthy life. So instead of feeding your dog run-of-the-mill food and treats that are often highly processed and less-than-healthy, choose a bougier option like Bougie Barks!
Bougie Barks are bougie (and healthy) dog treats that are made with high-quality ingredients and without preservatives. These treats only contain five ingredients that your dog will love, in flavors like peanut butter carob, peanut butter pumpkin, and peanut butter ginger. Try them all with the Bougie Barks Variety Pack!