How do I Keep My Dog Happy and Healthy?

A dog can bring immeasurable joy into your life — and many unanswered questions. There are issues of its health, behavior, and comfort that every pet owner must understand. To get you started, here’s some insight from Dr. Tracey Jensen, DVM, on how to keep your dog feeling happy and healthy for life. 

1. How Often Should I Bathe my Dog?

Only when necessary, advises Dr. Jensen, co-owner of The Wellington Veterinary Clinic in Wellington, Colorado. “I recommend no more than once weekly. Use a dog-specific shampoo, which won’t strip natural oils that protect the skin.” 

2. Should I Take my Puppy to Kindergarten or my Adult Dog to Obedience School?

“Absolutely!” says Dr. Jensen. “Puppy kindergarten and obedience training teaches dogs to obey commands, and interact well with other dogs and people.” 

3. What Food Should I Feed my Puppy or Dog?

Quality dog food made just for your dog’s age and size. “Small-breed, medium-breed and large-breed dogs grow at different rates and have different nutritional needs,” Dr. Jensen says. 

4. What are some Important Questions I Should Ask My Veterinarian?

5. What’s the Best Time to Take My Dog Outside to the Bathroom?

Puppies and newly adopted adult dogs usually need to eliminate after waking up from a nap, after a meal, and post playtime. Take your dog outside after these activities, and reward with a treat. 

6. How do I introduce My New Dog to the Pets Already in My Household?

Keep your current pets separated from your new addition for a few days. Once your new dog is used to being in its room, put an expandable gate in the room’s doorway, or place your dog in its crate. Give your current pets access to the area. Let the pets smell and touch each other. Do this several times over a few days, then give the current pet’s access to the room with your new dog out of its crate. Supervise meetings and go back to through-the-gate/crate meetings if trouble arises.

For more tips see our article ‘How to Introduce Your Puppy to New Experiences‘.

7. What’s the Best Way to Bond with My Dog?

Spend as much time as possible with your dog during the first 16 weeks.  Play and talk with it often, pet and snuggle with your dog frequently. These quality interactions will lead to a healthy, lifelong bond

Check out our other articles on bonding with your dog.

8. How do I dog-proof My Home?

To make your home safe for your dog, make sure to do the following:

  • Securely store breakable objects.
  • Hide or cover electrical cords; cover outlets with plastic plugs.
  • Safely store household chemicals.
  • Keep plants out of reach.
  • Put away engine lubricants and other poisonous chemicals — especially antifreeze.
  • Place an outdoor kennel where it provides sun and shelter. Be sure it’s large enough to accommodate your dog comfortably.

Article written by Author: Amanda Harrison

How do I Keep My Dog Happy and Healthy

Our dog information posts below include articles, opinions from qualified professionals, facts, and considerations to help increase your knowledge about all things dog related.