(Family Features) Dogs are man’s best friend, so it’s no surprise that in the United States there are nearly 80 million dogs as household pets(1) – that’s about one dog for every four people. One of the easiest ways to keep your pup happy and healthy is through a mix of the right diet and exercise which together can boost immunity and energy, maintain muscle and promote healthy digestion.
Below are seven tips to ensure you’re giving your best friend the best care possible.
- Go forth and socialize. Let your pup play at a local dog park. Not only is it an excellent source of dog-to-dog social interaction, but dog-to-people interaction as well. As an added bonus, your pup will leave having had plenty of physical and mental exercise, which may lessen destructive behaviors and bad house habits. And, they’ll be ready to greet new friends in the future.
Photo courtesy of Ashlee K Nichols
- Feed your dog a high quality food with healthy ingredients. A healthy dog is a happy dog. Try an IAMS diet with quality food and ingredients, and look for three visible differences: a healthier skin and coat, easier digestion and increased energy. IAMS is so confident you’ll love the visible differences that they offer 100 percent satisfaction or your money back.
Photo courtesy of Rachel Gulotta
- Get plenty of exercise. Following the same walking path can get old for both you and your pup. Veer off the beaten path or try letting your dog walk you. You’ll be surprised where your dog’s nose will take you. Added bonus: by feeding your pup high quality food such as IAMS, you’ll notice an increase in energy on your daily walks, meaning your dog may be able to outlast you.
Photo courtesy of Jackie Greaney
- Give that pup some belly rubs. Most dogs love belly rubs. Rolling over on their back is a submissive sign and is one way dogs show they trust and love you. So the next time your pup flops down and rolls onto his back, give him an affectionate rub or scratch.
Photo courtesy of Humble Winds Collective
- Visit the vet and the groomer regularly. Visiting the vet is critical to the long-term health of your pet, but did you know visiting the groomer is equally important to maintaining both your dog’s appearance as well as their physical health? Not only does it allow you to check for issues such as fleas, ticks, dry patches and more, but it also lets your pup show off his shiny coat, courtesy of a well-balanced diet with IAMS.
Photo courtesy of Pacific Northwest Wonderland
- Get a toothbrush and a good oral routine. While many owners don’t do it, regular tooth brushing is recommended for dogs to prevent periodontal disease. Boost your dog’s oral care routine with a dental treat such as PEDIGREE DENTASTIX or GREENIES Dental Chews, which are designed to promote good oral health.
Photo courtesy of elizaellen
- Everyone needs their own space. Just like humans, dogs need a place where they can go to unwind. Whether a new baby has been introduced to the family, the house is crowded with holiday guests or the vacuum is running, having a private place for your dog to retreat and be alone ensures a happy, healthy dog.
Photo courtesy of Stephen Alkire
1 American Pet Products Association (APPA): http://www.americanpetproducts.org/pubs_survey.asp