This article was written for Pet Guardian Angels of America by Kari Oakley
Photo by Pexels
Keeping Dogs Happy and Healthy
Dogs are often high maintenance than cats, however, it’s not at all difficult to keep them happy
and healthy. Other than adequate food, certain hygiene, adequate shelter, and a lot of love from
their owners, dogs don’t need that much to be content in life.
Dogs Do Need Regular Doctor’s Checkup as Well
Every six months is the current recommendation to take a dog to a veterinarian. However, if your dog is healthy, once a year is usually sufficient. Aside from vaccines, your veterinarian is also authorized to administer surgery or any other needed medical treatment. He or she also knows each breed’s ideal weight and what combination of nutrients is best for each breed.
Give Regular Baths
Unlike us humans, at the most, dogs only need to be bathed up to once a week. Not every dog
likes being confined in a small container or space and having to soak in the water and soap.
However, if your dog has allergies or skin issues, regular bathing flushes it away. It also helps to
keep fleas and ticks flushed away as well. Medicine squirts, like Frontline, are great but don’t
make good substitutes for baths. It also leaves your dog’s coat shiny and clean from debris.
Let Your Dog Socialize
Like humans, dogs are social animals. Most love to be around both people and other dogs.
However, some are a little more introverted than others. With those and those that are
recovering from abuse and trauma, you will want to go slow. Or at least not have your dog
surrounded by a crowd at first. Some dogs that have been abused or traumatized can take at
least a month to warm up to new people and dogs.
To Kennel or Not To Kennel
Some dogs do better in kennels than others. However, try to see it from your dog’s point of view.
A kennel is a very small, enclosed space with just a bed and a dish of food. The last time that
many were upgraded was about 20 years ago. This makes dogs more vulnerable to viruses
such as kennel cough or dog coughing. Many are also not licensed and the staff are also often not properly trained to handle dogs. As a result, they may misinterpret signs of stress as aggression or miss them altogether. Kennels are often very crowded and noisy, which can be overwhelming to dogs.
As a result, kennels tend to be a worst case scenario for dogs that have been abused,
traumatized, or have separation and anxiety issues. Chances are, a kennel environment will set
the stage for worsening those. It can easily hinder the progress that those that have been
abused or traumatized have been making.
However, all hope is not lost. There are some kennels that have been upgraded and are
licensed. Those tend to be more like resorts. If you can find one in your area, great. If not,
you’re better off finding a pet sitter, preferably one who can stay in your home. However, if your
dog has difficulty adjusting to new people, you may want to consult with your veterinarian for
Again, it doesn’t really take that much to keep your dog happy and healthy. Some simple
medical and hygiene maintenance with adequate food and shelter are all your dog really needs
to live a good, long life. Since dogs are loyal and dependent on their owners, your dog also
wouldn’t thrive without you. After all, it’s not the physical structure of the home that can feed or
stimulate the dog. Dogs also tend to fall ill if allowed to be sedentary and if alone for long
periods of time.
Kari Oakley gained a love for fitness and animals as a young girl in Wisconsin. She spent each summer on some type of adventure, either a day at the lake with her family or just hiking with her friends. She took her love for fitness with her through college to get her degree in Kinesiology (Exercise Science). She has been working as a personal trainer/life coach in the Chicago area for the past 3 years. She has recently decided to share her passions with lower income schools in Chicago to help children develop a knowledge and love for fitness. When Kari started working with the kids in Chicago, she decided she wanted to share her knowledge and passion with as many people as possible. She has been freelance writing alongside ever since.