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  1. Give them a comfortable and safe place to sleep

Picture this: you’ve had a long tiresome day of running and it’s time for bed, but instead of a comfortable bed you find a thin, old sleeping bag on a hardwood floor. Would you be happy? No. In the morning, you’d wake up with a bad back and be rather unhappy! You wouldn’t sleep on a cheap, thin bed so why treat your furry friend any differently? 

But what makes a good dog bed?

  • Support – it is important to look out for good quality beds that are thick enough to support the weight of your pooch without them being able to feel the floor through it. 
  • Fabric – nothing is worse than lying on itchy or scratchy fabrics – especially when trying to sleep! So choosing a soft dog bed, whether it be a plush velvet dog bed or a soft cotton basket, will guarantee a great night’s sleep for your pup! 
  • Durability – a durable mattress is essential to ensure your dog is comfortable for years to come (as well as saving your pocket!). Investing in a robust bed will prevent it from becoming uncomfortable for your pup over time and will also save you money in the long-run as you won’t have to regularly replace it. 
  1. Train them yourself!

While training your dog is important for your relationship with your furry companion (and stop them from wrecking your house!), it’s also very important for their mental health and wellbeing. 

Reward-based training gives you the opportunity to praise your dog, give them treats and provide them with the much-needed positive mental stimulation to keep them happy and well-behaved.

But why should you train your dog? Training your pooch yourself will not only strengthen the bond you have, but will also help you to better understand your dog’s behaviour so that you are able to gauge when they are unhappy or if something is wrong.

  1. Have playtime every day

Whether it be tug-of-war, fetch with a flying disc, or having fun with a squeaky ball, regular active playtime is essential in keeping your dog’s body and mind healthy. As well as allowing you to bond with your dog, playtime will make them feel loved and, therefore, happy. 

As dogs are pack animals, scheduling a playdate with another pooch or simply taking them to a dog park near you will also greatly impact their emotional wellbeing. It is common that a lack of interaction may lead to your dog experiencing fear when they inevitably come into contact with other dogs and people; therefore, making such interactions ‘normal’ for your dog is very important.

  1. Regularly walk your dog 

While some owners believe it to be true, walking your pooch is much more than simply taking them on a “potty break”; a healthy dog is a happy dog, and one of the main ways in which you can actively impact your dog’s health in a positive way is by taking them on dog walks. As well as getting some exercise in for yourself, ensuring your dog has an appropriate level of cardiovascular fitness will help to maintain a healthy body weight, improve the function of their joints, prevent constipation and urine infections, as well as improve their mental and emotional health. 

As we’re sure you’ve already noticed, dogs are inquisitive by nature. So, whether it be on a dog lead, a dog harness or freely, walking your dog and allowing them to explore the unfamiliar sights (and allowing them to sniff around!) will keep your dog’s mind active and will make your pooch a very happy one!

  1. Get them groomed

Grooming your dog isn’t just about making them look pretty. We humans don’t tend to feel happy if we go a long time without washing, having a haircut or clipping our nails – and our pups are no different! Whether you’re grooming your dog at home or with a professional, keeping your dog looking good will help them to feel good too. Without regular grooming, your dog’s fur may become matted and start to pull their skin, causing a great deal of discomfort. Similarly, a lack of regular clipping will lead to your dog’s claws growing too long which can cause them pain (as well as ruining your floors and furniture!)

  1. Keep your pet’s temperature just right

From the humidity of the summer to the bitter cold of the winter, our dogs suffer from weather changes just as much – if not more – than we do. So, it is essential to keep your pet at a comfortable temperature for their contentment.

How to keep your dog warm in winter 

Particularly for smaller dog breeds, such as Chihuahuas, keeping them warm during the winter is imperative for their health as they have little insulating fur and find it difficult to regulate their own body temperature. So, to keep your companion toasty on colder days, why not pick out a lovely dog blanket for your home or pop your pooch in a cosy coat, sweater or even a set of pyjamas?

Aside from toilet breaks and (shorter!) daily walks in their new coat, on particularly cold days, it is a good idea to spend more time indoors so that your dog is not exposed to the cold temperatures for too long. There are many ways to keep your dog entertained within the confines of your warm home.

How to keep your dog cool in summer

In the summer, our furrier friends, such as huskies, will get hotter than most fine-haired dogs – after all, you wouldn’t wear a fur coat in hot weather, would you! While most dogs with thick coats naturally shed fur in the summer months, meaning it isn’t necessary to shave them, it is essential that you regularly groom your dog by brushing their coat and bathe them frequently for better air circulation. If you want to ensure that your pup is as comfortable as can be in the heat, another great solution is a cooling mat; filled with a cooling gel that lasts several hours, these mats not only quickly reduce your dog’s temperature but also give them a new soft place to relax.

Similarly, our short-nosed companions, such as pugs and boxers, will find it very difficult to breathe in the humid summer air; dogs need to pant in order to cool down, which is much more difficult for breeds such as these. Their short-noses could lead to these pups suffering from heatstroke simply from running around or sitting in the sun. Therefore, it is vital to provide your dog with plenty of water and to keep them sheltered or indoors on particularly hot days. Remember: if you’re not comfortable in the heat, your pooch won’t be either.

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