9 out of 10 pet owners would tell you that their pets are a part of the family. We love our dogs and cats just as much as we love our own children, but they don’t have to face all the bad health decisions that we do.

What does it take to make your dog’s life happy and healthy? Here are eight tips you can follow today:

1. Provide a Safe Environment

Make sure your pet cannot get outside when they are left alone in an enclosed yard. That means no holes for them to dig under fences, so they can go exploring on their own!

If you leave them indoors, provide them with plenty of things to occupy themselves with, like toys or puzzles, give them fresh water at least twice per day, and keep them on a regular feeding schedule.

2. Make Sure Your Pet Is Active

Pets love to run around and play just as much as kids do, so take breaks from work for long walks or to throw a ball in the backyard. Your dog needs at least one hour of exercise every day, including plenty of running and playtime.

If you have a cat that doesn’t go outside, then you can provide her with scratching posts, toys she can chase around the house, and a window where she can watch birds from afar! Consider getting your cat a hanging scratching post if they don’t use it much already.

3. Brush Their Teeth Regularly

We know how convenient it is to leave toothpaste off when we set out the toothbrush for ourselves in the morning, so why not set it out at night with your pet’s brush next to it.

Ideally, you should provide your furry friend with an enzymatic toothpaste for dogs that helps fight bad breath and is healthy for their teeth. Brush with dog toothpaste once per day if possible — more than once if they allow it!

4. Develop a Schedule You Can Stick To

When you create a schedule that establishes consistent feeding times, walks, playtime, etc., then both you and your pet will know exactly what is coming next, and there won’t be any problems.

If you know certain things are going to happen at around the same time each day (like feeding your cat before you go to bed), then your pet will learn and look forward to these activities and time frames.

5. Keep Them Vaccinated

Pets need the same vaccines we do, like rabies, distemper, and even pneumonia vaccinations depending on their breed or where they live.

Make sure all of your pet’s shots are caught up-to-date as well as any other recommended preventative care such as heartworm checks and fecal tests. If you’re not exactly sure what needs to be done for your dog or cat, then talk with your veterinarian today!

6. Train Them Well

You don’t have to train your pet from a young age, but eventually, you should take the time to work with them and teach them about good behaviors.

Pets respond well to positive reinforcement training where they are praised or given a treat for a job well done. If you want a happy dog who enjoys going on walks, then make sure he knows what is expected of him! You can contact professionals for your dog obedience training in your area.

7. Take Them to the Vet Regularly
vet and his assistant looking at the dog's x-ray results

If you see any unusual symptoms like excessive sneezing, a rash, or breath that smells bad, then take them to the veterinarian right away!

Don’t wait until there is an emergency when they are unable to move or have gotten an injury before bringing them in to see a professional. Schedule regular visits so that their vaccinations are on track and checkup exams can be scheduled early too.

8. Grooming Matters

Grooming your pet with a brush, comb, or even nail clippers goes a long way towards their overall happiness.

And it’s also helpful for you to take them in regularly to the groomer so that they can be professionally bathed, groomed, and trimmed as needed. If there are mats or snarls, the grooming will help them tremendously! And it’s good for them too because they get plenty of attention from both you and the groomer at this time.

No matter what you do to make your pet’s life happier and healthier, always consult with a veterinarian first. They will be able to give you the best advice on how to keep your furry friend in tip-top shape! From providing vaccinations and preventative care to brushing teeth and keeping them groomed — there are endless ways we can show our pets how much we love them.

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