Modern dog owners devote more love, time and attention to their furry friends than ever before.
Their pets have been promoted to full-on family members. And if you’re not convinced, then have a look at this 2015 poll, which was designed to paint a picture of family values in the 21st century.
Respondents in the UK were given a list of potential options from which they were instructed to choose who they considered to be close family members. Roughly 21 per cent of respondents said they considered their in-laws to be close family members. That’s not entirely surprising. What did surprise pollsters was that 22 per cent selected their pet or pets.
In other words, more people consider their pet to be part of the family than they do the parents of their own spouse. It’s clear that the family dog has gained considerable status in the 21st-century family. In light of that, we thought we would take a moment to list three simple ways that you can ensure your dog lives a happy and healthy life as a full-on member of your family:
- Feed Your Dog a Healthy Diet.
It may seem like it goes without saying, but far too many family dogs subsist on a less than healthy diet. There are so many brands of kibble to choose from, and selecting the best isn’t as straightforward as you might expect.
Choosing the right dog food is a complex process, and usually involves consulting your veterinarian (I’d recommend Southern Hills Tulsa Veterinary Hospital if you live in the area) along with a bit of trial and error. Ideally, you want to find a food that is both palatable for your canine and that meets all of his nutritional needs. High-quality commercial dog foods include all the nutrition that your four-legged family member needs and will help him live a long and healthy life.
Finally, we should note that many well-meaning pet owners feed their dog alternative diets – such as a raw food diet. While a raw diet has the potential to be healthy for your pooch, it has to be carefully crafted to ensure that all of his nutritional needs are being met. Generally speaking, you’re much better off feeding your dog quality kibble that has been designed by a team of professional nutritionists.
- Give Your Dog Plenty of Exercise.
Exercise is every bit as important for your dog as it is for you. However, it also comes with the added benefit of getting him out of the house and into the world. Dogs that are over-fed and under-exercised can become obese – and these leads to a host of health problems.
An obese dog may become low energy, meaning that it is less inclined to get that exercise that it so desperately needs. Not only that, it can also develop skeletal problems, diabetes and heart problems. Exercise can help to keep those extra kilos off, and when combined with dieting, it’s a great way to help your dog lose weight.
It’s also important to understand that under-exercised dogs may develop behavioural problems. All of that pent-up energy can lead them to barking or acting out in the house. They may even become aggressive. This makes it all the more important to ensure your family dog gets plenty of exercise.
- Take out a Pet Insurance Policy.
There’s no denying that veterinary care is expensive. But the fact that our pets play a more integral role in the family than ever before mean that many dog owners are willing to pay whatever it takes to keep their pet feeling healthy.
One highly effective way to soften the financial blow of your veterinary bills is by taking out comprehensive pet insurance. There are many types of policies available, from those that only cover accidental injury to others that also cover illness and even routine care.
With the right pet insurance policy in place, you can proceed with the confidence that your canine family member will always be able to receive the care she needs. You won’t have to make any choices simply because veterinary care isn’t in the budget.
Those are the three most important considerations when it comes to ensuring that the family dog is happy and healthy throughout its life. There are certainly plenty of other strategies that you could implement as well. But at the bare minimum, if your dog receives the proper diet, plenty of exercise and the routine veterinary care made possible through comprehensive pet insurance, then you can expect him to enjoy a long and healthy life with the family.