Healthspan June 19, 2018

 We all go through phases where the everyday has become just that: mundane, boring and unstimulating. It’s our job to make sure that’s not the case for your pet. 

New places

Go further afield with your dog this week so they can enjoy new sights, scents, sounds and textures. Most dogs enjoy familiar routes for a quick bathroom break, but otherwise they love exploring new places as much as we do. If you don’t mind where you go, you can even let your dog lead the way. At a push, even walking the same route in the opposite direction changes things up a little or combine their walk with your trip to the corner shop or to visit a family member.

Your daily walk is also a good time to brush up on their socialisation skills – invite a friend with a dog or consider taking them to dog-friendly park. If they love to play and have bags of energy, this is a good way to help them let off steam.

Top tip: Fleas and worms are at their peak during the spring and summer and are easily picked up from the environment. Your pet can really suffer once they’re infected, so prevention is better than cure.

Teach them a trick

With benefits like increased confidence, reduced anxiety, an increased rate of learning and better coordination, even simple tricks like ‘high five’, ‘wave’ and ‘figure of eight’ around your feet can be beneficial for dogs and cats of all ages and abilities.

If tricks aren’t your thing, regularly practice their obedience skills instead – even the basics like ‘sit’, ‘stay’, ‘down’, ‘heel’ and ‘come’ can be a challenge when out and about with other people and dogs – especially if your dog is having a lot of fun and could easily ignore you and carry on!

Top tip: Keep training sessions brief, especially at first, and have rewards ready to help keep them interested, as well as reinforce the desired behaviour.

All your attention

We all love a bit of pampering but as well as making them feel good, a good grooming session also boosts their circulation, allows you to inspect for any lumps, fleas, ticks or even injuries and stops ‘hot spots’ and potential infection in their tracks.

Brushing also helps to distribute the natural oils in your dog’s coat (since most cats groom a lot anyway, they will do this themselves), preventing any greasy build-up. Regularly brushed coats will shed less, too, so they’ll be less fur over your furniture! If your dog is one of the strange ones who doesn’t like to be brushed, start off with just a few minutes and then give them a special treat they only get after their grooming session. Always be gentle, brushing downwards and using condition spray on mats to help detangle them without pulling.

Top tip: Upping their omega intake is one of the most valuable ways to support your pet’s skin health, helping to combat dry, flaky or itchy skin and even protect against external bacteria

 

Nothing beats a healthy, balanced diet to provide all the nutrients we need. But when this isn’t possible supplements can help. This article isn’t intended to replace medical advice. Please consult your healthcare professional before trying supplements or herbal medicines.

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