Keeping Your Young, Active Dog Healthy and Happy

As a veterinary practice, we understand the importance of keeping your young, active dog healthy and happy. Regular exercise, stimulation and socialization are key components for your pet’s quality of life.  Here are some tips to help you achieve this:

Regular Walks

Take your dog for daily walks to provide physical exercise and mental stimulation. Imagine a walk is like your dog checking their social media, adding their “likes” with sniffs and markings. Give them opportunities to sniff, investigate and “read” their surroundings during walks.

Obedience Training

Practice basic commands like sit, stay, down, and come to strengthen your dog’s obedience skills.

Sniffing

A good sniff session is extremely beneficial for dogs and essential for their well-being. It’s stimulating too – experts tell us that 20 minutes of sniffing is equivalent to an hour of walking in terms of enrichment for your dog.

Interactive Games

Engage your dog in games that involve retrieving or searching for treats and toys around your home and yard.

Agility Training

Consider enrolling your dog in agility classes to provide both physical and mental exercise.

Socialization

Socialize your dog and encourage positive experiences with other dogs, strangers, and various environments. Take your dog on pet friendly shopping trips or doggie play dates with friends.

Enrichment Toys

Provide your dog with interactive toys to keep them mentally engaged. Here are some popular enrichment toys for dogs:

  • Snuffle Mats. These mats allow dogs to use their sense of smell to find hidden treats, providing mental stimulation and slowing down eating habits.
  • Puzzle Feeders. These toys require dogs to solve a puzzle to access their food, providing mental stimulation and slowing down mealtime.
  • Interactive Balls. Some balls can be filled with treats, requiring the dog to roll and play with the ball to release the treats.
  • Lick Mats. Lick mats can be spread with soft food like peanut butter, providing a calming and soothing activity for dogs.
  • Slow Feeder Bowls. These bowls are designed to slow down fast eaters, promoting healthier eating habits and providing mental stimulation.

Don’t underestimate the importance of physical and mental health to provide the very best lifestyle for your pet.

Regular Checkups

Schedule regular checkups with your veterinarian to ensure your dog’s health is monitored closely.

Vaccinations

Follow your veterinarian’s recommended vaccination schedule to protect your dog from diseases.

Spaying/Neutering

Discuss the best time to spay or neuter your dog with your veterinarian to prevent unplanned pregnancy.

Risks of overexertion and Injuries

Overexertion may lead to inflammation, pain, and discomfort, and if not addressed, it can result in muscle, tendon, and ligament tearing or overstretching.

Repetitive or sudden movements can cause injuries, such as strains, sprains, and fractures. Overuse/overexertion are common causes of injury, especially in older pets, and can lead to long-term consequences for your dog’s health.

If your dog experiences an overexertion injury, it’s essential to seek veterinary care for proper diagnosis and treatment. This may include rest, medication, or physical therapy to aid in recovery. By being aware of these risks and taking preventive measures, you can help ensure that your dog stays healthy and active while minimizing injuries.

Incorporating these tips into your routine can help ensure that your young, active dog leads a healthy and fulfilling life for years to come. If you have any concerns about your dog’s physical activity or need guidance on any of these tips or injury prevention, don’t hesitate to ask any of the Safe Haven Veterinarians.

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