If your dog could talk, these would probably be some of the many things they’d want you to know.
1. “I’m Bored!”
Dogs not only need physical stimulation but adequate mental stimulation as well. A bored dog is a naughty dog waiting to happen! Behaviors such as chewing, digging, and barking are often attributed to boredom.
Fun feeder games and brain game toys can help to stimulate and engage your pet’s brain.
2. “Enough fad diets”
While fad or “boutique” diets are generally not that great for anyone, they are not the best option for our pets.
Your pets need balanced diets formulated and approved by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Look for these initials on the side of the bag near the guaranteed analysis and the ingredients.
Speaking of ingredients, do your research! Products are listed by weight, not the actual percentage of ingredients. “By-products” are not always lesser than ingredients, and not all grain/grain replacements are created equal. Corn contains higher levels of amino acids and even protein than most of the replacements being used in “grain-free” diets.
3. “I need heartworm prevention”
Heartworm prevention is essential to every dog, in every state, every month. End of story.
Data shows that every state in the US has a heartworm infection presence. Even dogs that stay inside most of the time are at risk as mosquitoes, which transmit heartworms to dogs, can get indoors.
The good news is, most heartworm prevention gives you more bang for your buck with internal parasite protection, and some even have a flea preventative included as well! Treatment for heartworms costs more than a whole year of prevention, and can be life-threatening in itself!
No questions…prevention, every dog, every month!
4. “I love treatos, but don’t make me overweight.”
More than half of pets are overweight or obese in the US today. That number is expected to continue to grow.
The problem is, our pets are not responsible for what they eat, how much they eat, and how much activity they get. They count on their humans for balanced diets, controlled portions, and adequate physical exercise.
5. “I need to go to the vet every year (even though I hate it)”
Pets need to have annual exams, bloodwork, and dental care. When they are sick they need to go to the vet, and over-the-counter and home remedies can often leave our pets uncomfortable or lacking the important care they need.
While cost can be inhibitory for many pet owners, pet insurance is becoming more comprehensive, user-friendly, and a great option for pet owners to ensure their pets are able to visit the vet when they need to, knowing reimbursements will help offset the cost. Many veterinary practices are offering wellness plans that help offset costs with a monthly plan. Others opt for lines of credit offered through programs such as Care Credit.
Need help with vet bills? Check out these resources in our post: Financial Assistance Programs & Help With Vet Bills.
6. “I want to make friends”
Dogs are pack animals, they like to be around people and other dogs. The trick here though, is they need to be socialized with people, other dogs, and all kinds of new experiences as young as possible to help them be well-adjusted and well-socialized pups. Dogs enjoy the interaction and stimulus of playing with other dogs.
Ensure your pet gets well socialized in a controlled environment. Dog parks, while fun for most, have limited, if any control over the temperament of visitors and proof of vaccines, and overall socialization of the dogs that enter the park, oftentimes leading to altercations, parasite infestations, or bad overall experiences in socialization for your pet.