5 ways to keep your dog and yourself happy

Welcoming a puppy or an adult dog into your home instantly brings a great amount of joy but also responsibility. Our four-legged friends are ready to give so much unconditional love, and it's up to us to reciprocate it.

While different breeds may have different needs, there are ways to capture any dog's heart and improve their happiness. From tail-wagging activities to healthy meals and even massages, we'll share useful tips on how you can build a stronger bond with your dog and enrich the lives of both of you.

1. Give your dog physical exercise every day

Like sleep, dogs also require a fair amount of different physical activities throughout the day. Whether it's a puppy or a grown-up, daily walks or runs are the baseline your furry companion needs to maintain optimal physical and mental well-being.

See if you can incorporate fetch during your time outdoors. It will not only help your dog burn off energy but will also speak to their natural hunting instincts. Use a tennis ball, stick, or a twig, and your dog will enjoy chasing and retrieving it until exhaustion as it feels rewarding and boosts their self-worth.

You can also play a variety of games indoors, such as hide and seek with toys, tug-of-war, or training your dog to give paw, sit, and lay down. Joint playtime is a great outlet for reducing boredom and strengthening the bond between you and your doggy.

If you tend to spend a lot of time away from home, try to change the toys every now and then to keep your dog stimulated and engaged even when you're not around.

2. Allow your dog to socialize

Out of all the pets, dogs probably are the most social animals who love exploring new places and meeting other canines. Isolating them may make your dog aggressive or fearful whenever someone comes to your house. 

Of course, it may take time for your furry companion to get comfortable in a new environment, sharing territory, or being surrounded by unfamiliar faces, so it's better to start it slow.  

Introduce your dog to one new experience at a time and read their reactions; don't force encounters if they don't want to. Eventually, you may organize regular playdates with other four-legged friends.  

A well-socialized dog will feel more confident and get better at managing stress, which can ultimately mean fewer damaged shoes for you and less barking.

3. Take care of your dog's mental health

Just as important as your dog's physical well-being is their mental health. More anxious doggies go through a lot of stress when they're left home alone. To help them deal with anxiety, try to leave your dog with entertainment and increase the time on their own gradually.

While they would never say no to lying on your lap, dogs also need their personal space for sound sleep.  A cozy and safe environment is the first step towards making your furry friend feel at ease.

Normally, they will pick their safe place by themselves, and placing a blanket or a dog bed there will help them rest even better. There could be several spots for your buddy around the house in each room where you tend to spend your time.

If you see that your dog is stressed and even belly rubs don't help, try massaging your canine companion. A specialist can teach you the right technique but using a flat hand and massaging your dog's shoulders with circular movements would be a good start. It will be a great way to spend some quality time with your doggy and strengthen your bond.

4. Plan regular check-ups for your dog

The cornerstone of happiness for any pet is good health. Even if your dog seems healthy and acts as usual, it doesn't mean you should skip regular veterinary visits. 

Canines spend a lot of time outdoors lying in the grass and sometimes even eating whatever there is, making them more prone to getting ticks, fleas, lice, and worms.  

Therefore, both puppies and adult dogs need to get vaccinated on a regular basis. That will prevent your buddy from getting more serious diseases. Plus, a vet visit as such will help you make sure that all other health aspects are in check. 

Another pillar of your dog's long-term health is grooming. Clipping nails, bathing, cleaning teeth, and trimming hair are as important for your furry friend as for yourself.

5. Feed your dog well

To stay on top of their game and feel good, dogs need a balanced diet. What and how much to give to your doggy depends on their age, size, and activity level. Larger dogs who spend most of their day outdoors digging holes and running around will need more food than the old and lazy ones.

Opt for specialized dog food, either wet or dry as per your buddy's preference to give your furry friend all the essential vitamins and minerals. Unlike us, dogs enjoy eating the same food every day, so if you decide to switch up their diet, do it gradually, mixing the new with the old one.

One more thing you should consider is giving treats. Dogs are famous for begging for food at the table, and let's be honest, who can easily resist those puppy eyes?

A couple of treats a day in between meals won't do any damage to your dog's weight, especially if you give them as rewards for good behavior. Just be sure to avoid certain foods, such as chocolate or raisins, that may cause unnecessary health problems.

If Pet insurance - always by your and your dog's side

You may do all you can to take care of your dog's health, yet sometimes your furry friend may suddenly get sick or injured, and you're left worried about how to make it alright.

In cases like this, it's good to know that If Pet insurance is right at your fingertips. If you suddenly find yourself and your dog at a pet clinic, you can easily submit your claim via If self-service or  If Mobile Baltics app after your visit. Just remember to collect all the documents related to the medical help given, such as checks and doctor's notes, to make sure you're able to get a reimbursement.