lifestyle

9 ways to make your dog as happy and healthy as this one.

By HELEN VNUK

I always treated my dogs like children. I’d buy them fluffy toys, take them fun places on weekends and let them sleep at the end of the bed.

Then I had real babies, and… well, now my house is full of children, both the two-legged and four-legged kind. And I need to get a bigger bed.

I’m really glad my son and daughter are growing up with dogs. They’re learning to respect animals, but not to be afraid of them. And, although my human children demand a lot of attention, I need to make time for my dogs too, because they are just as much part of the family.

Here are nine things all dog owners can do to make sure their pets stay healthy.

1. Exercise your dog every day.

It’s a good excuse to get the whole family out of the house. Try to let your dog run around off the leash, if possible. (If you don’t know where your nearest off-leash park is, ask your local council.) Exercise is not only good for dogs physically, it’s good for them mentally.

A dog that gets a lot of stimulation from exercise is less likely to dig gigantic craters in the backyard.

Just as an FYI, this is an advertorial for Sentinel.

2. Feed them a balanced diet.

Dogs can’t live on meat alone, because it doesn’t provide them with all their nutritional needs, especially in terms of vitamins and minerals. The ideal diet is a mix of meat (whether canned or not) and dry food. And although your dog may be happy to wolf down all the food your toddler flings onto the floor, try to keep this to a minimum, otherwise you could end up with a porky pooch.

3. Give them bones.

Cooked bones can splinter and cause major internal problems for dogs, but raw meaty bones and raw chicken wings are both great. Bones keep your dog’s teeth in good condition too.

4. Make sure they have plenty of water.

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If you’re out all day, you might want to leave two bowls – especially in the summer – in case they knock one over

5. Groom them regularly.

Keep your pets healthy and happy like these guys.

If you have a breed with a long coat, that means once a day. Without grooming, knots and mats can form, leading to skin problems. Grooming also helps reduce shedding, which means less dog hair around the house. Even dogs with short coats need regular grooming.

6. Wash them when they need it.

You don’t need to wash dogs every week, only when they’re dirty or smelly. In fact, washing them too often can irritate their skin. Always use a dog shampoo, make sure the water is warm, and never put a wet dog outside in cold weather.

7. Keep them away from poisons.

It’s not just rat bait and snail bait you have to worry about. Some human foods can be toxic to dogs, especially in large doses. Never feed them chocolate, onions, garlic, macadamia nuts or grapes.

8. Take them for their annual visit to the vet.

Vaccinations keep your pets safe from several nasty diseases and are necessary if you want to leave them at a boarding kennel. Also, the annual visit is a good chance to have your dog checked over.

9. Protect them against fleas, intestinal worms and heartworm.

Heartworm and nasty intestinal worms are a constant threat to your dog’s health. Fleas, meanwhile, will make your dog’s life miserable. Luckily, it’s easy to protect your dog against a broad range of parasites. Sentinel Spectrum is a monthly 3-in-1 treatment that prevents heartworm, protects against flea infestations and controls intestinal worms like roundworm, whipworm, hookworm and tapeworm (including hydatid tapeworm, which is potentially deadly to humans). The good news for you – and your dog – is that it comes in a tasty beef and bacon chew, which is much easier to dose than spot-on treatments that can rub off, wash away or break down in sunlight.

 

Did you know that parasites pose a serious threat to your dog’s life? That’s why giving your dog a tasty Sentinel Spectrum chew each month is a great idea. Sentinel 3-in-1 provides protection like no other and protects your dog against Flea Infestations, Intestinal Worms and Heartworms keeping your dog much happier and healthier.

†Protection from heartworm, all major intestinal worms including Hydatid tapeworm and stops the flea lifecycle based on the Sentinel 100% Guarantee. For full terms and conditions see in pack, on www.ah.novartis.com.au or call 1800 633 768. Sentinel® Spectrum (milbemycin oxime, praziquantel, lufenuron). Sentinel® is a registered trademark of Novartis AG, Basel, Switzerland. © 2014 Novartis Animal Health Australasia Pty Ltd, ABN 64 076 745 198, 54 Waterloo Road, North Ryde NSW 2113, Australia. SENAU784OTH0914.