Have you ever wondered if the activities your dog enjoys are actually bad for their health? We explore the pleasures that may not be so safe for our pooches…
Lots of exercise
Just like their owners, dogs need to gradually increase their fitness levels over time. If your pup is used to 10-minute strolls, then introducing hour-long walks suddenly can have negative effects – such as joint strain, anxiety or exhaustion. Even if your dog seems happy and able when it comes to longer stints, it could be adding extra strain on the joints. The same goes for tearing around on a beach for too long, or overdoing it with the tennis ball. Your dog might love it, but it’s not doing them any favours in the long-term.
We recommend short and frequent walks as opposed to occasional extra-long ones. It’s important to keep an eye out for any signs of stiffness, too. And, of course, there are exceptions if your hound has a pre-existing health issue! In this case, always seek expert advice about exercise from your vet, as you could be doing too much without even realising.
It goes without saying that, as owners, we want to take every opportunity to spoil our four-legged companions. Doggy treats are a very easy way to show affection to your furry best friend, but too many treats can cause health issues like weight gain and dental problems.
Rewarding good behaviour with treats can be a useful training tool, but again, make sure you’re not overdoing it. Want to make sure you’re providing your dog with a healthy diet? Check out our handy guide to what you should feed your pooch here.
We all love to hug our dogs (and they may enjoy it, too!), but their limbs are more delicate than we think. If you’re going to pick your dog up for a cuddle, it needs to be done in the right way. Especially with senior dogs who may be experiencing joint stiffness.
So, what is the correct way to pick up your canine for a hug? You need to support the chest and pelvis, as opposed to lifting under the armpits or by the front limbs. If the dog is small, place your dominant arm under their chest between the front limbs with their rear resting against you. For medium-size dogs, place your dominant arm behind the hind legs, and your other arm around the chest, in front of the limbs – this will give your pooch added stability as you lift them. Ideally, larger dogs should be picked up by two people: one lifting from the rear, supporting the abdomen, and the other lifting from beneath the chest.
Make sure you also look out for any signs that suggest your pet is no longer enjoying themselves, such as avoidance, struggling, or yelping. They need to be properly supported and comfortable at all times, and they can then enjoy the cuddle safely!
Playing fetch with a stick
Your dog may love seeking them out, but unfortunately, the simple stick isn’t as harmless as you may think, and poses the threat of many health issues. Sticks can cause splinters and punctures in gums and cheeks, choking and – most worryingly – can be poisonous to our pups. Of course, you don’t have to choose between an enjoyable playtime or your pet’s health. There’s a range of toys out there that you can try as alternatives. Plus, they’re much safer for your dog to chew!
Is there something your dog loves but you have to limit for reasons similar to those above? Let us know! And remember, we love following your adventures on Facebook and Instagram, so keep tagging us in your snaps and stories!