Spring is already here, and one of the best ways to keep your dog healthy and set them up for a great summer ahead is to make sure we boost their immunity and keep them well hydrated, as the temperature and their activity levels change.
In this blog, we're going to focus on the importance of hydration for our four-legged friends. With an ongoing pandemic, the second thing that you should focus on with your pup is reducing stress.
We'll share the simplest tricks we have found that help with hydration, stress and general health. Our last trick has many additional health benefits beyond the topics discussed in this blog post, such as improved gut health, increased collagen production in skin and joints, reduced inflammation and more!
These seven tips and tricks will help you keep your dog healthy all through Spring and into the Summer months. So, let's get started.
1. Feed your dog a balanced diet
Keep your dog well hydrated. Remember that the restrictions of a lockdown may already be taking a toll on them, so make sure you keep up with their daily intake!
A balanced diet is key for keeping a healthy body weight and reducing stress on joints. A balanced diet will also keep your dog's pH levels in balance which is important for their digestive tract as well.
It's important to avoid feeding your dog too much salt. Human food often contains spices and added sodium, so as much as possible avoid feeding your dog table scraps.
Check the nutrition analysis of the treats and kibble you buy for sodium levels (keep in mind that most labels show sodium levels per serving). In ingredients, sodium can be found by different names, like salt, MSG (monosodium glucosamate), fleur de sel, disodium and trisodium. Salt naturally causes dehydration that can result in other health problems such as an upset stomach and affect how your dog feels during the day.
Bone broth provides many benefits when consumed by dogs including aiding digestion, improved skin & coat and increased access to collagen. It's also really easy to get started making it at home.
2. Keep your dog's environment clean and free of pests
While dogs may seem to poke their nose in every nook and cranny they find, or lick everything within reach, this behaviour can cause them to ingest contaminants. It may be difficult but it's important for your dog to refrain from licking up whatever they find on the floor.
While hard floors and surfaces might be the best for your dog, not every house is made the same, and some houses may have lots of carpeted areas.
Our furry friends are naturally messier than their hoomans, and they tend to spread their mess without much effort. The best way to keep your house clean is by limiting the sources of potential mess – such as bringing in dirt from outdoors and/or their eating area.
If you don't already, get a mat for the entrance from outside to inside, so your dog doesn't track in dirt or rainwater that has collected on their paws and coat over time. For their eating area, we recommend placing a bat under their dishes that can be easily cleaned every few days.
As the weather gets warmer you’ll inevitably be spending more time outdoors and possibly in the woods. Some pests can pose a danger to your dog such as fleas and ticks. Clean their bedding frequently and look for signs like scratching, dermatitis, excessive licking, and chewing of paws. These are all indications that something is amiss in your pet's environment such as a flea problem or allergies to dust mites! A simple pest treatment can be purchased at your local pet store and be applied to help prevent any issues.
3. Give your dog plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to keep his immune system strong
An active dog is a healthy dog. One of the most important things you can do to keep your dog's immune system strong is giving them plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.
Regular exercise helps with your pup's overall health and well-being. Keeping your doing on a regular exercise schedule will help maintain their weight, muscle strength, improve circulation and most importantly, reduce boredom. The best part? They'll love it because they'll get time with their hoomans! And we humans get some workout too - win/win!
4. Get regular veterinary check-ups
Dogs should have regular veterinary check-ups for vaccinations, heartworm prevention and parasite control to keep them as healthy as possible.
Every dog is different, so talk with your veterinarian about what's best for your pup. Keeping up on these regular visits is important. Early detection of any issue will help ward off an array of health problems that may be difficult or expensive to treat!
A vet visit also includes routine blood work (which checks the liver function) urinalysis (urine tests), faecal exam, de-matting and a general physical examination which will tell you if any other medical attention is needed such as weight management suggestions, dental hygiene tips or medication recommendations.
5. Practice good hygiene.
You want to avoid getting them sick, so make sure you are practicing good hygiene habits such as avoiding contact with wild animals (birds, racoons, squirrels, etc.), keep their nails and toe hair trimmed (a very common area for dogs to pick up things), and train your dog to avoid scraps and food in public areas and on the ground, along with avoid eating bird seed and other animal faeces. 6. Provide plenty of fresh water at all times.
We're all probably aware that a dog needs access to fresh drinking water at all times. It's especially important on days when temperatures are hot outside or when you're exercising with your pet outdoors during warmer months.
If your dog is mainly fed kibble they will tend to need a bit more water then a dog that is on a raw diet, it might help to soften the kibble with hydration toppers. Bone Broth is a great example of a hydration topper - homemade or store-bought (more on this later).
Dogs are naturally drawn to water, but it's important no matter how much your dog wants access to the water that you provide fresh drinking water for them at all times. Avoid letting them drink water from streams, puddles, or other mystery sources as much as possible.
Dehydration can weaken the immune system and make animals more susceptible to stress and infection by pathogens, so it's important not only for their health but also yours! It also makes sure their digestive health stays at its peak.
And don't forget about ice cubes on a hot day! They'll help keep them cool while they drink too :)
7. Add bone broth to their daily diet for hydration and improving immunity.
Bone broth is a great way to hydrate the body, but it's even more helpful on hot days.
When it's summer time, dogs can get dehydrated really easily so don't forget about their hydration and improving immunity. Adding some bone broth to their daily diet will not only make their food more digestible, your pup will love the taste too.
For finicky eaters, or dogs that don't drink enough water, bone broth is a great solution; it's both tasty and good for them.
Bone broth is a great way to encourage your dog's digestive system and improve its immune system! But not all broths are made equal. Commercial bone broths might contain ingredients like onion, garlic and salt to enhance flavour, but these ingredients should not be fed to your dog.
If you're making your broth at home, don't add onion, garlic, salt or other spices that are flavour enhancers. If you are short on time, buy bone broth specially made for pets. BoneOlio is a great option!