Your dog is an important part of your family, so you want to do everything that you possibly can to help your furry family member feel happy and healthy. You’ll have to pay attention to your dog’s medical care, diet, and exercise. Furthermore, you should make an effort to support your dog’s mental health. Here are some things that you can do to take outstanding care of your dog.

Give Your Dog High-Quality Food and Supplements

There are some minimum standards about what goes into dog food, but the minimum probably isn’t the best. A lot of dog foods are made to be inexpensive to manufacture, so it is common for manufacturers to use substandard ingredients. Highly processed materials, fillers, and additives can have a negative effect on your dog’s physical and mental health. Highly processed food that’s tough to digest can be hard on your dog’s digestive system and lead to intestinal inflammation as well as an unhealthy balance of gut bacteria. Buildup on your dog’s digestive tract will make processing and absorbing the nutritional content in food more difficult.

You should also bear in mind that just like people, dogs’ gut health is important to their immune system. Furthermore, the gut has its own enteric nervous system independent from the nervous system that’s regulated by a dog’s brain. Activity from the neuroreceptors regulated by the gut can affect the activity of the primary nervous system. As a result, poorly made food can be detrimental to neural activity.

Pick a dog food that’s made from organic or all-natural ingredients. Look for a food that’s formulated by a veterinarian, and get input from your dog’s veterinarian about what type of food would best support your dog’s health. Even well-made food may leave some deficiencies in your dog’s diet, so vitamins for dogs are a good way to ensure that your dog isn’t missing out on any key nutrients that make your dog less vulnerable to health conditions. Adding vitamins into your dog’s dietary regimen may also mitigate the effects of age-related health issues and enhance energy levels.

Reevaluate Whether Caging Is Good or Bad

Some dog owners believe that a cage is the best place for their dog when they’re not home. In reality, keeping a dog in a cage can cause serious harm to his or her physical and emotional well-being.

Being confined in an area as small as a cage can cause joint pain and muscle atrophy. Inadequate bedding can exacerbate the physical discomfort that a dog experiences.

It is understandable that many dogs feel extremely upset when their owners cage them. They have no way of knowing when they will be able to leave their cage, and they may feel very distraught and helpless. Dogs are den animals, so they like being able to curl up in a small space. However, they may feel intense anxiety if they are unable to leave a cage.

If you don’t want your dog to have access to every area in your home, consider getting a gate to limit where your dog can go. This is a much more preferable alternative to caging an animal that does not adapt well to it.

Keep Your Dog Hydrated

Hydration is vital to every facet of your dog’s health. A dog’s skin and coat, digestive function, and kidney function all need consistent hydration to stay healthy. Be sure to change your dog’s water frequently throughout the day. If you leave the same bowl of water out all day, your dog may not want to drink it. Give your dog access to fresh and cool water just like you’d want to drink. You certainly don’t want your dog to be anxious about when his or her next opportunity for fresh water is coming.

You also need to clean your dog’s water bowl frequently. A buildup of biofilm that has potentially harmful bacteria can line the inside of a water bowl if you don’t wash it regularly. In addition, to possibly being unhealthy, a biofilm of bacteria could emit an unpleasant odor that would be readily perceptible to a dog’s acute sense of smell.

If you are unable to change your dog’s water frequently while you are away at work, you might think about getting a pet fountain. It can keep a flowing stream of oxygenated water available for your dog all day long.

Your dog loves you unconditionally. Show your love and appreciation by doing what you can to give your dog a happy and healthy life with you.