New Delhi: Every dog has his or her own individual personality. This personality goes beyond the common labels used for each breed, for instance, Labradors are often described as being ‘friendly and outgoing’. But all Labradors may not necessarily exhibit the same likes, dislikes and behavioural traits.
Understanding and catering to your dog’s individual personality is a great starting point for creating a healthy and happy lifestyle for him or her, says Rashi Narang, Founder, Heads Up For Tails. She points out few points for pet parents to keep in mind:
Nutrition: A healthy and balanced diet is the keystone of good health. A dog’s nutritional needs are influenced by their breed, lifestyle, age and specific health conditions. The diet will alter as your pet grows from puppyhood to adulthood and then again at the senior stage. It’s best to keep your pet on a species appropriate diet and consult a vet or a certified canine nutritionist to make sure your doggie is getting all the necessary nutrients.
Exercise: Many of the breeds that we have as companions today like labs, beagles and cocker spaniels were originally bred as working dogs. They used to accompany their owners on hunts or fishing expeditions with specific roles to play. Today, these breeds still have these instincts and so, need both physical and mental exercise as an outlet for their abilities. A dog that is well-exercised is rarely destructive or ‘naughty’.
Besides their walks, you can give your dog puzzle games to exercise their minds. Tough chews (not rawhide) can also be relaxing as chewing releases stress and anxiety. You can connect with a behaviourist to understand what games you can incorporate into your pet’s daily routine. Fun interactive games also help strengthen the pet-parent bond.
Grooming: Daily grooming is often ignored by pet parents but is an important component of a pet's life. Having a well brushed, healthy skin and coat helps your pet feel more comfortable. Besides a daily brushing with an appropriate brush, make sure their ears and teeth are cleaned routinely as well.
Rather than using harsh chemicals for tick and flea prevention, we recommend using natural products that are gentler on your pet's skin and overall health. When used consistently and in conjunction with a nutritious diet, these can be very effective.