All of us prefer to suppose we’re taking the very best care of our canines. I do too.

However then once I be taught one thing completely different, I discover out that I might be doing extra. That I might be making my canine’s life even higher.

Whereas this publish was written in December, I’m not large on New Years Resolutions becaues I don’t beleive the primary of the 12 months is the one time it is best to make a promise to do one thing otherwise.

I would love pet homeowners to take this problem at no matter level in the course of the 12 months they discover it.

Photograph Credit score: Canva/Capuski

Word: I’m not a veterinarian. I’m only a canine proprietor making an attempt to enhance her canine’s lives and assist others do the identical. Please verify along with your veterinarian earlier than beginning something new you aren’t assured with (ex, suplements, train).

What’s the 30 Day Happier, More healthy Canine Problem?

We’re bombarded with new info day by day. It may be overwhelming.

I do know every time I’m introduced with the newest scientific examine on canines, or pet development, I really feel like I’m not a adequate pet guardian.

However I’m a agency believer in:

  1. The place you’re at now with caring for your canine is nice.

I don’t beleive in utilizing new info to make ourselves really feel unhealthy if we’re unable or uncomfortable altering the best way we maintain our canines.

2. Enhancing your canine’s life will be incrimental. Taking one tiny step to enhance yoru canine’s life is adequate.

So I made a decision to give you this problem in hopes of nudging you to make just some small adjustments in your canine’s life.

We are going to deal with one major space of pet care per week – the 4 areas that I believe are a very powerful – for a month.

Throughout that week, you’ll examing a particular space, do some extra analysis if wanted, and attempt to make one tiny change that can enhance your canine’s well being and happiness.

What Are the 4 Pillars of Canine Care?

Once more, I’m not a veterinarian. That is simply my humble pet proprietor opinion.

There are numerous theories on what pet care is crucial and the way it’s categorized.

Personally, I contemplate most every little thing I do for my canines to fall into certainly one of these 4 major classes.

  1. Nourishment
  2. Play and Train
  3. Coaching
  4. Medical care (Veterinary Care, grooming, and so on.)

I recurrently take a look at every of those 4 classes of care to see if I will be doing something otherwise to assist make my canines more healthy and happier.

How Do I Take the Problem?

Taking the 30 Day Happier, More healthy Canine Problem is fairly easy.

Select a begin date after which work on one of many 4 pillars of pet care every week for a month.

Here’s what I need you to contemplate for every pillar every week.

Word: you don’t need to do these so as. You possibly can select what you need to work on first.


This pillar has to do with what your canine is consuming – meals, dietary supplements, treats, chews, and so on.

Step 1 is to check out every of those classes.

Step 2 is to see if you can also make an incremental enchancment someplace.

Listed here are some examples:

Pet food components

Take a look at the components of your canine’s meals and select a meals that’s at the least a one-step enchancment from what your canine is curently consuming.

In case your canine’s present meals has numerous fillers like corn or peas – the upper up on the ingredient listing one thing is, there extra there’s within the meals – search for a meals with I’ve determined to create a problem for us.

An awesome useful resource is to verify the meals score on Dog Food Advisor. You may as well take a look at the listing of what I feed my dogs to keep them active and healthy.

Kibble dog food in a bowl on a wood background

Dietary supplements

Contemplate including or altering dietary supplements.

In case you are not giving your canine any dietary supplements, perhaps it’s a very good time to start out incorporating one.

Virtually each canine can profit from a joint complement, some form of omega oil, or probiotic.

In case you are alreay giving your canine a complement, contemplate checking to see if there’s a greater high quality or simpler one in the marketplace.

For concepts, evaluate my list of supplements I give my dogs.

Canine Treats

Be sure to are giving top quality treas that include the suitable quantity of energy on your canine’s measurement and the amount you give them a day.

The factor that issues most to me when contemplating canine treats is components. I need to select solely the best high quality.

As along with your canine’s meals, check out the listing of components on the deal with bundle and think about using one thing greater high quality.

The second consideration is the variety of energy as a result of I prefer to reward my small canines for good conduct ceaselessly. It’s simple for too many to make them fats.

Additionally check out the energy listed on the bundle.

I’m comfy giving my small canines treats which are 1-3 energy every.

You possibly can view my listing of favourite, low-calorie canine treats HERE.

Whilst you’r at it, take an in depth take a look at any chews you’re giving your canine.

Keep away from these which are handled with chemical substances, and aren’t simply digested, like rawhide and nylon chews.


Feeding your canine correctly doesn’t simply imply contemplating the standard of the meals, deal with, or chew.

It additionally means contemplating your canine’s every day calorie want/consumption and controlling parts as crucial to verify they keep on the correct weight.

Use this calorie calculator for dogs to see what number of your canine wants a day.

Word: it’s possible you’ll want so as to add 10-20% extra energy in case your canine is extra lively than common.

Then weigh or measure portoins and take a look at the energy on the bundle to verify your canine is getting no kind of than they want.

If in case you have a Dachshund, it’s also possible to learn this detailed description of how to tell if your Dachshund is at the correct weight.

It’s vital to contemplate meals, treats, meals scraps, dietary supplements and chews – every little thing that goes into your canine’s mouth – when totaling the energy consumed for the day.

Play and Train

This class contains:

  • bodily train like strolling your canine, climbing along with your canine, or enjoying sports activities.
  • psychological stimulation like canine puzzle video games, lick mats, snuffle mats, and different deal with toys
  • Engagement with you – undivided consideration like play

Let’s focus on every of those individually

Bodily Health

Bodily health can imply strolling your canine reglarly however it doesn’t have to finish there.

However it may possibly begin there.

In case you are not strolling your canine, attempt going for a 15 minute stroll a day.

In case you are already strolling your canine recurrently, attempt rising the variety of walks a day, the length of your walks, or how many days a week you go.

If you happen to really feel like your canine is alreay getting sufficient train from strolling, or you’re bodily unable to do extra yourelf, contemplate doing dog gym exercises to strengthen their muscles.

Psychological Stimulation

Psychological stimlation is as vital on your canine as bodily.

Whereas strolling, climbing within the woods, or sports activities can present psychological stiumulation, it’s not the entire image.

Moreover prodessing their environment when out and about, canines want to make use of their smarts and pure insincts to unravel puzzles or work out to do one thing.

Trace: they’ll do that whether or not you give them one thing to do or they’ve to search out it on their very own (like your slippers).

Contemplate incorporating certainly one of these brain games or dog puzzles into their routine.

Undivided Consideration

Most of us bought a canine to offer companionship. However don’t neglect we have to present companionship to our canines too.

If you happen to’re consistently busy dashing out and in of the home, or distracted by TV, social media, or family chores, your canine could really feel ignored.

Whereas canines don’t really feel the vary of feelings individuals do, take a look at any canine that’s not getting the centered consideration they crave and you’ll inform.

They might look depressed, bored, or unhappy.

Just remember to are turing your whole focus to your canine at the least a pair occasions a day.

Generally a little bit is all they should be pleased all day.


Whereas coaching is a type of psychological stimulation, it deserves a particular call-out.

Properly educated canines are simpler to reside with, get yelled at or punished much less, and are extra fulfilling companions when you are touring or going to occasions.

I admit I used to be sorely missing on this space till about 4 years in the past once I introduced my first Dachshund puppy dwelling.

Since then, I’ve made a sluggish however constant effort to coach her to my routine and to be nicely behaved. I’ve even taught my senior Dachshund a couple of new issues.

A few a very powerful issues I’ve taught her for her are to come back to me when called and leave it.

It actually is rarely to late to show an older canine new methods so if there’s something about your Dachshund’s conduct you don’t like, or that that causes rigidity in or out of the home, contemplate:

Medical Care

Medical care contains veterinary care, grooming, and beign ready to deal with emergencies.

Veterinary Care

Common veterinary care is vital.

Some individuals don’t take their canine to their vet except the the canine is clearly sick or injured.

I’m not judging – veterinary visits will be expensive and post-pandemic ready lists will be lengthy.

Ideally although, your canine would get an annual checkup.

Your vet can verify your canine’s vitals, bodily look, and really feel in all of the telling locations to observe whether or not one thing has modified along with your pet’s well being.

It’s even instructed that older canines recieve a senior blood panel to behave as a baseline for future comparion of blood assessments.

If it’s been some time since your canine has been to the vet for a checkup, it’s possible you’ll need to ebook one.


I contemplate grooming to be a part of medical care.

Dog nails that are allowed to grow too long could cause ache, usually tend to break, and might trigger your canine to journey and fall.

In case your canine has lengthy hair and develops mats, they will trab micro organism, tear the pores and skin, and trigger ache.

Not bathing your canine could cause micro organism to construct up and result in pores and skin irritation and infections (however ensure not to bathe your dog too often).

Grooming additionally provide you with or your canine’s groomer an opporunity to really feel your canine’s physique for suspicious lumps, bumps, and sores.

I’ve been very vocal about brushing not being the one solution to clear your canine’s tooth so I get it for those who don’t need to try this or your canine hates it.

However there are issues you are able to do to assist maintain your canine’s tooth clear.

See the brusheless dog teeth cleaning technique I take advantage of if you need to know extra.

So if it’s been whereas because you’ve clipped your canine nails, brushed out mats, or completed anyting on your canine’s tooth, attempt doing one thing now.

Emergency Planning

Emergency planning means making ready for the long run in case one thing goes flawed.

Contemplate signing up for pet insurance, getting a Care Credit card particularly for veterinary care, or beginning a financial savings account on your pooch.

Correctly making ready for the long run additionally means making or shopping for a canine first assist package.

However don’t cease there as a result of it’s essential to know the best way to correctly use what’s within the package.

If you happen to by no means have, contemplate getting certified in pet first aid.

I’ve taken about 10 completely different lessons and I believe the very best is from Walks and Wags however even the 35-minute pet first aid class from the Red Cross is healthier than nothing.

Last Ideas

If you discovered this text, I assume you’re taking the very best care of your canine you may given your data and assets.

However after we know higher, we do higher (inside our means).

I hope this 30 day problem will provide help to get out of your pet care rut and make a change in you pet’s life to enhance it.

100 tiny, incrimental steps add up and assist your do glive a happier, more healthy, extra fulfilled life.

We all like to think we're taking the best care of our dogs. I do too. But then when I learn something different, I find out that I could be doing more. That I could be making my dog's life even better. Take this challenge to discover what you could be doing better. #pethealth #doghealth

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