Dogs are one of the commonest pets humans keep. They are very loyal animals and very useful especially for companionship and security. I recount a story a friend of mine told me about when he lost his dog. The dog was part of the family already. They lost Ebony to cancer. Ebony was about 8 years old then, but had so integrated with the family.
At the time he told me the story, I just laughed away the possibility of being so affected by the death of your pet especially a dog, but few days back, something happened that changed the way I see pets, especially dogs.
I noticed our dog was ill, he had been refusing food for the past few days and was getting leaner. When I call his name, he no longer responded to me the way he used to. I was worried, and I did not know when I was moved to tears. It was then I realized how much I loved T.J and how much I had underestimated his role in our family. Although T.J is a senior dog, he is about 12 years old and he is not fully responding to treatment yet. I do hope sincerely that he gets better soon and when he gets well, I will try my best to be a better dog owner.
I decided to research a little about dogs: the health benefits of owning a dog and ways to keep a dog happy and healthy.
There are many health benefits associated with owing a dog. I’ll outline a few of them:
- Owning and caring for a dog helps relieve depression, and encourages people to be optimistic and positive in their thoughts, hence warding off depression symptoms. Dogs are known for being mood boosters.
- Dogs offer wonderful companionship. They are also good for growing children, they make them stronger and generally healthier. Dogs can also help improve our social life.
- Owning dogs can also help you stay active. In a bid to keep your dog active for instance when you take your dog on a walk, you end up exercising and being active yourself.
- Dogs also help provide a sense of security as they can bark and alert their owners of intruders, burglars and the likes. This sense of safety is good both for the mental and physical health of their owners.
Now we would consider general tips on how to make sure that these lovely and highly beneficial animals remain healthy.
- Good diet: Just as it is in humans, it is very important that dog owners ensure the dogs maintain a good diet. Also, dogs should constantly be supplied daily with clean water.
- Some human foods are very harmful to dogs. Primarily, they should have for food dog food. However, Should in case you decide to give them human foods, watch out for the ones you give and ensure they are safe for dogs. Foods like onion, avocado, candies, chocolates, drinks containing caffeine, garlic, avocados, alcohol are not safe for dogs, especially when consumed by the dog in large quantities.
- Give your dog healthy treats. Have regular trips to the veterinary clinic for vaccinations, and check-ups, watch out for any strange change in behavioral patter, body or general being of your dog so as to ensure early detection in case the dog falls ill.
- Ensure your dog shelter is clean and void of flea, germs, and disease causing pathogens.
- Take good care of your dog’s body. Bath your dog regularly to avoid being infested parasites and other infections.
I appreciate my dog now more than before. I will try my best to show this appreciation by treating him well, and ensuring he stays healthy.