Do these pictures make you go a little mushy inside?!
If so, chances are you might be almost as obsessed with dogs as I am. I say almost, because I can not even begin to think that the way I feel about this handsome little chap is in any way normal. We’ve had Dexter for almost two years now, and I can’t imagine life without him. Dexter brings so much love and joy to our everyday lives; we sing to him, we dance with him, we insert his name into song lyrics, we make up stories about him ‘swimming across the ocean to be with us’ when we are travelling. Yep, it’s official, we are mad about him.
I’m writing this post having not seen my baby for almost two weeks, we’ve been travelling around the U.S (and yes, I did research if I could bring him with us, but sadly it was a logistical nightmare) and oh boy do I miss his hairy little snout. Thankfully my mum who is looking after him is sending us regular videos (including the #DexterCloseUp snaps that I’ve been requesting) but it’s just not the same as having him curled up beside me.
So today I wanted to share five things that us pet owners can do to show our pets that we love them. We want our precious babies to be happy and healthy, and to live long, love-filled lives. Let’s get started!
First, exercise with your pet!
It’s no secret that your dog needs exercise, but also so do us humans! Make exercise fun by combining the two and getting active in the park with your little pup. It could just be throwing a ball and letting them burn off some steam, or, do as Charlie and I like to do, and go for a little jog and see if they can keep up. Regular exercise is important to keeping your pet happy and healthy, we don’t want to see any tubby pooches now do we?!
Keep Them Groomed!
As a beauty blogger, grooming is always high on my agenda and this often extends to Dexter too! But in all seriousness, regular grooming is an important part of caring for your pet. Clipping their nails (I’d recommend getting this done professionally!) prevents pain or problems when they walk, and also, regular walks on gravel or concrete can help ‘file’ claws down too. Equally, brush their teeth regularly not just to reduce bad breath, but for long term tooth health. We found a meat flavoured toothpaste (mmmmmm!) that Dexter loves, which makes it less challenging to brush his teeth.
A regular bath will not only keep your baby looking sleek and glossy, but also reduce dandruff and any itchiness (as well as mud, poo, and anything else they may have rolled in) so keeping your pet more comfortable, and smelling a whole lot better too!
Finally, ensure you brush their coat regularly. This stops them shedding quite so much, gives them a little bit of attention, and keeps them looking sleek too! Dexter is naturally a scruff ball, so will always go and roll about in the garden after being brushed, but I don’t think he’s quite realised that we have artificial grass yet – so no amount of rolling about is going to get him muddy again!
Act Against Lungworm.
Scarily, lungworm is now endemic throughout much of the UK, so it’s so important for dog owners to be aware of it; as the parasite can cause serious health problems and even death if it’s not prevented. Lungworm larvae are carried by slugs and snails, and dogs can become infected with they accidentally either eat them (or even their slime) – for example if they say grass or even when just drinking from puddles or outdoor water bowls, or playing with a toy that’s had an infected slug slither onto it (in wet conditions the parasite can even stay in the slime on toys/bowls/stones/sticks for a few days!). It’s very worrying.
Use this online map to see if Lungworm has been reported in your area yet.
Dogs of all shapes and sizes can be affected by Lungworm, but sadly younger dogs are even more susceptible. We can’t control what our pet does (or eats!) so it’s important to keep your animal protected against lungworm, and be aware of the signs in case they contract it.
What Can I Do to Protect my Pet?
If you take one thing away from this blog post; let it be this. Please, please take your pet to the Vet, and ask about Lungworm prevention. Your vet will prescribe you a treatment which you should use every month as prescribed. Treat lungworm as you treat for fleas – regularly!
Be aware of the symptoms, although tragically, there are sometimes none. Basically, anything unusual can be a symptom. Perhaps your pet’s little wound isn’t healing properly? Breathing trouble? Maybe they’ve lost their appetite? Super sleepy? Loosing weight? Lungworm affects animals in many different ways, so if there’s anything unusual occurring, then it’s worth speaking to your vet.
My advice would be of course to take the precautions that your Vet recommends, but also preventative measures should be taken such as changing their water bowls daily, and never leaving toys out in the garden over night (because slugs and snails might slither over them).
Feed your pet properly!
Hands up who loves food?! Yup me too, and if Dexter were here he’d be raising a paw. We all know how greedy our little pals can be, so one of the best ways you can show them how much you love them is being considerate of what food and treats you give them. Research your pet breed, make sure you’re aware of what they may be intolerant to, (Dogs are intolerant to onions and garlic for example!) and check with your vet about the best food and treats to give your pet.
Sausage pals! Jen and her babies; Monty & Willow, and then me and Dexter at a recent Lungworm awareness event.
Lastly, keep a regular schedule.
We all know how sausage dogs are absolute divas and keep their owners in line (anyone else?!) and chances are no matter what breed you have, your pet will know (and be very vocal) about when it’s time to go out, take a nap, play, or go to bed. By sticking to a regular schedule for this things, your pet will be more relaxed, and it will help improve the relationship between you. It can be hard (especially when your job takes you all over the place like mine) but also having a daily routine and not upsetting them with unusual environments too regularly is also very important. If you do travel with your pet, whether that’s to work or on trips away, try to take something that they’ll be familiar with, such as a blanket or bed from home. The need to know where their base is; for comfort and security.
I hope you enjoyed these tips on how to show your pet that you love them! If you have any more tips, please let me know! I’d love to add them.
One key takeaway from this post is to talk to your vet about lungworm. It breaks my heart that this parasite is affecting more and more dogs, and if this post helps even just one pet, then it’s worth it. Ring your vet now to make an appointment, and check out this website for even more information.
Thanks so much for reading!
This post is sponsored by Bayer, in support of their Act Against Lungworm campaign. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.