Raising a Happy Dog
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Every dog has different needs with regards to exercise, feeding and attention based on his age, breed and individual personality. The better you can satisfy his needs, the better behaved your dog will be able to be. I've provided a suggested guideline for fulfilling your dogs needs below:
- The average young dog needs about 30 minutes of physical exercise per day. Off-leash walking and sniffing are great outlets for his energy, as is playing with friendly dogs.
- A healthy diet should be fed twice per day. Avoid soy, wheat, corn since they can cause health and behavior problems such as allergies and hyperactivity. Avoid overfeeding by monitoring your dog's physique. You should be able to feel his ribs under a light layer of fat as well as see a visible tapering at his waist.
- Aim for 15 minutes of fun training per day. You can review obedience lessons or practice a trick. Exercising your dog's mind through training will help him to relax later. Toys can also be used to keep your dog occupied and exercise his brain.
- For oral health, most dogs need to chew for about 30 minutes per day (puppies need lots longer!): Bully sticks, stuffed food toys are a few examples of well-appreciated chew toys. Chewing is a calming and an important exercise for your dog's teeth and gums. Supervise him with any new chew toy to be sure that he is not breaking off large pieces, putting him in danger of choking.
- Daily social interaction is very important to keep him from becoming fearful or aggressive. Allow your dog as much time with your family as you can and allow him to calmly visit new people on a regular basis. Time to pleasantly interact with other dogs is also essential for him to maintain his doggy social skills.