Dog Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Pets Happy & Healthy

    Different types of dogs have their own unique needs that are dependent on their breed or mix, body size, body weight, gender, and age. At 4 Paws Country Club, our staff regularly handles and cares for guests staying in our Armstrong dog kennel hotel. We see firsthand how important it is to maintain basic dog care. Whether you’re a brand new or experienced dog owner, here are some helpful tips to keep your best friend happy and healthy:



    Clean Eating

    Regularly feed your pet on schedule with dog food that is high in protein and low in grains or other fillers. While it may be tempting, please refrain from feeding your dog leftover table scraps or excessive amounts of treats. Some foods such as chocolate, coffee, grapes, and bacon can cause serious harm to their health.

    If you would like to provide home prepared dog-friendly meals to your pet, please research the best ingredients to use. Some great options that your pooch can have, in sensible amounts, are chicken, turkey, salmon, and pumpkin. It is important to limit high-fat, high-sodium foods and to introduce new foods slowly into their current diet.
    Always check with a veterinarian to ensure that your meal plans are safe to ingest in the specified amounts and will adequately meet your dog’s dietary needs.




    Does your dog always seem to have an endless amount of extra energy? Contrary to popular belief, simply going for a walk in the park isn’t going to be enough to keep your pet from becoming hyperactive at home. While you still need to get your daily doggy walks in, you should also burn off any excess energy with mentally stimulating activities.
    Fun games with you will help you bond more with your dog, and the extra training will promote good behaviour. Some of these activities can include: teaching your pet new tricks, retrieving hidden objects, playing hide-and-seek, socializing with other dogs and dog owners, or simply taking a longer, more leisurely walk, which allows them more time to experience the variety of different smells and sounds along the way. After a day of fun, you’ll have a tired but very happy dog!





    Basic obedience training like “sit” and” heel” will have a positive impact on your dog’s relationship with you. Often, destructive behaviour results from poor training, where the pet lacks a proper bond with you as their main handler, and bad habits may become permanent if they are not corrected over time.
    To prevent disobedience, we encourage reward-based training or professional obedience training as soon as possible. While it’s commonly believed that puppies are easier to train, technically all dogs of any age can also be trained given the right amount of dedication, patience, and love from their handler.




    A clean dog is a happy dog. Brush and groom your dog regularly to clear out any loose or matted fur and dirt. This is also a perfect time to look out for any signs of illness or bugs. Common skin conditions can range from sores and rashes to hair loss and dandruff. This can tell your veterinarian what the underlying causes are, for example, if your pet is allergic to a new or existing food in their dog food. Often, these issues can be caught and resolved in its early stages to prevent a recurring issue from becoming permanent.



    Health Checks



    Puppies at least 6 weeks or older should start receiving the DHPP combo vaccine (also known as the 5-in-1 or 5-way puppy shot). This will protect your dog against common and preventable diseases such as distemper, adenovirus (e.g. kennel cough), parainfluenza, and parvovirus. The combo vaccine is especially helpful in reducing the overall pet discomfort and owner expenses. In addition to the combo vaccine, we encourage you to also opt for the rabies vaccine to fully protect your dog.


    Spaying & Neutering

    When your dog is 6 months or older, they’re ready to be spayed or neutered. This common, yet vital, procedure can greatly decrease their chances of developing life-threatening health concerns in the future, such as cancers, diseases and infections. It may also help curb aggression in some dogs.


    Dental Care

    Check your pet regularly for abnormally foul smelling breath. This could indicate an underlying illness like gum disease, diabetes, or liver disease, especially when accompanied by a secondary symptom like bloody saliva or loss of appetite. You should only administer medications prescribed by your veterinarian, as common human medications can often damage your dog’s health further. If they suffer from chronic bad breath, please see your veterinarian right away for a full diagnosis.


    Regular Veterinary Visits

    Aside from the essential visits, your dog should also see your veterinarian once a year or whenever they get sick or injured. They may need yearly booster shots and blood tests for regular, essential health maintenance.



    The most important thing is to always treat your dog with patience, kindness, and understanding. Never harm or mistreat your pet when they are being destructive. Instead, take this opportunity to find the root cause of the issue. When you need help, please consult a veterinarian or obedience coach for further insight. At 4 Paws Country Club, we believe that if you commit your time to love and respect your dog, you will be rewarded with a happy, healthy, and loyal best friend.



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