Melody Teh

Family & Pets

6 reasons your dog’s health is just as important as your own

6 reasons your dog’s health is just as important as your own

Dr Felicia Tam is a veterinarian for PAW. She has a four-year old ex-racing greyhound, called Nala and a five-year old rescue cat Cooper at home.

Health and wellness is a booming industry, and most people are becoming more and more conscious of what they put in their bodies. What many people don’t realise is that, as human beings continue to live longer lives, so do our pets. Have you ever taken a moment to consider your dog’s diet or fitness regime? With more than 40 per cent of New Zealand homes owning a dog, it’s worth taking a moment to consider why we need to be aware of their health needs, too.

1. Gut health is huge

We’re all much more in tune with our gut and improving it by eating probiotic rich foods. Kombucha on tap is the latest craze sweeping cafés, and foods that promote good gut health such as bone broth and tempeh are definitely working their way into our everyday diet. Probiotics help even out the balance of bacteria in our body and promote the growth of good gut bacteria which can help aid digestion and boost your immune system amongst many other actions. Your dog’s gut is just as important. Has your dog had frequent bouts of tummy troubles? Perhaps diarrhoea, or (lucky you), excessive flatulence? This could be a sign that your dog has a digestive imbalance, and could benefit from a probiotic rich diet. There are probiotics designed specifically for dogs that could help with this, er, stinky problem. PAW DigestiCare 60 is a multi-strain and multi-species probiotic powder combined with a wholefood powder for the maintenance of everyday digestive health of dogs, cats and other companion animals, perfect for keeping their gut health on track.

2. You have more similarities than you think

We all know the benefits that supplements like fish oils and flaxseed oils can have on our overall health and wellbeing. It makes sense then that your dog can benefit from these as well. Omega’s 3 & 6 (found in fish oil and flaxseed/linseed oils) have been shown to improve the health of a dog’s coat and skin, as well as help with other common health problems like arthritis.

3. Dogs age, too

Your dog may not be a pup any more, and may not be as spry as they once were. Just like humans, dogs can get achy bones and inflamed joints. It’s important to take their health into consideration as they age, and adjust their lifestyle accordingly. For example, if your dog is starting to develop a touch of arthritis, running for one hour per day may be adding stress to their joints. Try switching to walking or even swimming, which puts less pressure on your dog’s joints and helps keep their muscles strong. Supplements containing glucosamine, chondroitin and green-lipped mussel such as the PAW Osteocare Joint Health Chews are ideal for dogs who are stiff, experiencing joint pain, recovering from injury or suffer from osteoarthritis.

4. Diet matters for everyone

You probably try to avoid foods laden with preservatives, artificial additives, high amounts of salt and sugar, right? So why feed these ingredients to your dog? It’s essential that your dog eats a balanced diet like you do. Consider what type of lifestyle your dog leads- are they super active, and therefore needing more energy? Are they a picky eater, potentially missing out on nutrients in their diet? Do they need extra nutrients for general health or certain conditions like arthritis? There are multi-vitamins specifically targeted to dogs that could potentially help improve your dog’s quality of life.

5. Keep your standards high

If you take your health seriously, try to exercise regularly and eat nutritious food, doesn’t your best friend deserve the same? Your dog can’t necessarily make health decisions, but they can reap all the benefits from the decisions you make on their behalf. Keep your dog’s standards as high as your own! If you wouldn’t guzzle down a soft drink, don’t let your dog chomp down on “junk food” treats that are full of preservatives – which are added to increase their shelf life. Before you go for a run, take a moment to consider whether your pooch might want to join you!

6. Make your pet happy and reap the rewards

Studies have shown that pet owners are happier and healthier in general, thanks to the companionship and joy dogs can bring to our lives (even when they rip our brand new sneakers to shreds…). A healthy, happy dog will live longer and continue being your partner in crime for many years to come, so take the time to show them the care they deserve!

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