7 Ways to Raise a Healthy Dog

Raising a healthy dog requires more than love and shelter; it takes a holistic approach to their physical and mental well-being. Every choice you make impacts their overall health, from the kind of dog food that fills their bowl to the exercise routines that keep their tails wagging.  

With the right strategies, you can promote a lifestyle that prolongs their life and enhances its quality, making every moment you share together richer and more fulfilling. 

Balanced Diet 

A balanced diet is the foundation of your dog’s health. Feeding them a high-quality, age-appropriate diet ensures they receive the necessary nutrients for growth, energy and essential bodily functions.  

Look for dog food that meets the nutritional standards  of the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). Consult your veterinarian for guidance on portion sizes based on your pup’s size, age and activity level. 

Incorporating freeze dried raw dog food into their diet can be a nutrient-dense option, providing high-quality proteins, fats and essential vitamins and minerals. Also, consider supplementing with probiotics for dogs to support a healthy gut and digestion. Finally, ensure they always have fresh water available to keep your pup hydrated and promote proper nutrient absorption. 

Regular Exercise 

Exercise helps to burn off your dog’s excess energy and is a critical part of developing their physical and mental well-being. Regular exercise helps maintain a healthy weight, strengthens muscles and bones and prevents boredom-induced destructive behaviors. 

While a daily 20 to 30-minute walk is essential for all dogs, you need to tailor your pup’s exercise routine to their breed, age and energy level. High-energy working breeds like Border Collies or Australian Shepherds thrive with vigorous activities like agility courses or long hikes, while smaller or brachycephalic breeds like Pugs or Bulldogs may prefer shorter, more frequent walks or playtime in a secure yard. 

Veterinary Care 

Although daily walks and belly rubs are important for keeping your pup happy, you must also partner closely with your veterinarian. Regular check-ups are a critical line of defense in catching and preventing health issues early on. Ensure you take your dog to the vet at least once a year and twice yearly if they are over 10 years old.  

During these visits, your vet can spot subtle signs of problems you might miss, ensuring timely intervention. Consistent vet care also ensures that your pet keeps up with vaccinations, flea and tick prevention and deworming treatments. This proactive approach protects your pet against common health threats and ensures they lead a happy, active life. 

Dental Health 

Regular dental maintenance, including brushing your dog’s teeth, can help prevent oral diseases that can lead to systemic health issues like heart disease and kidney problems. Introducing dental care practices early in your dog’s life can reduce the risk of periodontal disease, which is prevalent in over 80% of dogs by age three.  

Using specifically designed dental chews and toys can remove plaque and tartar build-up to complement your pup’s regular brushing routines. Additionally, professional dental cleanings at your vet can provide your dog with comprehensive oral health. 

Mental Stimulation 

Like us, dogs need to keep their minds active to stay happy and healthy. Mental stimulation with puzzle toys, training sessions and interactive games can help keep their mind sharp. They can also help ward off boredom and prevent behaviors that stem from a lack of mental engagement, like chewing on furniture or excessive barking.  

Additionally, using treats with puzzle toys or during training can turn learning into a fun game. So, while daily walks are great for their body, don’t forget to feed their curiosity and intelligence. It’s a fantastic way to strengthen your bond and ensure your dog leads a balanced and fulfilling life. 


Socializing your dog early helps them develop into a well-adjusted adult by building their confidence and teaching them how to behave in various situations.  

Begin by introducing your puppy to various people, including children, seniors, and people wearing hats or uniforms, in calm and controlled settings. Also, gradually expose them to other animals, starting with well-behaved, vaccinated dogs in safe, neutral areas like quiet parks. Remember to keep these meetings short and sweet to avoid overwhelming your pup. 

Always prioritize your dog’s comfort and safety, ensuring each new experience is positive, and reward them for calm and curious behavior with treats and praise.  

Proper Grooming 

Establishing a regular grooming routine keeps your dog looking good and feeling their best. Start with regular brushing sessions, which remove dead hair and dirt and help distribute natural oils throughout their coat. The frequency of these sessions varies: short-coated breeds might only need weekly brushing, while long-haired dogs often require daily care to prevent matting. 

Don’t forget about nail trims to avoid painful overgrowth and walking difficulties. During grooming, you also need to pay attention to any unusual signs, like lumps, bumps or irritated skin, which could indicate health problems like food allergies. 

Help Your Pup Live a Long, Happy Life 

To raise a healthy dog, every step—from balanced nutrition and regular veterinary care to mental stimulation and proper grooming—is vital for ensuring your furry friend enjoys a vibrant and fulfilling life. Remember, a little effort and attentiveness can make a big difference in your dog’s well-being.