Keeping Your Dog Happy is Easy if You Follow Just a Few Simple Tips.
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Our family members are huge animal lovers. We have had so many furry friends that have become a part of our family over the years – count ’em – 8 cats, 2 chinchillas, and 4 dogs! We are left with just one now, our beloved Ashleigh. I thought it would be fun to share the story of how she found our way into our hearts and some of the things we do to keep her happy and healthy.
For years, my husband resisted getting a dog. We had enjoyed a long succession of cats in our time, and he was very happy with them, but for some reason, getting a dog seemed to be something he didn’t want to do. We even had a friend send us a “dog a day” calendar page to tempt him, all to no avail. But when Rusty, a huge German Shepherd, got lost and found his way to Richard’s business, all that ended. My husband came home one day and said “come see what I have outside!” It only took one look at his big ears and long nose, peeking around the corner of the car, and I knew my husband had become a dog owner. Over the years, we have had three more Germans, and they have won over our hearts, and completely overcome my husband’s resistance.Richard called this friendly dog his “big boy.” But after just two weeks of loving him, we lost Rusty, when our ad for “found dog” got answered and he went back to his first family. When this happened, Frannie came into our lives and really took up residence in our heart. Sadly, she died several years later from a tumor and we were devastated. Right after we got Frannie, our dear Rusty had come back to us, because the owners no longer wanted him. Can you imagine? Not wanting that big boy? Frannie and Rusty were inseparable for the next few years until she died. Rusty was with us from age 3 years until we had to have him put down when he was 11 years old.
One day, long after Frannie had died and Rusty was about 7, our phone rang and things changed in a big way. Jim, the breeder from whom we got Frannie, gave us a call and told us that Frannie’s son, Caesar, had sired a litter and we were welcome to one of her grandbabies. We couldn’t get out to his house fast enough to choose! As luck would have it, my daughter Jess fell in love with one and I fell in love with another, so we brought both of them home, with the understanding that whichever one Rusty didn’t get along with would go back the next week.
Silly us…you guessed it. By the next week, Rusty, Jess, Richard and I were totally in love, and couldn’t part with either of them, and now we had three dogs! I mean…I ask you, could YOU have resisted these balls of fun?
Sassy is the fluffy one. She is a Shiloh Shepherd and ended up looking and acting just like Frannie. Ashleigh is the one in Jess’ lap who spent the next 10 years trying to be the Alpha, and not succeeding very well. In her heart of hearts, she is a softie, and softies can’t be Alphas, no matter how much they try. Sassy was really the Alpha, but she was kind enough to let Ashleigh try to be top dog! Ashleigh is now our only dog. Her personality has totally changed since Sassy died last year. She would be better called “Shadow” now. She never leaves our side and has the most endearing nature.
- 100 trips to the shed √ I’ll come too!
- Going for a walk? √√ You better not leave me behind!
- Time for treats √√√ I’ll be sweet and just stare at you, until you relent and give me some PEDIGREE® DENTASTIX!
- Time for dinner √√√√ Oh, goodie PEDIGREE® dog food!!
Any dog owner will know that having an animal is not about just having a cute and furry puppy. Those puppies grow up and need lots of care and love. Here are some of my tips for making sure that your dog is happy, healthy and lives a long time as a member of your family.
1. Dogs need exercise. All dogs, and German Shepherds in particular, are prone to hip problems later in life. Regular exercise helps to keep their joints healthy. Ashleigh and I walk together all the time and it’s a highlight of her day. She is 11 and shows no signs of slowing down (although she sometimes steals my seat on the Lake Benson walking trail!)2. Go for a Ride in the Car. Ashleigh likes adventure just as much as we do. She is happiest when she is with us – as in “I want to be wherever you are.” And if that means a ride in the car, even better!3. Use treats for rewards. We all love treats. (peanut butter and chocolate are mine, and my figure shows this love!) Dogs love them too. One of her favorite treats is PEDIGREE® DENTASTIX®. I use them to reward her for good behavior and as an incentive to learn new things. I think it’s safe to say that she LOVES them! And I love them because they reduce plaque and tartar on her teeth. She was being so good here, posing for her picture. But it’s safe to say posing was not on her mind!4. Talk to your dog. She won’t really know what you are saying but just listening to the sound of your voice will make her happy. All I have to do is say the word “Ashleigh” and she comes right over to me to see what I have to say! Look at this picture of me talking to her and tell me she is not happy!5. Give them shade. I don’t know about you, but in the summer time I feel HOT and love the shade. And I don’t wear a full body fur coat. Be sure to give your dog plenty of indoor “air conditioned” time and when they are outside, make sure they have a shady spot to lay down. This is one of Ashleigh’s favorite spots. She sits right behind us when we sit in our slider, under the shade of our big magnolia tree. Heaven for any dog!6. Feed them well. This means, sorry folks, no table scraps. I know we all want to do this, but it’s not in the best for our dog’s health. Instead, give them a dog food based on their age. We use PEDIGREE® Adult Dry Dog Food. It is specially formulated for adult dogs to give them the best nutrition. Now we could just feed her in her bowl, but what fun would that be? After a recent trip to Sam’s Club to stock up on her PEDIGREE® supplies, my husband didn’t realize that he had snagged the bag on something sharp in the trunk of the car, and the dog food came out on the way to the house. Notice the length of that trail? Can we say HAPPY DOG???? I think I will stick to bowls for her eating routine, but this was just too funny not to share! (not sure she needs a meal tonight!Feeding a dog can be expensive. That is why we purchase our PEDIGREE® Adult Dry Dog Food and PEDIGREE® DENTASTIX® at our local Sam’s Club. The price can’t be beat and we buy a large bag to keep the price down even more. Just head for the pet food aisle and be sure you have a big cart! As a special bonus, during the month of October, the PEDIGREE® brand will donate a bowl of food to a dog in need for any PEDIGREE® purchase at Sam’s club. This is a super win-win. You get to feed your dog well and help a needy dog too!
Also, get our your camera! If you upload a photo of the dog you love to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #LaterShelter, you will get a chance for your photo to be featured on SamsClub.com. The PEDIGREE® brand will also donate a bowl of food for every upload. How cool is that?
7. Take your dog swimming. Swimming is a great exercise for dogs, especially older ones with arthritis and other joint problems. Sure they get messy in the water, but that’s what baths are for!8. And finally, fresh clean water is a must. Get in the habit of changing the water when you feed the dog. Ashleigh gets very very thirsty, especially in hot weather. Fresh water is cheap, always available and makes for a very happy dog.
Basically dogs are fairly easy to keep happy. They require love, good food and water and some fun and exercise in their life. And if you give these simple things to them, they will reward you in spades by being a loyal and wonderful companion as long as you are fortunate to have them with you.
Did you enjoy my furry friend story? Be sure to check out more stories that will tug at your heart strings at PEDIGREE®. What things to you do to keep your furry friend happy? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
The camera photo is a public domain image from Pixabay.
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