What is the key to a long and healthy life? The answer is actually quite simple! We must nourish the body, the mind and the spirit. To nourish the body we must provide a species-appropriate and highly nutritious diet. For the mind, we must provide fulfilling experiences and good mental and physical exercise. The spirit is nourished with experiences that build the bond between dog and human, and the foundation of training (or work) that creates a fulfilling relationship built on communication and trust.
Diet and nutrition is the first vital step towards health and longevity in our dogs. We must act as an advocate for our animal companions, providing them with species appropriate nutrition with which they can thrive. High protein, grain-free diets are ideal. A raw food diet is the most nutritional food, followed by freeze-dried diets, homemade diets and lastly high quality, whole food kibble diets. Click here to learn more about the best foods to feed your dog.
To nourish the mind we need to provide our dogs with fulfilling and enjoyable mental and physical stimulation. These experiences that remove excess energy and relieve boredom help bring calmness and balance to our canine companions. Physical exercise can include long walks, hiking, playing ball at the park, playing with other dogs, biking, jogging, running, obedience training and training in dog sports. Mental exercise comes from training, thinking games in the home, and giving your dog healthy items to chew on and interact with. Nothing makes a dog happier than a long off leash hike in the forest followed by a healthy elk antler or raw marrow bone to chew on at home.
It is the powerful bond we share with our dogs that nourishes their spirit. A dog requires a sense of belonging, trust and companionship to really thrive. We create these feelings in our dogs when we have a one on one training session, or when we share the couch in the evening after a long day, or when we take a long walk together and stop to play ball at the park. Nourishing the spirit is all about our bond with our dogs, relishing in the companionship and unconditional love our furry family members have to offer. The experience of the unconditional love exchanged between human and dog is remarkable, it creates balance and happiness in not only them, but also within us.
The path to a long and healthy life involves nurturing every aspect of your dog's being and simply enjoying life together, living every moment to its fullest.
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