5 ways to help your dog live a happy and healthy life

(BPT) – People will do anything for their dogs. But, they may not always know how to best care for them. When it comes to furry family members, nothing is higher on the priority list than building a happy and healthy lifestyle. From finding ways to bond, to ensuring your dogs have proper grooming, exercise and social routines, pet parents have the important responsibility of helping Fido thrive. Here are five ways to help your dog live a happier, healthier life.

1. Teach your dog new tricks.

Dogs thrive on structure. Ensuring your dog understands basic commands is necessary to keep you, your dog and other dogs and people safe. Beyond that, new tricks are a great way to continue to teach your pup engagement and challenge them to keep their minds active. Once you’ve mastered “sit” and “stay,” try weaving in tougher tricks like fetching, exercise courses and the ever-challenging “stop, drop and roll.” However, three-fourths of pet owners believe they wouldn’t have been able to teach their dog any commands without using treats, according to a recent survey conducted by CLIF PET™. Reward your dog along the way with easy to tear treats like plant based jerky to reinforce positive behavior. Always remember, treats should only make up about 10% of your dog’s daily caloric intake.

2. Keep up with your dog’s grooming and maintenance routine.

Whether your dog has a long shiny coat, cute curls, short hair or no fur at all, grooming your dog keeps them healthy — and can feel like a day at the spa. Regular brushing, nail trimming and proper grooming should be implemented, especially as the seasons change and your dog’s needs change, too. Not only is grooming and maintenance an important part of your dog’s overall beauty routine, but it is also a great way to bond with your pet as you continue to build a loving and trusting relationship.

3. Take your pup with you on your next adventure.

Dogs need a vacation too! Instead of boarding or leaving your dog with a sitter, keep your whole family together and take Fido along for the ride. Whether you’re testing out van life in the great outdoors or opting for the pet-friendly options for your next bucket list destination, your pet will love the uninterrupted quality time that they get to spend with you as you explore the world together.

4. Help your dog meet new friends.

While you may be your dog’s best friend, it’s important that they are exposed to new people, places, dogs and experiences on an ongoing basis to ensure they are properly socialized. To encourage your dog to be more social, head to your local dog park and meet new dogs for your pet to play with, or bring them along to a pet-friendly patio for happy hour with human friends. As always, remember to exercise caution and proper leashing protocols, and follow your pup’s cues when it comes to new situations. And, to make sure your pup is the most popular at the park, stock up on treats to share and to give your dog when they make a positive interaction.

5. Head outside and spend time exercising with your furry friend.

Whether it’s a nice stroll around the neighborhood or a hike through your local mountains, getting exercise is important for your health and your pup’s health, too. A daily exercise routine is necessary for your dog’s overall health and wellness, as well as maintaining a healthy weight, and provides a great way to bond and incorporate your dog into your daily life. For life’s most exciting outdoor adventures, give your pup treats made with simple, wholesome ingredients like CLIF PET Plant Based Jerky, available at Petco, to keep them fueled while exploring the great outdoors.