By: Dr. Melissa Carr What’s better than coming home to a bundle of furry joy, running to the door to cover you in sloppy kisses? Maybe two bundles of furry joy—I have two dogs, so I do believe this to be true. That’s why, when it comes to good health, we should consider more than human well-being. If you’re like me, you love your dog, and you’d do just about anything under the sun to make sure your waggly-tailed buddy is healthy and happy. But with so much pet health information out there, it can be a real challenge to find the best advice. To guide you in the right direction, here are 5 basic tips to keep your lovable pooch on the path to wellness. Healthy Diet One of the most important things you can do for your dog is to provide them with a well-balanced diet. Just like you, your dog needs proper nutrients to keep them healthy. The food a dog eats directly impacts their weight, coat, skin, teeth, and energy levels. So, make sure to feed them high-quality food made by a reputable company. Or, if you want to be really sure about what goes into your best friend’s diet, you can also learn how to make super healthy and nutrient-rich homemade dog food recipes. Routine Exercise When it comes to a healthy, long life, keep Fido on his feet (your pet does have four of them, after all). Regular exercise will not only help to prevent obesity and other health issues, it also stops them from taking all that extra energy out on your expensive shoes. Besides, regularly hitting the streets or the parks with your dog is a great way to improve your health too! Dental Care Good oral hygiene is not only a must for humans, it also extremely important for our dogs. Brushing Buddy’s teeth will help to prevent plaque and tarter build-up, gum disease, tooth loss, infection, and costly dental bills. Pick up a canine toothbrush and toothpaste, and brush your dog’s teeth every day. The right chew bones and toys can also help to keep your pet’s choppers strong and sparkly clean. Regular Grooming With our increasingly busy lives, it can be easy to forget about grooming our dogs. Sure, it might seem like an unimportant, mundane chore, but it is a vital part of your dog’s overall health. For starters, trimming their hair in the summer will help to keep them cool and your home fur-free (or at least less fur covered). Grooming is also your chance to check for suspicious bumps, painful mats, sensitive spots, and ticks or fleas. Plus, it’s the perfect opportunity to bond with your dog, while also helping you de-stress after a long, hard day. A Bit of Extra TLC Yes, TLC does generally stand for Tender Loving Care, but I know you don’t need direction to supply that to your best bud. In this case, I mean Tantalizing Life-enhancing Chews, also known as SierraSil’s Leaps & Bounds Soft Chews for Dogs. You may wonder if your dog really needs supplements. Is your dog limping or no longer wanting to go for a walk? Do you have a senior dog? Does your breed of dog have a tendency for joint health issues? Large dogs like German shepherds, retrievers, Newfoundlands, Rottweilers, mastiffs, Great Danes, Saint Bernards, and old English sheepdogs are prone to joint pain, while smaller dogs like dachshunds, bulldogs, and basset hounds are genetically predisposed to cartilage and joint disorders. And, dogs that like to jump a lot—perhaps onto the bed or couch or just in excitement to say hello—may also cause joint pain and problems over time. The thing is, just like for humans, wear and tear from activity and age can result in arthritis and other joint issues for dogs too. Whether for treatment or prevention, your dog will be happy to supplement their diet with these chews because they taste delicious! Well, to dogs, anyway. There you have it—five no-nonsense tips to ensure your dog is healthy and happy. Following these easy steps will help keep your best friend by your side for many years to come. Dr. Melissa Carr is a registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine with 15 years of clinical practice and a B.Sc. in Kinesiology. In addition to using acupuncture, Chinese herbs, supplements, biopuncture, and nutrition to treat pain, digestive issues, stress, fatigue, hormonal imbalance, and more, Dr.Carr is also a natural health and nutrition consultant, lecturer, and writer. www.activetcm.com.