In the 1972 TV movie, Snoopy Come Home, Lucy suggested of the eponymous canine, He wasn’t much of a dog, but then, who is? I contend that she was wrong. Snoopy was much of a dog. And he still has much to teach us about maintaining a long friendship with a healthy happy canine companion.
The reason Lucy may have reached her conclusion is that Charlie Brown and his group of friends had taken for granted or mistreated Snoopy in some way. Snoopy decided to leave home for unrelated reasons that are revealed as the story progresses,. Each of the characters had reason to believe that they were the cause of his leaving home.
This little known and appreciated movie reminds us that dogs are people too. And since we are the ones with opposable thumbs, it is our responsibility to keep them healthy and happy, especially as they age. Here are three keys to maintaining a happy dog as learned from Snoopy, and every other dog we have every encountered:
Happy Dogs Eat Well
As with all animals, it starts with food. The very first thing a human baby does is look for food, and latch on to the nearest food receptacle. The same is true with dogs, and most other animals. Nature provides the best and healthiest source of food we animals can get, but only for the first nano-portion of our lives. After that, it is up to us.
The best dog supplements in the world can’t replace mother’s milk. But they are the next best thing, especially as the dog starts getting up in age. Dogs need help maintaining a healthy diet just like we do. It is up to us to be sure they are getting the nutrition they need for the type of lifestyle most conducive to that breed of dog.
Snoopy always ate well, and was never much of a fan of the stuff Charlie Brown was offering. Perhaps your dog isn’t as picky and will eat anything. But that means it is even more important that you provide your dog with the best supplements possible. They will not possess Snoopy’s ability to cook his own gourmet meals.
Happy Dogs Get Plenty of Exercise
For some reason, dogs of any size love chasing squirrels. They seldom catch them. They just love chasing them. Come to think of it, dogs love chasing anything that moves. The makers of the Chuckit Flying Squirrel also know this about dogs, and have made something that is fun for you to throw, and even more fun for them to chase.
It is not as if that particular toy is the only one on the market you and your dog will enjoy. Almost any of them will do. The key is to help your dog get plenty of exercise. They will do that as long as they are having fun. Grant it, they are not going to get up to the sort of antics Snoopy is known for. But you seldom saw Snoopy sitting around board, bereft of something to do. Make sure your dog doesn’t either.
A Dog’s Best Friend
If it is true that a dog is a man’s best friend, then the reverse is also true: Humans are a dog’s best friend. And they really need that human contact and bonding, especially as they get older. We humans have so much going on in our lives, it is easy to forget about the dog, especially if it is an outdoor dog. But dogs have nothing going on in their lives. And they wait hours at a time for us to get home and pay them the tiniest bit of attention.
According to experts, a mature dog may need 4 to 6 hours a day of your time. Snoopy notwithstanding, a dog can’t just turn on the TV and veg out when she’s bored. So make sure your dog stays happy throughout its life by eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise, and staying close to best friends. Then again, that’s good advice for all of us.
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