This article is brought to you by Vivamune™ Health Chews. Vibrant health made simple.

As a dedicated dog parent, the steps I take to make improvements in my life often involve my pup. The things I do to keep him happy and healthy often benefit me in the same way, and it helps to have a buddy to stay motivated.

Dewey is my eight-year-old black lab, pit bull mix, and he’s my biggest motivator to be my best self. He makes me a better person and I owe it to him to provide him with the best life.

Dewey and I are buds for life, we’re in this for the long haul, so I want to ensure many more happy and healthy years with my boy. It’s never too early nor too late to adopt better habits as pet and parent. So, here are five ways I’ve found help make that happen in my dog’s life.

Plenty of Exercise

Exercise for dogs can be viewed on a spectrum, ranging from the basic necessities to intense activities. From daily walks to agility training, certain exercises simply get the job done while others are exciting challenges for your dog. When it comes to physical activity and your pet, the first thing to note is that even the simplest activities like walks go a long way.

The second thing to note is that you owe it to your dog and yourself to switch it up every once in a while – hit the local walking or hiking trail, play fetch at the off-leash park, or practice on an obstacle course – to keep things interesting. And if weather is a deterrent, there are tons of ways to exercise your dog indoors that are fun for owner, too.

Stimulate Your Dog’s Mind

No, I’m not talking about putting on Planet Earth while you’re gone at work.

Dogs are instinctual, interactive creatures and as the leader of their pack, they are looking to you to provide opportunities to test their wits and experience new stimuli. An unfortunate trend among long-time dog owners and people with older dogs is to provide fewer opportunities to explore new things.

So, this year, try challenging your dog’s mind by practicing a new trick, introducing them to new people or dogs, and taking them on new paths, including your weekend errands. Mix it up by bringing them new things to smell, playing with them like a dog, or attempting a difficult trick. These are just a few ways to stimulate your dog’s mind, but the imagination is boundless – don’t be afraid to try something totally unique to the dynamic between you and your pup.

Routine Care

Routine care is one of the most important things pet parents do for their dog, especially since our animals cannot communicate to us directly when they have biological needs. It is important for us to be the intuitive and caring humans our animals deserve by feeding them healthy food, enabling exercise, scheduling regular visits to the vet, providing ample grooming, and administering essential health supplements.

Make supplements a part of your daily routine, set up recurring vet visits and schedule regular times with the groomer (even if that’s you). You’ll feel just as good as your pet does if you do.

Meet Nutritional Needs

Exceptional dog owners understand the nutritional needs of their pets. This can be tough because it requires constant learning and seeking information that isn’t always obvious.

One surefire way to ensure the health of your pet is by introducing a daily supplement into their diet or even switching to a better one.

We’ve recently discovered a new type of supplement called Vivamune™. It is super easy to give as it’s a once-daily chew that our dogs take as if it is a treat. Vivamune’s unique OxC-beta™ ingredient, derived from the power of naturally-occurring carotenoids, has the ability to support the innate immune system of animals. Not only do dogs love it, but it also benefits to your dog’s joints, digestion, and skin health. Vivamune supports healthy energy, helping to give your pup of any age the vitality to take on all the other things in this list with you.

Love and Affection

This is my favorite part of the list so I saved the best for last. My dog is eight years old and I’ve been a happy co-parent for seven of those wonderful years. Whenever I take a long trip or even just spend a full day at work, the thought of going back to Dewey and his affectionate gaze fills my heart with joy. The bond we share adds undeniable value to my life and it is not a relationship I take for granted.

As their parent, your dog is often looking to you for cues to deepen a bonding moment, whether that be cuddling time on the couch or breaking from your human tasks for a positive affirmation every once in a while. As with people, the little actions go a long way with maintaining a positive relationship with your pet.

It is not a duty but a reward for both dog and owner to display your unconditional love for one another. Love between you and your dog is a powerful tool. It can shape how they interact with other animals and people and curb their behavior. Try switching treats with affection next time you practice tricks with your pup; you may be surprised by the results.

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