Regardless of how you feel about dog shows, one thing is for sure: the animals that compete all look fantastic. They are alert, well-trained, and have glossy coats that look incredible. So, it’s fair to say that the owners must be doing something right!
The big question is, what is their secret? And, how do you go about keeping your dog in a condition that it would breeze into a show?
Here are some of the things that are a necessity in a show dog, so take a look and see if there are any areas that you can improve. Even if you have no interest in owning a competition dog, follow these ideas, and you can rest assured your pet will be as fit and healthy as it possibly can.
Give it a better diet
There is a lot of misinformation about dogs and diet. There are a lot of gray areas, and just like humans, different dogs prefer different foods. However, there are a few ground rules to follow. First of all, you have to make sure they enjoy a balanced diet, and you should avoid overfeeding. By their nature, dogs will eat whatever they can, and appear that they are hungry at all times. Don’t be fooled, because you will just end up overfeeding them, and they will run the risk of turning obese. Check out my guide on dog nutrition for more ideas.
Top up with supplements
If your dog has a balanced diet and is great shape, there is no need for supplements. But, if your pet has a condition, it may enjoy the addition of supplements to its diet. For example, green lipped mussel is thought to be great for joint pain, which many dogs suffer when they develop arthritis in their later years. So, it might make sense to add some powder to their diets once in awhile. Look at this guide for more - http://greenlippedmusselbenefits.org/green-lipped-mussel-supplement-for-dogs/. However, before putting your dog on any supplements, you should always talk with a veterinary professional.
Take it out
If your dog isn’t getting the best amount of exercise, it will soon start to show. Of course, some dogs prefer a lazy life, such as the Great Dane. They will be happy smooching around with just a couple of short walks every day. But, if you have something bred to work, such as a collie, then you are going to have to give it what it needs. In the short term, they are likely to have behavior issues, and in the long-term it could also have an effect on their appearance. Again, obesity is a big issue here, as is muscle wasting.
Show dogs tend to be happy creatures who enjoy the company of other dogs. There’s a simple reason why - it’s how they have been brought up. So, if you want your dog to have a similar view of the world, it is essential that you socialize it from an early age. Give them the chance to play with other dogs, and people. The more they do it, the better they will be when you take them out for walks.