When you are doubting your dog ownership skills, you may feel very alone. There are many other dog owners out there who feel exactly the same! Mistakes are made, and we can learn from each other through those situations. Here are some simple tips on being a better owner for your dog.
Take your grown dog to the vet at least once a year. The vet will check to see if the dog’s vaccines up to date. In addition, the vet will check the dog’s teeth and vital signs. If any major health or behavioral issues come up between annual checkups, you should see the vet earlier.
Giving your dog a bath is essential to his health. Depending on his size and activity level, toss him in the tub weekly or monthly and always use a shampoo that is made for dogs and is pH balanced. Pets have different pH levels than humans and a good dog shampoo will leave your canine clean with a beautiful shiny coat.
Make your own dog biscuits to provide your beloved canine with the healthiest treats. Most commercial products are over-loaded with chemicals that aren’t good for dogs, despite adding flavor and aroma. Use quality ingredients and tell your dog what you’re doing in the kitchen! Get him all excited and let him taste-test as soon as they’re cool.
You need to make sure your dog can walk on a leash. The dog needs to stay beside you, not behind or in front of you. It also needs to know the command “heel”. Doing this will not only be easier on you, but it will also keep your dog safe. Even if your dog is sometimes walked on a loose leash, it should still know the command anyway.
To protect your dog in the event he is lost or stolen, have a microchip surgically implanted by your vet. These handy chips store data that can be retrieved by a shelter or animal officer and used to contact you. They are painless to put in and offer peace of mind for the pet lover!
Have a rotating schedule for dog-related responsibilities in your home. It’s not fair for one person to always be taking care of him, and he’ll feel more like a family pet if everyone pitches in. Kids often lose interest in a pet and leave the work to parents, but it’s important that you teach them to keep up the commitment!
Your dog needs to exercise regularly. Like humans, dogs must exercise to burn calories, remain healthy, and help their minds stay sharp. Exercising also helps them avoid boredom that can cause destructive behaviors. Keeping your dog active can curb chewing, biting, digging, and chasing urges. It can even help them avoid depression.
Be consistent when giving your dog commands. This is an area where a lot of dog owners have a problem, especially when you won’t feed your dog from the table but your spouse will. Make sure that everyone in your home understands what’s acceptable so that the dog will receive a clear message. That will make him more likely to obey.
Never leave your dog home alone for more than a few hours each day. For example, if you are planning on being away from home for a few days, you should find a place to house them where they can get regular care. Dogs can become anxious when left alone for extended times, so consider their feelings and provide them with the care that they need.
If you breed your dog, do so responsibly. The AKC advises all owners of pure-bred dogs to make an effort to advance the breed and discard all other motivations, such as money or experimentation. Consider the repercussions of your actions before allowing your dog to mate and create a litter of puppies.
The pads of your dog’s feet can become dry and cracked, so make sure that you moisturize them regularly. Ask your veterinarian for advice on which product to use. Avoid using moisturizers that are intended for humans, because they can make the pads too soft and your dog may get hurt.
Be prepared to have a lot of patience with your dog during potty-training. Much like children, dogs learn at different speeds and ages and your canine may be slow or stubborn. Have good resources at your fingertips to assist your efforts and remember not to get angry when your dog has “accidents” as that will only impede his progress.
If your dog is prone to getting burs in his coat, keep a can of Crisco in your kitchen cupboard. Next time you notice a bur, put gloves on to protect yourself and work the Crisco around until you can pry the bur out. Give him a nice shampoo to get the shortening out later.
Consider getting your dog from a shelter. Many of the dogs that are brought there are well behaved, yet the owners could not handle the responsibility that came with raising them. For the best results, visit the shelter a few times so that you can find the dog that is right for you and your lifestyle.
It is wise to check your area to find out what the local leash laws are. Many areas require a dog to be leashed at all times if it is not on your property. keeping your dog on a leash is a good idea anyway, as it can be dangerous to let your pet run unattended, where he could be hit by a car, or fight with other dogs.
If you won’t be the only person tending for your dog, make sure that everyone who will be taking care of the dog is on the same page. If you have one way of doing things and your significant other has another way, you should sit down and explain the ways and figure out which one will be applied constantly by both people.
Hold on, take some deep breathes and tomorrow will be better than today. Use the advice you have read here and allow it to give you ideas of your own. There is nothing like loving a dog, and while the job of caring for them is hard, it is worth every second.