Raising a dog is a big undertaking and long term commitment. The responsibilities that come along with owning a pet are numerous, however so are the rewards. This article aims to provide you with a few useful tips to help you with the different aspects of owning and caring for a dog.
Never hit your dog. There are better ways to train a dog without having to resort to violence. The best way to train a dog is to reinforce positive behaviors with treats and attention. Negative behavior should be handled with a stern and disapproving voice as opposed to striking the animal.
Always have your dogs spayed or neutered. Research has shown that by doing this you can be sure your pet can have a longer life and not be at risk for things like cancer. Furthermore, altered dogs do not have the tendency to wander off, so they will stay safer.
Keep your dog at a healthy weight. Plenty of dogs are overweight, and just like humans, this can lead to health issues. People tend to overfeed their dogs, and many also feed them table scraps. A dog doesn’t need as many calories as most people think; talk to your vet about how much you should feed him each day, and what food is most suitable. A vet will advise you based on his size, age and lifestyle.
Ease your dog into knowing a new baby that comes into your home. Dogs can be very jealous and you need to continue to show him plenty of love an affection, even though you’ve got a brand new bundle of joy in your life. Talk to the dog as you handle the baby and keep him in the loop.
Keep your dog’s teeth in tip top condition. Just like humans, a dog can suffer from toothache, gum disease and even tooth loss. Regular brushing will ensure that that his teeth and gums stay healthy and strong. Without regular brushing, it is estimated that dental disease will affect up to 80% of dogs by the age of three. As well as dental cleaning by a vet, make sure that you brush your dog’s teeth regularly.
If training has become routine and boring with your dog, consider introducing agility exercises into the mix. These will still teach your dog to obey and be challenging, but they tend to be a lot more fun than the regular commands. Get the whole family involved by making an obstacle course and working the dog through it frequently.
When it is time to buy dog food, avoid buying the cheapest brand. In the long run, it is beneficial to be feeding your dog high quality, nutritious food. This may mean that you have to pay a higher price, but you will know your dog is receiving all of the nutrients he needs.
If you want to get yourself a new dog, but aren’t totally sold on the idea, you could try to get a foster pet. Many homeless dogs are waiting for a home in shelters, where overcrowding is a major problem. Besides helping you figure out if full-time ownership is right for you, fostering will also do a great deal for the cause of abandoned animals as a whole.
Getting a dog on a whim is rarely a good idea. You need to make sure you can afford to feed a dog and cover medical expenses before getting a pet. Research different breeds to figure out which dog would be best for your family, your lifestyle and the size of your home.
Invest in a separate tub if your dog gets frequent baths. Buy a large metal basin where you will have plenty of room to scrub, but won’t risk clogging the pipes in your bathroom. Giving him a bath outside and away from the slipperiness of a porcelain tub is also safer for you.
If you have to be away, make sure that someone will be taking care of your dog. Otherwise, you can bring him to a dog daycare facility.
There are few greater joys in life than the love you can share with your loyal companion. It won’t always be a walk in the park but the rewards are more than worth it. Enjoy your pup and continue to learn more to help keep your lives happy and healthy.