Being a dog owner is a lot more responsibility than you might think it is. Not only do you have responsibility for an animal that’s relying almost completely on you for the next fifteen years, but it’s also important to make sure that your dog is as good a member of canine society as you are in everyday society! Here are some tips to help you out.
Give Them Plenty Of Exercise
First of all, it’s important to make sure that your dog gets plenty of exercise. That doesn’t just entail taking them for a walk every now and then - larger dogs will require a long walk of at least an hour twice a day, which is a really significant time commitment and something that you should consider when you’re deciding what sort of dog to adopt. If you don’t have as much time or if your mobility isn’t quite as good, why not go for a smaller dog like a terrier mix or a chihuahua? You’ll still need to make sure that they get out for plenty of exercise but it won’t be as taxing on you.
Feed Them The Right Food
When you’re buying dog food, make sure that you look at the list of ingredients on the side of the packet to ensure that the top ingredients are meat and vegetables. Cheaper food often tends to be bulked out with ingredients like corn syrup which really don’t offer any nutritional value. If in doubt, talk to the vet about what you should be buying.
Make Sure They’re Trained Well
All the best dog owners take their pets to obedience classes. These classes have a few different results - firstly, your dog will learn basic tips like how to listen to you, how to walk well alongside you, and some tricks like sitting and lying down. But almost more importantly, your pup will learn to socialise with other dogs, and you’ll learn to be a better dog owner. Picking up tips from the people who run the classes will help you when you’re training your dog at home.
Spend A Lot Of Time Together
If you want to build a strong bond with your dog, you need to spend a lot of time together, whether that’s at home, out on long walks, or simply taking your dog wherever you go - invest in some indestructible dog toys to keep your pup occupied when you’re busy. Look online for local dog park recommendations where you can take your dog to play outside, and for dog friendly cafes and restaurants where you can go to hang out with your dog owner friends. Make sure that when you’re with your dog, you focus your full attention on him or her.
Take Care Of Their Teeth
Finally, make sure that you take care of your dog’s teeth - purchase a doggy toothbrush and some toothpaste. If you have a puppy, it’ll probably be easy to get your dog used to the sensation of having his or her teeth brushed, but you might have to work a little harder with an older dog!