Can there be anything more exciting than getting a new dog for the first time? You might have waited years for the opportunity, and now it’s finally here: your very own canine companion. And while you’ll be busy getting to know your dog and helping it learn how to behave in your home and around other pooches, you should also spend a little time getting to grips with your responsibilities as an owner. By doing so, you’ll help your dog live a fulfilled and happy life, free from stress and discomfort. So here’s what you need to know.
Dogs don’t just need to go to the vets when there’s something clearly wrong with them. As an owner, you also need to decide whether to have your dog vaccinated against certain illnesses – some are highly recommended – and what to do about their reproductive capacity as they reach maturity. These are decisions you need to run by your vet, which you can do online at Exceptional Pets. They’ll guide you through key decisions you need to make about your dog’s long-term health.
After you’ve had a good think about how to keep your dog healthy, the next thing to think about is training. Now, this can come as a shock to those who just want to love their dog unconditionally, but training involves discipline, and discipline sometimes means tough love. This can be difficult to actually do – after all, you just love your dog – so it’s recommended you take your dog to training classes, or else watch YouTube tutorials on how to make your dog understand the rules in your home.
Feeding your dog your leftovers always seems like a good idea. They’re eating your food, which seems to bond you closer than ever. It might only go in the trash anyway, so technically, you’re recycling. But most vets will tell you, in most circumstances, this isn’t a good idea. Eating rich, salty human food can lead to health conditions in dogs. It’s best you stick to canned dog food, which is designed to give them a balanced and healthy diet throughout their lives.
Dogs feel stress. Just watch how your dog reacts on the 4th of July or when other dogs are aggressive towards it. As a sharp-eyed owner, you should be able to spot when your pooch is getting anxious – and find some key ways to reduce and mitigate that anxiety. Give your dog a space they can hide and feel comfortable in your home if something you can’t control, like fireworks, is making them upset.
Love and Affection
Dogs are incredibly receptive to human emotion. This is really why they’re seen as “man’s best friend”. Over thousands of years of domestication, dogs have evolved the ability to sense your anger, sadness, and excitement. And they often mirror it, feeling how you feel. This relationship is at its healthiest when you’re showing your dog love and affection, which will make it feel on top of the world. But do be careful with your negative emotions, which you should try to never let spill over to your dog.
Owning a dog is exciting, but it’s a responsibility too, and these five tips will help you take on that responsibility with pride and gusto.