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Most animal lovers and pet owners know that our pets are a never-ending source of joy and love.They’re dependable and loyal, with unique personalities that bring so much happiness to our lives. Our pets love us just as much as we love them – if not more!
They depend on us too. The perks of dog ownership – lots of laughter, tail wagging, and affection – also come with responsibility. Our dogs rely on us to keep them happy and healthy. Being a responsible dog owner means taking care to invest in your animal’s wellbeing with regular visits to the vet, exercise, training, and solid nutrition.
Your Dog Needs Regular Check-ups
Having a dog requires giving attention to its health. As a dog owner, you have a responsibility to find a veterinarian for your dog. If you have an adult dog, your pet will only need one routine visit a year. In the case of a puppy, you’ll need to make a few visits to the vet as your pet is growing.
Some vaccinations will be needed and your vet can even help you with understanding nutrition guidelines and recommendations. Your vet can advise you on the best ways to manage your dog’s weight, as well as common conditions that affect its breed.
If you’re a first-time dog owner, don’t put off finding a vet. Keeping your dog healthy should be your top priority. If you haven’t done so yet, now’s the time to set up an appointment with your local vet!
Your Dog Needs Exercise
Lack of exercise is actually the underlying cause for many behavior problems in dogs that we see each year. If your dog isn’t given the opportunity for plenty of exercise it will come up with a solution. Most dogs can devise their own brand of workout, and that can lead to zoomies or chaos inside your home.
Of course, taking your dog for a walk is one of the most common forms of exercise. But for many breeds, a simple walk once or twice a day isn’t going to get rid of all their excess energy.
This means you may have to put on your sneakers, and get outside for a game of fetch with a ball. Another way to use up your dog’s energy is with a fun game of tug. You could play frisbee, or get a bike leash and bring your dog along with you on a bicycle ride.
There are tons of options when it comes to keeping your dog in great physical and mental shape. And your dog will be more than happy to follow your lead. As long as you’re excited, your pet will also be. Remember that a tired dog = a content dog (and owner!)
Your Dog Will Need Training
Training is one of the most responsible and best things that you can do for your dog. The number one benefit to training is having a well behaved home companion. What you might not realize is that training is also mentally stimulating for your dog. The exercises your dog learns will stay with them, and many dogs enjoy the interaction and structure.
Many dog owners may be intimidated by the idea of having to train their dog. But getting training for your dog doesn’t mean you need to take endless hours/classes with a professional.
Depending on your dog’s age, and the amount of time you have, a basic obedience class can be done over 6 weeks. In between classes you’ll be able to train at home. Just 10-15 mins per day which will really keep your dog happy!
If you have a young puppy then finding a good puppy class will be a top priority.
Puppies will benefit greatly from socializing with other dogs their age and having the chance to experience new and different environments than what they’re used to at home.
Ideally, you’ll want to find a certified CPDT-KA for classes or private lessons. Be prepared to give a little bit of time before you see the desired behaviors from your dog. And remember, being consistent with your routine will bring better results.
Most dogs love to work and your pet will be happy to please you while they are at it!
Give Attention To Your Dog’s Nutrition
The importance of having a solid nutrition plan is sometimes overlooked by new dog owners. They’ll read the label on the side of the bag of food and never stray from it. This can lead to overfeeding if you don’t consider a few factors.
With regards to feeding you have to pay attention to how active your animal is, and also how often you give them treats throughout the day. I encourage dog owners to research different brands and also discuss food options with their vets. Then, make sure to follow their advice!
Once you feel comfortable with your choice of food you can mix in some healthy options at feeding time. My go-to favorites are sliced carrots or cooked sweet potato. No matter what you do keep an eye on the number of calories your dog is consuming each day. When you find that perfect amount the first thing you will notice is a really nice shine to their coat!
More Advice on Dog Ownership
If you have any questions on being a responsible dog owner, or need some guidance with training – schedule a video call with me!