Although this may not seem like brain surgery, there are many ways to make pals with your pet—without upsetting them. Knowing how to be a good dog owner far exceeds what the books or videos might tell you. It comes from the heart and intuitively knowing your animal’s needs.
How to be a Good Dog Owner
Being a good dog owner follows along the blatant lines of inherent responsibility. A dog isn’t something you simply pick out like a new dress or a video game. They aren’t accessories and they aren’t there to get you a date. Being a good dog owner relies on some of the following tenets. As long as you remain slightly in line with this advice, you’ll do just fine with your furry friend.
The most obvious is the first on the list. If you wouldn’t skip taking your kid to their physician, don’t do it to your dog. Dogs need docs too. Although vets can be expensive, it is critical you at least take your pup for a yearly checkup and shots. You don’t necessarily have to buy the expensive meds the vet is hawking you. There are online outlets like Petmeds where you can get generic brands from. All you need to do is ask your vet for the script.
In addition, many breeds of male dogs live a substantially shorter life span if they are not neutered. Fixing your pet is one of the most important tasks you can ever accomplish for their health. Unless you plan to breed, there is no reason why your dog cannot be spayed/neutered.
Check with your local authorities. Many towns and counties have varying laws regarding licensing and reporting your dog. Some cities have separate regulation depending on the breed. If you fail to properly license your dog in some states, it can result in hundreds of dollars in fines.
If you don’t plan on chipping your dog, getting them tags and a collar is the next best thing. Tags should include information like their name, address, phone number, and any shots they may have had. The idea is to always quip your pet with information that will get them back to you as soon as possible.
Just like going to the vet, if your dog has a style of fur that is prone to matting, part of being a good dog owner is making sure they are properly groomed. The following are three grooming tasks you should always be performing with your dog:
- Bathing: Make sure your dog is free from fleas and ticks. Use a specific shampoo intended for animals (human shampoo can irritate), and rinse thoroughly. Dogs should have a bath at the very minimum of once every three months.
- Brushing: It doesn’t matter the length or consistency of your dog’s fur. Brushing will keep their hair from matting—but it will also create a comfortable connection with your pet. Brushing is a soothing activity, and something your dog will truly enjoy. So whether they need it or not, get the brush out and be a good owner!
- Nails: Perhaps the most important part of any dog’s hygiene is making sure their nails are a healthy length. Overgrown nails can actually pierce the pad of a dog’s paw. If you can buy clippers and do it yourself, that works. Most people prefer to ask a groomer or their vet to do it. Clipping is usually a pretty cheap rate. It only takes minutes to accomplish, and your dog will thank you.
Don’t just feed your dog anything, and certainly never feed them table scraps. Dogs can be very allergic to human food (think chocolate), and if you really love your doggy, you’ll feed him what the doctor ordered.
Puppies usually need to be fed up to 4 times a day. The amount an adult dog should be given is based on their weight. Check with your vet on the exact portioning, and any dietary requirements your pet may have, to keep them safe and healthy.
Picking up a dog and making them yours is not doing them a service when you are not equipped to be a good pet owner. The first requirement is a visit to the vet, followed by the proper licensing and grooming tasks. Supplying good nutrition and a healthy dose of love will ensure your pet feels safe and satisfied; caring for your pup will make you the proudest pet parent on the block! Contact Paw Pals for more information.