When you decide to become a dog owner, you also accept all the responsibilities that come along with caring for your new furry companion. These daily responsibilities are the foundation to providing a happy, healthy life for your pup. The following is the basics on how to be a good dog owner.
Prioritizing Your Pet’s Health
If you wouldn’t skip taking your kid to their physician, don’t do it to your dog! Dogs need to be routinely checked every year to ensure their good health or catch any potential health issues.
Although vets can be expensive, it is critical you take your pup for a yearly checkup and shots. You don’t necessarily have to buy the expensive meds the vedas prescribed. There are online outlets, like Petmeds, where you can get generic brands from. All you need to do is ask your vet for your pet’s medical 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.
Licensing Your Dog
Many towns and counties have varying laws regarding licensing and reporting your dog. Some cities have separate regulations depending on the breed. If you fail to properly license your dog in some states, it can result in hundreds of dollars in fines– so be sure to check with your local authorities!
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 equip 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.
Providing Healthy Nutrition
Don’t just feed your dog anything, and certainly never feed them table scraps. Dogs can be very allergic to human food (such as chocolate). If you really love your doggy, you’ll feed them a filling, nutritious diet so they can live a long life!
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.
Caring For Your Pet When You’re Away
While these new responsibilities may initially appear daunting to a new pet owner, the joys and rewards of being a good dog owner far outweigh the tasks. Dogs offer unwavering loyalty and companionship in return of you just caring for them!
When you must leave them for work or vacation, it’s important that you leave them in the care of someone who will care for them just as you do. If you are in need of high-quality pet sitting services in the Northern Virginia area, please get touch with Paw Pals. We offer a wide array of pet care services including dog walking, overnight pet sitting and even cat sitting!