While our dogs certainly deliver much happiness and joy, they also come with a huge commitment that everyone should consider before bringing that cute pup home. Think about what being a responsible dog owner means and make sure you have the time and energy to start your dog off on the right paw. If others will be involved in the pups care, then plan with all involved to make sure everyone will contribute to making your pup the best they can possibly be!
Below are 5 things to consider to help you create a happy, healthy life for your furry friends:
Training and Socialization
The number 1 reason that dogs are surrendered are behavioral issues. A dog who has been trained in basic obedience knows what behaviors are acceptable and what is expected of him, which will help him be more cooperative, comfortable, and confident in the home.
Socialize your dog with other dogs and people not living in your home as soon as it is safe to do so. Walks around the neighborhood enable your dog to hear new sounds and see new people. Grab a treat pouch filled with high value treats, clicker, and waste bags, and train as you walk. Training outside the home can teach you dog to be more focused on what you are saying and is a wonderful way to bond!
Food and Shelter
It’s important to pick a high quality food and have plenty of fresh water available. Ask your vet if recommendations are needed.
If you are going to crate train, make sure to get the correct size crate now, rather than getting a big one for them to grow into. Soft beds, blankets, and a safe toy like a Nyla bone will get them used to chewing on something that is not your shoes or furniture!
Visit with a few veterinarians to find the right fit for you and your pup. Once you find a vet, make sure to stay abreast of appointments and vaccinations. Lots of vets will send a postcard, text, or email when an appointment needs to be scheduled.
Exercise and Enrichment
Regular exercise is necessary to keep their muscles strong, their hearts healthy, and immune systems more resilient. If you cannot get out for a long walk, just play fetch or chase each other in the yard or house.
Enrichment toys are wonderful ways to keep your pup mentally stimulated. Meal time is a good time to use an enrichment toy. Instead of using a bowl, why not scatter dinner on a snuffle mat or use a puzzle toy for feeding a meal. These are also ways to help those fast eaters slow down a bit because they will have to work for their meal.
This may be the easiest, but most important one of all. Dog cuddles are the best and are healthy for your pup as well as for your self! They need our love and devotion and want to be welcomed into our homes as full members of the family. Being a responsible pet parent means taking great care to love them as much as they love us!