10 Things Every Dog Owner Should Know
People love dogs. We’re so used to having dogs and seeing dogs around that many people assume owning a dog is easy. We know how to love a dog but when it comes to caring for a dog sometimes we need a few pointers.
Here are 10 things every dog owner should know:
- Do your homework before you get a dog. Decide what kind of dog you want, whether you want a small dog or a big dog, male or female, active or laid back, longhaired or shorthaired. All of these things will determine whether youíre happy with a dog after you bring him home. Do the research before you get a dog and you have a much better chance of being happy with your dog when he comes to live with you.
- Dogs can be expensive. Dogs need dog food, vet care, toys, grooming supplies — the list goes on. When it comes to caring for your dog you should get good food and care, which can be costly. If your dog has a veterinary emergency it can be very expensive. Consider these costs before you get a dog.
- Dogs require time and attention. It’s easy to spend time with a new puppy when you first bring him home but, after a puppy has been in the house a while and starts chewing on things and being a pest people are less happy about him. Will you still want to spend time with him when he’s being a problem? A dog may live to be 12-15 years old and he will need your time and attention throughout his life. Consider that commitment before getting a dog.
- Dogs need training. A puppy will grow up to be an ill-mannered dog unless you spend time training him. We all admire people who have well-mannered dogs but it takes training to have a dog like that. Are you willing to spend time training your dog?
- Puppies need socialization. Socialization means introducing a puppy to new sights and people and helping him to build his confidence. Properly socialized puppies are less likely to develop behavior problems as adult dogs because they have the self-confidence they need to handle things.
- Dogs need a good, appropriate diet. Choose dog foods that meet your dogís needs without going overboard. You can also feed your dog raw or homemade diets but if you do, be sure that the diets are properly balanced.
- Dogs need plenty of exercise. Many behavior problems can be attributed to a dog not getting enough exercise. If a dog spends most of his time in the house with nothing to do, he may go a little stir crazy. Enjoy some exercise with him. Dogs that get plenty of exercise are happier and less likely to develop behavior problems.
- Your attitude affects your dog. Whether you are training your dog or simply living together, if you are angry, anxious, sad all the time, your dog will pick up on your attitude. You can have a happier dog if you change your own attitude. Certainly, when training your dog you should be calm and cheerful.
- Keep your dog up-to-date on vaccinations and regular veterinary care. This includes flea and tick prevention and heartworm medication.
- Be affectionate with your dog. Most dogs are very sensory-oriented and they enjoy getting affection. Play with him, scratch his ears. Your dog will let you know what he likes. Dogs don’t hide their feelings so don’t hide your feelings from your dog.