Dog Owner Advice For Those New To Dogs
Dogs bring people joy, companionship and unconditional love. We, their owners, must provide them with food, entertainment, medical care and attention. Together, owner and dog make each other’s lives complete. If you already own a dog or are planning on adopting one, you should understand and plan for what lies ahead. This article will guide you through some tips to make dog ownership easier and better for both parties.
If you are thinking of getting a new dog for your family, be sure you are prepared for this commitment. Smaller dogs will require at least a 14-16 year commitment, and larger dogs will require at least 10 years. If you are not prepared to own the dog for its entire life, then PLEASE do not choose a dog as a pet.
If you keep some medication in your home, be responsible and keep it where your dog can’t get into it. Taking just a few pills can have devastating consequences for a dog. If your pet does manage to ingest any human medicine, contact your vet right away.
You should be prepared to begin training your dog as soon as you bring them home. Create a vocabulary list that all your family members will use to command the dog and stick to it. Dogs can get confused if the same words are not used to give them directions. Your dog hears “get over here” and “come” as two different commands.
Positive reinforcement is very important in training your dog. You need the dog to realize that he or she has done something you like. This will teach the dog that when they do what you wish, they’ll get praised.
Keep on top of fleas. Not only can fleas cause discomfort for your dog, they can easily spread throughout your yard and into your home. Speak to your veterinarian about the best prevention method, and remember that this is not a one shot deal. You will have to continue your efforts throughout the life of your pet.
Don’t forget to trim your dog’s nails regularly. Long nails can make him uncomfortable, cause injury to his feet and will also damage your floors. If he makes a “click” sound when he walks on hard wood or linoleum, that’s a good indication it’s time for a trim. Ask your vet to do it if necessary.
Keep your dog in comfortable housing. They should be able to rest off the floor and away from drafts. A training crate is a good choice or any covered shelter outside. Try placing a dog bed inside that has a warm blanket or a pillow inside. Wash the dog’s bedding frequently.
If you have a pure-bred dog, join your local AKC. They are an active social group where you can share your love for your dog, learn a lot and make new friends. The experience can also help prepare you and your dog for entering contests and winning shows!
Make sure you select dog food very carefully. Since there are so many, you should find one that is made for your particular dog. Letting your dog eat leftovers is something you may think can save you money, but really that’s not healthy for it at all. Also, if your dog seems to have stomach troubles, or is consistently losing weight when you don’t think it should, consult your vet. Dogs can also have food allergies, and its not uncommon for a dog to have or develop an allergy to grain in your dog food.
Not all dogs are meant to be outdoor dogs. If you plan to keep your dog outside most of the time, carefully choose the breed. Small dogs, short-haired dogs, or older dogs will usually not do well being kept outside. Choose one that has a nice thick coat, that is mature and one that is extremely healthy. Outside dogs must have a shelter where they can get out of the weather and rest, as well as fresh, clean water at ALL times.
Remember the expression “Too many cooks spoil the soup” when training your dog. Everybody does things differently, and a dog can be confused by having several commanders. One family member should be the trainer, and everyone else can act to reinforce good behaviors.
Start training your dog in an area with few distractions. As they begin to understand that ‘training time’ is about focusing their attention on you, you can begin to allow the kids out to watch at first, then within a couple of weeks they’ll be able to play while you train. Rarely are you going to be in a situation where you need your dog to obey and it is completely quiet. It’s good to practice your training with the television on, kids playing and maybe even the radio on. The more you work with your dog, the stronger your bond will become.
When you are enjoying your dog’s companionship, you will be so happy you read this article and began to use these ideas. Protecting and loving your dog begins with taking the time to learn all you can, and continues with putting that knowledge to use. Few things are as satisfying as having a well-trained dog as a companion. Start today, for your dog’s sake!
As always, comments, corrections and criticisms are welcome at FlamingPurpleJellyfish@gmail.com
Thanks for reading, and enjoy your dog today!
With Grace and Gratitude
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