Most people know that owning a dog is a major responsibility. Dogs are a part of the family, with some people even going as far as to treat their dogs like their children. They are our pets, the heart and soul of the family, and a best friend to love and cherish. So, how do you give them the royal treatment that they well and truly deserve, and how do you make sure that you’re doing the best to look after their health? Read on to find out the things you need to know before you get a dog.
A dog’s diet is a big determinant of how healthy they are overall. Every dog owner knows the danger of overfeeding treats, even if their cute faces make it oh so tempting and hard to deny. But a dog won’t regulate its own eating habits — that is entirely up to you. A properly balanced diet full of protein and vitamins will promote a healthy coat, skin, and teeth, and also a healthy gut and internal systems too. There is so much to be discovered about some mainstream brands; for example, they may have a high sugar content and low nutritional value. In order to get the best for your dog, you need to source the best food.
One type of diet that is great for canines takes a back-to-nature approach. Some people buy raw meat, some try bone broth for dogs. Native Pet is a company that focuses on all things natural for dog feed. They highlight the importance of feeding your dog food like bone broth for dogs, and they provide a nice range of products that reflect their values of high quality food for all dogs.
Regardless of where you stand on human vaccinations, vaccinating your pet is a smart move. A dog that is not vaccinated is not protected against common canine diseases that can kill a dog within a few days. But did you know that aside from your dog’s potential death, you are also at risk as well? Some doggy germs are fully transmissible to their humans, especially human children. In fact, for some diseases such as rabies, it is actually a legal requirement for your pet to have the correct jab for protection.
How much exercise your dog needs depends on what breed they are. Of course, some breeds require more exercise than others. Some dogs love long hikes and the whole parkour experience whereas some pooches are happy with a little jaunt around the block. Whatever your dog’s preference, they are still going to need outside time at least once, if not more, in a day. A dog that has had the chance to burn off its energy and sniff the great outdoors is calmer, more obedient, more comfortable, and more likely to develop good sleeping habits. But it can also be a bonding experience for you and your pet. It’s a good opportunity to do training exercises, and help your own mental health along the way. A walk outside in the fresh air does wonders for the mind.
Their Alone Time
Dogs don’t like to be on their own for long stretches, that much has always been true. So, when the pandemic hit and we were all confined to our living quarters, there was a significant, undeniable increase in dog and puppy acquisition. Everyone was at home, there was nothing to do, it was a perfect storm. A dog’s dream.
But when the world started opening up again, how did people manage their pet’s newfound alone time? Dog walkers are a good idea, since they break the day up for your dog and they provide the opportunity for dogs to be a little more socialized as they normally walk in groups. If you have friends or family that could check on your pet throughout the day, this is also an option.
You could install a pet cam so you can keep an eye on your dog and respond to any emergencies. Whichever method you choose, be mindful of the fact that dogs realistically can’t spend much more than six to eight hours on their own. Anything longer than that, especially if it is a continued routine, can cause lots of stress and breed an anxious pup.
This is about their relationship with their owner and the wider family, but also how they interact with other dogs. This of course varies from dog to dog. Rescue dogs are another category entirely. If you have a dog from a puppy, you essentially start with a clean slate. How your dog learns to interact with the world around it is dependent on training and treatment. You may have heard that a dog needs a leader, and that’s true. A dog really does need one person who is ‘in charge’ in order to know their place in the world and their smaller unit. If a dog does not learn manners or basic commands, they are not only a danger to themselves but a danger to things in their vicinity.
Taking your dog to training classes can help anchor basic commands in their minds, and it can also help socialize them with their canine peers. This makes life as an owner so much easier. A dog that is socialized is more likely to accept other dogs in its path on walks, exert less aggression and be more amenable to other humans. If you have a rescue adult dog, it is never too late to implement some regime and structure. You can still do training sessions and introduce strategies to get them used to what’s around them too.
Their diet, their relationships, their training, their vet trips – these are all things a dog owner has to incorporate into their caring regime. Without these things, you run the risk of an unhappy and unhealthy hound that has no way to regulate itself. You are protecting your dog but also your family and the places, animals, and people that your dog might interact with.