When it comes to dog ownership, there are right answers and wrong ones. There are some things that are non-negotiable, and others that are more down to personal preference and circumstances. Wherever you land and however many dogs you have, it is important to do right by them for as long as they are by your side. Supporting your dog looks like many different things, and this guide has ten of the best to consider.
Choose the Right Vet
Choosing the right vet is one of the most important decisions you will make as a dog owner. While some people choose to opt for services close by, others base their decision on the merits of services and well reviewed establishments. As long as the vet has a range of outlets and services like Furdunkin, your dog will be well supported if the need ever arises. Dog owners should take their pets for a yearly checkup regardless, and stay on top of essential vaccination protections too, to keep them safe from unnecessary infections and illness.
Insurance is an extra cost to think about, but a good policy can help any responsible pet owner in many ways. Why do you need pet insurance? The main reasons are to protect your financial assets in case of emergencies or unexpected medical bills, which can get quite expensive. Lots of policies also include helpful vaccination schedules or plans in this area. There is also protection if your dog gets lost or stolen, so these policies really are worth acquiring to avoid those unexpectedly big bills.
Know Your Breed
The best thing you can do for your dog is to get to know its breed. The better you understand what each type of dog requires, the better you will be able to support them. Some breeds, for instance, need a whole lot of exercise while others prefer a lazy life. Big dogs that grow and grow will need specialized food, and others are more at risk of developing degenerative conditions like diabetes, which can be really unmanageable but often avoidable. All of these things are essential facts, so before you invest in a breed, take the time to actually understand what you’re investing in.
Consider Neutering and Spaying
Whether or not you get this done is down to the preference of the owner. However, the benefits largely have to do with behavioral aspects. Not only are neutered males less prone to aggression, but they are also generally easier to train and manage because they have less drive to breed. The same can be said for the female equivalent. It keeps the dog from being stolen to be used for breeding, and it also keeps them from getting pregnant too young and having problems.
Research the Best Food
The dog food market is vast. There are so many options to work through that, before you know it, you will have spent a hundred bucks on nothing good at all. Your dog, whether it is a picky eater or will eat a pair of socks if they are on offer, requires the proper nutrients and minerals for their breed. Some breeds need better consideration for joint health, and others are more prone to obesity. Their diet has to be right for their size and weight; otherwise, their health is at risk.
Purchase a Comfy Bed
Your dog deserves somewhere comfortable to rest its head. To discourage them from bed sharing with you (though they may still give it a go), try to buy them a comfortable bed that they can sleep on independently. This can be their haven spot, where they keep all their toys and go for downtime.
Play with Them
Dogs require quite a lot of attention. It really depends on the breed as to how active they need their lifestyle to be, but there are certain types of dogs that need you to play with them for hours of the day as well as a good few walks. This is obviously high maintenance, but if that’s what you’re looking for, then be prepared to play fetch or something similar until they are all worn out. It’s good practice to build the bond between yourself and your pet through recreational activities regardless, and it can even help with training.
Teach Them Basic Commands
Every responsible owner should master at least the basic recall commands. It keeps your dog safe from harm and potential injury, and it protects the public as well. Never let your dog off the leash until you can confidently bring it back to you; otherwise, it is a danger to everyone. Another basic command is “leave” when you want them to step away from a dangerous item or leave people’s food alone. There are also “sit” and “run” and other basic things.
Don’t Leave Them Alone Too Long
Dogs don’t take well to being left on their own for extended periods. You absolutely cannot leave them overnight because this will cause too much anxiety and may lead to your property becoming damaged as a result. The maximum time any breed should be left for is around eight hours, and this is pushing it to the extreme. Ideally, four hour stints are the best window for a dog to avoid becoming too distressed and causing damage to your house or themselves.
Do Keep Up with Vaccinations
Finally, always remember to stay up to date with their vaccinations. These are in place to protect your pet from any common diseases circulating and support their overall well-being. There are always things out there that threaten the health of your dog, so if you can protect them, you absolutely should.
As a dog owner, there is a lot to consider. It is so much more than just buying a pup and having a best friend forever. There are regular checkups, dental care, feeding schedules, exercise, and planning your life around their health. They become an integral part of your immediate family makeup, and this is invaluable. Look after them properly and meet all of their needs so they can live a happy, healthy life.