How to Be a Responsible & Kind Dog Owner: Important Tips You Need To Know

How to Be a Responsible & Kind Dog Owner: Important Tips You Need To Know

Dogs are not born bad yet some end up that way. Just like people, much of a problem pet’s negative behavior can be traced to how it was raised and how it is treated at home. Fortunately, becoming a responsible and kind dog owner is not hard. It just requires consistency, effort, and knowledge.

Easter Egg Dog Bone Hunt

Make Sure You Have Space

Before you go out and find your perfect canine companion, it is important to understand how much space dogs require. Some breeds can be happy with only the patio of your condo, but others need a full yard. If you do not have adequate acreage, your dog can end up unhappy. So, make sure you do some research and avoid major behavior problems down the road.

Remember, that adorable puppy you bring home from the shelter is not necessarily going to remain that size forever. Of course, some breeds will. But, they still need regular exercise to be happy and healthy. If you have an apartment, consider a pug, Chihuahua, or terrier. They are great small space pets and will thrive in your environment with regular walks.

Larger breeds require more room to roam. And, some breeds, like Australian cattle dogs, need almost constant exercise. Others, such as bulldogs and greyhounds are content to lay around the house, provided you let them out occasionally to stretch their legs. The key is knowing and understanding your dog’s needs and the typical behavior of its breed. The payoff is lower vet bills and happier neighbors.

Quality Food is a Good Investment

If you own a dog you have already discovered that quality dog food is expensive. Like fifty dollars for thirty pounds expensive. Is it worth it? It pains my pocketbook to admit, but yes. It is definitely worth the expense.

Canines are not vegetarians by nature. Cheap dog food contains very little meat. Yes, there is a nutritional standard for all pet food but it is very low. Also, better quality foods contain more fatty acids and essential nutrients which help your pet as it ages. Is it necessary to break the bank and go completely organic or only feed Fido prime cuts from the butcher? Probably not. But a steady diet of crushed feed corn is not going to make for a happy dog in the long run.

Much like human infants, puppies require different foods when in their developmental stage. To end up with a healthy adult dog, shopping around for high-quality dog food for puppies is a good investment in the future of your pet. With proper nutrition when young, many later physical problems can be avoided. Older dogs also require special food to help with arthritis and other age-related issues.

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Daily Exercise for You and Your Pet

Some people walk their dog several times each day while others never even buy a leash. While it is probably not necessary to install a doggy treadmill in your home gym, all dogs require some amount of exercise to keep them fit and to maintain weight. For some breeds, like Labrador retrievers, exercise is imperative for longevity and weight control.

Without exercise, even the best dog becomes bored, frustrated, and anxious. Not only does burning calories improve their health, the stimulation of being in new environments improves their mood. Experts recommend that all dogs receive a minimum of thirty minutes of exercise every day. Experts also recommend that humans get thirty minutes per day, so the numbers match up nicely.

Training Your Dog Rewards Everyone

Dogs only want one thing; to please their owner. It is what makes them most happy in life. If you do not train your dog how to do this, it will never feel fulfilled or have a sense of purpose. This leads to bad and sometimes destructive behavior.

At the very least, teach your dog basic tricks such as to sit, stay, and come on demand. Being able to control your dog while walking is another skill which pays great dividends. Always use positive reinforcement. Once your pet knows the treats in your pocket can be earned through good behavior, much of the frustration between you and your pet will go away.

If you are having trouble training your dog, invest in a class for challenged owners. Most are fairly inexpensive and can quickly teach you how to train your dog further while at home. Training is a great way to bond with your dog and can make those daily walks far more fun if done properly.

An often overlooked aspect of training is socialization. There is nothing worse than a dog who pulls you half way down the block every time a rival canine is near. Frequent trips to the dog park or play dates with the pets of friends or family members will quickly clear up this issue. Just like humans, dogs must learn how to behave around other dogs. If they don’t, you will have a problem on your hand whenever a strange animal shows up.

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Breed Awareness Can Answer Many Questions

Every dog breed is different. Knowing and understanding the breed you have chosen takes the guesswork out of solving many problems that pet ownership can create. A quick Google search should give you all the information you need to correctly anticipate your pet’s needs and understand the behaviors you are seeing.

Knowing the tendencies of the breed can help you plan many things including diet, exercise, and when to change foods with age. It is also great information when trying to decide if a certain pet is suitable for households with small children or other dogs. No one wants to give up a dog they have bonded with. Doing some research before bringing your new best friend home will drastically reduce the odds of returning your pet.

Dogs Need Love and Affection

Dogs are social. They thrive when around other animals. This includes you. Leaving a pet chained up in a run every day and night with no human or other animal contact is horrible for the dog’s mental state. Often, they become anxious and neurotic.

Many problems such as annoyance barking and chewing are the direct result of an animal without enough human contact. If you spend quality time with your pet every day, these behaviors will most likely disappear. And, this time can be spent training or exercising your four-legged friend, producing even better behaviors and results. It’s an easy win-win for you and your pet.

No one sets out to be a bad dog owner. But, unfortunately, many get there anyway. This is easy to avoid. Spend some time researching what your new dog will need and how you will provide these things. With a plan in place, you will become a responsible and kind owner and be rewarded with an amazing companion for years to come.

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Author Bio:

Anna Smith resides in beautiful Santa Monica, CA, where she works as a Pet Nutrition Expert in a leading retail pet store. She is responsible for nutritional strategies for different breeds and development of new products on the market in compliance with Association of American Feed Control Officials. Anna’s passions are education about proven methods and best practices in the industry and her dog Max, who is always well-fed. She also helps curate contents for DogsAholic.com

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