Raising a dog is a big undertaking and long term commitment. The responsibilities that come along with owning a pet are numerous, however so are the rewards. This article aims to provide you with a few useful tips to help you with the different aspects of owning and caring for a dog.
Consider teaching your dog hand signals along with verbal commands. Consistency and practice are key to teaching a dog these non-verbal commands. Many owners get frustrated and resort back to verbal commands, but a well-trained dog should understand both. Try using only verbal commands when the dog is out of sight range, but when close up, only use the hand signals.
Avoid insisting that your dog socialize nicely with every other passing dog. Experts recommend that your dog be able to tolerate introductions through sniffing and eying with another animal, but say forcing the issue can create problems. Accept your dog’s lead when meeting and greeting other animals and allow for natural interaction.
If you are in the market for a new puppy, make sure you will have enough time to devote to his training. On average, you need to take a young dog outside to do his business eight times a day and that can take a lot away from your schedule. Training takes more time and patience than most people realize.
It is important for you to take your dog in to see the vet on a fairly regular basis. Just like humans, dogs can develop health problems like toothaches, arthritis and weight gain. Do not wait until you think your dog is sick before taking him in to be seen.
Keep your dog in good shape. He can suffer with the same weight-related issues that you can, so make sure he gets plenty of healthy exercise and eats a well-balanced diet. Remember that walking will benefit you as well, so make it a part of your daily routine together to be happier and healthier.
Build or buy a house for your dog if he has to stay outdoors for any length of time in cold weather. Especially if your dog’s feet get wet, exposure to very cold temperatures for long time periods can cause stress and other health issues. Always protect him from wind, sun and rain by making sure he has a dry shelter to go to.
If your vet gives you medication to take home and administer to your dog, be sure and ask for ideas on getting him to swallow it. Dogs differ in their tolerance of pills and badly-flavored liquids, so have a few tricks up your sleeve in case he resists. Getting a dog to take medicine is important, but often challenging.
There are few greater joys in life than the love you can share with your loyal companion. It won’t always be a walk in the park but the rewards are more than worth it. Enjoy your pup and continue to learn more to help keep your lives happy and healthy.