Life is better with a dog – that’s just a fact! However, dog ownership is a big commitment and investment, one that should never be taken lightly. For all the unconditional love, pure joy, and undying loyalty they bring into our lives, our furry companions deserve nothing less than our best effort. Being a responsible dog owner entails more than simply loving and playing with your little furball, though; you also have to ensure their health, happiness, and safety. In addition to meeting your dog’s basic needs (shelter, food, exercise, and medical care), there are a few important rules you should know to give your canine friend the best life possible. Here’s what every responsible dog owner out there should know.
Many dog owners believe that it’s cruel to deprive their furry companions of the chance to have a litter of pups before they’re fixed, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Animals are just as content without offsprings. Plus, adult canines, both males and females, often develop numerous health problems if not sterilized. Moreover, seeing as how there are hundreds of thousands of dogs that are euthanized each year because of canine overpopulation, you might be contributing to the problem by not getting your pup neutered or spayed. If you want your four-legged friend to have a fellow canine companion, you can simply adopt or rescue another dog.
As much as your dog loves to roam free, it’s not always a good idea to let them run around off-leash. Unless they’re in a fenced-in yard or park, your pup should always be kept on a leash when outdoors to keep them from getting hurt or lost. Many areas, like Michigan, US, have leash laws, which means you could be fined for allowing your dog to walk around freely. In some cases, your fur baby could even be taken from you. As per the dog leash laws in Michigan, no dog owner is allowed to have their pet off-leash in public. So, to be safe, make sure you should check the laws in your local area.
Daily exercise is vital for a dog’s overall wellbeing, but what most parents fail to recognize is that mental exercise is just as important as physical exercise. To lead a happy life, your furry friend needs to stay fit, both physically and mentally. Certain toys and games, such as hide-and-seek, can keep your fur baby mentally sharp. To mix it up a bit and keep your little furball mentally stimulated, you can split their meal or treats and hide them in different places around the house where they can look for them instead of just placing them in a food bowl.
Your dog’s dental health is vital for their overall health. Dental problems can cause serious health problems, including cardiovascular issues if left unchecked. That’s why you must have your puppy’s teeth and gums checked by a veterinarian at least once a year. If you notice any signs of dental problems, such as bad breath, excessive drooling, reduced appetite, or mouth bleeding, be sure to have your puppy’s teeth checked right away. To prevent such problems altogether, remove dental plaque and tartar that can quickly accumulate on your puppy’s teeth by brushing them regularly. Daily brushing is advisable, but if it’s not possible, be sure to brush your dog’s 3-4 times a week.
Many dog owners feel tempted to relax the house rules to spoil their fur babies a little. You’d think that this will make your furry friend happier, but as veterinarians all over the world explain, sticking to a regular routine and following clearly defined rules and boundaries is the best way to raise a happy, well-adjusted dog. Dogs who lack structure often feel confused and uncomfortable, which is the last thing you want for your beloved furball.
Raising a dog is a joy, privilege, and commitment. If you are considering bringing a pup into your home, you have to think long and hard about the responsibility that dog ownership entails. Caring for a dog is not easy, but it’s worth every ounce of effort and moment of frustration you might feel along the way. The minute you come home to a wagging tail flailing about in excitement, you’ll know exactly why your furball deserves all the love and care you can offer them, and then some! To be the conscientious and attentive parent your four-legged companion needs you to be, make sure to keep the above points in mind.