Happy Saturday everyone! Did you know that September is Responsible Dog Owner Month? In honor of that, today, I'm sharing 11 great tips on how to be an amazing and ultra responsible dog owner!
1. I think it goes without saying but, be sure to follow local dog laws. From leash laws to picking up your licenses and picking up behind your pet and everything in between.
2. Another one that goes without saying, however, be sure to visit your vet regularly. Yearly visits to your vet are important to keep your dog properly vaccinated and to help with preventative health care. It is also a great time to check in with your vet and ask great questions on how you can improve your pup's health. And I'm tying this one in with vet care because technically it is. Be sure to spay and neuter your pets. Studies have shown that pets that are spayed and neutered live healthier, longer lives. Plus, spayed neutered pets are less likely to develop behavior problems.
3. Make sure your dog is getting a proper diet. If you're not sure if they have any special requirements or are having trouble deciphering the cryptic ingredients on your pet food bag, be sure to check with your vet to make sure that it is good food for your pet. Don't forget to also feed them the right amount for their size and lifestyle. A nutritious and well-balanced diet. A great day starts with a healthy diet and that includes for our pups!
4. Keep your pet groomed. Not all breeds need regular haircuts, but all do need occasional baths, tooth brushing, and nail trims. Think carefully before getting a pet and learn about its special requirements. Even short hair pups need a good brushing and nail trimming at the very least.
5. Socialize your pet. Playing with other dogs and taking basic obedience classes is a great way to start this out as a puppy. When Rufus visited us over the summer, he learned that not every dog loves to play and some love to play ALOT. It was a great learning experience for him! And of course, even older dogs like our Miss Ozzy also need to have some socialization so they can interact with other dogs and people safely. If you have any questions about socializing or their behavior be sure to consult your vet or a local certified dog trainer/behaviorist.
6. Make sure to give your dog plenty of exercise, both mental and physical. All pups need some amount of daily exercise to live happy, healthy lives. Some require more than others, but at minimum aim to take your dog on a daily walk and provide some playtime, which provides mental stimulation too.
7. Which leads me into this tip: If it’s too cold out to spend time outdoors, there are several things you can do indoors, such as working on learning new commands and tricks or giving him a toy where he has to work to get a treat. Without it, your cute pup will become a demon dog quickly and will begin to act out. Young pets that do not get enough exercise are also more likely to develop negative behavioral issues that lead many to give up their pet. The best place to start is with some basic commands such as sit, stay, and off, but most dogs are capable of many more. Some dogs will be naturals at agility training and others will enjoy learning unique tricks. In an emergency situation many of these basic cues could save your pet’s life.
8. Properly ID your dog. This includes having ID tags on your dog’s collar, as well as having them microchipped. This ensures if he ever gets lost or escapes, someone can help get him back to you. If you're unsure about microchipping or have concerns, don't hesitate to discuss it with your vet who will walk you through any questions you might have.
9. Pet-proof your house. To keep your pet healthy you should research what household products and foods can harm your pet. Make sure these are kept in secure locations so your pet cannot get into them.
10. While it's an unpopular topic, be sure to have a plan for your pet’s care after you pass, such as creating a pet trust or picking a caregiver you trust. This is especially true for those of us who are single, be sure to think about what you want to happen for your pet should something happen to you. We never know what tomorrow holds, so be sure to plan ahead so your pup can continue having a great life even if something should happen to you.