If you are lucky enough to be the proud parent of a dog, you know how wonderful they are. You also know there is a fair amount of work and care involved in keeping them happy and healthy. It does not have to be difficult, however. Simply keep reading for some helpful things you can begin doing today to get on the right paw.
Find a Reputable Boarding Facility
If you enjoy going out of town and vacation frequently without your dog, you want to find them a dog boarding facility where you will feel comfortable leaving them. As you are looking for a boarder, ask the staff about what your dog’s typical day will be like. Inquire about things such as feeding, exercise, bathing, and how much time your dog will spend with their staff.
If you can, find a boarder with a 24-hour camera feed. Being able to monitor your beloved pet will give you peace of mind whenever you are away from them. You will be entertained by their antics and comforted knowing that they are being well cared for.
Even if you do not travel often, nothing is worse than trying to find a boarder that you trust when an emergency arises and you need to go out of town at a moment’s notice. Having an established and trusting relationship with your boarder means you will have one less thing to worry about.
Take Them to Doggy Daycare
A great way to acclimate your furry one to the dog boarder is to schedule a few doggy daycare sessions. This way, they can slowly adapt to a new environment. You can talk with the staff and learn how well your dog is doing. Consider it an introduction or a trial run before you board them.
Doggy daycare facilities are a good idea on their own, as well. If you work long hours outside the home, this can be a perfect solution to keep your dog happy and busy. They get lots of love, exercise, and attention during the day, and you reap the benefits of a well-adjusted dog after hours.
A bonus of exposing your pup to doggy daycare is socialization. Fostering comfort between your dog and other dogs is a crucial part of being a dog parent. The same can be said for exposing your dog to other humans. If they do not receive those two types of socialization, they become fearful of other dogs and people over time.
Be Consistent About Training
Training your dog with clear and consistent intentions is one of the best things you can do for them and your family dynamics. Dogs appreciate knowing and understanding the rules and boundaries set before them. They do not enjoy getting into mischief for mischief’s sake (contrary to popular belief. They simply do things when they are curious and do not know what they should or should not do.
To prevent problems such as running away, property damage, or potential aggression, you must begin training your dog immediately after you bring them home. Establish a routine and stick with it. If you expect your dog to sit before receiving a treat, do not waiver from that expectation, even if you are busy.
If you need extra help in the training department, check with your boarder to see if they offer training services. You can also find helpful resources online to bolster your training efforts. Watch this video for a puppy training compilation.
Schedule a Vet Visit
Keeping up with routine veterinary care for your dog is essential for many reasons. Your dog cannot communicate any healthcare needs or requirements to you. Veterinarians are trained to help diagnose any problems and provide preventative maintenance. Veterinary practices have a vaccination and overall health schedule to ensure your dog stays protected against preventable diseases.
Vets can guide you on a variety of topics, such as weight management, food and treat recommendations, and oral healthcare to name a few. If you are a first-time pet parent, they can give you a wealth of information and advice on best practices for maintaining a well-rounded dog. Should you be a dog-owning veteran, they can still teach you a trick or two about what your pet needs.
From a financial perspective, by bringing your dog into the veterinarian’s office for recommended visits, you can help mitigate a large vet bill. Catching a problem before it balloons out of control for your dog’s health and your bank account are good reasons to keep seeing your vet.
Prioritize Exercise for (You and) Your Dog
A dog that has expended its vast reserves of energy is better behaved as opposed to one that has sat idly around its home all day long. If your dog has extra energy and needs an outlet, it will find one. You want that outlet to be one of your choosing, not theirs (e.g. your favorite shoes or couch or door frame).
Take a look at your daily and weekly schedule. Is there time in the morning before you get ready and the rest of the house wakes up to go for a run with your dog? Can you go for a leisurely walk after breakfast instead? Or, can one of your family members share dog walking duty? Take the same approach to the end-of-the-day walking needs. Work together as a team to ensure your pet gets the exercise their body and mind need.
If you live in an area with cold winters or scorching summers, you may need to modify their exercise routine. Consider getting up extra early to beat the heat or find an indoor playground for them to play. A few rounds of fetch in the basement will always help, too.
Dogs really are the best. Make sure you give them the best that you can. Take time to find a boarder that you trust. Prioritize their veterinary care, and continue to reinforce training. And always remember to tell them what a good dog they are.
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