Dogs can be such positive influences on your life. They can boost your physical and emotional health in more ways than you might think. But pet ownership is no walk in the park. Owning a dog is a rather large responsibility when you consider all their needs. If you’re a new dog owner or are looking to adopt a furbaby, follow this small guide to ensure you’re well-prepared for the journey ahead!
Vaccinations and medication
The most important part of dog ownership is keeping them fully vaccinated and protected against fleas, ticks, heartworm, and other dangerous parasites. Quality dog worming tablets that protect against all of these parasites must be given to your dog on a monthly basis to protect them against becoming painfully ill. Whilst heartworm is easy to prevent, it is quite difficult and costly to treat, so paying a little for monthly tablets will definitely pay off in the long run.
As for vaccinations, puppies are incredibly sensitive to contracting nasty diseases and will require three separate vaccinations in their first year, and then an annual vaccination after their last booster shot at sixteen weeks of age. If you ensure your dog is up-to-date with all of their shots and treatments, then chances are you will have a happy, bouncy, little pup.
Dogs are pack animals, and naturally need a lot of quality time with not only you and your family, though they should also be hanging out with some other dogs too! Substantial social time and physical activity will keep your dog well-stimulated, ensuring your dog also develops no problem behavior, like overactivity, excessive barking, biting, and other aggressive tendencies. Regular trips to your local dog park are recommended as well so that your dog will be well-socialized and will know how to behave around other dogs.
Dogs who don’t know how to behave around other canine companions can grow problematic in the long-term and can prove harder to train when you’re out in the wider world. For example, a poorly-socialized dog will become obsessed with other dogs when they’re out and about, and may not come back when called. Simply enrolling your dog in puppy preschool and some obedience training courses will allow your new dog with plenty of opportunities to not only learn valuable new skills but also to socialize with other dogs of similar ages. Having quality time with your dog, both indoors and outdoors, will keep your dog a happy and healthy member of the family.
Room and routines
Finally, it’s important for your dog to have their own space within the family home. This means a dedicated pet bed, or crate, their own belongings (clothes and toys), and established areas for your dog to eat and drink. By providing your dog with their own space in the family home, you’re communicating that they are a genuine member of the family and that they deserve a space where they know they can always be comfortable.
Similarly, providing your dog with a consistent daily structure with regular mealtimes will hold two major positive impacts. First, it will ensure that your dog stays quiet and comfortable indoors when they know they’ll definitely have outdoor time later in the day. Secondly, it will also regulate your dog’s bowel movements, meaning that you won’t have to guess when they need to use the bathroom. A dog with a daily schedule will be consistently well-adjusted and good-tempered.
Dogs make invaluable companions. They will be a constant source of comfort, and will be sure to shower you with unconditional love and affection for their entire life. They will be your shadow, and your fierce little protector at all times. And although we could never match the endless love they have for us, we at least owe it to them to do the best that we can.