September is Responsible Dog Ownership Month. We all know that dogs are man’s best friend and make incredible companions. Why not do what we can to ensure that our four-legged family member is content and healthy? Here are seven tips on how to be a great dog owner.
- Do your research. Whether you choose to buy from a breeder or adopt from a shelter or breed-specific rescue, think about your family and the activities you enjoy. Are you active and outdoorsy? Homebodies? Workaholics? Different dogs have different needs, and your lifestyle should complement the needs of your new dog. Research the common traits of the breeds you’re considering so you can find the best fit.
- Get the house ready. Be sure to puppy-proof your home before your new dog arrives. Don’t leave your favorite shoes out for puppy teeth to chew. Invest in pet gates and a dog crate to keep your pup in safe spaces. Don’t leave potentially toxic foods, medications, or other substances within reach of your dog.
- Think about insurance. Pet insurance is an excellent investment, especially for owners of young, healthy dogs. You’ll pay a little each month, but you’ll have a lot of peace of mind when it comes to paying for your dog’s medical care.
- Take him to the vet regularly. Bring your dog to our office at least once every year for a preventive care exam (that’s equivalent to you visiting a doctor once every seven years!) to keep him healthy. Have your dog microchipped at his first appointment with us.
- Teach him to use his manners. Nobody likes a dog that’s aggressive on a leash or jumps on them when they walk into your home. Using positive reinforcement training methods, teach your dog—the younger, the better—how to behave so everyone will enjoy being around him.
- Feed him a high-quality diet. The plethora of pet food options can make choosing the best one for your dog overwhelming and confusing. Call our office if you have questions about what you should be feeding your dog.
- Stay active. Keep your canine active through regular play and exercise. Not only will it benefit him, but you’ll be more likely to be healthy, too.
Making sure that your pup has a good quality of life can make life better for everyone. If you have any questions about caring for dogs, contact us.