Here’s How To Become a Responsible Dog Owner

Every dog owner takes pride in being a responsible parent. After all, your dogs are a vital part of your life. Indeed, many are recognized as legitimate family members in a household. Statistics show that about 69 million households have a pet dog. 

As much as you would like to ensure that your dog lives the best life, there are times when you might make a few mistakes. However, that doesn't make you a bad dog owner. If anything, it can help you get better. Here are some tips to help you become a responsible dog owner.

Ensure they are eating healthy

Your pet cannot choose what and when to eat, so they depend on you to ensure they receive healthy and nutritious meals. Fortunately, there is a lot of information on dog food, so you'll have all the guidance you need to provide your dog with the best nutrition and be mindful of what it consumes. 

There are also several brands and varieties of dog food on the market, and it can be challenging to find the right type that they would not only enjoy but also receive the right amount of nutrients to stay healthy and strong. If you're unsure what to feed your dog, you must speak with your vet, who can make suggestions based on your dog's breed, age, and other crucial factors. 

It would be best if you also took the time to get to know your dog, including identifying what they like and don't like concerning their diets. Apart from the standard dog food, you can also include vegetables such as green beans, broccoli, and spinach into their diet. If you have a puppy, adding some fresh egg to its food would also give it essential nutrients that support growth. 

Help them get regular exercise

As a dog owner, you must be concerned about your dog's fitness and health. Just like humans, dogs also need to have an exercise routine to help them live more active lifestyles. Fortunately, most dogs enjoy being active, and for those overly active breeds, exercise can be a great way for them to positively channel their abundant energy. 

To make the entire process more enjoyable, you can start including your dog in your exercise routines or find activities you can do together. Going for walks or runs together is a great start. It doesn't have to be extensive; a simple 20-minute time outside can get your blood pumping. You can also play fetch with them regularly and encourage them to climb the stairs more often. 

Another great physical activity is swimming, and most dogs enjoy spending time in the water. However, if your dog doesn't like water, don't force it to swim. You can try agility classes for your super active dogs, popularly called "doga." Because dogs are typically playful by nature, you don't have to worry much about getting them to exercise. 

Stay on top of vaccinations

Dogs are susceptible to many diseases, some of which can be fatal. Fortunately, you can protect your dog and boost its immunity to these diseases by ensuring that they are regularly vaccinated. 

You must schedule checkups with your vet every year. Some checkups might require vaccinations, but not all do, as some vaccinations last for different periods. At best, you must have a schedule to know when your dog is due for another vaccine. However, most times, your dog must be vaccinated at least once a year. 

Getting thorough health checks will also help your vet identify any potential health problems and work towards curing them before it gets worse. You can also use this opportunity to discuss your dog's health concerns. Don't worry if you've missed your dog's next vaccination appointment. Your vet would likely recommend restarting the course and putting them back on track. 

Maintain your dog's hygiene

Not all dogs might love getting a bath, especially if they hate being in the water. 

However, that doesn't mean you must forego them. Apart from getting regular baths, you must also be concerned with your dog's nails and dental hygiene. You must also do other important things to ensure that your dog is always neat. 

Giving your dog a good brush is a great way to remove any dirt buildup and improve its coat's shine to give it that healthy appearance. It would be best to focus on your dog's eyes, especially when there is a buildup of excess tears or discharge. While cleaning the goop, look for any signs of irritation or redness, as that might indicate your dog needs medical care. 

Don't forget about their oral hygiene. Ideally, your dog should have its teeth brushed daily, but 2-3 times a week should be okay. 

There are special kinds of toothpaste designed for canine use. Other basic hygiene maintenance includes nail trimming, cleaning the ears, and grooming. 

Train your dog

Dogs are typically social animals; however, that doesn't mean they have social boundaries or know when or how to act. Therefore, you must train them to keep them safe and improve their interactions with the outside world without your assistance. Additionally, it would give you that peace of mind knowing that your dog can take care of itself. 

Training your dog also improves communication and helps you know how they behave around other humans and animals. It also keeps your dog physically and mentally alert and can reduce their boredom or anxiety. You and your dog can also show off your new tricks to amuse others. 

Your puppy's age, breed, or even behavior doesn't matter. You can fully train your dog or enroll it in an obedience class with the right training techniques. 

Spay or neuter your dog

Each year, the number of homeless pets rises across the United States, and as a result, many of these pets end up being euthanized. Spaying or neutering your dog is a humane way of controlling the pet population. 

One of the best reasons for spaying or neutering your pet is to increase its lifespan. Spayed female dogs have lesser chances of developing medical conditions like breast or ovarian cancer. Having your male dog neutered also prevents testicular tumors and hernias. 

It's also a great way to prevent unwanted pregnancies, contributing to the overpopulation of homeless pets. To end pet overpopulation, you can purchase Florida license special plates for your vehicles. Each purchase supports spay and neuter programs to end the overpopulation problem. 

Encourage your dog to socialize

Dogs that spend a lot of time interacting with other dogs and humans are much happier than dogs that don't. As a dog owner, you must be responsible for your dog's social life, as it can provide your pet with a more balanced life. 

What does socialization fully entail? It involves exposing your dog to different environments without pushing or overwhelming them. It includes teaching your dog how to respond to touch, encouraging them to explore under supervision, introducing it to sensory toys and games, and even taking them on car rides. 

For the best results, you must start encouraging socialization right from when they are puppies. It's easier for them to adjust better and know what behaviors are socially acceptable and which aren't. Plus, it's much easier to spend time outdoors with dogs that are well-socialized and comfortable in different environments. 

Dog-proof your home

Dogs are fun to live with. But that fun can quickly become a problem when you discover that your home and everything in it is giant chew toys. To prevent this instance from happening, you must dog-proof your home. Fortunately, it shouldn't be a challenge to modify your home to ensure that your dog is comfortable and your items are safe. 

The most hazardous rooms in most homes are the kitchen, laundry, and bathroom. However, any room can be risky. Keep non-friendly dog items like medication, cleaning supplies, and food out of reach for your kitchen. In your living room, your focus should mostly be on exposed wires, windows, furniture, and fireplaces. If you have plants in your living room, ensure they are out of reach, as some plants are poisonous to dogs. 

Provide suitable housing and bedding

Even though your dog might be living with you, it has unique environmental needs. Some of these needs can be specific and are crucial to ensuring that your dog is comfortable and in good shape. This can be especially challenging for owners of exotic dog breeds. However, you can speak with a vet or another dog owner for the best ways to improve your dog's accommodation. 

There are standard items that your dog will need, from dog houses and beds to chew toys. Luckily, there are many options on the market worth checking out, or you can get creative and create something unique for your pet. 

Spend quality time with your dog

Your dog is family, and just like family, you must spend quality time with them to increase your bond and strengthen your relationship. When you show your dog love and attention, it makes them psychologically and emotionally healthier. Even though you might have a busy schedule, you can still schedule a time to snuggle and play with them. 

Are you inspired to become the most responsible dog owner? You have nothing to worry about with these amazing tips. Your pup will thank you for taking the right steps.

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