There is always something new we can try to introduce into the lives of our pets to make them happier, more comfortable, and to boost the quality of their lives. However, no matter how many new trends and fun ideas appear, there are always those fundamentals that we should never forget to implement to keep our pooches happy and healthy.
Let’s call them the seven commandments of pet parenthood that will ensure the well-being of our furry friends!
1. Set the Date with the Vet
Even if this isn’t your first pet, every dog is different, and your vet will be able to help you learn how to adapt. They will time their vaccinations; recommend suitable flea, tick, and other parasite prevention; frequency and type of food; and all other details. After all, prevention is at the core of health, so always stay mindful of your vet’s advice and guidance.
2. Teach and Stay Consistent
How your pooch grows up and what they pick up from you will shape their behavioral patterns later in life. Set the tone early on and start teaching your dog the essentials as soon as you can, from proper socialization, teaching them not to jump on others, where and when it’s appropriate to “go,” and all the basic commands such as “sit” and “stay.”
3. Mind Their Nutrition
Every breed and mix has specific dietary needs, so you should tailor their nutrition accordingly. This is especially important while they’re still growing and likely need vitamins and minerals such as calcium to keep them strong, and when they officially earn their senior rank, to prevent and soothe arthritis pain and other ailments. It’s so much more than just dry kibble—proper treats, hydration, timing, and caring for their weight are also parts of crucial to keeping your pets healthy!
4. Keep Them Active
An irreplaceable aspect of their life is regular exercise, which means that you will need to adjust your schedule to include regular outings to the park and nature, in order to keep them healthy and happy. Even though well-trained dogs will behave when you spend eight or more hours working, they do require a dedicated daily slot for their walks, fetch, and other exercises depending on the breed.
5. Groom, Groom, Groom!
It’s so much more than mere aesthetics, since the way you treat your dog’s fur, teeth, ears, and paws will help you prevent and treat any potential ailments. When spring and summer arrive, there might be a tick hiding in those paws, or a poison ivy rash that needs your attention. In addition to choosing a quality flea treatment for dogs to prevent those pesky parasites, if you inspect their fur on a regular basis and keep your pooch clean, you’ll be able to spot early signs of infestation and treat them properly.
6. Learn Their Language
Every dog will behave differently when they are scared, stressed, depressed, alert, ready to attack, or when they are in need of more attention. From excessive barking and problems when spending time with other dogs to being too sluggish, you need to be able to notice if your dog’s behavior has changed, and then ask your vet for advice. It may be as simple as getting more bonding time with the pooch, or there might be an underlying medical condition that needs proper treatment. Early signs of problematic behavior are much easier to tackle than letting a negative pattern escalate, so keep an eye on your pooch and get to know them.
7. Love Them
Last, but most certainly not least, no matter how well you feed, vaccinate, walk, and shelter your dog, you need to remember that these incredible creatures thrive on love. Although every owner needs to find the right balance avoid enabling needy, clingy behavior, you also need to make sure you are consistently affectionate and that you show patience when they’re mastering the learning curve. Regular cuddling, eye-contact, praising, and one-on-one play sessions are key to developing and strengthening your bond.
Our canines make our lives much more rewarding and fulfilling, but they also come with their own unique needs that require our care. There will always be different strategies to try, but these are the essential rules of pet parenthood that will help you make your journey the unforgettable experience that you both deserve it to be.