Owning A Dog As A Pet Owner: How To Care For Your Pet Long-Term
It’s important that you know how to care for your dog over a long period of time. Whether you’ve had a dog for a while, or are new to dog ownership, there will be some things you need to know.
Dogs are social animals that are quite needy creatures. As such, they will react to positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. You’ll notice that your dog will have a happy face and a wagging table if you are cheering them and rewarding them, even clapping them in a positive way.
Whereas if you speak to them negatively, they are likely to react negatively, and this can affect their mental wellbeing. Consider being more positive for them in order to keep them happy, as that’s what dog ownership should be all about.
Dogs are very different to cats in many ways, as you’ll be aware. Whilst cats love to clean themselves every hour of every day, dogs are quite happy to run through a puddle and sleep it off. As such, it may be down to you to groom your dog.
You can groom your dog by brushing them frequently. Not only will this help with unknotting their hair and keeping them tidy, it also gives you a chance to check for fleas or any ticks they may have gotten. This is especially important during the summer, as that will be more common.
You will need to bathe your dog from time to time, probably a few times each year. You can get specialized store-bought dog soap and shampoo to help clean them, ensure you rinse all the soap out before taking them out.
Food And Feeding
Depending on the age and size of your dog, they may just require a different amount of food. For example, a new born puppy will need up to four meals a day, obviously bite sized versions. For puppies that are a few months old, you can take their daily meals down to around three before moving them down to two meals when they are between six months old and one year old.
When they pass their first birthday, then you’ll be in a position where you can give them one substantial meal a day, or two smaller ones in the morning and evening. Bigger dogs will require more food to give them enough energy.
There are a few options when it comes to feeding your dog. Most commonly, it will be through a branded bag of dog food, most of the time dry. You can, of course, feed your dog raw meat or bones, and they will appreciate you for that. You can also get canned wet food which is usually quantities of jellified meats that could be chicken or beef.
Some dogs even enjoy treats such as specific dog-treats of even some fruit and vegetables. Some dogs have even been known to enjoy a cooked egg. There are some foods that you should absolutely keep away from your pet. For example, onion is incredibly bad for dogs, as is garlic. This is because they can actually lead to diseases such as anemia, as the food it toxic to a dog’s red blood cells, causing them to rupture.
Chocolate is also a treat that dogs need to keep away from. This is one of the first things you hear about food in regards to a dog’s wellbeing, and it’s wise to keep away, as its incredibly toxic to them and can cause stomach issues and vomiting.
Whilst dogs will enjoy fruit, you should avoid feeding them anything containing a high amount of citrus, such as lemons, as this can also cause issues. Fruits are all quite unique to each other, so you should research them individually.
For example, there is usually a lot of misinformation and general confusion when it comes to asking can dogs eat avocados. You’ll be glad to hear that the actual main inside of an avocado is good for a dog, as it contains healthy fats as well as other nutrients, but the skin of the fruit and the pit inside prove to be a choking hazard and containing fungicidal substances retrospectively.
Of course, dogs will require exercise in order to help burn calories, much like humans do. It’s not only a great way to ensure they stay fit physically and avoid gaining weight, it’s also great for their mental health. The way in which you exercise your dog will depend on a range of factors.
For example, the breed of the dog itself. Some breed of dogs mean they will grow to specific sizes, either big or small. Consider speaking to your vet to see what amount of daily exercise your dog will need based on that.
Exercise can help with obedience issues with your pet too. Dogs that don’t go out on walks will, understandably, become very bored and could end up taking that frustration out at home, ripping up your sofa.
The most common way in which you can exercise your dog is with a daily walk, but you can also play games to help deal with their dog needs, such as the urges to dig and chase. Fetch is a great example of this.
How To Handle Them
There are many dog owners who simply don’t know how to pick up their pets in a safe manor, and how to handle them in general. The best way in which to pick up your dog depends on their size.
For small dogs, you can actually pick them up with one arm. Place your arm underneath your dog’s chest, between the two front legs and lift them up. Then you can support them fully by placing the bottom half of them in-between your arm and body.
Medium dogs are more relaxed, and the best way to lift them up is by using your dominant hand behind the back legs before bringing your other arm around to the front. From there, you will be able to hold your dog close to your chest.
Larger dogs are a similar story to medium dogs, except that you may need to get some help from someone to lift them up anywhere, especially if they don’t want to be picked up.
Where They Sleep
When it comes to finding somewhere for your canine friend to sleep, you have a few options. A lot of owners simply allow their dogs to sleep on the end of the bed, and that’s usually fine as long as your fine with it.
In general, they will need somewhere warm to sleep, so that will mean inside. Dogs, much like humans, also appreciate somewhere quiet to sleep that isn’t right on the floor. That’s why many dog owners buy a specialized dog bed for them to sleep, usually with a pillow inside.
If you decide to use a dog bed, you should clean them regularly in order to keep the health of your dog positive in the long-term. If possible, have their food or drink easily accessible from their bed with no locked doors, so they can get access to it during the night if they need it.
Dogs love a good nap, and if they decide to nap outdoors, try to find them somewhere that has plenty of shade coverage, in order to keep them as protected as possible.