Dogs are undoubtedly man’s best friend in the animal kingdom.
Welcoming a new pooch into your home brings many happy feelings.
Your kids get an instant playmate, and your whole family enjoys unconditional companionship, love, loyalty, and protection.
Considering everything that your four-legged companion does for your family, the least you can do to appreciate him is to provide him with a happy, healthy, and safe life. The following golden rules will help make your relationship with your furry friend mutually beneficial and long-lasting.
Speak With Your Dog
Dogs are social beings that need constant interactions with humans and other animals to function normally and stay happy.
As a dog owner, it’s your responsibility to keep your communication with your pet going by speaking to him.
Just to be clear, speaking here doesn’t mean you chat with him the same way you chat with other humans.
Dogs don’t understand the human language very much, so the best way to communicate with them is through body language.
Your pooch relies heavily on your body language to understand your thoughts and feelings.
Because of this, you need to make sure that your body movements and posture always match the words you tell him.
This is important in order not to send mixed signals that confuse him.
On the same note, you also need to pay attention to the tone of your voice while interacting with your pooch.
A harsh and negative tone tends to make dogs scared, fearful, and depressed, and this is likely to weaken the bond that the two of you share.
So, try being gentle and loving every time you interact with him.
Establish House Rules And Follow Them Consistently
Just like human beings, dogs thrive better in a structured system.
They need rules, regulations, and boundaries to guide them on how to behave and fit properly in the human world.
An environment with rules and structures also makes dogs feel more secure and happier and boosts their self-confidence.
In addition, it makes their lives more predictable and strengthens the bond they share with their owners.
As the pack leader in the relationship, it’s your responsibility to establish the house rules that you want your dog to follow and stick to them.
Your pet needs to know from day one the things he is and isn’t allowed to do.
If you live with other family members, consider having a conversation with them to agree on which rules everyone will use to raise the new addition to the family.
Most of us have witnessed cases where one family member allows the family dog to get away with a certain behavior while another person punishes him for doing the same thing.
This shouldn’t be the case.
Have a family meeting, preferably before bringing your dog home to ensure that there’ll be consistency in enforcing the house rules for your adorable pooch.
Provide Your Dog With Proper Training
Your new canine companion doesn’t know automatically who the leader and who the follower is in the relationship.
This may result in misbehaviors, such as being aggressive towards you and your family or being disobedient when you ask him to do something.
Because of this, it’s crucial to provide your dog with appropriate training from an early age.
Training is an effective way of controlling your dog’s behavior.
Some of the things you need to teach your dog include commands, respect, obedience, rules, and boundaries.
If you’re unsure of your ability to provide training properly, consider enrolling your pet in a dog training class, or hiring a private dog trainer for him.
Provide Love And Companionship To Your Dog
The average lifespan of a dog is only 10-13 years.
So, it’s only fair to make every second of your pet’s life worth living.
Show him that you’re there for him whenever he needs companionship, care, love, attention, protection, and support.
Your dog becomes part of your family from the moment you bring him home, so you should always try to treat him like one.
Play different games together, cuddle on the couch together while watching television, go for walks and runs together, and bring him along during family outings.
Your pooch will be eternally grateful and happy if you’re able to spend quality time with him whenever you can.
Socialize Your Dog
Your dog is also a social being that loves and enjoys interacting and having fun with others.
It’s your responsibility to meet this need by ensuring that your dog gets proper socialization from an early age.
Dogs that are well-socialized are generally fun to be around because they’re well-behaved, comfortable around others, very jovial and easygoing.
On the other hand, if you fail to provide your pooch with proper socialization, you’re setting him up for failure.
He may find it difficult to get along well with his fellow dogs and people he’s not familiar with.
But that’s not all. An unsocialized dog is also likely to become bored, unhappy, and unhealthy.
Make a conscious decision today to create opportunities for your dog to interact with different people, dogs, animals, and environments on a daily basis.
You can do so through playing different games together, taking him to the doggy daycare to socialize and play with other dogs, taking him to the local park, going for walks together, and bringing him along during family road trips.
Provide Your Dog With Constant Water Supply and A Balanced Diet
Your beloved pooch also requires a constant supply of fresh, drinking water to stay hydrated.
He also needs nutritionally-balanced meals to stay strong, happy, and healthy.
However, his dietary requirements are determined by factors like breed, age, and underlying health conditions.
You, therefore, need to speak with your vet the moment you bring your pet home so you can get the right advice regarding his diet.
Ensure that you’re giving your dog the right foods recommended to him by the vet in the right quantities and at the right time.
Remember to keep poisonous house plants and harmful human foods away from him so he doesn’t ingest them out of curiosity and puts his life and health at risk.
Provide Essential Equipment To Make Your Dog’s Life Comfortable
Just like human beings, dogs have essential things they need to make their daily lives comfortable and more enjoyable.
For instance, they need different toys to keep them busy and entertained.
They also need dog food, water, food bowls, water bowls, toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, bed, beddings, treats, leash, collar, as well as winter sweaters and boots.
Be sure to provide all these items and much more to keep your pooch happy and comfortable.
Provide Sufficient Exercise To Your Dog Daily
Other than essential supplies, you also need to provide your dog with sufficient physical and mental activities daily to help him stay healthy and fit.
However, before you start any exercise routine, remember that different dogs have different exercise needs depending on the age, breed, and the present health conditions they have.
You may want to speak with your vet first to know which physical activities are the most suitable for your pooch.
Providing regular exercises to your dog will ensure that he has a well worked-out body, a healthy mind, and is well-rested.
You’ll also get to spend quality time together and get to know and understand each other better.
Ensure That Your Dog Has Valid ID and License At All Times
This isn’t just a responsibility but an obligation in many countries around the world.
The best thing you can do for your canine companion as a responsible pet parent is to ensure that he has a valid ID tag, rabies tag, and dog license always.
It’s very important that the name tag contains your latest contact details just in case he gets lost and needs to be reunited with you.
For an extra layer of protection, consider having a computer microchip inserted into your dog’s body.
Put Your Pet On A Leash Every Time You Leave Home
Your dog also needs to be placed on a leash at all times even if he has an ID tag and a dog license.
This is very important, especially when both of you are going to spend some time in a shared public space.
It’s the easiest way to have complete control of your dog’s movement when you’re away from home.
Be Patient As Your Raise Your Dog
There are two things you need to remember when raising a dog.
First, is that deep down, your canine companion is still an animal with animalistic tendencies.
So, you shouldn’t be mad or surprised when he acts in a way that’s opposite what you trained him to do.
Secondly, the human world is a completely new and different environment from what your dog is used to.
Because of this, he needs time to learn different things, understand how things are done in our world, and adjust accordingly.
When you have these two points in mind, it will be easier for you to guide your pet with love, understanding, and patience.
Most of the behavioral issues that you punish your dog for can easily be resolved if you take the time to understand why he acts the way he does.
However, if you feel like a certain bad behavior is getting out of control despite your efforts, seek help from a dog behaviorist or your vet as soon as possible.
Take Your Pet To The Vet
Many dog owners wait until their dogs are visibly ill before taking them to the vet.
Some of them do this because they want to avoid the costs that come with regular veterinary visits, while others blame their busy schedules for it.
If you’re guilty of this mistake, know that you’re doing a great disservice to your beloved pet.
Your dog’s health should be your priority if you really love him and wants to continue having many more great moments together.
To keep your dog in optimum health, regular veterinary care is a must.
Dogs need vaccinations, regular wellness examinations, and professional dental checkups and cleaning, among others.
You may not know this, but most dogs are very good at hiding their illnesses away from their owners.
It’s hard to notice that something is wrong with them unless you’re very keen.
And when this happens, it may be too late to save your pet’s life by the time you rush him to the vet’s office.
You need to ensure that your pet goes for routine wellness exams to help detect, diagnose, and treat any underlying illnesses he may have before they become more serious and expensive to treat.
Visiting the vet regularly is also beneficial because it gives you an opportunity to ask for advice on things that you don’t understand regarding dog parenting.
For instance, you’ll get to know the right types and amounts of exercise recommended for your dog, the right types and amounts of food he needs, intestinal worm prevention tips, etc.
Take Care of Your Dog’s Looks and Hygiene
Just like your children, your dog looks up to you to take care of his looks and hygiene.
So, create time from your busy schedule to bathe your dog regularly, brush his teeth, trim and brush his hair, cut his nails, and clean his ears and eyes.
All these may seem like hard work, but when you see how presentable and cute your furry friend looks after every grooming session, you’ll be very proud and happy.
Take Care Of Your Dog’s Poop
Finally, you also need to pick up and properly dispose of your dog’s poop after he has pooped.
Remember to carry a poop bag any time you’re taking him for a walk outside for this purpose.
Enjoying a healthy, happy, and long-lasting relationship with your dog is possible if you know how to treat him right.
Practice these tips and watch your pooch become your guardian angel and best friend.