Dog ownership requires responsible action on the owner’s part. Many dogs end up at shelters, not because they are bad dogs, but because their owners have not held up their end of the partnership.
Just like children, dogs need to be taught good manners and habits. You can ensure a good relationship between your dog and your family by training him properly. No one enjoys a dog that jumps all over them or has bad manners and this is a 24/7 job. If you are not adept at training your dog, seek the help of a professional trainer early on and teach your dog the skills he will need to encourage a happy atmosphere for both your family and your dog.
Take care of your dog’s health. As a puppy, your dog should have regular check ups for de-worming and vaccinations. Heartworms are a given if you do not start your dog on preventative and keep him on preventative year-around. For your dogs comfort (and yours!) apply flea preventative monthly.
Don’t forget grooming! If you have a long-haired pup, coat maintenance is a must. Daily brushings serve as a bonding time as well as a grooming session to ensure healthy skin and coat. If your dog is a breed that needs grooming, take them on a regular basis. The groomer and your dog will appreciate your maintaining his coat in-between appointments. Letting your dog’s coat get matted between appointments just causes a painful experience when taken to the groomer because your groomer will have to de-mat the dog, or completely shave your pooch. Do your groomer and your dog a favor and do your part at home.
Your vacation…be prepared for it ahead of time. Visit your local boarding facilities and choose one that best suits your dog’s needs. Today there are lots of options. If your dog enjoys the company of other dogs you may wish to choose a no-cage facility where they can play with other dogs and enjoy the freedom a no-cage environment provides. Good no-cage facilities will require a temperament test/interview, so don’t wait until the last minute. Make your preparations beforehand and have your dog cleared for boarding before you plan your trip. If your pooch prefers to have their own private space you may opt for a traditional kennel, but be sure to visit prior so you are familiar with where your pet will be staying. Many kennels offer Internet access to view your pooch while you are away.
Spend time with your furry friend! Dogs are not a “possession” to put on a shelf…or lock in the back yard. They are loving companions that deserve your time. Make time to play with and show affection to your dog. Many bad behaviors are attention-getters, so, given attention before they demand it curtails any of that bad behavior.
Smooches to the pooches!