Adopting a dog is pretty much like taking on the responsibility of raising a child. It is a wonderful experience, but there are so many things you need to get right if you want your dog to live a happy, healthy, and fulfilled life.
In this article we discuss five basic things that every dog needs. This is not an all-inclusive list, but if you cover these five areas, you’ll have gone a long way towards being the best guardian you can be.
The Best Nutrition
Let’s start off by talking about nutrition. In this regard, you have three broad options, you can cook for your dog, you can feed your dog a raw diet, or you can feed your dog a dry kibble.
As most dog guardians don’t have time for the other two, so they’ll likely end up feeding their dog a branded kibble. And that’s okay, as long as you understand that not all dry dog foods are the same. If you’re going to go this route you want to feed your dog the best quality food you can afford, so ask your vet for her recommendations.
You will have to ensure that your puppy gets all his vaccinations and follow up yearly or three-yearly booster shots. You’ll also have to take your dog for a veterinary check up every year, and make provision for any medical emergencies that may occur. Veterinary bills can be expensive, so you are strongly advised to take out a pet health insurance policy.
Whether you have a hyperactive terrier or a laid-back mastiff, your dog needs exercise! Make sure that you have time in your busy schedule to walk the dog, and the fitness levels required to keep up. Choose a breed that matches your own level of activity and time availability. Don’t, for example, choose a dog that needs hours of activity per day if all you can spare is 30 minutes. You’re just setting yourself up for a major problem.
All dogs will benefit from training. Not only does it teach them to be obedient and well mannered, but it is also a great way of bonding with your dog. In addition is provides physical activity and, as most dogs love to learn, a mental challenge as well.Use a proven methodology, like clicker training, to train your dog. And always use a positive, reward-based approach.
Love, Affection and Companionship
Dogs are pack animals used to living in a social structure. They are only happy when they can interact with others. Depriving your dog of companionship and affection is incredibly cruel. He needs to be close to his family, not locked outside on his own.
Take care of these five basic areas and you’ll have every chance of raising a happy, well-adjusted dog. Your reward will be the love, loyalty and devotion you get in return.