Having a furry family member is a dream for the majority people, mostly because of all the movies we’ve seen. Usually, we are shown happy animals, with their family, having a wonderful time, playing and running around. We are told that animals are friendly, they provide us with love and their friendship has no boundaries.
And while none of these things are false, as animals can be friendly, loving and devoted, not to mention a wonderful addition to any family, caring for them is something different. To enjoy a balanced, loving dog that will listen to you and your family, a dog you can trust around children and other pets, you need to do your part of the job. No one is handed over the perfect dog or cat for that matter.
Everyone has to work for it. People need to understand that ownership is much more than a piece of paper. Ownership is caring for your beloved furry friends and it must be done right. So, here are a few simple guidelines that might allow you to understand what caring for dogs really means.
Feeding your dog
Unfortunately, there are all sorts of beliefs regarding what dogs should eat. A piece of bread mixed with a few leftovers from dinner is not proper food for dogs, especially working dogs. When adopting or buying a dog, you need to pay extra attention to the food you are offering your dog. That is where they take all their strength from. And without strength, your dog will lose much of its energy and appearance. For instance, in some countries, sheepdogs, which are usually of large sizes, meant to protect the herd, don’t receive much food. So, they lose weight and can no longer perform their duties.
Feeding is a crucial aspect of your dog’s growth and it determines its future health. That is why you need to buy special dog food, of high quality, having the right ingredients. In the food selection process, you need to consider the following aspects: age, size, breed, activity and special health issues, if there are any.
The ingredients are very important. It is true that meals with a high protein value are preferred, but grains are important as well unless your dog suffers from allergies, in which case you need to avoid them. Reading the list of ingredients is a highly important step in choosing the appropriate food for your dog.
It can be a lot to digest, to put it this way, especially if this is your first time owning a dog. So, if you feel that you might not make the correct decision, do consider asking your the vet’s advice. They might point you in the right direction.
Also, feeding must be done responsibly, meaning three times until it reaches the age of six months, two times a day until it is 1 year old and then, once a day. The quantity of food is usually indicated on the food bag, as each maker has specific rules. However, ask your vet about this issue as well. He/She could be able to offer you a personalized piece of advice for the specific needs of your dog.
Feeding is crucial for the proper growth of your dog. Feed your dog responsibly, with the right food, serving its specific needs as much as possible.
Pay attention to your dog’s health
Just like you, your dog could have health issues. Being its owner means paying attention to all signs and making sure that it is awarded the proper care. During its first year, your dog will require a complex set of vaccines. So, going to the vet should be a priority. Without these vaccines, your dog could be exposed to all sorts of health issues that could even cost it its life. In the first six months of their lives, dogs are sensitive, just like children and minor health issues could have serious effects on their health and future growth.
Make sure your dog receives all the necessary vaccines and follow the advice of your vet regarding future visits. Also, if you do notice something peculiar in the behavior of your dog, if it has lost its appetite, if it is no longer active, monitor it and if necessary go to the vet. There are all these signs that could be easily noticed and they could point out a problem your dog could be having. If diagnosed correctly and treated early on, you could spare your dog of unnecessary discomfort.
Your dog’s healthcare is important. Pay attention to all the signs and provide your dog with the required care and attention.
Spending time with your dog
Food, proper veterinary care, all are important and so is time. The time you spend with your dog could have such a positive impact on the its behavior. This is what could turn a scared, traumatized dog into a loving, happy, balanced companion, perfect for any family.
It is recommended to spend as much time with your dog as possible, whether it is by going on walks or chilling in front of the TV together. However, few of us have the luxury to spend a lot of time at home, as we have to go to work. You can leave your dog at home by itself. But before you do that you need to potty train it and make sure that it is clear to it that you are coming back. So, during the time you are adapting with each other try to set a schedule, avoid leaving your dog alone more than 6-8 hours and when you return make sure you spend time together.
Spend time with your dog, set up a schedule you stick to no matter what and comfort your dog when you arrive home.
The costs of having a dog
Yes, we have to be straightforward. Owning a pet, in general, can cost you if you want to do it right. If you have a purebred dog then it’s even more expensive. You have to cover the proper food for your dog, the appropriate veterinary care, other surprise needs, to put it so, proper training if the dog requires it. But, just so you know, there are some expenses that can be avoided like dog clothes or ceramic high-class bowls.
Yes, there are costs and it is only normal to be so. Having a dog means welcoming a new family member and that means providing it with the proper care and attention. But in return, you are getting much more than you are giving. So, in the end, all costs are worth it. Even those for dog clothes, dog beds or ceramic fancy bowls. Because they deserve them and so much more.
Owning a pet does cost, especially if you are doing it the right way. But these are all worth it. Undoubtedly.
Training may be required
Indeed, in some cases, especially with certain breeds, training may be a necessity. So, you should add this to your list of costs. For instance, bull terriers may be a handful and training will be required just so it stops being so incredibly stubborn. With border collies, training is vital in order to reach their full potential.
The good news is that you have so many resources nowadays that you, yourself can train your dog. This way, you would be saving money and spending time with your new best friend.
Training may be required, but you can do that yourself and spend quality time with your pet!
Owning a dog is much more than buying a colorful leash or finding cute pet names. Owning a dog is hard work, it can be expensive and messy. But is it worth it? This is what you should be asking yourself. This is the only question that matters.
The answer is simple: YES. Thousand times YES. A dog can change your life, it can make it better, fuller. A dog will become your best friend, your trusted companion, your new family member and you cannot put a price on something like this.
Own a pet, welcome a new friend and family member, but do so responsibly.
Woof, Woof, People!