If you’re like most dog owners, your pet isn’t just a furry companion, they’re a family member. Like any member of the family, you want to be sure you’re taking good care of your dog. Keep these tips in mind to be the most caring, responsible dog owner possible.
Be Sure the Humans Communicate
For you to be a responsible owner, your dog must be well taken care of. If you live with family or roommates, be clear from the start as to who will be responsible for what tasks related to the dog. Will the same person fill his food bowl for every meal or will you take turns? If you’re switching off, how will you keep track of who’s doing what and whether it’s been done? Make sure that feedings, walks, grooming, training, and the inevitable cleaning up of dog poop are all taken care of or put in the hands of capable professionals if you’d rather skip the dirty work yourself.
Keep the Environment Safe & Pup-Friendly
Be sure your home is as dog-proofed as it can be before bringing your pet home. If your new furry family member is already here, it’s not too late to make some changes. Make sure anything toxic is safely away or out of reach make sure any wires are protected from nibbling puppy teeth, and fix any problem areas that you’ve noticed already (like that favorite pair of shoes that keep appearing in Fido’s bed). Of course, this includes your outdoor space, too. Dog waste can be harmful not just to your lawn but to you and your pet too. Look into residential pet waste removal from a company like Scoop Troop to make sure the job is done right and you’re all kept safe.
Do Your Research When It Comes to the Professionals
Whether you’ve just brought your pup home for the first time or they’re a longtime member of the family, you want to ensure that you have the best people taking care of them (including you, responsible pet owner!). Research local vets, groomers, dog trainers, pet sitters, dog walkers, and pet waste removal services to find professionals who come highly rated and are the right fit for your fur babies. Don’t be afraid to switch providers for pet services if it doesn’t seem to be a good match for your canine family members.
Get the Best Supplies Possible
A quick Google search will bring you countless checklists for all your dog’s must-have items. Make sure your pet has a high-quality collar with any applicable tags, a no pull harness to keep them secure on your daily walks and trips to the dog park, and a cozy bed to snuggle up in (when they’re not jumping into yours, that is). You don’t need to buy the most expensive option for every item you get your pup: do your research through online reviews and other resources to find the best dog harness, crate, and toys with your budget in mind.
Give Them Lots of Love
No matter what, it’s important to remind your dog that they’re loved. This is even more true for rescues, who might not have experienced a loving home before yours. Make sure you’ve scheduled enough time each day to bond with your dog, whether that time is spent training, playing, grooming, or just snuggling. As legendary cartoonist Charles Schultz put it, “Happiness is a warm puppy.” Keep your dog happy and you’ll be happier too.
You love your dog, and they’re sure to give you unconditional love in return. Show your love by keeping a clean yard, working with highly-rated professionals, and purchasing high-quality harnesses and other care products—and lots of treats and cuddles.