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There are few better additions to your family than a new fur baby! Too often, people think of a dog as something that they own, like a possession or a toy. The truth is that you should treat your dog far more like a family member to increase everyone’s happiness! In order to help you do just that, here are a few simple pieces of advice for you to follow.
Look After Your Dog’s Health
No one truly likes having to go to the doctor, and that often includes our pets. However, your dog isn’t going to be able to walk themselves to the vet, so it’s incredibly important to take them for regular health checkups.
It’s a bummer that your dog isn’t necessarily going to be able to tell you if something is wrong in a way that you can understand, so you need to pay close attention to the little things.
Eating less food could be a sign of pain, for example. Bring any concerns to your veterinarian and keep your dog in optimal health. Ideally, it’ll turn out that there’s nothing wrong, but if there is a health concern, catching it early can make all the difference to your dog’s quality of life.
Feed Your Dog Quality Food
One of the most tempting things for a lot of people is to share their food with their dogs. After all, what could be more of a treat than scraps from the table? Well, the truth is that it might not be the best thing for your pup after all.
Dog’s digestive systems are simply not built the same way as a human’s, and they aren’t going to respond to certain foods in the same way. Places like myhappypooch.com are great for helping you find the perfect food for your dog.
Sure, just about everyone knows about the not giving a dog chocolate, but plenty of other foods can do some damage to your dog’s insides as well. Not only that but not all dog food is created equal. The cheap stuff that you get at the supermarket could end up causing some pretty nasty digestive issues or have frequent recalls.
Teach Your Dog Appropriate Behaviors
Of course, being a part of the family isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. When you’re a member of the family, you need to make sure that you follow the rules and that’s no different for your pup.
Training for your dog is pretty much essential to make sure that they behave properly in any situation. Otherwise, you’re going to end up with chewed furniture, broken possessions, and a whole lot of stress that you really don’t want to have to deal with. That increases both your anxiety and theirs, as they truly don’t understand WHY that fun TV remote is off-limits!
There’s plenty of information online about training dogs, which can be a huge help without even leaving the house! If you’re really struggling, look for a positive reinforcement trainer near you for classes or one-on-one sessions.
The important thing to remember is that, if you don’t feel as though you can put in the time and effort required to really take care of your pet, then it may not be the ideal time to bring one into your home.
To get your puppy fix with less commitment, you can always chat with your local animal rescue about fostering! It’s a wonderful way to see if having a pet is a good fit for your life, while helping save their life.
Whether you get a new puppy (check our list of top essentials a new puppy needs here) or adopt an older dog, taking care of them is an incredibly big responsibility! Make sure that you and your family are truly ready to take care of any new addition to your family, even a furry, four-legged one.