Pet ownership can become your ticket to a healthier and more meaningful life. Taking care of a dog is a great way to lower stress, improve sociability, encourage exercise, and speed up recovery from injuries. Being dog parents can also teach valuable life lessons, such as compassion, responsibility, and patience. This is especially true when kids decide to have dogs.
Taking care of a dog can bring many benefits, but this relationship shouldn’t only improve your own wellness. You should also exert effort to ensure that your furry friend stays happy and healthy for years. You won’t be able to enjoy your role as a dog parent if your pet is always sick.
Dog parents like you are responsible for the following things:
1. Train Them Properly
One of the most basic responsibilities you’ll have as a dog parent is to train your pet properly. Regardless of the breed, age, and size of your dog, you should prioritize training them to ensure that they’ll know how to behave in an unfamiliar environment or when they’re surrounded by new people.
You can start by training your dog on essential commands. As a dog parent, your pet should know how to sit, stay, heel, and lay down on command. Basic obedience is vital for your dog’s well-being and ensures that you and the people around you will remain safe with your dog around.
As a dog parent, you should be fully aware of the duty of care for dog owners and make sure that your fur baby doesn’t cause injuries to other people. This kind of situation rarely happens when you properly train your dog.
2. Seek Understanding
Dogs can’t use words to communicate to their owners. Often, you’ll have to pay more attention to their body language to determine what they want. The inability of your dog to communicate can become a challenge when you become a pet owner. However, if you want this relationship to work, you should be willing to understand your canine companion at all times.
Communication is always key in every relationship, and yours with your dog isn’t an exemption. As a responsible dog parent, you should make an effort to understand what your dog is trying to say to you. Is your dog limping? Are they losing their appetite? It’s your responsibility as a dog parent to understand your fur baby‘s cues and address them right away.
In the same manner, you should also teach your dog how to understand your cues. Finding the right rhythm between you and your dog will take a lot of time, but making sure that the two of you easily understand each other will make the relationship happier and more productive.
3. Be Kind
Opening your doors to a new pet is like having a new baby in the house. Dogs are naturally playful and will usually entertain themselves by chewing on different kinds of furniture, carpets, and even footwear. This is especially true for puppies.
But, even if your dog behaves inappropriately, don’t forget to stay kind. This is normal behavior among dogs since they’re still adjusting to their new environment. Instead of scolding or hurting your dog, take steps to correct their behavior. As long as you’ll treat your dog with kindness and respect, it won’t be long before they’ll know how to properly behave indoors.
4. Regularly Provide Preventive Care
Just like human beings, dogs also get sick. No single breed in the world is immune from acquiring illnesses and diseases from their environment or genes. It’s your responsibility as a dog parent to provide preventive care to your furry friend to ensure that they’ll remain safe from these ailments.
As a dog parent, you should regularly take your pet to the vet for regular check-ups and vaccinations. You should also be willing to look for remedies for common health problems, such as heartworm, ticks, and fleas. And, most importantly, as a dog parent, you should be ready to shell out money once your pet is diagnosed with potentially fatal diseases.
5. Prioritize Their Safety
Regardless of how you’ve trained your dog, there will be instances when they’ll wander outside your home. Situations like these can cause stress and panic. How do you think you can find your dog when you’re living in a busy neighborhood? Do you have any way of knowing that your dog is actually safe outside? You can’t prevent all accidents from happening, but there are a number of things you can do to keep them safe from these untoward incidents.
Prioritizing your dog’s safety is another responsibility you should be able to carry out as a dog parent, and you can achieve this goal through the following ways:
- You can keep your dog safe 24/7 by letting them wear a collar with an ID tag and using a leash whenever you’re out with them. This is especially important if you’re fond of taking your dog for long walks in a new location or environment.
- Moreover, you should never leave your dog inside your car alone, regardless of how quick you’ll be out. Extreme weather or temperature can be harmful or even fatal to dogs. In some countries, leaving your dog inside the car alone is actually illegal.
- If you’re planning to let your dog play around your yard, make sure that the area is gated and safe for your pet. Block any entryways that might lead your dog to busy streets to prevent them from getting involved in accidents.
Keep Up With The Challenge
You’ll have to wear different hats at the same time once you decide to take care of a dog, which is why you should think carefully before welcoming one to your home. Pet ownership will require commitment because you have to properly take care of your furry friend for years, as if they’re a newborn child.
If you’re planning to adopt a pet to your home, make sure that you fully understand all of the responsibilities it’ll require from you. Being a dog owner can improve the quality of your life, but keep in mind that this responsibility isn’t a walk in the park.