What does it mean to be a responsible owner? While there is no real definition for it, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes owning a dog as a responsibility – not a privilege. Here are a few tips to keep your canine companion happy and healthy:
Be sure to make them feel like part of the family! Pets crave companionship, especially pack animals like dogs. Being the leader of that pack can be a big responsibility. Dogs are loyal creatures and if you love them they will always love you back.
Take care of your pet! In the same way humans get regular check-ups or go to the salon, you should schedule regular vet and grooming visits for your dog. This ensures your pet is in good health and for dogs who require grooming, it’s a necessity that you take good care of that coat. Always keep a tag on your pet’s collar with their current rabies shots, their name and your information. Microchipping your pet is always recommended, as some pets go collarless while lounging at home, and is helpful in identifying your pet if they get out or are stolen.
Feed them accordingly! This a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how many parents accidentally overfeed their pet. Putting your pet on a routine feeding schedule (with portion control) is especially helpful with maintaining a healthy weight. Healthy treats are always encouraged for good boys and girls!
Train your pet and socialize them! Teach your pet to be obedient with very basic commands like “sit”. Training your pet builds trust between you and your pet. This month is also Dog Training Month, so check out our blog post for some tips on training and why it’s important! Socialization is key to raising a happy dog. Whether it’s meeting new people or animals, socializing gives your pet a confidence boost. It’s important to exercise your pet, through training or socializing. Daycare is a great way to socialize your dog and for them burn off that extra energy!
Pet proof your home and travel safely! We’ve gone over pet safety while traveling once before, but it’s not talked about enough! Always be prepared and keep them comfortable. It’s great to keep a pet first aid stored away at home, but if your furry friend takes regular trips with you, consider keeping one in your car. Pet proofing your home is similar to childproofing your home. Always keep household cleaners and harmful foods out of reach. Be mindful what you leave lying around, pets have sensitive stomachs and can not digest everything the way humans do.
Spay and neuter your pet! There are many reasons as to why you should do this, but research has shown that pets that are altered live longer and healthier lives. Spaying and neutering your pet at a younger age also helps with territory marking. Plus, pets who are fixed young are less likely to develop behavioral issues later on. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care & Control and the Humane Society of Charlotte both have low-cost spay/neuter options available.
Love your pet! It’s literally the easiest thing you can do for them. Your pet will love you no matter what time of day or age. Who doesn’t love getting attention from the one they love most? At Dogtopia, we pride ourselves on loving your companion like family because dogs are a really big deal around here!