Owning a dog can be very rewarding because of the unconditional loyalty and friendship it can bring into a person's life. Dogs however, are dependent on their masters to provide them with the care they require to meet their physical and emotional needs. If someone is considering adopting a dog, it is important that he or she first learn all that is involved in looking after these wonderful animals. |
Having a dog means that one will need to purchase some supplies essential to the animal's comfort and safety. A strong, good quality collar and leash will be needed for controlling the dog on walks; nylon is a better choice than leather because it is less tempting for a young pup to chew. A portable dog carrier is also necessary for safely transporting the animal. Some easy-clean, sturdy pet dishes, a variety of chew toys, grooming aids, and a washable and cozy dog bed are also needed.
Dogs are known as animals that love to eat many types of foods, however some of these may be harmful to the dog so the owner must be aware of which foods are safe for their pet and which are not. A high-quality, nutritionally balanced dry dog food should be the main dietary staple; a veterinarian or breeder can recommend a suitable type. Inexpensive canned dog foods should not be given. To avoid begging, it is best to feed the dog before the family sits down to eat, and then reward him or her occasionally with an appropriate table scrap.
A grown dog will need to be taken for a walk at least 4 times every day, and a puppy will need to go out every 2 hours or so because they lack full bladder control at that age. Walks are a great way for the dog to get needed exercise and socialization with other dogs and be able to explore its surroundings. It is best to not crate a dog unless necessary because it can negatively affects its emotions.
A dog will not instinctively know right from wrong behavior unless it is taught the difference in a firm but patient manner. Generally, the "Four P's" should be applied; praise, prevention, patience, and practice. This consistent system of repetition and reward will steer the dog towards positive behavior. Punishment should never be used during training.
Since the animal's health is of high importance, it will be essential to find a great veterinarian. A dog needs routine health checks to make sure he or she is well, as well as vaccinations. It is also recommended that the pet be spayed or neutered to prevent a possible unplanned pregnancy and having to find homes for puppies, and also to eliminate the risk of the dog developing various reproductive system cancers.
As the parents of a young child must "baby-proof" their home, so must the owners of a dog in order to keep the environment safe and free of hazards. Removing electrical cords, poisonous house plants, cleaning products, and tiny objects the animal could choke on is part of this process. Young puppies should not be left without supervision.
Proper identification is also important for dogs, in case they get lost. Clearly marked name tags worn on the collar that include the pet's name, owner's name, and contact number work well to accomplish this. Many owners also decide to get their dogs microchipped, which involves a tiny implant being placed under the animal's skin which will make its whereabouts detectable.
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