Owning a dog is like adding a child into the family. They need care, attention, love and discipline. If you do not prepare yourself for this addition, you may find difficulties in the months ahead. Take a few moments and read the tips below to learn the best advice for caring for your K-9 companion.
Obviously, dogs are unable to sleep. Therefore, you have to pay attention to your canine’s non-verbal cues. If you notice that your dog is timid around strangers or other dogs, you shouldn’t attempt to force its interaction with them. This could lead to the other dog or person getting bit. Pay attention to the posture of the dogs and let them take their time.
Never allow your dog to ride in a car unsecured. Sitting on your lap or in the front seat is dangerous both to him and your ability to drive. Always place him in an appropriately sized pet carrier or invest in a pet seat belt that will keep him snug and safe in the middle of the back seat.
When you are trying to teach your dog new tricks, you should always be patient. Different dogs will learn things differently. If your dog isn’t picking up a new trick right away, give him time. You could also try changing your teaching method. Your dog may respond better to a different approach.
If your puppy or dog is constantly chewing up your furniture, invest in some chew-toys. Scatter them around the floor, especially around the legs of the sofa and end-tables. Be enthusiastic about your offers to play with the chewies with your dog to encourage frequent use. This should eventually deter him from chomping your furniture.
Your dog needs to be secured when in a car. Not only will it make the journey safer, as it will lead to fewer distractions for the person driving the car, but in the event of an accident, it could also save your dog’s life. Look for a seat belt harness, often sold at pet stores, that you can put in your car for your pet.
Don’t allow your dog to leave your property without being on a leash even if you think your dog is well behaved. A feral animal might catch their attention, causing them to pursue them, or an unplanned incitement might lead to a bad situation with other pet owners. You are responsible for anything your dog does, as well as for his safety.
Try to always be aware of how your dog is feeling. If your dog seems to be nervous, fearful, or scared of certain things, you should take note of this and try to avoid putting your dog in a stressful situation. When a dog is stressed or afraid, you could traumatize your dog if you insist that it stays in the stressful situation.
Groom your dog regularly. A dog requires constant grooming to keep his coat in tip top condition. Make sure that your dog is completely relaxed before you start the grooming session; this is especially important if he is excitable. Keep the session quite short (5 to 10 minutes at most) until he is comfortable with the idea of being groomed. Most importantly – be sure to praise him and offer a treat after a successful grooming session!
Whenever you travel with your pet, don’t skimp on the packing. Of course you need to be well supplied with his food, water and any medications he may be on, but experts advise that you also bring his grooming supplies, vaccination paperwork, tags and an extra leash. Also, bring a flat sheet for when your dog will be on hotel furniture.
Do you have a “wrinkly” dog, like a bulldog? If so, you have to be conscientious about the grooming process in order to help keep your pet clean. After you brush, take a baby wipe and use it to get in between the folds on their body. Make sure, though, to get them fully dry after doing so.
Pick and choose when you are going to groom your dog. You do not want to attempt grooming when your pet is in a particularly frisky mood, because the process will not go well. Instead, do so only when your dog is calm and tired, like after you have taken him for an especially long walk.
If your dog is still getting used to the grooming process, only work with him or her in short bursts. Groom for about five minutes and then stop and move on to another activity. Eventually, start adding on two or three minutes to your total grooming time until your pet is able to handle a full session.
When preparing to groom your pet, start the session off on the right foot by helping your dog relax. Spend a few minutes simply petting him, starting with the head and then rubbing the back, paws, belly and even tail. Once you feel your dog is happy and content, begin grooming him.
If you are struggling to get your pet to behave during a grooming session, apply positive reinforcement. With your words and your tone, praise your dog for anything little thing that he or she does well during the time you are working with him. Give him a treat when you are finished, so he begins to associate grooming with something good. You should turn your dog’s behavior around in no time!
Shop carefully for a dog before you get a new one. Make sure that you have taken the time to research the breed and know how much exercise and grooming a new dog will need. If you take the time to choose carefully, you’ll find that you are naturally a better match to the dog and both of you are happier.
Once you are equipped with great advice about caring for your dog, you will be better prepared for the day to day life with him. You will be better capable of dealing with any issues that occur. Take notes and post them around your house so when you question what you are doing, you can get a quick reminder of what you should do.