Having pets at home is a reason for joy because furry animals make for excellent company. This is especially true when you live alone. When you live within a specific neighborhood, apartment, or condominium, it is important to avoid disturbing others with barking, smells, and even improper use of common areas. Let’s now look at the 10 rules of dog ownership and your responsibility in all of this.
1. Prepare Your Home
The arrival of a new pet can be quite exciting for the entire family. However, it can be a bit stressful if you don’t know what to expect. For that reason, you should plan ahead of time how you are going to prepare your home, whether with window screen repair so your pet does not get out or with residential pest control to eliminate critters. To make the arrival of your new pet a success, make sure your home is a safe place for an active and curious puppy or an adult dog that needs a little help to make the transition to a new and unfamiliar environment.
The first of the 10 rules of dog ownership is to prepare your home before your new pet arrives. This means you should consider securing and sealing any openings. You should make sure that the garage door is always closed. This is something that you have to tell your children. Remove all chemicals or put them away in a safe place. Keep poisonous plants, prescribed medications, and sharp objects out of the way as well as electrical cords and other dangerous items.
Home repair and renovation products, such as insulation materials, can cause serious internal problems if ingested. Therefore, if you are in the middle of a home improvement project, be sure not to misplace materials that could hurt your new dog.
2. Make Sure Your Dog Will Be Comfortable When They’re Left Home Alone
Leaving your dog alone at home is a situation that you cannot avoid all the time. Normally, a few hours a day are not harmful to a dog. However, there are times when a poorly managed pet can cause loneliness and havoc. You should bear in mind that leaving your dog alone at home for too long can have serious legal, emotional, and medical consequences in the case of your pet’s health. If your dog has behavioral problems or cannot control his impulses, it is very likely that you will find a mess every time you return home.
Interactive toys with sound or lights are perfect for accompanying dogs that have the worst time being alone at home. The sound that many of these toys incorporate encourages the natural instinct of dogs to hunt and encourages them to continue playing. Any dog will love to play with such a toy. This is the second of the 10 rules of dog ownership to pay attention to.
Another fundamental guideline to facilitate adaptation is to delimit the space in which the puppy will live in the house. If the puppy feels comfortable and safe in his living space, everything will be easier and it will also help to manage the separation. Keep your puppy in a defined space. You will be able to leave him and prevent him from walking around the rest of the house when he is alone. This way there will be less risk for the animal and also guarantees that it will not damage anything outside its area. Make sure that the heating and cooling maintenance is done because you don’t want your pet to feel hot and uncomfortable when left at home alone.
Your puppy should not be unattended at home for more than two to four hours. If you have the help of a family member or neighbor who can go for a walk with your puppy every few hours, the animal will be happy and the impact of loneliness will not be so strong.
3. Find a Reputable Vet
Part of being a responsible and loving caregiver is providing the best health conditions for your pet. Therefore, the third of the 10 rules of dog ownership is to find a reputable veterinarian who understands how to administer care to your furry friend. Keep in mind that the help of the veterinarian is necessary and essential for your pet to stay healthy and enjoy a good quality of life.
Knowing how to choose a veterinarian for your pet is very important. It is not only about knowing how to diagnose and treat their problems but also about being friendly and professional as well as having knowledge and experience in certain specific needs of your pet. Your personal care for your pet is essential, but the veterinarian will also play a very important role. The vet will be the person you will have to go to every time your dog is sick, needs a vaccination, and when you need advice to take the best care of him as possible. Therefore, you need the vet to be a trustworthy, professional person who is aware of everything your pet needs. You are going to leave your pet’s life in his hands, so don’t choose your vet lightly!
If you are thinking of waiting for the critical moment when your pet needs medical attention to find the ideal vet, you are wrong. Don’t wait! Finding the perfect vet takes time and effort, so it’s important to start looking before your pet needs it. In fact, if you are thinking of adopting a pet, and do not have one yet, it is recommended that you start evaluating veterinarians now. Then, when you get your little furry friend, you will already have your chosen doctor.
4. Have a Family Meeting About Pet Care and Safety
Many parents get a pet at the insistence of the kids and because of their promises that they will take care of the pet. However, the initial excitement soon wears off as the kids become bored with that activity and go off to do something else. So, the fourth of the 10 rules of dog ownership is to sit down and have a family meeting about the pet’s daily care and give different responsibilities and tasks to different children. If not, the parents are going to find themselves doing everything for the animal.
While the best private education will provide your children with the knowledge they need growing up, dog ownership will also teach them important things: responsibility and discipline. It teaches them how to show affection and how to provide care as well.
The meeting should include a discussion on age-appropriate duties. Small children may only be able to feed the pet. Before you assign the tasks, make a list of them, along with the names of the individuals to perform the tasks, and post it on the refrigerator for everyone to see, especially the kids who can read. Once these tasks are already established and everyone is on board, it is your duty to explain what will happen if the tasks are and are not completed. You can give the kids little rewards for doing so, especially the younger ones. Educate the kids about how to safely care for the pet without hurting themselves.
5. Teach Your Dog How to Swim
Swimming is an excellent exercise for dogs, as it provides them with physical and mental stimulation. However, contrary to popular belief, not all dogs can swim in the water by nature. In fact, depending on their body type, they may not be fit to be good swimmers, and depending on their personality, they might adore or dislike the water.
However, many dogs enjoy the water and are good swimmers, although not all of them start out that way. Teaching your dog to swim is a multi-step process. You should start slowly and gradually. You should take into consideration that some dogs may never feel confident when swimming and will always need a life jacket when they get into the water.
Teaching your dog to swim as a puppy, however, can help it become familiar with outdoor bathing, especially in a swimming pool first. Remember that the dog’s first contact with the water should be a fun experience and that it is advisable to choose shallow places for the dog’s first dips. Having a float for the dog, resorting to games, and encouraging the dog with words of affection are other keys for the animal to learn to swim.
If your new dog is a puppy, exposing him to water between six and 16 weeks of age can help him get used to and make positive associations with being in the water. If your dog is an older adult and has never been in the water, start the process slowly, starting with a few inches of water first, just to get his paws wet. To do this, it might help to use a baby pool or even a bathtub.
Be prepared to accompany your dog in the water when you teach him to swim. There is no faster way to make a dog afraid of water than to put it in the water alone. Once your dog is comfortable with a few inches of water, you can gradually expose him to more water. Use praise and rewards as he ventures into the water, and stay by his side in case he needs help. If possible, find a place where your dog can move through the water gradually. Teaching your dog can swim can also come in handy if your pup accidentally falls into water, making it the fifth of the important 10 rules of dog ownership.
6. Find a Neighbor or Friend Who Will Watch Your Dog in an Emergency
Not only do you have the option of leaving your dog with a friend or family member, but you also have the option of reserving the services of a dog sitter or leaving it at a kennel. Everyone is free to choose the option that best suits their needs. However, it is best to give guardianship of your pet to a neighbor or friend who might already be familiar with your pet. The dog will also feel comfortable in the care of someone that is familiar.
You should also consider the neighbor’s personality. While the neighbor or family member might not mind caring for your pet, the neighbor’s environment could be messy and your pet may feel uncomfortable in that setting. You should also make sure that the caregiver is disciplined to provide your pet with the required medication on time and adequate supervision.
When you decide to leave your pet with a family member or neighbor, you still have to consider the decision and make a serious evaluation of the person’s ability to care for your pet. Not everyone is responsible to take care of your beloved furbaby. So, don’t take this decision too lightly. Do your homework well. If you and your neighbor have a good relationship and they love your pet, then this is a no-brainer. It is better for the pet to be closer to home, making this the sixth of the 10 rules of dog ownership you cannot avoid because you cannot always be at home with your pet.
7. Ensure Your Backyard Is Safe and Protected
The seventh of the 10 rules of dog ownership is to make sure that your backyard is safe for your pet. Hire a fence installation service to put up a fence so that your pet doesn’t get out. Not all fences are the same when it comes to safety. A white fence can be idyllic, but you will want to weigh the pros and cons of these fences, which are usually somewhat short. If they are too short, a passerby can easily jump over the fence and grab your pet in the yard. To deter others from entering your property, you should consider installing a tall, strong fence. Six-foot-high privacy fences work well because they obscure the view of your yard for most people, keeping your pet safe.
Fence pickets that are sharp at the top also make the fence more difficult to climb. Adding a self-closing lock to the inside of your door is a must if you need to keep strangers out. There is no use building a strong fence if the gate can be easily opened from the outside. You should also make sure that sewer line repair is done, especially if the pet roams around the backyard and can be hurt as a result of sewer damage.
8. Train Your Dog to Obey Commands
The eighth of the 10 rules of dog ownership is training your dog to be obedient to your commands. You can teach your dog a multitude of things, but it is important that you start with a set of basic rules. When you start training him, develop a weekly schedule to help you get organized. Each week, he works on one or two basic orders. Make sure you use an environment where your dog has few distractions to make it easier to prevent and modify behavior problems.
Getting your dog to come to your call is essential, as it will help you get away from possible problems. Your dog will return to your side if he gets off the leash, someone calls him and walks away, or goes after a distraction. To teach this command, put your dog on a leash. Get down to their level and say “come,” gently pulling the strap towards you. When he gets to your side, reward him with a treat and lots of love. Once you have mastered the leash command, take it off and practice in a safe, enclosed environment.
Teaching your dog to lie down is a bit more complicated since it is a submission posture. Therefore, relaxed training with positive reinforcement is essential, especially if your dog is fearful or anxious. Put a treat that he likes a lot in your hand and make a fist. Raise your hand up to your dog’s muzzle. When you smell it, move your hand to the ground so that it follows. Next, slide your hand across the ground in front of your do, to force the body to lower and lie down. Always commend your dog when it obeys your commands.
9. Install Motion Sensors
A motion sensor or presence detector is a tool used to automatically illuminate an area as you pass through it. It is a very useful product for cases such as arriving home at night. It is also ideal if you have a pet. Once you install the motion sensors around the home and on your garage door, if someone attempts to approach your pet outside or even the house, it will alarm the intruder. If your pet decides to wander away, the motion detector is useful to alert you. Upon detecting this movement, the luminaires are electronically activated so that they turn on for a certain period of time depending on the timer that the detectors have. This makes installing motion sensors the ninth of the important 10 rules of dog ownership.
10. Give Your Furry Friend Plenty of Love
You don’t have to extend your budget to show your furry friend that he is loved, even though spending money on his food, harness, and bed won’t hurt. There are several other ways to show your pet affection, making it the last of the 10 rules of dog ownership. It is very important that your pet knows that he is an integral part of the family. While a dog cannot talk or be able to understand you when you talk, you could show your affection by rubbing his coat and keeping him close to you. A neck or belly massage is ideal. Taking your dog for a walk is another way to show love. Bathing your dog and spending time with the animal are also good ways to show love too.
Ready to bring a new dog into your family? Consider these 10 rules of dog ownership before you bring your new furry friend home.