Being a good dog mom goes beyond microchipping and spaying or neutering your doggie. We’ve listed three top actions to take in a variety of categories that you can do to be a great dog mom (or dad) to your beloved canine.
Dogs are tough but even the toughest need annual vet check-ups, vet-approved diets, vaccinations and treatment for accidents and injury. Having a good relationship with a medical professional can even help prevent illness or accident.
- Vaccinations are vital. Get them all and ask about special precautions in your area.
- Never miss annual check-ups. Your vet can also advise on home maintenance like safe toenail clipping. Check with your vet how often to take your senior dog. They may suffer more and say less…
- Your vet will advise on essential and effective tick and flea treatment, diet, disease control and epidemics.
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A dog that knows its boundaries is a happy, healthy dog. It’s your job to make sure he learns these as he grows, and in all the different human environments he may visit.
- Obedience around mealtimes is important, especially if you have other animals. Encourage calm and patience.
- Safety on the road relies on a dog that listens to your commands, even when there’s noisy traffic. A leash is not enough…
- Socialising with other dogs and people helps your dog learn the difference between exuberant greetings and solemn, respectful ones.
We may like to think it is but love ain’t enough. It takes the best pet food you can afford to keep your doggie happy and healthy. Remember, regular mealtimes will mean so much to your dog’s sense of security and their growling stomach.
- Consult your vet on your dog’s diet if any medical conditions arise, or if your dog is changing life-stages, e.g. puppy to adolescent (read our guide here).
- Give your dog the very best quality food you can afford. Your vet can advise on the right balance of premium pet food and supplementary foods that you can add.
- Make sure there are no poisonous substances around your garden and home. Dogs are indelibly curious, after all.
Dogs are dynamic, even the tiny ones. What’s more, exercise (including play) helps them adjust socially and relax, emotionally.
- Get the right leash for your dog’s gait and running style. Some automatically lengthen and shorten to allow for excited lunges ahead (the dog’s, not yours, although…).
- Include water in your exercise routine in warmer months but make sure it’s safe. This might mean a dip in the pond, a spray of the sprinkler or a doggie pool (that all dogs can easily get out of and not drown in).
- Adjust the type of exercise to the dog’s needs/life stage. Older dogs might appreciate slower, gentler walks more often; younger dogs generally need wide, safe spaces to romp around in.
Every dog has its day, every day. Rest is as important as love and exercise. Think of it as an energy refuelling time. For both of you!
- Make sure you have a bed suitable for your pooch’s sleeping style.
- Resting places should be dry, comfortable, sheltered, shaded, and clean.
- Different dogs need different lengths of time to re-energise. Respect all your dogs’ needs and give the short nappers different places to sleep so that they don’t interrupt the long nappers.
This one is less about the actual activity than it is about the emotions involved. Any positive time spent together will boost your dog’s wellbeing and strengthen your relationship. If you’re in a bad mood, maybe hold off on the cuddles till you’ve had a nap, and feel more cheerful …
- You don’t have to do anything fancy – you can simply hang out and brush your pooch while talking to her.
- Try to turn routine activities like toenail maintenance into quality time. This can involve treats for good behaviour or allowing more time for the activity to include play.
- Involving your dog in your daily household duties can also help her feel more a part of the family. This might not apply to mopping the floor…