Owning a dog isn't all about fun. With your cute ball of fur comes a lot of responsibility. Not only are they dependent on you for the basics (food & shelter), there are a lot of other aspects to being a great dog owner. With September being AKC Responsible Pet Owner Month, Bark Busters can provide some great tips to have a well-behaved dog!
- Spayed/Neutered. Spayed & neutered dogs not only live longer, but actually make better companions. Talk to your vet about when to spay or neuter your dog - it's usually around five or six months, right at puberty.
- Identification. You probably don't leave home without your identification and neither should your dog. Make sure he/she has the proper identification, including its name, address and telephone number in case he gets lost. Micro chipping is a great idea!
- Temperature. As summer draws to a close and we leave the scorching temperature behind, it's equally as important as we head into winter to protect your dog from extreme temperatures - even cold weather. Many dogs have a fur coat, but that's not enough to protect against winter's chill for long hours.
- Veterinarian. Just as you should get an annual check-up, your dog should visit the veterinarian at least once/year for his vaccinations and to check his overall health.
- Cleanliness. Make sure to give your dog regular baths, brush his teeth, clip his nails and clean his ears. Or take him to a groomer regularly if these tasks are too cumbersome for you. Also, brush your dog regularly to keep its fur from being tangled and matted.
- Training. We don't just advise that you get dog training because we are dog trainers. It's not fair to you or your dog if you're unhappy with some of his issues such as barking incessantly or chewing everything in sight. You don't need the headaches and he doesn't like being constantly in trouble. Since you will probably be his pet owner for at least the next 10 years, a well-trained dog will make your relationship better in the long run.
- Exercise. Both you and your dog need regular exercise to keep in shape. Playing fetch, chasing a ball or go for a walk. Both you and your dog will sleep better! Make sure you always have fresh water for your dog. A tired dog is an obedient dog.
- Leashes. Unless you are in an off-leash dog park, keep your dog leashed at all times. This will prevent him from darting out in front of a car, getting into a skirmish with another dog, or jumping on people.
- Clean. It's important to clean your dog's food bowls and water bowls daily. Otherwise, they can attract bacteria that can harm your dog's intestines.
- Secure backyard. Dogs are generally good about digging holes and escaping fences, even if they are happy where they are. Makes sure your fences and gates don't need to be patched.
At Bark Busters, we want to make sure you raise a happy, healthy and well-behaved dog!