Owning a dog, especially if it’s the first pet, can be overwhelming at times.
Dogs are pack animals, and as it grows into a full-grown adult/senior, you become part of its pack.
Just the fundamentals of bathing, feeding, and taking it to the vet don’t suffice.
You have to become the pack leader! And to do that, behavioral training needs to start from an early age.
We, as caring dog owners, tend to overdo it most of the time.
We overfeed them and turn them obese. Or we pamper them so much that they become unruly.
This starts out as a concern for the dog and its well-being and eventually turns into a whole world of trouble for the owner later on.
Without further ado, let’s get into some of the pointers that can be useful for you if you’ve brought home a pup for the first time.
Are you overfeeding the puppy?
You might think that leaving food around will allow the puppy to eat whenever it’s hungry, but that can be a disaster.
The more you feed your dog, the more it’s going to eat, especially at an early age.
And overweight dogs are more likely to have orthopedic issues since the bones have to carry all the weight.
While smaller breeds need more food to fuel their high energy level, larger species need controlled amounts to get overweight.
So talk to a vet for a diet plan for the particular breed you have.
Puppies need more food for growth during the first 6 months.
A veterinarian can also guide you through as your puppy grows.
However, if you have an adult dog from a shelter, the diet will not necessitate many quantity changes.
Should I introduce food puzzles?
Dogs require open space to stay stimulated.
They run around the yard chasing butterflies, and that keeps them happy.
So if you’re living in an apartment, it gives them less scope to stimulate themselves.
Introduce the food puzzle! The puzzle keeps the dog physically and mentally stimulated, and the reward at the end of it keeps the interest alive.
Are you giving your dog enough house-training?
Your dog will be as lazy as you.
So if you don’t stick with the training, neither will he/she.
Now, training stays with a dog for longer if it starts at an early age.
However, if you’re persistent enough, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!
Dog proof your house before you bring home your buddy.
This assists with the training and makes it a whole lot easier for you.
And remember- while training, repetition is the key!
How much grooming does your dog require?
Grooming requires habituation, so the earlier you start, the better.
Brushing your puppy’s teeth helps to prevent oral bacteria growth.
Trimming the fur during summer helps cool down the body temperature.
Puppies tend to jump around and unintentionally claw you or others.
So keeping the nails clipped prevents any unintended scratches.
How frequently should you bathe your dog?
While grooming is a once in a month requirement, weekly baths are non-negotiable.
Give your puppy a good long bath in slightly warm water.
You can use regular shampoo to get the job done.
However, to avoid eye inflammation and take care of a tick problem, you can buy bathing products from nearby pet stores.
Avoid using a blow dryer because the noise can be frightening for them- a dry towel should suffice.
Owning a dog can be a whole lot of work but a whole lot of fun as well.
The warm hugs and wet kisses make up for all the trouble, and the companionship is priceless.
So if you’re a new dog owner and have a difficult time, do not get impatient.
As the dog grows older, the troubles subside, and every experience after that is a memorable one.