Whether you have adopted your dog from the humane society or have gotten a puppy from a certified breeder (something that should not be ignored), everybody wants to give their dog the very best life they can. If you’ve owned dogs before, you should already know enough to help your new pet live a happy and healthy life, but if you’re new to dog ownership, you should want to know everything there is to know about giving your dog the best life.
It’s not just about showering your dog with affection, though. You need to understand everything from the breed to the best diet and give them a chance to socialize with other dogs so they don’t feel isolated. Once you know how to give your dog the best life you can, you can guarantee they live a full and happy life.
Research the Breed
There are so many different dog breeds that it would be impossible to research every single one. Luckily, you won’t need to do this, but you can still research the breed of dog you are interested in.
Everyone wants a cute dog, which is why pugs are so popular. But, with a range of medical issues related to their breathing, you need to know what to expect. Even supposedly healthier dogs, like boxers or Dobermans can come with possible health issues, so don’t assume everything will be okay.
If you take the time to learn as much as possible about the dog breed before they come into your home, the better you will be able to take care of them and anticipate any issues that could occur.
Give Them Plenty of Exercise
Taking your dog for walks is expected. It’s what every dog owner signs up for when they bring a new dog home for the first time. Of course, you will need to wait a few weeks (usually six, depending on their age), before you can take them out of the house, as you must give time for vaccinations to kick in.
In the meantime, let them bound around your backyard if you have one. If you don’t, you can look at alternative exercises, although this might also be a sign that you’re not ready for a dog yet.
When the time’s up, you can check how much exercise your pooch needs to ensure they get enough exercise to prevent restlessness. While you might have been excited at first, getting up early for morning walks quickly loses its appeal, but it’s essential for helping your dog grow big and strong.
Keep Them Entertained
Just like kids and even adults, dogs can – and will – become bored if there is not enough mental stimulation around the house. This is more important while they are still a puppy and getting used to the world around them, and they will want to inspect everything around the home.
Dog toys and games such as fetch are a great way to keep them occupied, even if this means you need to spend a little longer than you thought playing with your pooch (and that should sound like the best thing ever). It’s more than mere entertainment, though. This also gives you the chance to start training them and teaching them how to play nice.
Don’t Ignore Training
Speaking of training, you can do your part to train your pooch how to play, but as you’re not an experienced puppy trainer, you can’t fulfill every training obligation.
This is where puppy schools are useful. When they are old enough, taking them to a puppy school will allow them to socialize with other dogs, which will save them from overreacting when they inevitably come across another dog during their walk.
These classes will also teach your dog basic commands like Sit or Wait. This will help make your dog more obedient and prevent any added stress that comes from owning a puppy, making sure they listen to you, and you can trust them when taking them out.
Let Them Sniff Around
Dog’s noses are over 100 million times more sensitive than human noses, and sniffing around anything will be like you indulging in sweet, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate, or indeed anything that makes you feel good.
If you’ve noticed your dog sniffing around when you go for walks, you should stop pulling them along just because you need to get home for a certain time. Allowing your dog to sniff around flowers, grass, or even around lamp posts will give them the chance to explore more of the world that, often, seems quite small.
You can take this further and play scent tracking games with your dog that will improve their sense of smell and keep them entertained as well, so you hit two points in one.
Maintain a Good Diet
Much like humans, dogs shouldn’t overindulge on sweets, treats, or fatty foods, as it can cause significant issues later in life. While it’s tempting to give your dog a treat every time they do outside to pee or sit patiently by the door waiting for you to come inside, this can lead to bad habits, encourage them to beg for treats even when they don’t need (or deserve) it, and cause them to put on weight.
If your dog seems sluggish or looks like they have put on a little too much weight recently, you can find ways to improve their diet and prevent further health complications.
At the same time, you should also make sure they get enough nutrients when they are younger, as this will help them grow up strong and encourage healthier habits as they get older.
If you feel frustrated and a little bit grimy when your hair or nails are too long, imagine how dogs feel, especially as they can’t do anything to change it themselves. Regularly grooming your dog by clipping their nails or keeping their coat short will do wonders for their overall comfort.
A long coat could also make them feel too hot, especially during summer, while long nails will make it difficult for them to move around and will scratch you when they jump up to say hello.
A haircut or just shampooing can also remove any ticks or pests that have found a way onto your dog’s fur, especially if they have run through long grass recently, and this makes grooming as much of a health benefit as it does a comfort one.
Let Them Make Friends
Some new dog owners will not trust their pets when out for walks. This is moderately understandable, especially if it is their first time meeting other animals. As kind and loving as your dog is, you don’t always know how they will react when they meet a friend.
The last thing you want is for your dog to lunge and snap, especially if the other dog has done nothing to deserve this. But still try to help your dog make friends. Aside from puppy training, professional dog walkers will offer a service that introduces your dog to other dogs, which encourages positive play rather than risk any issues.
This play encourages your dog to be comfortable around others, which will give them the chance to have a happy social life.
Adapt The Home As They Get Older
It’s not just about all the fun and games that you’ll have with your dog when they are a puppy. A dog is for life, so you will need to adapt your home as they get older to maintain their quality of life.
As their joints become weaker and their mobility isn’t what it used to be, you should find ways to make them as comfortable as possible. This can be ramps or steps up to their favorite seat on the sofa, or you could install mats to prevent them from slipping.
Their eyesight could also deteriorate, so as much as you’ll need to make sure the home is accessible, making drastic changes can confuse them and cause anxiety.
Make The Most of Every Moment
Every dog owner wants to give their pet the very best life, so you can – and should – make the most of every moment. From the day you bring them home for the first time right up until it’s time to say goodbye, giving your dog a comfortable and cozy life full of fun and adventure is one of the best things you can do for them.
Even after it’s time to say goodbye, you can memorialize them with customized cremation urns, or you can scatter ashes at their favorite place, whether the park or the beach.
No matter how you choose to memorialize your dog, you can sit comfortably knowing that you did everything you can for your dog. So, take plenty of pictures, go on lots of adventures, and embrace everything about your dog to ensure you give them the kind of life that you would want.
The Best Life
Dog’s are hardly the most difficult animals to please, but this shouldn’t mean you don’t do everything you possibly can to make them happy. Although they are bundles of energy on the surface, they are also slightly more complex than many non-owners believe. By understanding the best way to treat your dog, you can feel assured that you’ll give them the best life possible.