By Sandeep Lad*

Tips To Help You Become A Better Pet Parent

If you are considering bringing a canine companion into your life, think seriously about the commitment. Owning a dog is not just a joy and privilege but a huge responsibility as well!

This doesn’t have to mean 24/7 attention and physical proximity but you need to make your pet a part of your life.

1)   RECOGNIZE THE COMMITMENT

Before making a decision that a dog is right for you, make an honest assessment – are you ready for the financial, emotional, and time commitment that owning a dog requires?

2)  RETHINK YOUR LIFESTYLE

Think about the type of dog that will best suit your lifestyle. Evaluate all aspects of your family’s life – hobbies, activities, personalities etc. before choosing a breed.

3) PREPARE A LIST

What type of dog would you want? What qualities would you want in your dog? Consider size, energy levels, grooming needs, trainability, and temperament. Also, if it’s your first time, refrain from buying a fancy breed.

4) ZERO IN ON A BREED

You can finalize which breed you would want based on the list of qualities you want in your pet. Do some research like attend dog shows, talk to dog trainers or breeders, friends and family who own a particular breed you are interested in. This will give you a better idea.

5) CONTACT ETHICAL BREEDERS AND /OR DOG TRAINERS

Get referrals to responsible breeders or trainers. Do not hesitate to ask questions and clear whatever doubts you may have. Get right information about the breed and breeder’s practices.

6) PAPER WORK

Get the paper work right and make sure you have complete information about the breed, fees, health of the dog etc. from the breeder.

7) USHERING YOUR NEW COMPANION HOME

Buy the necessary requisites and toys for your little friend. Purchase food recommended by a certified trainer or vet. Prepare in advance by keeping collar, leash, toys and other things so that your pet’s transition into your home will be smooth one.

8) DOG-PROOF YOUR HOUSE

Prepare your home for the new arrival. Puppies are just like babies. Move expensive items, breakables or ‘chewable’ to a higher ground. Make chemicals, electrical cords, and sharp equipments inaccessible to curious paws and snouts.

  Once Your New Member Finally Arrives

10)  LET YOUR DOG ADJUST TO HIS NEW SURROUNDINGS

He is bound to feel insecure and frightened by new faces and all the attention. He may be missing his mother or littermates. Show him where to find water and food, and let him explore his new home.

11) SOCIALIZING WITH OTHER PETS

Introduce new pets and people to your puppy in a patient manner. Give your pup time to adjust to new things in his surroundings.

12) BE CONSISTENT WITH HOUSE RULES

House rules are important for your puppy to understand – what is allowed and what is not! It’s vitally important that entire family agrees on house rules. The trick with house rules is ‘consistency’. Visitors also should be informed of what is allowed and what is not allowed.

13) POTTY TRAINING – A BASIC RULE

Puppies need to be potty trained. You wouldn’t want to see it to just pop a squat or just let it flow. Stay consistent, stay positive, and stay patient with yourself. Observe his behaviour before he feels like relieving himself and always take him to the same spot. Choose a word you and your pup associate with. Praise your pet with treats after they have done it right.

14) OBEDIENCE TRAINING

A dog’s behaviour is directly proportional to obedience training it receives during puppyhood. You must start obedience training early because teaching good habits early is the best way to do it! Obedience training is a great experience for you and your dog. You may discover your dog’s hidden talents. It also tackles behavioural issues.

15) KENNEL TRAINING

Puppy kennels and crates are places that a pup calls its own. It’s a safe place; it’s their den. Dogs don’t like to soil the place where they sleep and it becomes one of the most important puppy training tools in their new homes. A crate or a kennel serves as a short term ‘time-out’ training tool. If dog learns at a young age that a crate is not scary or dangerous it makes transporting your dog less stressful.

16) HEALTH OF YOUR DOG MATTERS

Schedule regular check-ups and attend regular vet appointments. This will ensure that your dog is up to date on vaccinations and flea treatments.

17) NUTRITION IS THE KEY TO YOUR DOG’S HEALTH

Schedule regular check-ups and attend regular vet appointments. This will ensure that your dog is up to date on vaccinations and flea treatments.

18) EXERCISES AND GAMES

Take your dog for walks, play games, run with him or throw a ball around. Do things that stimulate his mind and body.

19) LEARN TO JOURNAL

Journal or keep a track of your dog’s behaviour and pattern of eating, drinking, sleeping, and relieving himself. Any major changes or variations in these patterns could suggest an illness.

20) BATH TIME!!!

Wash your dog with an appropriate canine shampoo. How often you should wash him will depend on his breed and environment. If you find this task difficult, take him to a groomer or a vet.

21) HAIR, TEETH, NAILS AND THE WORKS!

Depending upon the coat of your breed, you may need brushing daily or weekly. Longer coated breeds need daily brushing to prevent shedding.

Learn to clip your dog’s nails or have a vet or a groomer do it.

Clean your dog’s teeth regularly to prevent tooth decay or gum diseases. You can give him inedible chews and bones to help them clean and make jaws and teeth stronger in older ones.

22) TRAIN YOUR DOG

Get your dog trained by an experienced trainer. This just makes life comfortable and easier for both you and your dog. You can teach your pet basic commands like sit, stay, come etc. yourself.

23) SOCIALIZING AFTER YOUR PET HAS SETTLED

Expose your dog to different people and environments regularly. Take him to a park, pet stores or any place where pets are allowed. Praise your furry friend for good behaviour around strangers and other dogs.

24) BREEDING

If you are thinking of breeding your dog, do so responsibly and consult your trainer, breeder or vet. Dogs mostly reach maturity by 10 months.

 

Your dog is a part of your family. Treat and care for them as you would do for a family member.

*Author is an experienced Dog Trainer and Founder of Sovereign Dog Training school. He has 20 years of extensive and diverse experience in training dogs.

For further queries and professional training, he can be reached at sovereignpets@gmail.com.

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