As a pet parent, your dog’s good health and happiness is extremely important. Between training, walks around the neighborhood, and mealtime, a lot of time and effort goes into taking care of your best friend. Your dog is a member of your family, so it’s your job to ensure you’re properly caring for your fur baby and making good decisions for them.
Proper pet parenting is crucial all year round, but it’s never a bad time to review your current activities and check to see that you’re doing everything you can for your dog. In honor of National Responsible Pet Owners Month this February, let’s take time to review a few key pet parenting tips that help you support the health and well-being of your four-legged family members.
Prepare for a Lifelong Commitment
When you choose to adopt a pet, don’t be impulsive. Responsible pet parents understand the commitment that comes with welcoming a new dog into the family, and are prepared to provide the love, care, and financial investment required throughout a dog’s lifetime. You also need to consider how a new pet will affect any other furry family members. If your adding to your pack, make sure you take the steps needed to introduce a new dog to the rest of your family
Take your time to choose a dog that fits in well with your family and your personality! Some dogs are more high-spirited while others will be fairly mellow, so figure out which breed mixes are the best fit for your household. Remember, this is a relationship that requires a long-term commitment—as in, to have and to hold, for better or worse, etc. The right pet will bring you and your family years of unconditional love, loyalty, and joy while asking very little in return.
Feed Your Dog a Healthy Diet
From the time you bring your dog home, he’ll depend on you entirely for nourishment. Feed him the best dog food you can. A super-premium dog food like Bil-Jac allows you to give your best friend all the right nutrients, including protein from real chicken, essential vitamins and minerals, and amino acids for immune system support.
It’s also important to pay attention to your furry friend’s specific needs, such as special formulas for puppies, adult dogs, and seniors. You also need to consider special options depending on the size of your dog as well as products like Bil-Jac Sensitive Solutions. By feeding a high-quality food, you can rest assured you’ll be giving your best buddy the opportunity for a lifetime of health and wellness.
Take Control Through Training
A well-trained dog is the key to a happy household. Dogs need to be taught key behaviors such as sit, stay, lay down, drop it, and come to behave properly. Clear boundaries give your dog a better understanding of how to behave. When you train your dog to always put his best paw forward, everyone from your family members to friends and houseguests will appreciate it! If you need some help, check out these basic dog training tips from Hollywood Animal Trainer and Author Joel Silverman, and remember to keep plenty of Bil-Jac Dog Treats on hand for training and the occasional snack.
Work Out and Have Fun
Like humans, dogs need some form of activity. In fact, they thrive on it! Play and exercise allow your dog to stretch his muscles and use up some energy. Not only that, going out and about allows your dog to use all his senses and stimulate both his body and mind, so take your pooch outdoors and to a change of venue at every opportunity. This will give him plenty of mental stimulation to stave off boredom in addition to staying physically active.
There are plenty of ways that you and your dog can stay fit and have fun. Find time to walk or play with your dog at least 15 minutes per day. It’s important to note that larger dogs will need longer walks. Playing fetch or flying disk in the yard counts too! If the weather is bad, play some games indoors with your dog’s toys. The right amount of exercise will make your dog calmer, healthier, and happier.
Use Proper Identification for Your Dog
A responsible pet parent will want to keep the safety of their best friend a priority. Make sure your dog has the proper licenses and identification tags as soon as possible. Many pet parents consider microchipping their pet to improve the chances that you’ll be reunited with their baby in case he becomes lost. You don’t want to ever experience a beloved pet going missing, but these measures will help. Also, make sure to update your dog’s tags and microchip information if you ever move.
Always Take Care of Your Dog's Health
Just like people, dogs need routine checkups to make sure their health is in good order and to potentially spot concerns before they are a serious issue. In addition to those regular vet visits, make sure your fur-baby gets the needed vaccines and is appropriately protected against fleas, ticks, and other pests, as well as heartworm. When it comes to your pooch, an ounce of prevention is much, much less than the cost and worry down the road.
Spay or Neuter Your Dog
Puppies are adorable, but do you think that you could handle six or seven new additions at home? Responsible pet parents won’t bring litters of pups into the world who may go unadopted. Even if you have a male dog, you don’t want the responsibility of caring for a litter of puppies. By getting your dog spayed or neutered, you can help curb pet overpopulation.
Keep Your Dog on a Leash
It may be fun to let your dog loose and have him roam where he wants, but it can be an accident waiting to happen. Regardless of whether you live somewhere with a leash law, keeping your dog in control can prevent him from being overly friendly with the wrong dog, getting his nose into dangerous spots, and meeting with potential accidents.
Clean Up After Your Pooch
Your dog is your responsibility. That means you’re responsible for anything he leaves behind as well. Be prepared and always take along a bag when you walk your dog. Cleaning up his mess will prevent complaints from neighbors along the way—and it’s just the doggone right thing to do!
Always Let Your Dog Know You Love Him
As much as your dog needs your time for training, a nutritious diet, or exercise, what he needs most is your love. Show your dog lots of love and care. A belly rub, brushing him, giving him a bath, and providing a special bed of his own are just a few things you can do to show how much he means to you.
Just like us, your dog has emotional needs that must be met in order for him to be happy and well. He loves when you tell him when he is a good dog or when you scratch him in just the right spot. When you leave, he looks forward to you coming home. He loves the time you spend together doing even the simplest of things, whether it’s a walk or just relaxing on the porch. All the TLC you show him will be rewarded in the bond that you share for life.
Even the most responsible pet parent still has more tricks to learn. Join the Best Friend’s Club today to receive our exclusive email newsletter filled with dog care tips, information on nutrition, members-only discounts, and other great benefits.