Anyone can bring home a pet, but there are so many aspects to taking good care of your best friend for life. From feeding your pet well to exercise and playtime… from training to cleaning up after walks … here are our 7 best tips for being a responsible pet parent.
1. Think of it as a marriage of friends.
When you choose to adopt a pet, don’t be impulsive. Take your time to choose a dog that fits in well with your family and your personality! Remember, this is a relationship that requires a long-term commitment—as in, to have and to hold, for better or worse, til death do you part. But remember— the right pet will bring you and your family years of unconditional love, loyalty and joy, while asking very little in return.
2. Feed your fur-baby well.
From the time you bring your pet home, he will depend on you entirely for his nourishment and fresh water. Feed him the best dog food you can. Choosing a super-premium food like Bil-Jac is the right first step. It means that, right from the get-go, you’ll be giving him all the right nutrients, from real chicken to vitamins and minerals to amino acids for immune system support. And we offer special formulas for puppies, adult dogs and seniors, as well as dogs with special needs. 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.
3. A little control can eliminate a lot of chaos.
A well-trained dog is the key to a happy dog household. Dogs need to be taught key behaviors such as sit, stay, lay down, drop it and come to behave properly. Not only do they need it, but they actually fare better with clear boundaries. When you train your dog to put his best paw forward at all times, everyone from your family members to friends and houseguests will appreciate it! Check out these video tips on how to train your dog, courtesy of Hollywood animal trainer and author, Joel Silverman. And remember to keep plenty of Bil-Jac treats on hand for training and the occasional snack.
Of course, exercising control goes beyond basic training. Here are other important ways to take charge:
- Leash your dog. Not only will this be in keeping with local leash laws, but it also can prevent your dog from being overly friendly with the wrong dog, getting his nose into dangerous spots, and meeting with potential accidents.
- Clean-up after your pooch. Always take along a bag and scooper 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!
- Spay or neuter your pet. Please don’t bring litters of pups into the world who may go unadopted. Responsible pet owners recognize the harmful results of pet overpopulation and work to curb it.
4. Work that body and mind!
Like humans (or maybe even more than humans) dogs need exercise and play. In fact, they thrive on it! So get yourself and your pooch outdoors and to a change of venue at every opportunity. When you get your dog out and about, they don’t just benefit from the physical activity, they also get to use all of their senses to stimulate his mind. Give him plenty of mental stimulation to stave off boredom. The busier your dog is, the happier he will be. Find time to walk or play with your dog at least 15 minutes per day, with larger dogs needing longer walks. Playing fetch or Frisbee in the yard counts, too! And if the weather is inclement, try playing some games with toys indoors. The right amount of exercise will make your dog calmer, healthier and happier.
5. ID ASAP.
Make sure your dog has the proper licenses and identification tags as soon as possible. This will save you immeasurable stress and heartbreak if you’re pet becomes lost. You may want to consider microchipping your pet. This affordable and easily performed process greatly improves your chances of being reunited with your fur-baby if lost or taken. And be sure to update your microchip information if you move.
6. Always, always take care of his 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. Because when it comes to your pooch, an ounce of prevention is much, much less than the cost and worry down the road.
7. Add a lot of TLC.
Show your dog lots of love and care. Brushing him, giving him a bath and providing a special bed of his own are good things to keep in mind. Just like us, he has emotional needs that must be met in order for him to be happy and well. He loves to hear you tell him when he is a good dog in your happy, gentle voice. He is so happy that you know just the right spot he likes to be scratched. When you leave, he looks forward to you coming home. He loves the time you spend together doing even the simplest of things, on a walk or just sitting on the porch. All the TLC you show him will be rewarded in the bond that you share for life.
Do you have pet care tips you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you!