10 Things Every Dog Owner Needs to Know

March 14, 2016 at 8:15 am

Whether you’re thinking about getting a dog or a four – legged fur body is already part of your family, here are 10 things every dog owner ought to know.

  1. Look how cute I am
    A puppy is one of the cutest little things in this world. They just make you melt BUT they need constant attention and training. Be prepared for toilet training to take up to 2-4 months before accidents stop occurring. Puppies, need patience and constant reminders of what the rules and routine of the home are. Remember, a dog isn’t fully mature until approximately 2yrs old – then you’re in the late teenage stage!
  2. Exercise
    A dog, no matter what size it is, needs exercise and to be social. Have you ever had to hang out with a young child that’s been inside all day and night? Well, cabin fever sets in for dogs as well. Exercise releases all the day’s stress and pent up energy whilst socialising creates their community inside and outside of the home. I always encourage daily exercise twice a day for your dog, for their enjoyment and to prevent bad behaviour initiating.
  3. Feed them the size of their stomach not ours
    Serving sizes for dogs have gotten bigger. Pet obesity is not as uncommon as you think. Dogs have a smaller stomach (unless we’re talking about a Great Dane!). Always check with your vet the correct portion size for your dog.
  4. Make the time to connect
    A dog isn’t called ‘a (wo)man’s best friend’ for nothing. Dogs like to interact with the family and connect. Forget the multi-tasking walking them while on the phone or patting them as you work on your laptop. That’s not going to work for long and they won’t be shy in letting you know. A head butt here or a whimper there just to get your full attention. Making the time to connect allows every owner to step into the moment of feeling love.
  5. Give them a job at home
    Giving them a role in the home makes them feel part of the pack, the family. The role can be as simple as asking them to keep the place calm and relaxed while you’re out always guides them as to how to hold their own energy.
  6. House rules, when do they start
    As soon as they enter the family, teaching them right from the start will avoid any confusion between owners and the new pooch.
  7. Who’s the boss
    Every family needs a pack leader even if it’s a team between mum and dad, it’s a united front. A dog that understands who the boss is, has  stability in the home.
  8. Health
    Our health is priceless and so it’s the same for the dogs in our lives. Daily exercise, a healthy diet along with teaching them how to maintain a calm and relaxed state only increases their vitality (and not to mention our own).
  9. The smart pooch
    Well a smart pooch can keep you on your toes, they’re quick to learn, understand and usually have a lot of energy. So making sure that they have stimulation in and out of the home is a must. Toys are great but if you have a smart pooch, they will need more than just that e.g. toys with a couple of treats in them where they have to figure out how to get the treat. If you have the space a ball with a stretchy rope tied to a fence.
  10. Senior dogs
    I like to call them mature dogs, where they’ve experienced life, are wiser and happy to enjoy the moment. Adjusting your lifestyle to suit your dog’s age can prevent injuries as their bodies don’t need as much exercise and their diet can be simplified.

Having a best friend with you whilst journeying through life adds a whole new dimension. A whole lot of joy just got placed at your feet and all that’s needed is to take the time and enjoy it.

Follow Simonne Lee for more great dog content!