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Family & Home 233 views Jan 28, 2020
Caring for Your Dog – 6 Things You Can Do to Make Your Dog’s Li

Having a dog is a huge responsibility. As a dog owner, you need to do much more than feed them, take them for a walk, and give them a bath from time to time. Dogs need attention, care, and mental stimulation, in order to grow up healthy and happy.

In order to keep your dog happy, you need to learn what their needs are, and how to care for those needs. Dog owners should see this experience not as a chore, but as something that brings joy to their life. A dog’s love and loyalty are things you can’t find anywhere else, and if you learn how to make your dog happy, you will be rewarded with much more than you can think of. 

If you don’t know where to start, follow the tips below, to make your dog’s life as good as it can be. 


Make sure they have a place of their own

By nature, dogs are social animals, and they don’t enjoy feeling left out. Some dogs like to live outside, but most of them want to be able to spend time with you inside the house as well. After all, to them, you are their people.

If you usually keep your dog outside, make sure they also have a designated area inside the house, where they can sit and enjoy your company. Whether it is a simple mat that you can place on the floor, or an enclosed area, the most important thing is for your dog to have enough room to play, take a nap and stretch inside the designated area. This can be applied if you keep your dog inside all the time as well. Teach them where their spot is and carefully enforce off-limit areas. 


Keep them active

Most dogs are very active beings, meaning that, if they don’t have enough space to play, run around and chase after toys, they need to be taken for walks at least once a day. No, taking your dog for a walk does not mean going around the apartment building for 5 minutes, until they do their nasty business.

Take your dog to the dog park at least once a week, so they can run free and off the leash, and play with other dogs. If you are an active person yourself, taking your dog with you when you go running, hiking or biking can also be a good idea. Dogs love activity, so they won’t mind an extra-long hike or a walk through the forest from time to time. At home, make time to play with toys, train them to fetch and play tug-of-war with them. 


Schedule play dates with other dogs

Just like you enjoy going out with your friends, your dog likes to spend time with other dogs as well. Taking them to the dog park, so that they can play with other dogs and “socialize” is extremely important for the mental health of your dog. If you keep them isolated, they will grow anxious and won’t know how to behave when they have to interact with other people or animals. 

If you have friends with dogs, schedule play dates and get them together, to chase around and play. This way, you can spend time with your friends and make your dog happy in the process. If you don’t have enough time on your hands, try taking them to a dog daycare facility. Daycare facilities have trained personnel, that know how to take care of your dog when you are at work, or when you need some time for yourself. 


Make grooming a ritual

Yes, washing, drying and brushing your dog can be unpleasant and time-consuming sometimes, but they need grooming just as much as you do, so why not make this a bonding ritual? Not all dogs like to be washed, let along brushed, even though they very much need it, but with patience and care, you can teach your dog to enjoy grooming and perceive it as quality time spent with you. 

If your dog does not like grooming, you have to make them get used to it. Start by presenting to them all the tools you are using for grooming, such as combs and brushes. Give out constant positive reinforcement and slowly move to the next step. If you feel your dog may not like a certain tool or action, spend more time on it and help them get used to that certain step in the process.  


Get them some nice treats

Nutrition is very important for dogs, but normal dog food can be boring and unfulfilling after a while. To balance things out, get them some nice treats that your dog will enjoy. You can use eats in training session, or simply to reward them for good behavior. 

Yummy treats are one thing but do make sure you also incorporate some healthy treats in your dog’s diet as well. Dental sticks, treats that help keeping fur healthy and shiny, as well as nutritional supplements, are welcomed at any time. Just make sure you talk to your vet before, to recommend supplements that won’t interfere with your dog’s diet. 


Train them with care

When training your dog, never, but absolutely never punish them. Training can not be forced, and the more you try to punish your dog when they fail to learn a new command, the less likely they will be to learn it. Instead, try positive reinforcement. Keep around treats for every training session and reward them every time they do something good. This way, they will learn that the only way to receive treats is to listen to you.

Training sessions are your one-on-one time with your dog, so make the most out of it. Use this time for boding and creating a strong relationship with them, but at the same time remind them they need to listen to you. With enough care and, of course, treats, you can teach your dog to do anything.

Tags: #pets  #dogs  #caring