How to be the best dog owner you can be

When it comes to a pet you can own that can enhance your life, there are few out there that can match up to the domectic dog. Dogs can become effective work animals such as in herding situations or as seeing eye dogs. They can assist us in outdoor recreation like hunting dogs, they can become active members of our families and also protect children, and they can relieve our stress just by spending quality time with us. There are many ways that dogs enrich our lives every day, in exchange we should always try and affect theirs in a positive way as well.

Here are some great ways you can be the best dog owner you can be.

HealthA great dog owner insures that his or her dog is always in the best health possible. This includes not only making sure that the pet gets all of its shots on time and gets regular check-ups at the veterinarian, but also observing and noticing signs or behaviorial changes which may indicate an impending illness or health problems.

TrainingA well trained dog leads a better life than an untrained dog. A well trained dog is happier because they are able to accompany their owner or family on outings and vacations. They also don’t have to be locked away when it comes time for a barbecue or family gathering for fear they will be a nuisance. Well trained dogs are able to positively interact with both their families and visitors as well.

FoodDogs must be fed at regular intervals. If a dog has an uneven feeding schedule they could develop digestive problems. Attention also needs to be paid to the type of food given to the dog, higher quality dog food with better ingredients makes for a healthier and happier pet. This is especially true for pregnant and lactating bitches, as they need more nourishment to pass along to their puppies.

ExerciseMost dogs require a certain amount of exercise to stay in good health. Whether it means that you are just keeping an active dog happy or if you are trying to keep excess weight from building up on your pet, regular exercise can be a big benefit to most dogs. This also means more than just letting them outside to run in the backyard by themselves too, it means interacting with them like taking them for walks or playing fetch.

DisciplineAnother thing that makes a good dog owner into a great dog owner is their use of discipline. Dogs need to know what their boundaries are and when they have crossed them. One should never, ever under any circumstances strike a dog with a hand or any object. A firm “NO” is usually sufficient. Other forms of punishment such as yelling at him, or confinement as a means of correction are useless because the dog has no idea why he is being confined or why your are screaming at him. On the other hand, the use of crates for house training can be beneficial. The dog will not mess in his own area, and when you take him outside make sure to take him to the same spot to eliminate. Eventually he will learn to like his “own space” in the crate, and also learn that indoors in not the place to pee.

PraiseGood displays of praise for a dog go hand in hand with discipine, just as it is important to make sure that dogs know when they have misbehaved, it is important to let them know and sometimes reward them for when they have exhibited good behavior too.

PatienceSometimes the hardest thing for a dog owner to exhibit is patience, but it is also the one thing that stands between most good pet experiences and bad pet experiences. Dog owners need to understand that sometimes dogs are not perfect and the answer to everything isn’t a scolding or a swat on the nose. Many times if you step back and look at a situation, you may even realize that you set your dog up for failure. For example, if you forget to let the dog out in the morning you can’t be too upset that there is an “accident” on the floor when you get home in the evening.

There are a number of things that dog owners can do to improve their dogs life, and many times when a dog is happier with their life, then the owner is too. When a dog owner puts forth good effort in managing the growth and life of their dog, then they can truly see the payoff for their efforts in their dog’s behavior.

Dogs give humans a great amount of joy, and the very least that humans can do is be the best dog owners they can be.