Making the decision to welcome a puppy into your home isn’t one to be taken lightly. While you might think that a pet is no big deal, a mutt is so much more than a four legged animal who has come to lodge at your humble abode. A dog needs nurturing, playing with, teaching and looking after when he is a puppy. The wrong sort of upbringing or neglect can make your hound less of a family companion and more of a foe. Our canine companions are so popular because they are so much more than pets; they become members of your family. Take a look at this ultimate guide to puppy ownership to make sure that you are ready for such a responsibility.
Teaching Your Puppy Pal
Your pooch is like a newborn baby. They need constant looking after from feeding to taking to the toilet. A puppy doesn’t instinctively know where to go to poop and has no idea that he can’t eat your feet. This is why you need to start training straight away. You want your dog to grow up to be a loving and obedient companion. However, you need to instill these qualities in him. You don’t want to be that dog owner who goes to the park needing to hire a dog bite attorney because your mutt has lunged at another person.
Start training with positive praise and reinforcement. Get yourself a clicker and teach your dog the most basic commands such as sit, stay, heel and down. Get them to focus on you, and sweeten the deal with their favorite treat. Keep training sessions short and fun, and you will have a wonderful pooch as your pal.
The food that you can feed your canine companion ranges from the gourmet to the downright disgusting. Stretch as far as your budget will allow. Don’t go for the cheap kibble full of filler and meat meal and opt for a grain free and nutritious kibble. Their poop will be healthier, their temperament will remain stable, and they won’t need as much food to prevent hunger. Good quality dry food can stop tummy upsets and give your dog a shiny coat, good joint health, and help them maintain their optimum weight.
You might be tempted to try the new fangled BARF diet which consists of raw meat and bones. This is tougher to do and requires more input from you to prepare their meals, but can result in a healthy dog.
A dog will take up a lot of your time. You cannot simply take your puppy home and ignore him. He will require your attention especially for the first few weeks. You need to teach him how to use his crate, help him feel comfortable to sleep through the night and be on hand for toilet breaks or whining in the early hours. The time you put into your pup will repay you tenfold when you head out for walks, enjoy some time outdoors and learn to enjoy your dog and all his quirks.
Being a dog owner is different from owning a cat or a gerbil. A dog really is man’s best friend, so if you’re keen to welcome a furry addition into your family, make sure you are ready for the responsibility.