Your dog is your best friend. He listens, he helps you stay in shape and loves to snuggle. While you gain so much joy from having them in your life, return the favor and ensure that they are cared for at all times. These are the top 10 essentials to keep your dog safe, happy and healthy.
1. Meet their daily exercise and dietary requirements. All dogs are unique in how much exercise they need. It’s important to understand what your dog needs to keep their good behavior intact and prevent restlessness. A healthy, balanced and appropriate diet allows your dog to age properly in providing them with their vitamins and nutrients. As dogs age, their diet should reflect their changes. Consult your vet in asking them what the best dog food is for your dog’s lifestyle.
2. Use an ID tag and microchip in case they get lost. If the inevitable happens, make sure people can easily identify who to contact by having your name, phone number and address on your dog’s ID tags (located on a fitted collar). A microchip is a safety measure, if your dog is lost and loses their collar. The microchip will enable any vet or animal shelter to contact you by scanning the chip after it is registered. You can register your dog’s microchip with the provider, without the registration it is impossible to track the dog back to its owner.
3. Maintain a functioning relationship with your dog by constantly training them and teaching them new tricks. This is fun for both of you. As your dog is having fun learning (and getting treats for positive reinforcement), you are teaching them cool tricks that you can show off to your friends.
4. Make your home one that is safe for your dog too. Clear your home of dangling cords and sharp objects. Keep human food, poisonous plants and cleaning supplies out of your dog’s reach.
5. Pay attention to your dog to notice their mood and personality changes. When you know what is considered “normal” behavior, it’ll be easier to tell when something is wrong. If your dog starts to growl or bite, when they normally wouldn’t, something may be wrong and causing them pain. If you notice a difference, take them into the vet, they are probably trying to tell you something.
6. Bond with your dog by taking them on errands. Due to the growth in the pet care industry, there are not only local dog boutiques and dog care facilities, there are a ton of national stores and local cafes that are becoming more dog friendly. Rather than leaving your dog alone at home, bring them with you to enjoy the companionship and new adventure.
7.Research Before Getting. Before you get a dog, research the dog breed and understand the ins-and-outs of the breed’s mannerisms, personality and behavior. You will end up having this pup for years to come so make sure you are able to give them their needs, and they fit as part of your family.
8. Biannual vet check-ups. The newly recommended guidelines say to take your dog to the vet twice a year to keep them happy, healthy and monitor any changes.
9. Provide them with loads of love and attention. Try to not leave your dog alone for long period of time to give them the companionship they need. Schedule play, exercise and snuggle time to keep your dog on a routine and to ensure they get enough attention each day.
10. When you are away, find a place for your dog to stay that makes both of you happy. There are numerous dog kennel options in your area, but make sure the facility meets your dog’s needs. Here at FlipFlop Dogs, we provide home-to-home dog vacations by arranging for your dog to stay in the home of a loving Companion Family. Your dog’s schedule will be maintained (down to a tee), they will never be left alone and they will receive one-on-one attention and care.
Extra Tip: Have a plan of action if a natural disaster happens. Know where you can take your dog and yourself until it is safe to return. With all the tragedy of the event, keep your dog safe and with you when the disaster strikes. If you don’t have a plan in mind, ask your vet where there is a safe dog friendly location nearby, or friends and family that live outside of the area.
Do you have any other tips in maintaining a rewarding relationship? Leave us a comment to share yours!