Choosing to get a dog can be really exciting, and they can have a really positive impact on your home life but caring for one properly is a big responsibility. You will have to make sacrifices to incorporate them into your daily routine, as well as making adjustments to your home and taking a financial punch too. Here are the basic steps you need to take in order to keep a dog happy.
Training your dog benefits you as it keeps them under control which in turn helps you to avoid various mishaps, from fights with other dogs during walks, to boisterous and aggressive behaviour in the home. But as well as the benefits to you, training is something they enjoy as it provides mental stimulation, they have the opportunity to be rewarded, and it gives them clear boundaries which dogs need in order to feel content.
There are always local dog training classes that you can attend if you’d like some help and guidance on how to train your dog, and these are also useful in terms of getting your dog used to socialising with others. Alternatively, you can attempt to train them yourself with no distractions. Consistency is key and the best commands to teach are sit, stay, lie down, and come. Furthermore, dog toys can help with mental stimulation and training, as can treats so make sure you have plenty to hand.
As well as the structure and demand of training, it is also important that your dog has plenty of down time where they can play and let off steam. They will need regular walks, and depending on their size they can require anything from 30 minutes a day to two hours, which you will need to be able to fit into your schedule and do without fail. Try to make sure your walking route includes large stretches of grass for them to run on, so that they can really stretch their legs and release energy.
Although your dog may seem like they have endless amounts of energy, they also need plenty of home comforts too. Firstly, they will need somewhere comfortable to sleep and you need to establish boundaries in terms of where they are and are not allowed to go in your home. If you have a small or medium dog, you can get a dog flap that allows them to go in and out whenever they like.
Different kinds of dogs need different kinds of food, so make sure you do your research first. Your dog will probably have a personal preference too! You can even treat various ailments with dog food such as bad breath or a dull coat. And of course, make sure you provide a constant supply of water for them. Toys and treats are also a must.
Keeping a dog happy is easy to do as long as you’re willing to put the time and effort in. You’ll have to carry out training sessions initially, as well as walking them once or twice every day and making sure they have plenty of food, water, and home comforts. For more advice on how to look after your dog, such as how often you should groom them, take a look at letsfixit.co.uk.