This last part of our Responsible Dog Ownership Month series is about being a friend to your new dog. Here are some tips to make “man’s best friend” think of you as “dog’s best friend!”
Dogs naturally love to explore, play, and interact. Like us, dogs are social creatures. It’s who they are. Set aside time each day for play sessions. You may be tired after a long day, but your dog has been anxiously waiting for you. To be a responsible dog owner, this isn’t just a nice extra. It’s part of the job – and it’s the fun part!
2. Get Exercise, Especially Walks
There are different ways to play that are good exercise for your dog, but walks provide some added mental stimulation. Your dog most likely LOVES to explore the smells of the neighborhood. Make sure you have a strong leash and maintain control at all times. After all, she’s not taking you for a walk!
3. Talk to Your Dog
Dogs aren’t great conversationalists, but they’re pretty good listeners! And they may not be able to understand your words, but they do pick up on the attitudes we convey with our tone. Talk to your dog to make him feel involved.
4. Give Treats
This one’s fun, too! Your dog will probably always appreciate a treat, and it’s an excellent training aid, particularly in the early stages. Treats help puppies get the calories they need to grow, too. Just make sure you don’t give TOO many treats, or you may have to battle obesity before too long!
5. Make Your Dog Feel Comfortable at Home
This will look different for different dogs. Some dogs experience severe separation anxiety when they are alone. To combat this, some people will leave the radio on to create the illusion of company. Make sure your dog knows where she can sleep comfortably, too.
6. Love Your Dog
You are your dog’s whole world. He is devoted to you. He is your companionship, entertainment, and support. Return the favor! Do what it takes to care for your dog.