Being a responsible dog owner is more than taking your dog for the occasional walk, making sure it has food and water and that it can go outside to the toilet. There are a lot more things that need to be done in order to ensure the health and happiness of your dog. Below is a list of minimal requirements for each dog owner to ensure that they are on their way to responsible dog ownership. Until that level is reached, here are tips on the absolute necessities for each and every dog.
Every dog must have access to food that is suited to it. The food must have all of the basic nutrients that the dog requires, be of the right quantity that the dog can eat, be satisfied and not lose weight or gain excessive weight. A good rule of thumb when it comes to the amount to feed a dog is to go by the size of the head (skull) of the dog. The dogs’ stomach is around the same size as their skull. This amount of food, of the right nutritional value should suffice to keep the dog in good condition.
Whether it is hot, cold, windy or calm, a dog must always have access to clean, fresh water. There should also be more water than the dog could possible want to drink. For example, a cup of water may be all the dog requires, but in order for it to remain fresh and cold, a litre of water is better.
Whether it is a puppy or a senior dog, all dogs need exercise. Some breeds of dogs, like working dogs, hounds and terriers, may require more exercise than a Chihuahua. Along with the quantity of exercise a dog needs, the quality must be correct as well. A 5 mile walk may be suited to a mature Siberian Husky, but a 5 mile walk will be about 4 miles too far for a young puppy of a small breed.
Dogs are pack animals. Therefore, it is important that each and every dog is taken out into the world to experience everything possible going on around them. This not only aids in their mental stimulation, but it sets them up to cope well in new situations.
An unruly dog is not a joy to own, for family or dog alike. A dog that has received no training, or even minimal training, is more likely to ‘misbehave’ (misbehave in human terms only) around family members, other people, animals and other dogs. This will lead to the dog being punished by its’ owner, other dogs and the like. Therefore, training is a must and can start from the day the dog is brought home. For great tips on training methods and ideas, see Cesarsway.com.
No matter how healthy the dog, there are things that need to be done in order for the dog to remain healthy. These are:
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Some areas also require treatment for the prevention of heart worm in dogs, so this also becomes necessary.
Whether the dog lives inside or out, there are some basic must-dos when it comes to providing shelter for a dog. Each and every dog must have access to shelter that is out of the weather. The dog must have somewhere to go in wet weather to get out of the rain or snow, and it must also have access to areas that are shaded and cool for those hot summer days.
Although the list may seem long, it really isn’t difficult to be a responsible dog owner. So long as the dog is well cared for, has access to quality food and fresh water, and gets medical attention, that’s a good start. Living arrangements should be suited to the dog, and the dog must be kept under control at all times. Allowing a dog to wander the streets is not being a responsible dog owner.