Posted by Megan Schneider on 24th Feb 2017
Everyone perks up at the idea of playing with a dog, but being a pet owner is not as simple as it may seem. Regardless of whether you have a dog, a cat, or a fish as a companion, you have taken on the responsibility of another life. And while, yes, some may require less attention than others, they all have one common denominator: responsibility. Here are a few things you should know in order to be the best, most responsible dog owner possible.
Dog-proof your house. Don’t leave anything laying around the house that your dog could potentially get into. Many common household items, such as cleaners and medications, are poisonous to dogs, as well as many food items, such as onions, garlic, chocolate, and more. To prevent any undesired consumption of products, you can do a few things. First, put childproof locks on low cabinets. Second, buy a trashcan that your dog cannot open. Third, put medicines and cleaners on the highest shelves possible in your home. And finally, keep your bathroom doors shut – there is nothing dogs love more than chewing rolls of toilet paper and sniffing through your trash while you aren’t watching.
Take your dog to the vet – regularly. This is very important for the health and wellbeing of your dog. You may not notice signs or symptoms that something is wrong, but a vet will. Depending on how old your pup is when you get him, you will need to take him every four weeks until he is four months old for various vaccinations, and then again at six months for a checkup. When your pup reaches the one year mark, it is good to take him for a yearly appointment, and any other time you deem necessary. Tell your vet everything you know about your pup’s history, even if it seems inane, for the best and most comprehensive care.
Spay/neuter your dog. If you have a young puppy, take notice - dogs need to bespayed/neutered at around 6 months. If your vet deems it appropriate sooner, your dog can be fixed as early as 8 weeks, but there is no need to spay/neuter this early. Aim to spay your female dog before her first heat (around 6 months) for the best health benefits.
Always keep up-to-date ID tags on your dog. This one is self-explanatory. If your dog gets lost, you need a way to find him. Having up-to-date tags with information such as your address, phone number, and vaccination information is the best way to do this. Also talk to your vet about getting a microchip for your pet.
Have a list of dog-sitters on hand. Unlike a fish, or even a cat, you cannot just give a dog a few days’ worth of food and water supply and go on an impromptu vacation. He cannot let himself outside, or buy more food if he runs out. If you are going to take on the responsibility of owning a dog, that means giving him the consistent love, care, and attention he needs, and planning ahead for when you won’t be there. Make sure you have a nearby friend or family member to take care of your pup when you can’t, or find a trusted vet or kennel at which you can board him. Additionally, if you constantly work long days and your dog will be home alone or in a crate, re-think your timing.
Make sure your dog gets enough exercise. While daily exercise requirements are based on the size and breed of your dog, all dogs should get at least30 minutes of exercise a day, but some require as much as two hours. On the bright side, your dog is helping you get or stay in shape!
Your dog is a member of the family – treat him as such. The best thing you can do is love and take care of your dog and treat him like a member of your family. Listen to the cues he gives you about his needs and act appropriately. Always make sure you give him plenty of love and affection!
Need car seat protection from wet, muddy dogs or dog hair but don't know where to start? Check out the Kurgo Bench Seat Cover. With a near-universal fit, this car seat cover fits most vehicles with ease! Watch the video below to learn how to install.
We all know that spaying (removing the uterus and ovaries) and neutering (removing the testicles) prevents unwanted pregnancies in animals. It is our responsibility as pet owners to avoid over-population from unplanned litters. But did you also know that there are other huge medical and behavioral benefits that make spaying or neutering the best choice for your dog? Here, we [...]
Photo Credit: YouDidWhatWithYourWiener.com With the Cascade and Olympic Mountain Ranges, there is no shortage of mind-blowingly beautiful hikes in Washington State with some of the best views in the country. Many hikes in the state require a NW Forest Pass , which you can purchase for $5 per day or get an annual pass for $30. State Parks require a Discover [...]
Puppies like to bite, and WOW, their sharp little teeth can hurt! Dogs use their mouths for playing, eating, and exploring, and young puppies haven’t quite learned how much pressure is too much to use with humans. It’s important to understand why puppies bite, and to never harm your puppy, reprimand him, or make him afraid of doing what comes [...]
Picture this: You’re out for a stroll on a gorgeous day, and suddenly, an adorable puppy is bounding towards you. You pet him, you tell him how cute he is, and you think to yourself, “I should get a puppy.” We’re all guilty of this – if you say you’re not, I don’t believe you. However, whether you’re planning [...]
Whether you’re going hiking for a day or taking a week-long vacation this winter, make sure you’re prepared no matter what comes your way. There are a few essential pieces of gear you should always have when traveling with your dog. And while you may deem some of them unnecessary for shorter trips, it is always best to plan [...]
Do you wear a seat belt? Do your kids wear a seat belt? Well, your dog should wear a seat belt too! A crash-tested dog car harness is the best way to ensure your pup's safety, no matter the length of the car ride! Learn how our Impact Dog Car Harness works in the video below. [...]
Puppies are notorious for being curious creatures. Until you train them, they will chew, bite, and lick everything – these may seem like cute little nuisances, but the longer you let them go on, the harder these habits are to break. Puppy training classes are an option, but they can be expensive and often distracting for puppies to learn [...]
Your dog's safety should be your number one priority when bringing him along for any car ride. Make sure he's safe with a car safety harness. The Enhanced Strength Tru-Fit Smart Harness is a dog harness crash-tested for dogs up to 75 pounds. See how it works below!
All prices are in USD