As my two beloved dogs, Sam and Jake, get older, I find myself thinking about whether or not they have had exposure to a content and loving life. I was inspired to do some research regarding specific criteria as to how to properly care for a dog, and the following recommendations come from humane society.org.
(1) Identify your dog – If you have recently adopted or welcomed a new pooch into your life, be sure to identify them with a collar and an ID tag displaying your name and telephone number. If your dog ever wanders off, there is the potential for someone to contact you and inform you where your dog is.
(2) Vaccinate your dog – Regardless of a dog’s age when you welcome it into your home, make sure it has its vaccinations against rabies. If unsure, bring your dog to a vet in order to determine if it has been vaccinated or not.
(3) Keep your dog on a leash when away from your property – This is for your own safety, the safety of your dog and furthermore the safety of others.
(4) Provide your dog with companionship – Dogs require consistent attention and affection. If you do not feel as though you will be able to provide your dog with the companionship it needs, refrain from bringing one into your life.
(5) Ensure your dog is seen by a veterinarian annually – Dogs, like people, require checkups for their health, and they should be brought to a veterinary clinic annually at the very least.
(6) Spay/Neuter your dog – Avoid the possibility of your dog producing puppies if you do not wish for it to do so and will be unable to care for them.
(7) Provide your dog with healthy food and clean water – Do your research about the sort of food your dog should be ingesting, and ensure it has access to clean water.
(8) Train and discipline your dog – Be sure to teach your dog basic behavioural skills and refrain from using violence as a disciplinary method.
(9) Make sure your dog is getting exercise – Allow your dog access to physical exercise, for example walking or running.
(10) Be patient with your dog – Dogs are incredibly loyal and devoted animals, so be sure to interact with them patiently.
Dogs are wonderful animals, and I often wonder what we as humans did to deserve their love and companionship. Be sure to prepare yourself and your home for the arrival of a new dog and to provide it with the care and love it requires to flourish.