11.20.2017

Treat your furry friend like one of the family

A dog can often be one of the very best additions to any family. After all, they might be called "man's best friend", but they're almost certainly the perfect companion for just about every member of your family. Not only are they are a wonderful companion but they offer you the chance to teach your kids about responsibility and taking care of something else. Not only that but they will almost certainly end up being your child's best friend in all the world. But even more than any of those things, a dog is a living creature that deserves to be treated like one of the family. Far too often people think of a dog as something that they own like a possession or a toy, but the truth is that you should treat your dog far more like a family member if you really want it to be happy. In order to help you do just that, here are a few simple pieces of advice that you might want to follow.

Feed them well

Black and Tan Yorkshire Terrier Puppy

One of the most tempting things for a lot of people is to share their food with their dogs. After all, what could be more of a treat than scraps from the table? Well, the truth is that it might not be the best thing for your faithful hound after all. Dog's digestive systems are simply not built the same way as a human's, and they aren't going to respond to certain foods in the same way. Sure, just about everyone knows about the not giving a dog chocolate, but plenty of other foods can do some damage to your dog's insides as well. Not only that but not all dog food is created equal. The cheap stuff that you get at the supermarket could end up causing some pretty nasty digestive; the same goes for treats.
If you're going to give your dog treats (and you definitely should!), then places like Betsy Farms are the best option since they're designed to not only be delicious but look after your dog's digestive health as well. Sure, there's nothing wrong with giving them some scraps off your plate now and then, but if you really want them to be happy and healthy, it's best to only give them food created with dogs in mind.

Keep them active

One of the things that a lot of people fail to realise is just how much exercise dogs need. If you're not prepared to take them out on regular walks, then you really shouldn't have a dog in the first place. A dog that's stuck not getting the exercise they need is going to become frustrated, over-excited, and difficult to deal with. Of course, you're not always going to be around to take them on multiple walks a day. Of course, there are a few options that you can try. For one thing, you can hire a dog walker to help them stay active while you're at work. Not only that but you can give them things to do that will test their brains as well as their brawn. Mental exercises like searching for treats or doing tricks can actually offer them a similar workout to a long walk. Just think of it as the same level of workout, just more intense and cerebral.

Look after their health

adorable, blur, breed

No one likes having to go to the doctor, and having to go on someone else's behalf is even worse. However, your dog isn't going to be able to walk themselves to the vet, so it's incredibly important that you get them registered with a vet as soon as possible. Not only that but it's a good idea to take out pet insurance since a lot of vet bills can be incredibly pricey if you don't have it. Remember that your dog isn't necessarily going to be able to tell you if something is wrong in a way that you can really understand so you need to pay close attention to the little things. Has their appetite changed? Are they slowing down during their walk? These kinds of things might not seem like that much of a big deal, but it's important that you get them checked out right away. Ideally, it'll turn out that there's nothing wrong at all and you and your furry friend can carry on feeling happy, but if there is something wrong, catching it early can make all the difference to your dog's quality of life.

Teach them the rules

Of course, being a part of the family isn't all sunshine and rainbows. When you're a member of the family, you need to make sure that you follow the rules and that's no different for your dog. Sure, you're going to want to shower them with plenty of love and attention but if you don't set out solid ground rules for your furry friend, you run the risk of spoiling them. As with any member of your family, if you're not consistent with the way that you enforce the rules, they're going to fall into some really bad habits. Training for your dog is pretty much essential to make sure that they behave properly in any situation. Otherwise, you're going to end up with chewed furniture, broken possessions, and a whole lot of stress that you really don't want to have to deal with. There's plenty of information online about training dogs, and if you're really struggling, then there are plenty of places where you can take them in order to get the help that you need with their education.

The important thing to remember is that, if you don't feel as though you can put in the time and effort required to really take care of your furry friend, then you're probably not ready to bring one into your home. Whether you get a puppy or adopt an older dog, taking care of them is an incredibly big responsibility and one that you simply can't ignore. Make sure that you and your family are really ready to take care of any new addition to your family, even a furry, four-legged one.

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