We’re sure you’ll all agree, when you have a dog, they become a member of the family. Every decision you make as a family revolves around whether your dog is included and if not, what care you can arrange for them. Dogs can need as much (if not more) of your time, love, and care. That’s why, if you’re thinking of adding a pooch to your family tree, you’re going to need more than just a bed for them to sleep in. Take a look at these essentials if you’re thinking about getting a dog so that you can make sure your new furry friend has everything they need to live a happy and comfortable life.
Eternal access to drinkable water
Have you ever suddenly realised how thirsty you are? Think about how far you were from getting a drink, and how important it is that you keep up your water intake. The same goes for dogs, as they can become dehydrated just as fast (if not faster) as we can. Make sure that not only does your dog have a full water bowl at all times, but access to drinkable water even if they’re not in the house. For example, you can now get water fountains for dogs that allow them to operate a water fountain for them to drink from. So, even if you’re out and you’ve let your doggo loose in the garden for a little while, they will be able to stay hydrated and reduce the risk of becoming ill due to dehydration.
Much like children, you will have to make sure that what your dog is doing isn’t going to harm them. We’re sure you already know about leads to prevent them from running into a busy road or straying too far away from you, but the safety shouldn’t stop there. Even if you’re taking your dog out in the car, you will need to ensure that they are strapped in with a dog car harness so that they are as safe as you are in the car. Imagine having to make an emergency stop and your pooch suffering because they haven’t been strapped in – it doesn’t bare thinking about.
You should also consider placing safety gates around your home too so that your dog isn’t able to get into anything that could harm them. For example, many dog owners like to put a gate on their kitchen door so that their dog isn’t able to get into cleaning products or food that isn’t theirs and could potentially harm them. Baby safety gates usually do the trick, but you can get dog gates if you wish.
Think about how dull your life would be if you didn’t have those moments of enjoyment? Whether you’re someone who would rather curl up with a book, or even go skydiving, without your favourite things to do, you’d get bored quickly. The same goes for your dog. Dogs have a lot of built up energy that needs burning off each day, so it’s important that when they aren’t out having a walk with you, that they have toys to entertain them. You can choose from a plethora of different dog toys from your regular pet store, but some owners even choose to build their dog something in the garden so that they are able to get as much exercise as possible.
Don’t just leave your dog to play by themselves either. Make sure that you’re giving them time out of your day to spend giving them a fuss, and playing catch or tug of war. This will create a bond between you and your dog and they will also be able to learn the difference between playing and when you’re serious.
Unfortunately, dogs get sick just as much as we do. However, dogs can’t be treated on the NHS like we can, so it’s important to make sure that you’ve taken out a reliable insurance policy for your dog. That way, if your fur baby does fall ill or become injured, you can rest assured that you can bring them back up to full health as much as possible.
It’s also a good idea to have your dog micro chipped so that if they do wander off on their own, you have more of a chance of having them returned home, as your vet will be able to trace them back to you.
Again, very much alike children, dogs need rules. You often hear people complaining about their dog being naughty when in fact, it’s down to the discipline that they’ve been given (or not been given). Whether you’re getting your pup from an early age, or you’re rescuing a dog from a shelter, it’s important to establish ground rules from day one so that they know how to behave in your home and also around people.
If you’re struggling to discipline a dog that’s come from a rescue shelter, then dog obedience classes might be the right route for you to go down. Remember that dogs can learn to behave from tone of voice rather than actions, so make sure that you’re practicing a stern voice for those times that you’ll need it!
Somewhere to feel safe
Like humans, dogs become scared from time to time. Whether they’re scared of the post man or a bad thunderstorm, it’s important to have somewhere ready for them to curl up and feel safe from everything. Your home by itself should be a safe haven for your dog, but you may notice that when they are scared, they will go to the same spot each time. Once you’ve established this, make sure that it’s always available to them so that they can feel protected at all times.
Finally, dogs will often choose an item of comfort too, like a squeaky toy or teddy bear. Keep track of it so that your dog can find that sense of comfort whenever they feel it’s needed. Doing this will ensure that you’ve got a happy and healthy dog at all times!