Monday, April 25, 2011

Keep your dog and You Happy!

Some super simple things that will keep your dog happy
  • Food and Water : Good quality food 2 to 4 times a day depending on your dogs needs and metabolism. Some treats in between if needed. Supply of fresh water at all times!
  • Shelter: Clean and dry bed, a crate or a kennel which can accommodate the dogs complete height when he stretches in width while lying down, as well as height. If an outside dog, then waterproofed kennel and warm blankets for cold weather, cool shadowed shelter for the hot weather.
  • Exercise: Daily exercise, running, walks,playing or anything that the dog likes for 30 minutes twice a day or an hour at the least, more depending on the dogs age, breed and energy level.
  • Training: Teaching your dog some obedience and tricks is good for his mental health and is a great time to connect with the dog. Always use positive re-inforcement, using negative actions like hitting or shouting just scare the dog without him understanding the reason and are not recommended. Use treats and love to enforce the right behavior. Read more about how here
  • Love: Dogs need love, touch and care. Give the love right after exercise or after training.
  • Daily walk: Dogs need to pee every 4-6 hours during the day depending on their bladder, 8-9 hours at night, and poop 1 -2 times a day. If theres a yard, then let the dog have access to it depending on its schedule. If not, then walk 3-4 times a day, for the dog to be able to relieve himself. Brisk walks can be counted as exercise!
  • Vet check up: Yearly visits to the vet, for vaccinations and health check up.
  • Socialization: Meeting new people and other dogs is as important for the dog as it is for humans. The more number of people, kids and dogs he meets, the more he learns about accepted behavior around them.
Some simple rules to keep you and your dog happy!
Also, chaining, or crating a dog for more than a few hours a day or night is not good for the mental well being of the dog. Confinement for extended periods of time just make the dogs more aggressive.

The motivation for this post came from simple questions that come up when I meet dog owners. The new adoptive parents of one of my fosters called me everyday with questions. One of the questions was that P is peeing at night. I knew that she was fully house trained from her stay at our house for 2 weeks, so I asked them about her walk schedule. They said twice a day. Then I had to explain why she should be taken out atleast 4 times. Just a simple association to how many times we(humans) need to go in a day. But sometimes that association doesnt come naturally. A new pet is sometimes a puzzle. Not any more! Please share this post!

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