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10 Tips to Become a Better Dog Parent

Dogs play an essential role in many ways. As they have faith and trust in us as their pet-parents, we have the responsibility to take good care of their physical and mental wellbeing, as well as safety.

In this article, pet parents will find some simple tips to up your pet parenting game so that your dog has the very best life possible.

Tip #1 - Make the Daily Walk Happen

Skipping your dog’s walk is never a good idea. (This could be a thing that look forward to!) Every dog needs daily exercise to help them stay physically and mentally healthy. While small dog breeds don’t require as much walking, they still need the entertainment of being out, getting the fresh air, taking in all the scents and also socialise with other canines.

Of course, bigger breeds require a longer walk or more than one walk - ideally at least 30 minutes to two hours every day for exercise and stimulation. Find out exactly how much exercise your dog needs, based on breed.

Tip #2 - Bonding with Training

Whether you have a new or an adult dog, training is important to help your new companion become a well-behaved member of the family. Obedience training, such as learning basic cues: “sit”, “stay”, and even just “no”, can go a long way in having a pleasant experience for both you and your dog.

Continue the training on your own to be consistent. Spending time training can also help your dogs consume energy and feel fulfilled.

Tip #3 - Get Moving Together

If your dog is active and energetic, they may enjoy learning new tricks. Physical activities could strengthen their muscles, keep them in shape, and improve her overall quality of life. For example, dogs in the herding groups, such as Border Collies, Australian Shepherds tend to favour agility training.

Although not all dogs love water, it could be an enjoying thing to do with your furry friends in the summer.

One thing to remind pet parents! Dogs are not natural swimmers, and they need to be taught how to swim. So, don’t just throw your dog into the water. Bring your dog to a doggie pool before going to beaches.

Tip #4 - Take a Pet-Friendly Trip

Taking your dog along with you out for shopping, camping or picnic can help relieve any stress or boredom your pet may be experiencing. They also get to smell new scents and make new furry friends.

Before you hit the road, get the right safety gear for the car, such as a hammock for the backseat and a sturdy harness to hook onto the seatbelt. For small dogs, a crate will keep them secure in the back. Never let your dog ride freely with their head outside the window, as they can be hit by debris or another car!

Tip #5 - Workout for The Head Too

Dogs are intelligent beings, and they need mental stimulation. Keep their minds sharp and their days more interesting by introducing brain games to their routine. Pet parents can start off with easy treat dispensing toys. Parents can also use a sniffer mat (also known as Sniffle mat) to fulfil their natural instincts and their need to hunt/track and retrieve.

Tip #6 - Keep Their Comfort Top of Mind

No matter the life stage of your dog, a comfortable home environment means a place for them to go where they feel comfortable and ‘at-home’.

As your pets get older, they may need additional assistance. For example, if they have joint pain or mobility problems, they may need help getting on and off the stairs. Parents can also consider adding ramps over small stairs to make it more accessible. If they have cataracts, keep all sharp objects away.

Tip #7 - Make a Safety Checklist

Making a checklist of dangerous foods, products and activities can help you protect your dog from potential risks.

  • As soon as you get your dog, add a microchip. To be more secure, always put on a collar with your name and contact information, so they can be easily returned home in the event they go missing.

  • Keep an updated 24-hour emergency hotline and anyone looking to help can easily reach you.

  • Keep dangerous foods like chocolate, grapes, onions, and uncooked meat/bones out of reach.

Tip #8 - Pamper your Dog (moderately)

  • Standard grooming, every four to six weeks, does not just make your dogs look smart and smell good, it also prevents their fur from matting.

  • Brushing regularly helps dog's skin breathe and reduces grease. It also gives pet parents a chance to check on the dog’s skin.

  • Nail trimming ensures your dogs can walk in comfort. Leaving their nails too long can cause ingrown nails, put pressure on their legs and lead to less traction.

  • Check your dog’s ears monthly to ensure that they remain healthy; a clean ear looks pink without any odor or discharge. Use a veterinarian-approved cleaner and cotton balls to clean your dog’s ears gently to avoid possible ear infections.

Tip #9 - Visit a Vet Regularly

A healthy dog is a happy dog. Take your pet to the veterinarian for their annual check-up and to get your dog up to date on vaccinations. As the dog gets older, semi-annual visits can help detect and proactively address any potential health issues.

In between check-ups, consider using a digital tracker to keep all the medical records in place, and have an overview of your pets’ health indicators over time. A parent-owned medical record can come in handy when there is an emergency, and it can give you a peace of mind too.

Tip #10 - Just Be There for Them

There’s no excuse for not spending time with your dogs, whether they are puppies, adult dogs or senior dogs, they all deserve our attention and love.

If you work in an office, fix a time for a daily walk. If you are working from home, some belly rubs, playtime and brushing with your pets should be on your agenda. Time with your dogs can be a stress relief, for both of you! Be generous!


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