A dog can be a wonderful addition to your family. Who else will greet you at the door with enthusiasm, embrace your occasional unsavory odor, and eat the crumbs you drop on the floor? Yes, a trusty canine can provide your family with entertainment, protection, and oodles of love. But, they also come with a hefty amount of responsibility.
Send Him to School
Yes, Snoopy could operate a typewriter. And Scooby could talk. Sort of. Your dog, however, is not a product of someone’s imagination and will require training to master many rudimentary skills.
Training will not only make your pet easier to manage, but it will also strengthen your relationship, increase his sociability, help avoid property damage, and better ensure that your new family member will have a “forever home.” After all, as “10 Ways to Be the Best Pet Owner Ever” warns, 96 percent of those who gave up their dogs had failed to get them obedience trained.
Get Him Valid ID
Sorry, but no amount of triathlon training can transform a mere biped into something capable of out-running your four-legged friend. Even a wiener dog can make its stubby legs hustle. In the event that your canine companion makes a dash for independence, you need to make sure that he is outfitted with ID.
This means not only ensuring that he wears a collar with his name, your name, and a contact number, but he should also don a microchip or tattoo.
Recognize His Animal Nature
If you’ve ever seen an episode of Judge Judy, you’ve likely seen what can happen when a dog owner assumes that their dog will never bite. And it isn’t pretty.
In order to better avoid dog bite incidents–and the subsequent lawsuits–“How to Avoid Dog Bite Liability” recommends knowing what stressors can cause your dog to become agitated and intervening in these situations, having a “Beware of Dog” sign prominently displayed on your property, and ensuring that young children are never left unsupervised around your dog.
Don’t Create a Hot Dog
Have you planned a day of running errands? If so, leave your pooch at home where he has access to a comfortable temperature, his water bowl, and his favorite toys. Never, ever leave your dog in a sweltering car.
Have you ever tried walking across hot pavement in bare feet. Torturous, isn’t it? It’s torture for your canine pal as well. According to PETA, hot asphalt can cause burns, permanent damage and scarring after just one minute of contact. Be sure to test the pavement out with your hand or your tender tootsies before taking your dog for a walk.
Get Him a Doctor
When it comes to your dog’s health, you will need to take steps to safeguard it. This means establishing a relationship with a reputable veterinarian and ensuring that his vaccinations are up-to-date, he is protected against parasites, and that he has regular check-ups.
Your furry four-legged bundle of puppy love will bring a great deal of joy to your life, but you must be prepared to take on the responsibilities that come along with him. So grab that leash, pick up your pooper-scooper and invite Fido for a W.A.L.K.–providing the pavement is not too hot.
Does your dog have an unusual habit or personality quirk?