As a dog owner you must ensure you:
All dogs need daily exercise, but be sure to offer them a variety of different activities rather than the same old walk. Take them swimming, play catch or frisbee, enrol them in a dog obedience club or training and frequently change the route of your daily walks.
It is also important that dogs are socialised with people and other dogs from an early age. There are a range of activities dog owners and their four-legged friends can get involved in such as fly ball, agility and lure coursing.
All exercise should be supervised and the dog kept within calling distance and under control at all times.
It is important to ensure that your dog is kept busy throughout the day, especially if he is left alone for long periods of time. By offering your dog mentally stimulating and constructive ways to occupy time, you will effectively prevent your dog from engaging in destructive behaviour to overcome boredom or seek attention.
Here are a few suggestions:
Invest in a range of different toys - offering your dog a few different toys each day and rotating them regularly.
If your dog loves to dig - avoid the destruction of your vegetable patch and offer him his very own digging pit! Fill a child's clam shell wading pool with dirt, throw in their favourite treats, and presto, hours of entertainment ensured!
He loves water too? When the summer heat hits, fill the other half of the clamshell with water, and your pup has his very own pool to play in!
Organise a 'play-date' with his furry friends.
Ask friends or family to stop by and visit your dog when you are not home.
Invest in a doggy door - by offering him two separate environments in which to move, he will keep himself busier and consequently happier.
If your dog is a busy body, perhaps consider giving him a glimpse of the outside world with a purpose- built platform or by creating a suitably secure hole in the fence.
Keep your dog busy by prolonging his mealtime with a number of interactive toys such as Kongs, treatballs, or Bustercubes (treats can be easily pushed in but will engage your dog for hours trying to get them out). Also try hiding part of his meal around the yard to stimulate his natural foraging instincts. Treats and toys are available in store
Combing and brushing dogs regularly is essential, particularly for longhaired breeds. It is best to establish this habit early in a dog’s life so that grooming becomes part of the routine. Grooming removes dust, dead skin, loose hairs, grass seeds, and tangles. It also assists to shorten the coat moult, which occurs every autumn and spring. Brushing helps keep your dog cool in summer months and reduces the amount of hair your dog sheds. Dogs with short coats also require some brushing.
A dirty or smelly dog should be bathed. It is important to keep in mind however, that frequent shampooing can strip the natural oils from the coat and cause skin dryness and irritation. In colder weather, towels or a hair dryer can be used to remove excess water and assist in drying the coat.
During summer, a flea control shampoo and a flea rinse should be used. However, this should by no means substitute a proper monthly flea control regime such as Spot-On. come in store for free advice on flea control for your pet. It's important to remember, after the application of flea treatment be sure to wait 24-48 hours before bathing your dog.
A dog desires nothing more than to spend some quality time with its owner. Even including it in your daily activities such as picking the children up from school or running to the store for milk, will make all the difference to your dog.
In order to ensure the happiness and well-being of your canine friend, it is recommended you invest four contact hours with your dog each day. This doesn't translate to a daily four-hour walk, but equally, it is unacceptable to leave your dog home all day with little, if any, human interaction other than during feeding times.
If you work full time, an ideal routine may involve a morning walk before work (perhaps livened by a game of fetch or other form of exercise), an afternoon walk when you return from work and a short walk before bed. The remaining contact hours can be spent playing with your dog or simply interacting with him in the home.
However, if you decide to keep your dog outdoors, it is important to consider how you'll ensure it receives the appropriate amount of human contact (particularly during those cold winter months in which we'd all much rather stay snuggled inside rather than playing fetch with our pals in the cold!). An option could be to enlist the service of a dog walker. Also, if you work long hours or are sometimes forced to take overnight trips, it may be useful to consider "doggy day care" facilities to ensure that your dog receives the TLC and companionship it will need in your absence
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