September marks the beginning of Responsible Dog Ownership Month! While we certainly all like to believe that we’re responsible pet parents, the truth of the matter is that we all make mistakes. We are human, after all.
Unfortunately, those mistakes can often hinder your relationship with your best friend or, worse, put them in danger!
Since we want to make sure that you and your pets have the happiest, healthiest relationship possible, here are a few tips on how to be the best dog parent you can possibly be!
1. Stay Up To Date On Vaccinations
This is easily one of the most important parts of responsible dog parenting. Vaccines will protect your dog from a plethora of environmental strains of diseases that can often prove fatal to canines.
Be sure to check with your veterinarian to ensure that your dog has all of the vaccinations required, as they can vary from state to state and even county to county.
You can also talk to your vet about a titer test for your dog to see when vaccines are actually necessary.
2. Dog Proof Your House
Just like with kids, it’s vital to make sure that your dog can’t get into anything that could potentially harm them.
This includes keeping all chemicals and cleaners locked up and out of reach, keeping the trash can closed, and making sure any and all small items cannot be eaten or swallowed.
Some dogs may be less inclined to seek these items out than others depending on how curious of a canine you have, but it never hurts to err on the side of caution, just in case.
All it takes is for a usually lazy hound to become curious enough to investigate and ingest something that sends them to the vet.
Even if you don’t have a very active dog, exercise is still very important. Whether this comes in the form of walks, play, or both, exercise keeps your dog both physically and mentally fit.
Preventing obesity in your dog will also ensure they live a longer life, and who doesn’t want that?
It’s also a wonderful time to bond with your dog while burning a few extra calories, too!
4. Make Sure They’re Eating Healthy
Diet is equally as important as exercise, if not more so, and with all of the information out there on dog food, there’s almost no excuse to be careless with your dog’s dietary habits.
No one is saying you have to buy the most expensive food or even make your own, but it’s imperative that you make sure your dog is getting all of their nutrients.
Simple veggies from the grocery store make a great supplement — broccoli, green beans, spinach, etc. — and they cost almost nothing compared to processed treats. Adding a fresh egg to your pup’s food now and then may do wonders.
Your pet’s life depends on making sure they always get the food that’s best for them. Talk to your veterinarian about formulating an appropriate diet that meets your dog’s needs.
5. Maintain Your Dog’s Hygiene
Dogs may not love bath time, but sometimes you don’t have a choice. Baths, nail clippings, and especially dental hygiene are very important to ensure your dog is living their best life.
Dental hygiene is particularly important, as dental disease is one of the most common canine afflictions. It can and has been known to be a contributor to other pet illnesses.
It may not be the most glamours aspect of being a pet parent, but that doesn’t make it any less crucial to your dog’s well being.
6. Train Your Dog
Dogs are pack animals and social by nature, but that doesn’t mean they always know the best way to behave.
Training your dog is an extremely important factor in keeping both you and your dog safe and happy, as it ensures that you can communicate easily and without interference from outside sources. It also helps them know how to better behave around strangers, be they humans or other animals.
Training can keep your pooch mentally and physically stimulated, which reduces boredom, anxiety, and unwanted behaviors in the home. So train your pup!
We all do the best we can as pet parents. Responsible dog parenting is something we can all work on to better the lives of our pups, especially during Responsible Dog Ownership Month.
Are you going to take steps to be a better human for your dog in September? What else can dog parents do to make their pooches’ lives better? Let us know in the comments below!