Owning a dog is a big commitment – and one which should be made only after serious consideration, and for the lifetime of the dog. Depending on the breed and overall health and care of the dog, this could be as many as fifteen years or, in a few cases, even longer.
As a starting point, what are a dog’s basic needs?
• Long term Commitment – like a child, a dog is for life. Regardless of whether he isnaughty, challenging, or gets sick, you are responsible for him from the moment you decide to take him home. He will love you unconditionally, and this must be taken into account whenever decisions are made about anything which might affect him.
• Safety and Security – dogs need their own space – a kennel, a comfortable dog bed, etc. Most dogs will thrive on being with their human family – so allow at least part of the house for doggy presence. Dogs are pack animals and will become depressed if left alone all of the time. Outside dogs need plenty of shade and shelter, and lots of water.
• Physical Maintenance – whether you do it yourself or employ a dog walking service, dogs need daily exercise and regular socialisation. How much will depend on the breed and the dog’s age and condition. Basic dog grooming on a regular basis is also important, including ear checks and nail trimming. Vaccinations annually are essential.
• Healthy and Balanced Nutrition – choose healthy, nutritious foods that are high quality and which your dog enjoys eating. Cook for him from scratch from time to time (see recipes we share on our blog from time to time). Always make sure your dog has easy access to plenty of clean, fresh water – replaced every day.
• Nurturing – love your dog wholeheartedly. Let him be with you. Bond with him and take him to training school. Pet him, play with him, talk to him, and rest with him. He has feelings and emotions just like you do – so treat him as you’d want to be treated in his place.
• Responsible Ownership – have him desexed. Only breed him under the proper protocols. Have him microchipped. Make sure he has a proper ID tag with current details. Take him to doggy day care if he enjoys social interaction and if you are away from home during the day. Pick up after him every day, and on every walk. Walk him on leash, and keep him in a fenced yard when not indoors with you.
Love your dog, treat him right, and he will adore you back.