Whether you are first-time or seasoned pet owner, taking care of dogs and puppies is no easy feat. Here at My Pet Child, our goal is to help you break down the many aspects involved with dog care so that you are able to let your dog maintain a healthy and happy life.
Feeding Your Dog
Feeding Schedule: your dog’s feeding schedule will depend on many factors. The dog food bags will provide some feeding guidelines but that should be adjusted based on your dog’s individual needs. For example, dogs that are less active may not need to be fed as often.
Human Food: don’t be tempted by those innocent puppy eyes. If you give the dogs your food then you are literally training them to beg for your food every time you’re trying to eat. That’s probably the last behavior you want to teach a dog.
Wet vs. Dry Food: each has their pros and cons as far as how the food affects a dog’s health. For example, wet food is generally richer in protein and fats but is more expensive over the long-run. Dry food, on the other hand, have a longer shelf life and leave less of a mess but you may have a hard time feeding your dogs kibbles if they are picky eaters.
Treat-dispensing Toys: having your dogs work for their special treats is a fun way to keep them engaged. The IQ Treat Ball, for example, is a simple device that requires your dog to roll the ball in order for the treats to fall out. These toys are great for single dog owners who are looking to keep their pal out of boredom.
Exercising Your Dog
Dog Parks: they are a good place to take your dogs for exercise but may not always end up being a good fit. The park might be too crowded, your dog might clash with other dogs, or you might not get along with the dog park regulars. Whatever the reason, there are plenty of other ways to exercise your pets.
Flirt Poles: these simple sticks are a great way to exercise dogs both indoors and outdoors. A flirt pole consists of a long stick (4-6 feet long) with a toy attached to one end via a rope. Flirt poles are great for single dog owners because they can exhaust dogs in record time.
Weighted Vests: if you have a dog with very high energy then it may help to use weighted vests when you walk or run with the dog. The vest will tire out the dog more quickly. Check with the vet first and make sure your dog is in a good-enough physical condition to be able to handle one.
Training Your Dog
Attention & Recall: one of the most important skills to teach your dog is to respond to your call. You should be able to get your dog’s attention by calling his or her name, and more importantly, do some recall training. Until then, your dog should always be on a leash.
The Drop it Command: this command is very important, especially for puppies. Dogs are curious creatures. They will try and eat things that aren’t safe for them. In those situations, you’ll need to be able to get your dog to drop the object on immediate command.
Train in Short Bursts: your dog is likely to learn things more quickly if you do several short training sessions throughout the day instead of one big session. Just like us, too much of it can wear the dogs out.
Resist the Urge to Scold: don’t scold your dog when it does something bad. For dogs, it’s more confusing than it is helpful. Try and redirect the dog’s behavior instead. For example, if the dog is chewing on an electrical cord then try and redirect his or her attention to an item (e.g. bone) that’s okay to chew.
To help current and potential pet owners, we have also built a number of interactive tools that may be useful in certain instances. For potential pet owners, you could use our pet cost calculator to have an idea of how much it will cost to own a pet. You can also use our pet human food list to see what human foods are safe for pets to eat.