If you have ever had a dog for a pet, then you understand that they become as much a part of the family as everyone else in the household. These furry friends are known as “man’s best friend” for a reason. They provide companionship, comfort, familiarity, entertainment, and unconditional love, which we sorely need amidst the chaos of life.
Since dogs bring so much value to our lives, it is only fair that we repay them by striving to be the best owners possible. The second you adopt a dog, it becomes your responsibility to take care of them, keeping them healthy and safe from harm.
Maybe it is your first time having a pet like this and you aren’t certain about the best methods for dog ownership in Chicago. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to become a better dog owner.
Don’t Skip Vet Appointments
While pet insurance and veterinary bills can be expensive, they are often worth the cost. Some owners may hesitate to schedule the next appointment, especially after receiving the invoice for the previous one. The dog needs a veterinarian in the same way that you need a doctor.
They can diagnose when things are going wrong, keep the dog up to date on vaccinations, and ensure that the animal receives proper nutrition and exercise. Even if you think you are providing enough care to the animal, there could be side effects that you won’t notice because you are not an expert.
If your pet seems unhappy, the vet can recommend ways to boost the dog’s mood. Keep those visits to the vet on the calendar to ensure your dog has the best life possible.
Get Them Outside
Look, dogs are very similar to humans in a lot of ways. One of those similarities is that they can get bored. If they are stuck inside all day or do the same thing all the time, they can experience lethargy or even depression.
Plus, their physical health will decline. Being a good dog owner means taking them on frequent walks. Some breeds may not need a lot of physical activity to be happy and fit, while others, (huskies for example), require a ton of exercise to use up their energy levels. Talk to your vet or do some research yourself to learn how much you should be walking your particular dog.
If you have a yard, then setting up a lead that gives them some freedom to move around or building a fence allows you to leave them outside for a while. Let that animal get some fresh air so they stay healthy and happy.
Keep The Dog Appropriately Restrained
Although dogs can be incredibly well-trained, they are still animals, and instincts can sometimes override good training. Maybe your dog is really good at staying in the yard even without a fence or lead attached to them.
However, it is better to be safe than sorry. The last thing you want is for an innocent passerby to get attacked by your dog because there were no restraints in place, which could lead to the victim contacting a dog bite incident lawyer in Chicago.
Since you failed to appropriately restrain your dog in this situation, you would probably be held liable for any injuries and may have to pay a settlement to the victim to cover damages. For this reason, no matter how well-behaved your dog normally is, keep them restrained when outside or on a walk to prevent these types of incidents from happening.
Be Cautious with Human Food
Letting your pet have some snacks typically reserved for people is not a bad thing. There are plenty of foods that are safe for canines, and some of them can even provide significant health benefits.
However, there are also many examples of foods that could be poisonous or unsafe for your furry friend to eat. Just because something is healthy for a human does not mean it is also healthy for a dog. If you want to reward your pup with some extra food from your table, make sure you check out this list of foods that dogs can and cannot eat.
If you are about to try giving them a new food, it is really simple to Google whether or not this food is dangerous for your pet. Be responsible and do some quick research for any new foods before giving them to the dog. This will save you a trip to the vet or even an emergency room if your body reacts poorly to the food.
Dogs Deserve the Effort
While some pets can be low-maintenance, dogs require a lot of attention in most cases. They need to visit the vet, be outside, get exercise, and receive love from their owners. If you went to the effort of adopting a dog, then you need to be prepared to step up and care for them. Look out for their needs just as you would your own. Follow the tips listed above to become a better dog owner for this furry member of your family.