There are few things in life that are more enjoyable than owning a dog. Your dog is a trusted companion who stands by your side through the good and the bad. They provide lots of laughter and love, and they become a huge part of the family from the day you adopt them.
Alongside the great aspects of being a dog owner, there are, inevitably, some downsides. There are lots of worries that come along with adopting a furry friend.
Whether it’s stress over feeding them the right type of food or getting the right vaccinations to keep your dog safe, it seems that there’s always something to worry about as a loving pet owner.
There are plenty of common concerns that are shared by dog owners across the world, and there’s no shortage of information available online that will help you to overcome any problems you might face.
In fact, with just one search online, you have the opportunity to click on millions of web page results and it can be hard figuring out which piece of information to follow. You want to provide the best care for your pup but how do you know what’s best for your pet?
To save you having to sift through the millions of articles that are online and to calm your nerves, here are some of the most common concerns that dog owners tend to have and how these concerns or problems can be resolved.
Feeding Your Dog the Right Foods
When you first get a new dog, it can be hard determining which food is best for them. There are so many different brands available nowadays that you could spend months and months trialling them all before you commit to just one brand.
You can ask your local vet for their recommendations if you have no idea where to start. Based on your dog’s breed, size, and age, the vet might be able to provide you with a list of dog food brands that are appropriate for them.
You should also take into account your dog’s preferences. If your dog is turning their nose up at a particular type of food, you might need to switch things up and try something different. It’s important that your dog enjoys what they’re eating!
The type of food that you feed your dog is not only important to keep them happy and content, but it’s also essential for their physical health. Eating something disagreeable can cause gastroenteritis in dogs, which is a condition where their gastrointestinal tract becomes inflamed.
If you’re concerned that your dog might have gastroenteritis, you must take them to the vet to get checked as soon as possible. Common symptoms include vomiting and nausea, dehydration, lack of appetite, and fever.
Keeping Your Dog Warm
A common concern for many dog owners is keeping their pet warm in the cold winter weather. Your dog still needs to go on regular walks even if the temperature has significantly dropped, so you might be left wondering how you can ensure they stay nice and warm.
When winter comes around, you probably put on a few extra layers of clothing when you take your dog for a walk to keep yourself warm. You can also get a small coat for your dog to wear as they navigate the frosty roads with you. This extra layer might not seem like very much compared to their thick fur coat but it can make all the difference.
Keep an eye on your dog as you take them outside in the cold weather. If they start shivering, you can pick them up and keep them close to your body to provide some extra warmth. When you can, buy them a thicker coat to provide them with some extra insulation.
It’s always a worry when you first take your dog out for a walk. You might be nervous that they will bark at other dogs or people whilst you’re out in public.
Baking can also be a concern if you live in a flat or terrace housing where other people are close by. You don’t want your dog to disturb the neighbours or wake them up in the early hours of the morning.
Often, dogs bark when they are scared, anxious, excited, or bored. By identifying your dog’s body language and tackling these emotions, you can help to train your dog to bark.
When they get scared, comfort them and hold them close to you so they feel safe. If they’re overly excited, try to calm them down or distract them with a new toy.
Training your dog to listen to your commands can also help to stop them from barking. Teach them to obey when you say ‘stop’ or ‘quiet’ through positive reinforcement. This will make it much easier for you stop your dog from barking at inconvenient times.
If you’re struggling to train them properly, there are plenty of dog training classes available. Not only can you get expert advice and professional training for your pup, but training lessons can also help to strengthen the relationship you have together.
Chewing Everything in Sight
One of the most common concerns that dog owners have is chewing. Puppies are notorious for chewing everything in sight, but older dogs can also chew at things in your home, whether it’s furniture, wires, or shoes!
Moving anything ‘chewable’ out of the way can help to resolve the problem, but it’s almost impossible to keep everything out of their reach.
If your dog won’t stop chewing, training might be necessary. During professional training classes, you can teach your dog different commands, such as ‘stop’ to prevent them from chewing things in your home.
When your dog successfully stops chewing at your command, make sure to reward them with a tasty treat or a pat on the head so they know not to chew in the future if they want to receive treats and attention.