If you have never owned a dog before or if it has been a long time since you owned a dog here are a few simple things that will make the entire experience a joy. Not only are you getting a pet but you are also giving a new home and a great life to a living breathing creature.
In my opinion the very first thing a dog needs is a den, so that means a crate. However keep in mind that the wire cages you see at the pet stores don’t look anything like a den. You want the plastic crate that is used to transport a dog via the airlines.
The crate should be big enough for your dog to stand up, turn around and lay down and no bigger. That is what gives it the den feeling.
Every dog needs training. Size does not matter. Little dogs need training just like their larger cousins. Training establishes the master dog relationship and creates a bond between you and the dog. Plan early and find a trainer in your area that can teach you all the things that your dog needs to be a well behaved member of your family for the rest of its life. Owning a trained dog that you can be proud of is priceless so don’t just go for the cheapest trainer you can find. You do get what you pay for so shop wisely.
One of the most important things you can give your dog is exercise. Stop and think, it wasn’t long ago that wild dogs ran all over our country. Then we domesticated them and brought them into our house. Their need to walk all day in search of food and water has been taken away.
Taking the time to walk your dog daily is just not a luxury for your pet it is a necessity. Your pet needs it to make him happy and mentally satisfied. Of course some dogs are not as active and do not need long walks. If you are a low energy person then be sure to pick a dog that fits your lifestyle and not a dog that needs to run 3 miles a day.
Your dog needs a doctor just like you do. He also needs annual vaccinations and an exam to keep healthy. Find a veterinarian in your area that you feel comfortable with and he can let you know what is required to keep a healthy dog now and as it becomes a senior.
I hope these items give you some ideas about what is needed to keep a happy healthy dog for the rest of its life.
About the Author: Jay Barfield is founder and director of Double Bar K-9 Academy in Sylvester, Georgia. Jay is an accomplished Trainer as well as a Behavior Specialist. You can contact him at www.doublebark-9academy.com