How to Be a Great Dog Owner

Wherever great dog owners have been, their dogs have been right at their side. Dogs are the most popular companion animal and make a great addition to most people’s lives. They are always down to cuddle up and binge watch Netflix– so long as you throw their favorite toy or take them outside every once in awhile.


Dogs are fun and exciting to have around. However, your furry friend will depend on you for their every need. Great dog owners understand the commitment companionship involves. They always check in to make sure they are the best dog owners they can be.


Proper Pet Planning

  • Your dog will depend on you financially, emotionally, and physically. Every dog breed is different, and have varying requirements. For example, a small dog will cost less to feed than a larger dog. A larger dog may need more physical activity than a small dog.


  • Does your apartment have breed or size restrictions? If you like to keep a clean house, a long-hair breed would likely drive you bonkers. If you have a list, someone at a shelter will be able to help you find the right dog for you.


Make a Pet-Friendly Home


  • Make sure you have all the supplies before your new dog arrives. This includes treats, dishes, tools for grooming, leash, nylon or leather collar, food, dog bed, toys, and containment supplies.


  • Move anything the dog may break or chew. Don’t forget to block off areas you don’t want them going, like pantries or bedrooms.


  • Keep all poisons and cleaning products securely secured.


  • Make sure the outdoor area can contain them.


Welcome Home!


  • Show your dog to their water, food, and bed. Then, leave them be. They will need time to adjust and explore.


  • Interact with the new pet one person at a time. Also, keep all other pets away. Overstimulation can frighten your new pet.


  • Be consistent with your expectations. Once you let your dog know something is accepted, they will be hard to tell otherwise. Start training immediately.
  • Though your dog may not understand you, talk to them. This will help them understand variances in tone, and it helps build a bond.


  • If a frequent guest has pet allergies, a pet hair vacuum is a good idea to limit reactions, and keep your couch from matching your pet.


Keeping Healthy

  • Find a veterinarian and set up their diet, exercise, flea and tick control, and vaccination routines. They can also set up a prevention plan for health issues common to that breed.


  • Track how much they eat, sleep, drink, and use the bathroom. If anything changes drastically, it can be a sign that something is wrong or their needs are shifting as they age.  


  • Dental hygiene is important for pets too! Provide chew toys or specialized treats. Most dogs will let you brush their teeth if you are gentle.


A Plan for Everything


  • Get and I.D. tag with your contact information or a microchip to get a lost pet home faster.


  • Offer shelter on hot or cold days.


  • Get a travel crate, or seat belt harness to keep them secure.


  • Take a tour of boarding kennels before you book your dog’s vacation. Make sure their facilities are safe. You can also opt to have a friend or pet sitter go to your home.


  • Keep a list of care instructions in a safe place. This can come in handy in case you have an unexpected illness or accident. Include a plan in case you can’t provide care for your pet.


  • Have a natural disaster plan. Include your pet’s food, and toys along with your supplies.


Work and Play

  • Get to know what games your dog likes, where they love to be pet, and what makes their tail wag.


  • Put old toys away for a few months. Your dog will be excited to see them again.


  • Have playdates with your friends and their pets.


  • Turn on a radio or television to curb separation anxiety.


  • Your dog wants to make you happy. Help them by training them to do tasks and praising good behavior.


  • Most importantly, take pride in being a great dog owner. This will inspire others to love their dog like you do!