Dog ownership is very time consuming, and there is no getting away from the fact that dogs needs a lot of attention. However, even for dog owners that are with their dogs a lot and that want to be responsible dog owners, there are probably several things you’re not dedicating as much time to as you should be.
This article will tell you five aspects of dog ownership you’re probably not spending enough time on. Read on to learn more.
Many dog owners use the services of a professional dog groomer to achieve certain hairstyles most of us would stand no chance of replicating at home without (or even with!) years of training, such as a full poodle show clip.
However, groomers also take care of pet dogs for baths, trims, clipping to help them to stay cool, tidy ups to remove or prevent matting, and much more.
This means that people who don’t bathe their own dogs at home or that need to hire a groomer for clipping or trimming or general maintenance usually visit the grooming parlour around every six weeks – and all too many dog owners think that this means they don’t need to do anything in the interim!
Most dogs need to be brushed and groomed ideally daily, some dogs will quickly become unkempt within just a couple of days if this is not achieved, and there are no dogs who cannot benefit from grooming, even those with short single layered coats.
However, most dog owners don’t spend enough time grooming their dogs – even though for some dogs this only requires five minutes a day – and most dog buyers underestimate the time it takes to groom their dog properly, particularly when it comes to breeds with high maintenance coats.
This might well seem like the most obvious entry into the list, and it is absolutely true that most dogs in the UK simply don’t get enough exercise. Even if you research how long your dog needs to be walked for before you commit to buying them (and far too many puppy buyers don’t even do this) you’re probably not spending enough time on taking care of your dog’s need to exercise.
Different breeds of dog have vastly different exercise requirements, and this is something that it is important to find out about before, not after, you commit to a purchase. However, these are not set in stone and some dogs may need far more than their breed’s guide, failing which they’ll be unruly and hard to manage.
Also, walking a dog means taking part and engaging in the exercise too. Turning a dog out into a garden or being physically present while they roam but you chat or play on your phone is not the same thing.
Work out how much exercise your dog needs each day and schedule this; it is not enough to make up for missed walks during the work week with a longer walk at the weekend.
Preventative healthcare for dogs is important as it can actually prevent them getting ill (and costing you lots of money) later in life, which is something that benefits both you and the dog. However, many dog owners are a bit lax about keeping check of when dogs need their flea and worming treatments and booster shots; but even so, there is one aspect of responsible dog ownership that the vast majority of dog owners dedicate no time to at all, in direct contravention of their vet’s advice.
This is cleaning your dog’s teeth; which few dog owners do at all, and yet which can save you thousands of pounds, and save your dog a lot of pain and suffering later on too.
Cleaning your dog’s teeth is something best introduced when they’re puppies, but it is never too late to begin slowly and gradually. Giving your dog a dental chew is nowhere near enough; after all, chewing gum doesn’t negate the need for us humans to brush our teeth, and would do little to nothing to keep our teeth healthy!
All too many dog owners think of training a dog as optional; or that dogs really only need to be able to sit on command, and walk on a lead. Another common misconception is that training is something achieved in puppies and then it’s done, altogether causing a common belief among many dog owners that dog training isn’t time consuming, or is done as a class for a few weeks with a pup and then finished.
Training a dog takes a lot of time if you want them to be obedient, responsive, come when called, and display good manners, and training never actually stops.
You should spend time every week – regardless of the age of your dog – refreshing their training commands and working with them to keep them mentally active, and even to teach them new skills, which contrary to popular belief, dogs can learn throughout the duration of their lives.
Finally, an alarmingly high number of dog owners only spend a couple of hours researching the dog breed or type they plan to buy before making a purchase, or learning about how to care for and manage a dog properly in general.
Researching dog ownership properly should take weeks or even months; and the learning doesn’t finish when you bring your dog home either.
From researching what type of food your dog needs at different life stages to why they behave like they do to what to expect from their health to how to communicate with them, research is something few dog owners spend enough time on – if any at all.