How to Be a Responsible Dog Owner
By Lisa King
Dog Ownership 101
Being a responsible dog owner starts before you even get a dog. Before visiting a shelter or calling a rescue, be certain that you have the time, energy and finances to properly care for a new pet. Here are a few rules to follow before the fact:
1. Don’t get a dog for your children unless you are prepared to do 100 percent of his care, if not right away then when they move out of the house. This is the voice of experience speaking.
2. Do your research and choose a breed or mix whose activity level matches your own. If you’re a couch potato, don’t get a Border Collie. If you want to go running or biking with your dog, forget the Pug.
3. How much space do you have? A large dog will be miserable in a studio apartment, while a small lap dog will be quite comfortable.
4. Do you want to deal with all the training required for a puppy? Adopting an adult dog who’s already housetrained puts you ahead of the game.
Now that you have an idea of the type of dog you’d like, go online and search local shelters for a dog who fits your requirements. If your heart is set on a purebred, these can sometimes be found at shelters. Breed-specific rescues are also good sources for purebred dogs. If you go to a breeder, do some research to ensure she’s reputable. DO NOT buy a dog from a pet shop—these adorable puppies usually come from puppy mills, which keep breeding animals in deplorable conditions.
Dog Health Tips
Once you get your dog home, follow these 10 tips to ensure he has a long, happy and healthy life.
1. Take him in for regular vet checkups. Spay or neuter your dog if it hasn’t already been done. Keep him current on shots, dewormer and flea and tick protection.
2. Give your dog plenty of exercise according to the needs of his breed or breeds.
3. Train your dog. Take him to a training class or train him yourself by consulting books, magazines and online resources. He should know basic commands such as “Come,” “Leave It,” “Sit” and “Lie Down.” Keep him on a leash when not in a secure, fenced yard. Even a well-trained dog with a strong prey drive can be distracted by squirrels or other small animals and run into traffic.
4. Brush your dog regularly to prevent mats. The frequency of brushing depends on his coat type. Take him to a reliable groomer if he is a breed that needs more complicated grooming, such as a Poodle or a Maltese. Keep his nails clipped. If you’re nervous about clipping them yourself, have your groomer or vet do the job.
5. Wash your dog regularly. Depending on the dog’s coat and environment that can mean once a month, once every couple of weeks or even more often if he gets into something nasty. Use a high-quality natural shampoo. Don’t wash him too often, though; too-frequent baths can cause dry, itchy skin.
6. Secure your dog in the car, either in a crate or with a harness that hooks onto the seatbelt. A dog who’s loose in the car becomes a dangerous projectile in a crash. If he’s in the front seat, or God forbid on the driver’s lap, he can be killed if the airbags deploy.
7. Provide proper ID for your dog so he can be returned to you if lost. Attach a tag bearing his name and your phone number to his collar. For added safety, consider having your vet microchip him.
8. Feed him the best diet you can afford. Your options are many: kibble, canned, frozen raw and freshly made cooked. Find a food that makes you both happy. Keep dishes clean and always provide plenty of fresh water.
9. Be a good neighbor and pick up your dog’s poop. Cleaning up after him even in your own yard is important to keep harmful bacteria out of groundwater.
10. Provide plenty of love and affection; it will be returned tenfold.
About the Author: Lisa King is a freelance writer living in Southern California. She is the former managing editor of Pet Product News International, Dogs USA, and Natural Dog magazines. Lisa is also the author of the well-received murder mystery novel “Death in a Wine Dark Sea.”
Car Safety for Dogs
The President of Animal Behavior College, Steven Appelbaum, wrote a guest post on WayCoolDogs.com which talks about safety harness crash test results for dogs.
The non-profit Center for Pet Safety tested several brands of pet harnesses using the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS 213). The crash test was conducted at an independent laboratory that also tests for the Department of Transportation, using life sized dog test dummies.
Steve believes that all pet products designed to keep a pet secured in an automobile will be held to the same or similar standards as human seat belts.
Read the entire blog post about Dog Safety for the Car or Truck at: http://www.waycooldogs.com/car-safety-for-dogs/
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ABC Founder and CEO Steve Appelbaum helps get your Furry Friend safely and comfortably through the holiday season!
Congratulations Shaunee! ABC’s Success Story Contest Co-Winner
At Animal Behavior College, we hear a lot of success stories from our enrolled students and graduates. The wonderful testimonies are always a treat for us to hear and are great reminders to all of us here at ABC that the lives of people and animals are bettered because of our programs.
Our most recent contest asked for ABC students (past and present) to submit video testimonies of “success stories”. We had TWO winners that won the contest. Continue reading
Driving With Your Dog – Tips For Safer Traveling
Animal Behavior College believes pet owners benefit from as much information as possible on proper care for dogs. Safety while driving is not only a topic for vet training programs or those in animal jobs. It is for all individuals who love their dogs and want to ensure optimal safety standards when transporting their animal.
While humans think nothing now days of wearing seat belts themselves, it is also important to minimize risk of the family dog. Since most car accidents resulting in serious trauma for humans is the result of not wearing a seatbelt (64%), it is important to value the life of your dog in the same manner. Thrown against a window, door, or even you as the driver, your dog can experience similar trauma if unrestrained. A 20 pound involved in an crash at 50 miles per hour will become a projectile able to exert 1000 pounds of force against what ever it hits. The Automobile Association of America (AAA) estimates that unrestrained pets cause more than 30,000 accidents per year. That is why Animal Behavior College stresses restraining your dog while driving.
Foods Poisonous to Dogs
Not sure what foods might be toxic to your dog? Animal Behavior College shares valuable information for pet owners and those seeking animal jobs. It is part of their ongoing commitment as one of the premiere vet assistant schools in the United States. What you don’t know can seriously hurt your dog. ABC encourages pet owner awareness of food items that can be dangerous to your puppy, from the table or your own treat bag. Continue reading
Rope Toys For Dogs – Knowing The Risks and Rewards
Dog Trainer Training from Animal Behavior College prepares futures for those interested in animal careers. Effective exercise and play strategies is part of the approved curriculum. One strategy used to accomplish this is teaching the benefits of esteem-building with rope toys. There can also be risks involved. Therefore, it is helpful to know the ways you can play with your dog that maximizes fun through interactive play, without creating any behavioral issues down the road.
Rope toys are twisted or woven cotton ropes that fall into several categories. Some have multiple knots. Others have bones, hard plastic handles, or rubber balls attached to them. You’ll want to select rope toys that have significant length to them and will not fit into your dog’s mouth if playing alone or using them for a teething tool. Continue reading
How to Pick A Healthy Dog – Choosing The Best of The Pack
Are you wondering how to pick a healthy dog?
Animal Behavior College knows and shares the basics for selecting and choosing the best of the pack, whether it’s a purebred, a rescue dog, or from the litter down the street. Of course, that’s not to suggest you wouldn’t want to adopt a ‘special needs’ dogs. Some individuals welcome the opportunity to provide a loving home for less-than-perfect-puppies. Yet, a pet owner still should understand what they are getting to reduce problems down the road.
There are a number of places you can buy your next dog. Animal Behavior College suggests advantages and disadvantages for several common sources that can help you narrow your dog-buying search. Individuals interested in animal careers, or folks who become a vet assistant, also offer invaluable information to clients that eliminate some of the more frequent mistakes that can occur. Categories are listed below for the informed pet owner to take advantage of.
How To Stop Dog Barking
Wondering how to stop your dog from barking? Dog Training Schools like Animal Behavior College understand the challenges faced when teaching a dog to stop barking. Skills taught in animal careers that ensure success are important to identify when choosing an effective program. One very common behavior many dog owners experience is barking at inappropriate times. ABC’s professionals offer tips on how to teach a dog to stop barking once it has started. Continue reading