Caring for your dogs is often likened to raising your own kids. Their behavior and quality of life are very much dependent on how you as their responsible pet owner nurture them. Like a good parent who only wants the best for your children, you want your dogs to be well-rounded and enjoy life with you to its fullest. While children have their universal rights, here too is a list of your dogs’ “rights” to remind you that their lives essentially depend on and revolve around you. They have the right to:
1. Be fed on time with healthy food and clean water.
Dogs need enough food and water to help them live their full lifespan. Because these pets are creatures of habit and routine, feeding them at scheduled times is recommended. You would notice how they become excited and restless when it’s almost time to eat. Meanwhile, water is vital for a dog’s survival. All dogs need an adequate amount of water, although exactly how much may vary in measurement depending on your dog’s weight, age, health, and activity level. Make sure that their food and water holders are always clean and fresh to encourage them to eat and drink and avoid any illness.
2. Sleep and wake up in a comfortable and hazard-free environment.
Dogs love to sleep. They can sleep as much as 16 hours a day. Although some breeds can stand and even prefer cold weather, it is not good for dogs to sleep in places with temperatures that are too cold or too warm. Make sure there is sufficient ventilation where they sleep. Soft sleeping mats provide a more relaxing and restful sleep to your pets.
3. Be given medical care when injured or sick.
Although most of the time your dogs are generally strong and healthy, they can also get sick from time to time. They can catch colds or go down with the flu or get injured from too much activity. Many dogs are able to medicate themselves and get back up by eating some grass in the garden or sleeping a lot. Take notice of these signs and see to it that your pets are provided with supplements and, if necessary, medicine from the veterinarian.
4. Exercise through regular strolls and playtime.
Depending on the breed of your dog, the intensity of exercise that a dog needs varies. But in general, all dogs need physical activity. Even just a 30-minute walk in the park would already do much good for their bones, muscles, and overall metabolism. Playing with them in an open space, whether it is at your own lawn or at a public park, is good exercise which your dog will definitely enjoy.
5. Be trained properly.
To avoid problems in behavior, train your dogs by rewarding their obedience and good behavior or by providing appropriate reinforcement when necessary. A well-trained dog is generally well loved too because they do not bring family members and friends any reason to feel annoyed or afraid. Your dog’s good and disciplined behavior also benefits them by keeping them away from injury and harm. The extent of your dog’s training depends on how disciplined you want them to be. It could range from teaching them how to sit, crawl, roll, fetch, get, and the list goes on. However, keep in mind that a good balance between trained and natural behavior will most probably bring the most joyful experience to both you and your pet.
6. Be groomed and bathed lovingly.
Because we love to hug and kiss our pets, we want to keep them clean. Aside from this, though, keeping your dogs clean, bathed, and groomed add to their overall health and happiness. Needless to say, bathing and grooming your dogs make them less vulnerable to microbial infections and diseases. Baths make them feel fresh, cool, and loved. No matter how most dogs resist being soaked in water, notice how relaxed and at ease they feel after a good bath. Warm baths are very pleasant to your dogs, and you may even choose to add a mild, natural scent to the water and they’d love it even more. Do it yourself or have a professional do it for you, either way your dog is sure to love the tender, loving, relaxing massage.
7. Be greeted, cuddled, and patted daily.
Dogs are like kids in countless ways and one of the closest similarities is the way dogs seek and need your attention. They are the most loyal creatures who deserve your loving attention at least once daily. By attention, we mean your whole presence – sight, touch, voice included. You need to interact and talk to them, hold and caress them. The mere sound of your “hello” raises their ears in excitement and a gentle twenty-second stroking of their bellies assures them more than anything that they are loved and valued. Make them feel they are part of your family because you ARE their only family. Though you may have more than one dog, you are still the one they consider as the leader of the pack and on whom they depend for survival. Sometimes we may come to think of our dogs as being able to understand what we are saying or sympathize with what we are feeling. They are. Dogs are very sensitive and they have proven their ability for loyal, loving, sensitive companionship throughout history