There are four easy ways of making sure your life and that of the dog is as cheerful, satisfactory and requires less effort to meet its demands.
Research shows that keeping a dog makes your life better. However, sometimes, meeting the demands of certain breeds of dogs could become stressful because they require more energy to teach and provide for them. In most cases, it is the role of the pet keeper to ensure that he provides a favorable environment so that he has less work in raising it.
Understanding what having a “low maintenance” dog is important. It does not mean failing to take care of his needs at the expense of your own. Conversely, a “low maintenance dog is one that is well catered for. With this, the dog is always satisfied with what you offer him, it does not seek attention, feels disappointed when you leave the house or do the unexpected habits. To add on, he is not nervous nor feels unprotected because his life is well planned for and consisted of making him happy and full of good health.
Tip #1: Feed your dog a healthy diet
Never take shortcuts on choosing the right meal for your dog to save money. Always choose a well-balanced diet for your dog. Take time to carefully study what he feeds on and read labels for unbalanced ingredients such as corn or wheat gluten, by-products, BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin, food colors, and rendered fat. Purchase foods that are produced from whole named meats and fresh vegetables. There are a variety of exclusive dog foods on the market today ranging from dry and canned to raw frozen and dehydrated.
It is also crucial to give your dog food at specific times ensuring it is of the same amount every time.
Tip #2: Give him regular exercise
An exhausted dog is a satisfied one. Find time to take your dog for a walk at least thrice in a day if possible. Walking not only exercises your canine but also enables him to stay composed. The activity is also good for you as a dog owner!
Playing games for example fetch builds a connection between you and your dog. The connection creates belief and impacts on how the dog will respect you when you give him orders. Some dog breeds such as the Australian shepherd, Labrador retrievers, Weimaraners, Dalmatians and border collies usually require more exercise than the others to keep them enthusiastic and comfortable.
Each day, take your dog for walks at the same time. This will train him on differentiating when it is time to walk and when it is time to take a rest.
Tip #3: Make sure he receives good healthcare
- A well-planned visit to the veterinary doctor is crucial for your dog’s health fitness and helps keep expensive or chronic health issues on the low.
- Vaccinate your dog less often. When he is a puppy, he should get the major vaccines against rabies, parvovirus, distemper, and adenovirus. Once he gets this primary vaccination, annual vaccinations are not important because the vaccines provide long term protection and possibly for a lifetime (vaccination against rabies however are a mandate and needed every one to three years). For yearly boosting of the immune system, confirm with your vet about titer testing.
- Dental hygiene helps your dog become “low maintenance”. Constant cleaning of the teeth gets rid of food build-up that is capable of causing gum disease. Get a dog toothbrush that can access the farthest parts of your dog’s mouth. Taking one teaspoon of coconut oil, ¼ teaspoon of crushed mint leaves or peanut butter and ½ teaspoon of baking soda could make you some good natural toothpaste. Put a drop of this mixture on your dog’s toothbrush and allow him to smell it before softly cleaning his teeth. Mouthwashes and gels are available for dogs that cannot put up with tooth brushing. Taking your dog for a check-up with the veterinarian as well as getting his teeth and gums cleaned by a professional should be done regularly.
- A “low maintenance” dog does not have pests such as fleas and ticks. A healthy way of living increases his immunity and protects him from flea attacks and skin issues that come with it. Useful oils can help drive away fleas and ticks and be a better replacement to chemical flea and tick products. Ensure you purchase pure, exclusive, curative oils and dissolve them in oil such as coconut or jojoba or water. Two useful oils that repel fleas and ticks are lavender and cedar. Ensure you use these oils throughout the year, more often during warmer climates to prevent unwanted flea or tick attacks.
Tip #4: Train and socialize your dog
A well trained and conversed dog will be enthusiastic, satisfied, well-mannered and emotionally upright- in other terms, “low maintenance”! You should start teaching your dog once you choose to take him up, regardless of his age keeping in mind to only use kind, positive and appreciating means.
Most dog owners want their dogs to respect them. If one needs a hand in getting rid of unexpected habits such as the ones listed below, they should seek guidance from a professional dog trainer.
Dogs need to be included in social activities so that they can interact well with people or other dogs instead of being hostile. Plan for consistent dog playtime with the other dogs. If you train your dog on how to socialize with others of his kind, he will get used to them and feel relaxed around dogs and humans. However, if this is difficult, seek help from a trainer or dog behaviorist.
Tip #5: Common unwanted behaviors and how to deal with them
- Segregation anxiety- a dog that feels left out shows ruinous habits, for example, tearing up furniture or clothing when they are on their own. According to Dr. Nicholas Dodman, a dog behaviorist and one of the co-founders of the Center for Canine Behavioral Studies- dogs with separation anxiety could be hard to teach. One should not attend to him with a warm reception when they come home instead of considering sending him to daycare so that he learns to be independent.
- Jumping on people- The best way to prevent this behavior is by ignoring your dog when they try to seek attention. Shouting at the dog promotes a bad habit. Teach your dog to sit and appreciate his sitting before guests coming so that he understands what is required of him.
- Barking- There are several reasons as to why dogs bark. They could be afraid, want protection or happy. It is crucial to know why he is barking. If he does this when there is a visitor, it could be because he is afraid or excited. Shouting won’t stop the dog from barking. Consider using the words “stop” or “good dog” according to trainers to enable your dog to understand he has done his job and can stop barking.
Having a dog should be of value and satisfaction. Carefully taking in these four tips will ensure you get a good return for a happy, healthy “low maintenance” dog!