How I became a Better Dog Owner
Being a responsible dog owner is important and necessary if you want your dog to live to its full ‘’potential’’. Our understanding of dogs and their inner world is continuously expanding and improving, so, even if you were an expert in puppy-raising, there are always new things to learn to make your dog live an even happier life.
When I adopted Lenni back in 2020 I had no idea about the different things that I would have to change and readapt in order for him to feel safe and loved. After lots of reading and practice, I finally managed to summarise what ended up helping me the most in understanding my Fluffy Friend. I was able to assure that his needs were being met while integrating them in my daily life.
Of course, this is no easy task! In this blogpost I will give you 7 helpful tips that will help you become the best dog owner that you can be regarding multiple day-to-day situations. Are you ready? Here we go!
1. Think, then adopt
Before you bring your Fluffy Friend home, do some research on the type of dog that you want to get first. Think about your daily routine and your lifestyle, and try to find a dog that best suits you. By doing this, developing a close relationship with your doggie will be much easier on the long run. A rather active dog can be a wonderful choice for you if you're really active as well and spend a lot of time outside. In the case that you’re less active, there are also lots of breeds that are known for being less sporty, such as the English bulldog, the pug, the Maltese…
It’s very common to blame the dog for certain behaviours instead of realising that it was our mistake for not understanding the breed or what the dog actually needs. Remember that you’re making a commitment when you choose your pet, and that learning about your pet's breed and special requirements is a responsibility we have as pet owners. Before getting your Fluffy Friend, you should be familiar with how much exercise, grooming, and outside time they require.
2. Invest your time in building a healthy bond
We have a sweet spot in our hearts for our Fluffy Friends. Pets and people have developed over time in ways that are mutually beneficial. Basically, every time you pet your dog, your brain releases all the happy hormones! That’s why our second tip is to invest some of your time every day to connect with your dog.
Discover how your dog wants to be treated. For example, some dogs want to be picked up or carried in particular ways, some others not at all. While touching your Fluffy Friend, pay attention to his body language. He probably appreciates what you're doing if he appears at ease. If your dog tenses up, flees the area, behaves aggressively, starts panting or looking at you as if he’s uncomfortable, you might have done something that’s not appreciated in that moment. Try to watch out for these signs and understand what he’s trying to communicate to you. This way, he will feel safe, understood, trusted and cared for.
3. Recognize anxiety and learn to treat it
It may be challenging to recognize the signs of a troubled pet, even if we're naturally tuned in to sense tension in other humans. Cortisol, the hormone associated with aggressive reactions, is elevated in stressed animals. Excessive licking or yawning, trembling, eye clinching or panting would be signs to watch out for in your doggie’s behaviour.
Getting rid of your dog’s anxiety is the way to go when it comes to reducing stress. There are several techniques you could implement to help your doggie feel relaxed. For example, if you’re going to be gone for a long period of time, see to it that your pet is taken care of. Pheromone sprays, automated treat dispensers, pet-friendly TV channels, chewing toys can keep your pet relaxed and occupied during your absence.
Basically, your Fluffy Friend will feel less anxious about circumstances outside their control the less stimulation they receive from the outside world. Make sure your dog has his own space at home where he can unwind and feel safe on his own.
4. Visit the vet regularly
Of course, we’re not saying that you should go to the vet every time some minor inconvenience happens, but it’s very important to keep your vet appointments. Normally, if your dog is generally healthy and doesn’t need more vet care, it’s enough to go to the vet once a year for a check up.
Sometimes, depending on the breed and on the circumstances, you might have to neuter your dog. As a pet-owner this is a tough decision, so make sure your vet informs you about the process. Not every dog needs to be neutered, not even all males, as people often think. As we say, every dog is different! Analyse your particular situation and inform yourself before making the decision.
5. Socialise your Fluffy Friend
While some breeds have a tougher time interacting with others, dogs are naturally social beings, just like us!
At first, make sure that you meet with other dogs on a neutral site where no one feels threatened. When dogs are brought to a house where there might be another dog, there could be some territorial fights. The ideal place to organise dog meetings is for example a dog park. There you will most probable find other dogs that are already used to interacting with other dogs, which will make it easier for your Fluffy Friend to learn to socialise.
If you notice any signs of aggression in your dog towards others, you might want to train with him first.
Anyone who has ever owned a dog is likely already aware of one basic fact: owning a dog is different from owning a cat or any other animal. Dogs require more care and work than other pets in almost every manner! Of course there are thousands of things that you’ll have to change and adapt once your doggie gets home, but with these 5 tips I wanted to give you a brief introduction into the most important aspects, based on what I found out over time.
Let’s have a quick overview into our 5 tips to become a better dog-owner:
- Make a list and do some research before getting a new Fluffy Friend
- Take the time to connect with your dog and strengthen the bond
- Watch out for anxiety signs and, if given, learn to treat them
- Make sure you don’t miss any appointments with the vet
- Let your doggie socialise with other dogs and/or pets
Do you struggle when it comes to understanding your Fluffy Friend? What helped you manage the situation at home? I would love to know your thoughts on this subject! Write in the comments below how you communicate with your pooch, so that we can all learn from each other!
For now, I advise you to…
… stay Fluffy ;)
Your MrFluffyFriend Team
Looking for some products that could help you out with your training? Check out our Online-Shop!
Here some useful products in relation to the blog:
MrFluffyFriend - Chewing Toy
MrFluffyFriend - Anti-Anxiety Blanket
MrFluffyFriend - Anti-Anxiety Dog Bed
MrFluffyFriend - Grooming Gloves
Words from our author
As a pet owner, I often found myself in a very frustrating situation: going to the internet and finding multiple unhelpful and redundant articles about the care and training of pets. My mission is to create a community blog where you can find all types of information, training tipps and tricks, focusing on natural and organic ways of pet-owning and training. Understanding your pet is like understanding a whole new world - and I want us to discover it together!
I adopted a my dog two weeks ago. He refuses to go in my backyard. I have to walk him or take him to the dog park. I really tried. I took him to my backyard, let him walk around, left him there for 20 mins. He didn’t pee or poop. Brought him inside, then did this all over again. I did this for 5 hours and nothing happened. He will not go in the morning right after he wakes up or eats. Any advise?
My pug ate gum that she smelled in a friend’s purse. I called my vet to see if I needed to watch for diarrhea or vomiting. They said to get her in ASAP! An ingrediant, Xylitol frys their liver. She was in 24hr care for 3 days. It’s an artificial sweetener. I had no idea. Hope this helps someone.
Thank you for this blog, it came at the most appropriate time, I put My Beloved Golden down last night at the UNHEARD of age of 15 years, 8 months, with her MrFluffy bed and her favorite baby, she has been carrying around since day one, yet never destroyed with her sweet, gentle mouth….. Never, ever has any dog been loved like her! She is my Angel!