February marks the beginning of Responsible Pet Owner Month. We’ll be taking a look at exactly what it means to be a responsible owner, and even though chances are you’ll already do most of these on a daily basis, we hope that you’ll find a few that you didn’t think of before.
Making the Right Choice
It all starts with selecting the right type of dog for your needs. Active, not active, high energy, lower energy, how often will you be able to take the dog for walks, play with them, stimulate their minds? Do you want a big dog or a small dog? Do you need a guard dog or a companion safe enough to be around kids? These are all questions you must consider before plunging into doggy parenthood.
For help on selecting a dog that would be the right fit for you, read our Dog Characteristics blog.
Depending on the breed, dogs can require frequent maintenance. Daily grooming is important especially if your animal tends to shed. A common misconception is that short haired dogs don’t need to be brushed as often, but this simply isn’t the case – coats can become matted and disorderly in both long and short haired dogs all the same.
Physical activity is another daily occurrence that you’re going to need to get used to. All dogs need exercise, it’s just a matter of high or low their energy levels are, and how long they’re willing to work until they’re tuckered out. It’s best if you can find and stick to a routine that works for you. Household pets tend to not do very well under conditions in which their routine changes sporadically, and negative changes in behavior can be the result. Inconsistent routines have been shown to cause more stress, anxiety, and depression in dogs.
Socialization is an area that many people don’t think about, but it’s just as important as daily grooming and exercise. Dogs are very much social creatures, and without interaction from you or other animals, they can become disorderly and their mental well-being may suffer. Many prefer keeping their pets indoors because it makes socialization easier, but indoor pets are also less likely to develop behavioral issues, like being overly aggressive or developing a bad barking habit.
There are so many resources for nutritious, well-balanced animal diets out there that a responsible pet owner really has no excuse for improperly feeding their companion. Much like exercise, it’s important that you find a type and brand of food that your dog seems to enjoy, and then stick with it. Sudden changes in brand or type of food, such as going from wet to dry, can cause a wide range of digestion problems, and in some cases your dog may even refuse to eat. Also, be weary of portion sizes, especially if your dog isn’t getting as much exercise as they should be. Pet obesity is a real issue that’s becoming more prevalent due to careless feeding techniques.
In addition to picking out the right brand of food, there are other things responsible pet owners can do to provide better care for their pets. One of these is the addition of Dr. Willard’s Pet Care products to your daily routine. We have 3 separate pet care products specially formulated to take care of all your pet’s needs. Our Vibrant Pet Water Drops grant the benefits of increased nutrient absorption and assimilation, and interestingly enough, pet owners tend to notice a “calming effect” in their animals, meaning it’s great for stressed cats and dogs. Our Rejuvenating Skin and Coat Spray is a safe and effective way to address a variety of your pet’s external skin and coat problems, and has the ability to restore a great shine to their fur. Lastly, our Soothing Aloe Gel for Pets is great for moisturizing your pet’s skin and treating problematic symptoms like hot spots.
If you’d like to find out more about Dr. Willard’s Pet Care products or Aspen, the Willard family dog that was the inspiration these products in the first place, check out that story on our website here.