You finally decided to get a dog. All the family is excited to welcome this new four-legged addition. However, there’s one nagging thought – how will you make sure your dog is friendly and well-behaved?
Here’s what you can do to help your puppy adjust to its new surroundings and grow up to be a healthy, happy pooch.
Pick the right dog
It might be tempting to head down to the animal shelter and pick the dog you feel a connection with. The one that looks deep into your soul. But what if that googly-eyed pup turns out to be a larger breed that will take up half the space in your studio apartment? Picking a dog that suits your lifestyle is important. If your dog is mismatched to your lifestyle and home, it will be harder to achieve canine bliss.
Get to the vet
Once you choose your dog, it’s important that you book an appointment with a vet. Adjusting to a new environment is tough for all dogs. But a sick dog will find it so much harder. Any illness, no matter how slight, may impact the dog’s personality and make it difficult for you to get to know and understand your dog.
Socialise… a lot
If your dog is constantly at home and only gets to mingle with members of your family, don’t be surprised if your guests are greeted with barks and growls. Expose your dog to different environments and people, as well as to other dogs. The more your dog socialises, the easier it will be for him or her to adjust to new environments and new people.
Move those paws
Apart from being beneficial for your dog’s health, exercise allows a dog to let off energy, resulting in a more balanced temperament. The amount of exercise a dog needs depends on their breed and age. However, all dogs need to move around. Be it playing with a ball in your living room or going out for a leisurely walk, it’s important that your dog gets to move its paws on a regular basis.
Time to train
Teaching a dog how to obey orders like “sit” and “stay” is not only practical. It strengthens the relationship between dog and owner. When it comes to training, the younger the pup, the easier it is. Use positive reinforcement to reward your dog for good behaviour.
This form of behavioural coaching can help if your dog repeatedly demonstrates problematic behaviour, such as excessive barking or urinating indoors. Try to understand what’s triggering this behaviour. Whether you handle the training yourself, or bring in a professional trainer, keep in mind that consistency is key.
Feed your dog properly
Not all dogs need the same amount of food. Energy levels vary according to their breed, gender and age. So speak to your vet to understand how much food your dog will need. Make sure that the food you choose has the right balance of nutrients for your pooch. There are many brands to choose from, and you could even opt for making the food yourself or introducing healthy food options including fruit and vegetables.
If your dog has a healthy weight, you may want to leave food available all day for your dog to graze. However, this feeding methods doesn’t work with dogs that will devour anything placed in front of them.
Make sure your dog has all the food, treats and toys it needs for a happy life at home with you. Have a look at the 128 Pet Shops listed on Yellow to stock up on what you need for your four-legged family member to be fully content, and at the same time to be encouraged to behave.
Discover more – visit www.yellow.com.mt!