In this post, you’ll learn how to be a better dog dad AND do it in just 5 simple to remember steps. Before we dive in, I'd recommend finding out what a dog dad is.
But if you already know you're a dog dad, let's get going.
1. Get Vet Care
It should go without saying that you need veterinary care. A dog is a companion, a man’s best friend, a being that without being would break our hearts. Just like humans, dogs can get sick, really sick. It’s a horrible feeling if and when they do.
Unfortunately, I know all too well how terrible it makes you feel to see your dog unwell. Luna managed to get hold of one of those laundry detergents and without knowing how much she actually ingested, she began vomiting foam consecutively for 15 minutes – I knew something was wrong, and immediately took her to the vet. 48 hours later after leaving Luna in the doggy hospital she was able to come home – thankfully.
It stung the wallet though, I learned a lesson that day and now I have vet care.
So, that's why it’s so important to get the right vet care, veterinarians are incredibly smart people, they are your best chance at saving your dog's lives. Plus, on a less gloomy note, your dog will need yearly vaccines and monthly flea and worming treatment – vets are the best people to again, advice on what's best for your dog.
Your vet will also let you know if something is up if you can’t figure it out yourself.
2. Be Patient
Patience and time go hand in hand. Dedicating time to your dog is great. Dedicating patience to your dog is great. But do you know how to do both?
As a dog dad, there will be times when you just want to pull your hair out:
- toilet training
- bed/crate training
- teaching basic commands (sit, down, come, off, leave, no)
It took me almost a year to toilet train Luna, there were many times when she got it right but accidents happen. I have to admit at the time I was living in an apartment on the top floor, so getting to an outside space frequently and quickly wasn't always possible.
That's not to say dogs can't be toilet trained in apartments, but I won't deny it takes longer. This is why it helps to be patient. Dogs are habitual creatures, they like repetition and repetition takes time.
Remember to be present, this means spending time together at home chilling, outside walking, and even snoozing together. The more time you can spend with your dog, the closer the bond will be.
3. Get Good Food
Food, like its role with humans, is so important for the well-being of your pup. Making sure your dog has the right food for its life stage is critical.
- As a puppy, food is used for growth and brain development.
- As your dog ages, food becomes a basic requirement.
But, let’s be clear. A good dog dad doesn’t skip on quality. Sure you can save a fair amount of money by buying your dog food in bulk. But, it might be at a cost to your dog's health.
Let me explain, by sharing my experience with Luna. I used to feed Luna dry kibble that was suitable for all breed types, which Luna got on with just fine. Though as she passed the puppy stage and needed adult nutrition I decided to switch the kibble brand, and also to a kibble shaped for brachycephalic breeds. I thought this has to be good that it's designed for flat-nosed dogs.
I was wrong.
Luna very soon after moving to the new kibble began to vomit on a regular basis, initially I thought this was because she hadn't ingested the food - she scoffs her food - but after some research, I found that kibble is full off added 'stuff' to make the food larger and cheaper to produce. Luna was intolerant to this added 'stuff' so I knew I needed to try something else.
I'm now feeding Luna dehydrated raw food from Rocketo - it's definitely not the same prices I was paying for kibble - but she absolutely loves the stuff. She rarely vomits now which is a great result. Plus, she does a happy dance each time I grab the bag, that's how I know she loves it. Getting good food is vital for a happy dog.
4. Embrace Exercise
Dogs are full of energy and excitement. They need exercise and toys to let off the steam. If you’ve got a young dog, make sure you dedicate frequent playtime, imagine your pup is a toddler, they have so much energy! Adding more playtime to your daily schedule will distract your dog from the destructive behaviours - your furniture will thank me later.
Even as your dog ages, it will still need to burn off the energy. Take the time to walk your dog daily, or play a game of fetch in the garden. Any activity that gets the heart pumping will increase that dog dad bond.
5. Never Stop Loving
As you’ve probably heard before, love is king. Really. Your dog is your best friend, so don’t hold back on letting them know. Pet, cuddle, and talk with your dog as much as possible. When you give love, your dog’s loyalty will never be questioned.
How to be a good dog dad
So that’s it, 5 simple ways to be a better dog dad. Put these into practice and I guarantee you'll start to see a visible difference on your dog dad journey.
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