Having a pet can add joy to your life but as with everything, there can be a downside to dog ownership. If your dog attacks a person, or even another dog, you may be in for a lawsuit, and if worse comes to worse, you may have to say goodbye to your furry friend. But let’s hope that does NOT happen.
Here are some tips to safe dog ownership:
Go Back to School
Whether your dog joins your family as a puppy or an adult, it is always a good idea to take your dog to some sort of obedience training. There are many classes available that can help you learn how to interact most effectively and safely with your dog and that will help you train them to behave in public, around children, and when encountering other animals. Be wise and go to school sooner rather than later – it can be a great bonding opportunity for you and your dog.
Get Social, Baby!
When your dog is just a tiny puppy, he or she is impressionable and needs to have contact with other dogs and humans in order to learn proper behavior and to ensure Fido is safe to have in public as an adult.
Adopting an adult dog can lead to challenges, since they have already reached emotional maturity. Be cautious when introducing your new pet to others, and take steps to ensure it’s a safe encounter. This may even include a temporary muzzle, but don’t worry – they don’t have to look so scary anymore! Use this as a helpful guide in your understanding of canine developmental stages.
Know your Pup
If you are aware that your dog does not do well with crowds, children, or other dogs, respect that and don’t try to push them. When an animal feels threatened, it may do things that surprise you – things that you had thought were out of character.
Make sure that your equipment matches the need of you and your pooch! Ensure that its collar or harness fastens well enough to keep them from getting out of your control. When it comes to a leash, there is no need to get one that lets your dog 20 feet in front of you and retracts. If it gets wrapped around someone’s leg, it can leave them scarred for life. Retractable leashes are especially dangerous around bicycles – they can get caught in wheels and cause serious harm to the cyclist and/or your dog.
Stay up to Date
We cannot tell you what shots your dog needs to have, but as a responsible dog owner, it’s your job to stay current on these. It will keep them safe and healthy, and if they break someone’s skin, it can help ensure that person won’t contract any awful diseases.
Remember that dogs need plenty of exercise, so get outside and have a great time with your pooch!