From good to pawfect: mastering the art of dog parenting

Parenting is a serious task, whether you are parenting a child or a pup. Here’s to how to be a pawfect dog mom!

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Only a pet parent knows how to handle a pooch. Every day is a new learning and with time, you become an excellent dog mom! Eight years back, when we brought Rocky to our home, I was a newbie to pet parenting. I was initially scared and overwhelmed with the new responsibility. But, being a parent to a twelve-year-old kid, I was sure I will rock it!

So, here are a few lessons I learnt while being a pet mom:

  1. Being responsible: Being a good pet parent means understanding the lifelong commitment and responsibilities of pet parenting. So before you commit yourself to a little soul, research breeds, ensure you can meet their needs, and prioritize training and care. If you can’t provide adequate care, it’s best not to get a pet.
  2. Dog-proof your home all times: Keep your home safe for your dog by removing toxic foods, small objects that could be swallowed, and harmful items like cleaning products and electrical cords. A little careless move and your pet can be in danger. Rocky loves to nibble on grass at times. Once, he could not get access to grass and he nibbled from few of my potted plants. Soon, he was sick and doctor asked us about his intake. Later, we realized that he nibbled on basil leaves and that was the cause of his upset tummy. Needless to say, all my basil plants are now well out of his reach. So, things we feel are harmless can actually be harmful to your dog.
  3. Opt for a well-balanced nutritious food: Like children, pets also need a balanced diet and their diet changes with age. A well-balanced diet ensures your dog gets the necessary nutrients. Consult your vet to choose the best diet for your dog’s breed, age, and size.
  4. Establish a no table scraps rule: This is little difficult to do as your pooch will melt your heart with his beady eyes, asking you to share your food with them. But, many human foods contain ingredients harmful to dogs, so ensure that no one in the household gives table scraps.
  5. Maintain a healthy weight for your pet: A fat dog means his parents are not giving him enough exercise and over-feeding. Besides, obesity in pets can lead to serious health issues like joint disease and diabetes. Monitor your dog’s weight using their body condition score and consult your vet if your pet needs a weight management plan.
  6. Groom regularly: Regular grooming keeps your dog’s coat and skin healthy. Check nails, ears, and skin for any issues during grooming sessions, and use pet-friendly shampoo and conditioner to keep your dog’s coat smooth and hydrated.
  7. Train and socialize early: A well-trained pooch is always a delight. Early training and socialization reduce fearfulness and improve your dog’s behaviour. Exposing them to various experiences helps them become well-adjusted pets, preventing behaviour issues that often lead to relinquishment. So, start training them from day one.
  8. Keep them mentally-stimulated: If you don’t want issues like chewing on toys, shoes, furniture, etc and other destructive behaviours in dogs, keep them mentally stimulated. Dogs need mental stimulation to prevent boredom and destructive behaviour. Engage with your pet through interactive play and provide toys and activities that challenge their mind, strengthening your bond and ensuring their well-being.
  9. Watch out for behaviour changes: Monitor your dog for signs of illness or distress, such as lethargy or lack of appetite. Consult your vet if you notice any abnormal behaviour to ensure quick treatment and recovery.
  10. Establish a routine: Creating a daily routine reduces your dog’s stress and helps them understand what to expect. Regular feeding, walking, and bedtime schedules promote a sense of security and well-being. Once you have established their routine, they will surely remind you with a playful paw or a bark!!!
  11. Keep your dog up to date on vaccinations: Ensuring your dog’s health is one of the best ways to show your love. Regular vaccinations prevent exposure to harmful pathogens. An annual vet appointment can handle all necessary vaccines and give you peace of mind knowing a professional has checked your pet’s health.
  12. Take them for outings: Dogs love to explore new places. Taking your dog on regular outings provides physical exercise and mental stimulation. Exploring new environments strengthens their socialization and training skills while offering a fun bonding experience.

Last but not the least, take good care of yourself too! Happy pet parenting!

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