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Learning the basics of dog ownership

I recently joined a couple of dog related social media groups and pages with the intention of staying in touch with popular trends and concerns within the dog community.
Pets

I recently joined a couple of dog related social media groups and pages with the intention of staying in touch with popular trends and concerns within the dog community.

But what I found was a lot of misinformation and lack of basic knowledge about dogs.

This really isn’t anything new to me. Being in the dog training business for more than 20 years now, I am very well aware that there are people who should have a stuffed toy dog rather than the real deal.

There were many WTH moments upon reading posts from dog owners and it was clear that there is a vast amount of misinformation and lack of basic knowledge about dogs and their care.

Every dog owner should know basic first aid for dogs.  You don’t have to become a triage nurse to own a dog but learn how to assess your dog’s injury and treat it. This knowledge can either save your dog’s life or save you a ton of cash. Take a first aid course and learn how to assess, clean, dress, and maintain a wound or injury. You should know the difference between a cut or abrasion that may require daily home care cleaning and a bandage and a wound that needs stitches and medication. Learn how to prepare for, maintain and care for your dog’s injury.  

This may sound redundant but food goes in one end of your dog and poop comes out the other. Learn what is healthy on both ends.

Good healthy food will produce healthy poop. Any raw food feeder will tell you we have a bit of an obsession with our dog’s poop as we have learned it is the first indicator of our dog’s overall health. Mucus in poop is not healthy, loose stools are not healthy, a poop that is so large it requires a back hoe to pick up is not healthy. Blood in stools is not healthy, black coloured stools are not healthy. Pay more attention to what comes out of your dog’s back end.

Now that we have covered one end, let’s look at the other.

Dogs will vomit, they do that once in a while. It is completely normal for them to do it a 2 a.m. and choose your antique, vegetable died, hand woven, imported Persian carpet as their vomit vessel.  What is not normal is if it is happening regularly.

Your wonderful puppy will turn into a juvenile delinquent around nine months of age. This is normal yet highly problematic, especially if you have not participated in any obedience/leadership training up to that point and will be even more difficult if you don’t participate in any obedience/leadership training after that point.

The median age of dogs that are given up for adoption is between the ages of nine months and two years. They are obnoxious teenagers and if they have never been given boundaries and limitations to live within they will be downright horrendous. Take obedience classes and learn how to set proper boundaries for your dog to live within before the problems arise.

A GoFundMe page shouldn’t be needed to pay for your vet bills. Dogs are expensive. The cheapest thing about dog ownership is the price you paid to acquire your dog.

Food, beds, toys, accessories, day care, dog walkers, pet sitters, kenneling, vet bills all need to be budgeted for because it is Murphy’s law or maybe karma that the month you are digging between the couch cushions for extra change is the month your dog will need an emergency vet visit.

Not all veterinarians are created equal. Find a veterinarian that mirrors your own personal health-care regime. You should feel that you can trust your veterinarian 100 per cent and that they are working with you, having your pet’s best health interests at heart.

If you find yourself having to fight for your dogs well-being then find another vet. If you find yourself having to inform your veterinarian about diet and nutrition and the current protocols for vaccines, spaying and neutering, find another vet. If you find yourself having to defend your beliefs in alternative, holistic health care, find another vet. If you find yourself leaving the veterinarian’s office with more questions than answers, find another vet.  

Learn how to care for your dog properly, this will ensure a lifetime of health, well-being and cute dog selfies.

Joan Klucha has been working with dogs for more than 15 years in obedience, tracking and behavioural rehabilitation. k9kinship@gmail.com

 




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