Yesterday I got to talk with a sorority sister about her new dog and dogs in general. Dogs (particularly mine) are my favorite thing to discuss. Since I enjoy the topic and I’m a self-proclaimed expert, I figured why not dedicate a post to my favorite domesticated creature.
[ Note: I am not an expert. I am not a doctor or a breeder. I have had dogs all my life and draw my “facts” from the experiences I’ve had with them. ]
Dog food companies are out to make a buck and you’re better off doing your research, talking to your vet, and monitoring your dog. Our dogs don’t have a scientifically formula-ed, organic, all natural diet. We feed our dogs a grocery-store dog chow and the vet is 100% ok with it. Lylee has a sensitive tummy and Enzo is a picky eater, but they both love their food.
If you’re trying to cut costs or looking for a healthy alternative, skip the dog treat aisle and instead go for some baby carrots, bananas, green beans, and broccoli. All these things are great for dogs and most have little to no calories. Plus, a $15 bag of Beggin’ Strips doesn’t even last as long as a $2 bag of miniature carrots. Broccoli is known to reduce the risk of certain cancers in dogs by 60%. Sign me up!
Speaking of risk reduction, did you know that with every heat cycle your dog goes through her risk of cancer increases? Get your pets spayed/neutered! If you’re worried about money there are a ton of organizations and shelters/humane societies that will help with costs. Please, please, please protect your dog!
It sounds a little heartless, but if you have a puppy crate-training is your best friend. Both of our fur-kids sleep with us, but they started with crate training. There are plenty of how-tos and tips on the internet so I won’t go into that, but when your dogs thinks of his crate as his bedroom it will help you with feeding, house-breaking, and even bed time. Never ever ever use the crate for punishment- it should be associate with good things (treats, personal space, comfort, etc.). Our dogs aren’t allowed in the other one’s “bedroom.”
All dogs are different so it’s really important to be able to read your dog. I have been bit multiple times because I couldn’t take a hint. (I was very young and unsupervised.) Like people, dogs get irritated and fussy, so it’s important to understand their body language.
In my opinion, mutts are the best! Obviously this isn’t a fact since all dogs are great, but I like to think that mutts take the best qualities from their ancestor’s breeds and combined them to form the perfect dog. It has been proven that mixed breeds tend to have less medical issues.
Letting your dog choose you is really important. I have had 6 main dogs in my life. Three of those dogs were strays or spontaneous decisions, but the other three were dogs that we actively sought out and contemplated adopting. With each of those dogs we knew it was imperative to “click” with the dog. (You wouldn’t invite someone to live in your house if you didn’t get along with them, would you?)
My parents adopted our first family dog (Bruno) from the pound and decided on him when he was the only puppy to ignore the food bowl and come trotting over to Mom for snuggles. We also knew Enzo was the one when he wouldn’t stop climbing all over Kyle. I love the feeling of “finding the one.”
I’ll wrap it up for now, but look for dog related posts in the future. I hope some of these stories/experiences/tips were a little helpful! Did I miss anything?
Do you have a dog? What’s his/her/their name(s)? Have you picked up any pet parenting tips along the way?
** I’m a big advocate of rescuing dogs and not going through breeders and ESPECIALLY not buying from a pet store or puppy mill. You can also find purebreds in shelters/pounds/rescues- as always, DO YOUR RESEARCH!