I have grown up with dogs. Zico, our first dog, was like an elder brother who would carry a 3-year-old me on his back, cautious in his balance and pace.
I have been a dog person—through and through—ever since.
And I am well aware that with great ‘puppery,’ comes great responsibility.
Taking good care of dogs is a necessity that can never be compromised. Although as a species, they have similar instincts, their preferences, behavioural patterns, likes and dislikes cannot be uniform. Every dog is unique.
But worry not. Whether you are a first-time pet-parent or a seasoned one, we have short-listed five things that will ensure your dog stays happy and content.
Paint the town red
Whether for ball-catching, slow walking or lawn-rolling – the outdoors are extremely important for a dog, no matter what the age.
Do not confine them to your home (no matter how spacious). At least once a day and ideally twice, take them out for a pleasant, long walk.
Slowly, you will come to understand what they love, and maybe then you can focus on that activity only. This is also a great excuse for you to step out and enjoy the fresh air too!
If possible, let go of the leash too and let them go crazy!
Whether young or adult, docile or wild, dogs love munching on treats, especially if they are long-lasting.
Not only do they keep your dog happy, but such treats also keep their canines and gums healthy, reducing the need to brush their teeth regularly.
Some treats also help make coats shiny and skin healthy.
Healthy snacking is always a good idea—for both humans and dogs. Not only does it keep one occupied but also ensures overall health in a fun way.
Sparkly clean kennels
Alright, we get it. Dog hair can be annoying because it is EVERYWHERE.
But that is no excuse to keep his kennel dirty. The hair will start stinking and also carry an army of bacteria that you don’t want in your home.
The easiest way to go about this is to invest in a natural cleaner that is safe for your pet and also effective.
Your dog is most likely to roll all over the clean kennel to spread his/her scent after the cleaning session, but it will be worth the effort.
Pampering is the best form of flattery:
Whether you want to treat your doggie to a full-blown spa treatment or just a hot bath at home is your decision. But just like you, your dog needs personal care.
They roamed outdoors, play with other dogs and explored areas that you never thought they would sniff out (get it?).
It is thus important to have regular baths with good shampoos. Apart from this, brush the fur regularly, file nails and treat them to homely ear massages and belly rubs.
The affection you will get in return is the only sign you need that he loves it!
Who let the dog out?
My present dog, Louis, has this terrible (but admittedly talented) habit of looking at visitors with innocent eyes and wagging his tail as if he was waiting specifically for them the entire day.
The moment they open the gate, he bolts out like fizz from a shaken soft-drink bottle.
God knows where he goes, but he will only return after a good couple of hours.
For us at home, these hours are horrible, filled as they are with the fear that he would get into a fight or have an accident.
If your dog (or cat) is notorious for such absconding, try attaching a smart ID tag on its collar.
The ‘My ICE Tag’ is a collar that comes with a unique phone scannable QR code. So when someone finds your dog, they know your name and how to reach you.
Additionally, in emergency cases, scanning the QR code will give one all vital information like medical records, allergens, vaccinations etc.
(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)