A 7-Step Guide to Being a Good Dog Owner

Being a pet parent is incredibly exciting – and there’s an endless list of fun things to get ready! The really important things though, are the habits you need to keep throughout your life for the wellbeing of your pet.

You don’t get given a shiny hard-cover training manual when you bring your first pet home (how cool would that be though?). The assumption that everybody knows how to look after their animals is a bit of a dangerous one and can seriously impact the life and well-being of the pets who are not having their needs met.

To make up for the lack of available training manuals, we wrote this list of the seven things that are fundamental to becoming a brilliant, responsible, and thoughtful pet parent.

1. Nutrition

Giving your pet a long, healthy, and happy life is largely dependent on what you feed them. Making sure that your pet is getting proper nutrition is essential for their well-being and overall health. The food we feed our pets can have a profound effect on their health, growth, and development.

It is important to provide a balanced diet that is packed with the essential nutrients and vitamins needed for a healthy lifestyle. It is also important to consider factors like age, breed, and activity level when choosing the right food for your pet. Doing your research and carefully selecting the right food for your pet can help ensure that you are giving them the best chance at a long, healthy, and happy life.

Knowing what kind of food to feed your pet is key. A young puppy will need their diet to promote growth and give them sufficient energy, whilst an older dog may need their diet to fight off weight loss and relieve joint pain. A lot of conditions can be treated through diet, so make sure you are looking after the health of your pet from the inside out!

2. Pet insurance

To be fair, we could write for days about how very, very important this pillar is when it comes to doing a solid job at pet parenting. Getting pet insurance is one of the most responsible things you can do for your pet. It means that your pet is protected under your name for the rest of its life, and that’s pretty special.

Pet insurance is an essential part of being a responsible pet owner. It is a proactive measure that ensures your pet’s health is taken care of in case of unexpected illnesses or accidents. It also helps you prepare financially for any veterinary expenses that may come up. You don’t have to worry about the high costs of treatment, surgery, or even emergency care.

Moreover, having a pet insurance policy can also give you peace of mind knowing that your pet will receive the best possible care without putting a financial strain on you. It also ensures that your pet will receive necessary treatments without delay, as waiting for funds to be available can be dangerous in some situations.

If your pet is young, jump on getting pet insurance as soon as you finish reading this blog! It’s never too early to start protecting your furry friend’s health. With so many options available, you can find a policy that fits your budget and your pet’s needs. Don’t wait until something unexpected happens, be proactive and give your pet the protection they deserve.

3. Exercise and stimulation

Overfeeding and under-exercising your pet is as cruel as underfeeding them. Make sure your pet avoids gaining any excess weight and by doing so, avoid any future health complications.

If you live in South Africa, you have no excuse not to take your doggo out on our beautiful nature walks. Read about The best hikes in Gauteng to do with your dog this winter.

Keeping your pet active goes beyond physical exercise, but you need to remember mental exercises are just as important. Having balls, toys, and games for your pet will make for some of the fondest memories.

4. Health

Our pets can’t very well get up and walk themselves to the vet when something is wrong. They aren’t even able to verbalise when they feel ill, so as pet parents it is so important that we keep on top of their health. Taking responsibility for the health of your pet means getting them to the vet every six months, keeping up to speed with their vaccinations and making sure they are regularly dewormed, de-flead, and de-ticked.

Looking after your pet’s health also means keeping their environment sanitary. Litter boxes, bowls, and toys need to be cleaned regularly to get rid of germs and harmful bacteria.

5. Home

Making your home a happy environment for your pet is pivotal. Pets thrive in homes where they know they are a valued family member. Making a happy pet home means a few things. You need to establish a routine for them to get used to. Walking times, feeding times, and bedtimes are good ones to keep consistent.

6. Grooming

Somebody needs to regularly groom your pet. For optimal coat condition, brush your pet every couple of days (or once a day depending on how much hair they shed). It’s great for removing dead hair and skin cells and improving your pets blood circulation.

You need to get your hands dirty to wash your pet! Expect to get wet if you have an especially wriggly hound. Wash your dog a few times a month (they clean themselves with their tongues and need to maintain their natural self-cleaning oils).

7. Training

A lot of dogs in South Africa live in fenced areas – they don’t often get the chance to socialise with other dogs if you don’t take them to parks or out into the world. There are so many dog-friendly places you can go to and experience with your pet if they are well-trained and calm in public.

If you want your pet to know basic commands and act appropriately around other cats and dogs, you should start socialisation training as young as you can. It will make for better bonding with your animal plus more stimulation and growth for them!

So which of these points is the most important one? The most important part of being a pet parent is loving your pet and letting the rest come as part of the package. Enjoy every part of loving your furry family member!

Until next time,

The petinsurance.co.za Team