How To Be The Best Dog Owner
We all love our dogs, however, there are always little adjustments that we can add to the way that we care for them. Just a small tweak can bring on fantastic results and you will see huge benefits to your dog’s health. To be the best and most responsible dog owner is really, really easy.
Small Adjustments With Maximum Benefits
It doesn’t matter if you are a first-time dog owner or you have taken care of dogs all your life, there is always something that you can do to make him happier and healthier.
These tips are designed to give maximum benefits by making small adjustments. I’m sure that you do some of them already, but there really is something for everyone.
This handy checklist is a guide to improve your dog’s life, step by step.
After all, our dogs are our best friends, so they deserve to have, the very best owner.
Improve Your Dog’s Diet
To get the best from your dog it is important to give a healthy balanced diet.
My Number One Diet Tip For Dogs.
The best tip I ever discovered was to give your dog green beans instead of treats.
They can be raw, cooked or even frozen. My dogs love them and it has really helped me to cut down on the number of treats they have.
Just in case you were wondering:
There are forty calories in a medium-sized dog biscuit eg a gravy bone.
So doing a quick swap will have an immediate impact on your dog’s waistline.
Best dog owner tips to overcome obesity.
Substitute some of the dog’s regular food with a couple of teaspoons of pureed pumpkin. It is low in calories and in addition, the fibre and water will make the dog feel full, so he won’t even know he’s on a diet!
Add coconut oil to the food.
There are so many benefits to adding just a half teaspoon of coconut oil to your dog’s food both internally and externally. For best results add very slowly and you will soon see fantastic results.
If you want to know about the benefits of coconut oil you can read all about it here.
Add some fish oil to their diet by occasionally adding sardines (my dogs favourite) tuna or salmon.
DIY Dog Treats
Be the best dog owner ever and make healthy, tasty treats for your dog. Using just a few ingredients, great snacks can be made instead of shop-bought treats. There are hundreds of recipes online and they are all super quick and inexpensive. Your dog will love you for it!
Here is one of them
This recipe includes just three items, you may already have in your store cupboard.
You will need:-
Peanut Butter (Dog Friendly)
Grind the oats into a fine powder either by hand or using a food processor for a few seconds.
Add banana and peanut butter and mix into a firm dough.
Roll out and cut into bite sized treats using a knife or cookie cutter.
Bake for thirty minutes at 150c.
My dogs love frozen dog treats in the summer to keep cool. I put some yoghurt in ice cube trays and add a blueberry before placing in the freezer. They are great if you are concerned about your dog overheating.
2. Increase exercise
1 Next time you go for a walk, take a ball with you, the dog will cover more ground chasing after it. A ball thrower increases distance and dogs love them. Additionally, you can get some recall training done at the same time.
2 Another easy thing to do is to change the route that you use every day to walk your dog. Your dog will pick up different scents and get more sensory stimulation from a different area.
3 Walk with a friend who has a dog, this will make your dog more sociable and you will cover more miles having a good old gossip!
3. Is your dog Insured?
Take out a policy or open a savings account for your dog’s care and add to it each week. It will give you the peace of mind to know that the help will be there if your dog needs it. All responsible dog owners have a plan in place if their dog is sick.
4. Is your dog mentally stimulated?
Make your dog work for his food or treats by adding a food puzzle.
We are all aware that dogs can be destructive if they get bored. Their brains need lots of stimulation even when they are past the puppy stage. Just one or two interactive toys will really help to keep your dog’s mind active. As a result, the dog will be calmer and less anxious.
He will no longer need to chew your furniture!
Boredom in dogs is the main reason for destructive behaviour or hyperactivity.
Snuffle mats are designed to improve mental and physical fitness by using a dog’s natural instincts to search and smell for food. I have used these with dogs that suffer from separation anxiety. The snuffle mat will distract the dog, keep him/her occupied whilst you are away and reduce stress levels.
Dogs love to have fun, so these are worth their weight in gold. They can easily be made at home with scraps of material, and can be cleaned in the washing machine.
For more information on dog enrichment toys, please click here.
5. Keep microchip and dog tags up to date.
Every responsible dog owner has his dog chipped. In fact, in the UK, it is illegal not to.
However, dog owners forget to change the details on the chip when they move house or change telephone number. They buy their dog a lovely new collar and forget to swap the ID disc.
Keep the details up to date and attach a tag to all of your dog’s collars so that you can be contacted as soon as your dog is found.
Find out exactly what to do if your dog goes missing here.
1 Brushing or combing will not only improve the dog’s appearance, but it will also give you the chance to get a close look to see if he has any skin irritations, fur loss, hot spots, sore paws, etc
2 Keep your dog’s nails short with specially designed dog clippers. If you struggle with this (like I do!) a vet or groomer will do them for a small charge. My dog causes an awful fuss when I take him to have his nails trimmed but the professionals are used to nervous dogs and can do them very quickly.
Walking your dog on hard surfaces is the best way to keep his nails filed down naturally.
You don’t have to be an expert to massage your dog. Just gently stroking and running your hands over the dog’s muscles will make both of you feel bonded and relaxed. It also gives you a good chance to spot any lumps or bumps which may appear.
See how your dog relaxes if you gently massage just behind his ears?
Learn canine massage and really bond with your dog.
8. Make Inexpensive Homemade Toys
If your dog suffers from separation anxiety, get an unwashed T-shirt or old sock belonging to yourself and put knots in it until it resembles a ball. The dog will get comfort from the smell when you are not there.
Wrap strips of fabric randomly around a ball, hiding treats between the layers for your dog to find.
A really cheap idea to stimulate play is to get an odd sock and stuff it with material that gives a crinkle effect (eg a crisp packet or biscuit wrapper) then tie a knot and use as a fetch toy.
Place three plastic cups in a line upside down. Place a treat inside one cup and see if your dog can guess which one it is. Slide the cups around to make the game more difficult.
(There is a short video so that you can see how the toy works)
The reason I like the Wobble Wag Giggle Ball is because there are special clutch holes which allow the dog to get a good grasp of the ball. Dogs are entertained by the ‘giggling’ sounds and benefit from lots more exercise when they run to fetch the ball. Use both indoors and outdoors, great for those wintry days when you are stuck inside.
It’s so important to keep your dog hydrated, especially when out and about. This portable water and food container turns into a bowl and fits easily into a rucksack .
Water And Treat Bottle And Dispenser
For more information about dog dehydration, please click here.
Check your dog’s teeth and gums regularly and brush with some special doggy toothpaste every day. The best way for a dog owner to do this is to start when the dog is a puppy.
If your dog hates the toothbrush these Dog Finger Toothbrushes are gentler on gums and help you to get into areas that a toothbrush can’t reach.
Make sure that your dog’s teeth are in the best condition by giving him a daily dental chew. Mine love fish skin cubes. The smell of fish is very strong so I keep mine in an airtight container.
They are 100% natural so no nasty additives.
Greenies make an excellent range of doggy dental chews which are all natural and veterinary approved. Make sure that you choose the right size for your dog.
Coconut oil will also help with dental hygiene. In addition, it will give a beautiful shiny coat too.
Give your dog a small piece of carrot or apple to munch on. This will remove plaque, clean teeth and improve smelly breath.
Find out why dental health is so important here.
10. Trust Your Instincts To Be The Best Dog Owner
To be the best dog owner you need to always observe your dog. Just like a child, we need to keep a watchful eye on our pets.
Look for anything out of the ordinary.
Trust your instincts and you will find:
That you are always right!
Check that the dog is eating, drinking, urinating, emptying bowels and playing as normal.
Detecting early signs that your dog is unwell can prevent serious illness and costly vet bills.
11. Natural Remedies For Simple Dog Ailments
Sometimes we don’t need to look further than our kitchen cupboards to find natural remedies for everyday dog ailments. These items are readily available in shops and can be purchased at very little expense.
(Of course, if the dog is unwell or in pain he must be seen by a vet immediately.)
- 1 Keep some tinned pumpkin in the cupboard to help with your dog’s digestion.
- 2 Epsom Salts in a warm bath help muscle aches and sprains.
- 3 Vitamin E cream helps with dry, sore, or swollen paws.
- 4 Diluted Apple Cider Vinegar can be used to clean ears.
- 5 Chamomile Tea poured over the dog’s skin can reduce itchiness.
- 6 Warmed salt can be placed in a sock and placed on an arthritic joint to relieve pain.
- 7 Live yoghurt will soothe a dog’s upset tummy.
- 8 Pumpkin seeds are a natural wormer.
- 9 Coconut Oil can help the fur to grow back if the dog has bald patches.
- 10 Pour warm water through a sachet of oatmeal, then rinse the dog’s coat to relieve itching.
By following these quick and easy tips you can be the best dog owner and your dog will benefit by being more happy and healthy. It only takes a few easy tweaks and the results can be seen very quickly.
10 Easy Tips To Survive Life With A Brand New Puppy
15 Amazing Trivia Facts About Dogs
Do you have any tips to keep your dog physically fit and well?
I would love to hear all about them.
Keep those tails wagging!
This post contains Amazon.com affiliate links.
This is great!! I love all of these tips so much!!
We’ve recently made a new rule in my house: no cell phones on walks! They stay with us for safety but more than once I caught myself looking at my phone on walks and that’s just crazy. It’s HER time she deserves that and it’s better for us also! <3
I know what you mean. I have lovely chats with my dogs when we are on our walks. People must call me the Crazy Dog Woman! Thank you so much for commenting. Have a lovely day.
I’m right there with you! We have a fence and when we moved the new neighbors just assumed we had a toddler because of the way I talk to her lol! It’s a compliment!!
Love this! Siggi’s a big fan of coconut oil and gets a bit through his coat after grooming. Interactive toys are also the best. We love coming up with weird creations from household waste, like sealing up cardboard boxes full of his kibble. Keeps his brain working, tires him out and deals with his natural urge to rip stuff up! Thanks for the post 🙂
I must try this!, Darcy also has an urge to rip things up, usually my post! Thank you for your comment, have a lovely day.
I had no idea green beans and coconut oil were safe for dogs! Interesting! I had found out a few years ago that grapes and garlic were a no no.
I know surprising isn’t it? Chocolate also really bad. Thank you for stopping by.
Oh yeah. Definitely knew about chocolate! I remember learning that you could give dogs benadryl if they ate chocolate.
now thats handy to know because I have a little dachshund who likes to pinch things!
Lol. I don’t remember where I heard it, but a kid’s dose is supposed to help as long as its not a huge amount of chocolate.
Where is brushing their teeth daily at?? This is so important..it only takes a minute…and your dog is so much better off for it. You can save a lot of money, and save the dog so much stress…do it everyday and the dogs get accustomed to it..no issues at my house.
Oh my goodness – so much good info yet again. I never thought of green beans and I need to address caring for his teeth more. Thanks for sharing your expertise.
You’re welcome, hope your dog likes green beans xx
I have a friend who not only brushes her dog’s teeth, but she also flosses them. She showed me a video. The dog appeared to love it.
That is one well behaved dog!.
I always put liquid chlorophyll in water dish for my dog and cat.
Thank you for the tip.