By Richard Teahon
If you have a dog it is important to look after it properly. Dogs are like people in many ways, and if they are mistreated then they will become unhappy and sad. Sometimes they will become angry and vicious.
Dogs are creatures and have feelings. They are not toys. All dogs have their own personality, and no two dogs are the same.
The following steps will make your dog happier and healthier.
When your dog reaches eight weeks old, take your dog to a vet and they will give your dog a vaccination. Do the same when your dog is ten weeks old too. When your dog is one years old, the vet will give your dog a booster vaccine. This makes sure the vaccines your dog had at eight and ten weeks do not run out.
The vet will also tell you when your dog needs to be vaccinated again.
What is a Vaccination?
A vaccination is where you are given a tiny amount of the disease you are trying to stop. By doing this your body gets tougher and the disease cannot hurt you. This method has been used to eradicate diseases such as smallpox which killed a lot of people before the vaccine was discovered.
When you were little you probably had vaccinations against horrible diseases, and you may have more as you get older. If you travel to another country which has a different climate, you may well receive vaccinations against diseases you would not have encountered in your home country.
All dogs should be house trained. Dogs were originally wild animals and their natural behaviour is quite different from their life as a pet. Often, this can cause conflict and unhappiness. Good training however, based on rewards will help your dog’s training and make you and your dog happier.
Dog training often involves giving your dog a command. This command should be fairly easy to remember. Your dog cannot understand what you say, but will recognise certain words. For example, ‘sit’ will result in your dog sitting down. Commands should be clear and simple, and if your dog obeys your command you should reward it. Some kind of dog treat makes a good reward.
Dogs need some time when they can run about. Exercise is very important to all species. Your dog will rely on you for their exercise so it is important that you walk your dog regularly. How much exercise your dog should have will depend on their breed and personality.
Like you, dogs like to play. They have their own toys and it is important they have a few of them for a number of reasons. They tend to get bored with the same toys but at the same time, they do have their favourites. If your dog has toys of their own, they will not eat yours!
They also like to play games. Sometimes the games can be combined with exercise. Fetch is a great game for your dog. You throw a ball and your dog runs after it and brings it back to you. Other games could be hide and seek. You hide and your dog will try to find you. This game is a great game for teaching your dog your name.
Dogs need to eat and it is important they are given healthy food. Like humans, if your dog is given unhealthy food it can lead to illness and disease. For this reason make sure your dog has enough to eat, but not too much. If they are too heavy the chances of them becoming ill increases. The healthier your dog is, the happier they are.
Like us dogs need to be loved. So never hit your dog or pull their tail as this will hurt them. Dogs like to be stroked and given attention. This is like when you want to tell someone about something, or have a question answered, or you want someone to play with you. It is not very nice when nobody wants to do these things, so you should always treat your dog with love.
Did you know that some dogs have important jobs to do?
Police dogs for example help the police track down missing people. Dogs have a very good sense of smell, and for some dogs their sense of smell is so good, that they can track people who are miles and miles away.
Policemen who use police dogs develop a special friendship with their dog.
Guide dogs help blind and partially sighted people find their way around. They are trained from an early age to ignore things that would distract most dogs. This means they can guide their owner around busy streets in safety.
Sheep dogs help farmers heard sheep. This stops sheep from getting lost and allows the farmer to move a sheep heard over long distance much easier than if the farmer was doing it on their own. Often farmers need to move sheep to different fields.
Because of the jobs dogs can perform, they are often referred to as ‘man’s best friend’. They are the oldest domesticated animal and fossil evidence shows the dog has been helping humans in one form or another for 33,000 years. In 2001, it was estimated that there are 400 million dogs in the world.
There are different breeds of dog. Hundreds in fact and each breed has their own personality traits. Dogs were bred to do specific jobs. People who bred dogs realised by getting two different breeds of dog to mate, the puppies would inherit the traits of their parents, and subsequently would be better at certain tasks.
It is because of this process that there are so many breeds of dog, which are different sizes, shapes, and colours.
Disclaimer: Please note this article is opinion and not fact. At all times follow the advice of a professional person in relation to your dog. The site bears no responsibility for injury or illness to your dog in relation to this article.