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There is a lot to talk about when we are talking about being responsible pet parents. We’ve covered safety, health and training and we want to wrap up this month with being a good neighbor and an overall super awesome dog mom or dad.
Being a responsible neighbor and member of the pet owning community really boils down to common courtesy.
Our dogs hear this just about every time they go outside. Now, a bark here and there is not a big deal; but we never let them bark continuously. If they start that nonsense, they hear “LEAVE IT!” If they continue, we bring them inside. Though you may enjoy the melodic sounds of your Pomeranian going to town on another dog walking by, your neighbors most certainly don’t. Let your dogs go on like this and you won’t get invited to the next neighborhood BBQ. You may want to leave your dogs outside when you are not home; but some dogs experience separation anxiety or simply want to be with you and will bark the entire time that they are outside. Please, be aware of this and be respectful of your neighbors.
Clean Up – Aisle Two
This should go without saying; but we’ve seen and stepped in too many piles of unpleasantness to let it go. When walking your dog or out anywhere with your dog and he makes a poopie, please, for the love of everything holy, pick it up and dispose of it properly. Don’t just walk away and figure nature will take its course and all will be ship-shape in a week. Do not pick it up, tie off the bag and leave it for the Poop Fairy to come along and clean it up. We want to break some news to you. This may be difficult to hear and may challenge your belief system; but the Poop Fairy doesn’t exist. There is no Poop Fairy. Sorry. OK, off the soap box and on to the next thing.
Long Arm of the Law
Piggy-backing on point number two (hahahaha – number two) picking up after your dog is the law in most cities. Many cities also have licensing laws. You must license your pet with the proper authorities; obey leash laws and any other county or city regulations with regard to your dog or risk fines or even having to surrender your pet. Respect the laws of your community and all will be well.
Enough of that. Let’s talk about why we are dog parents in the first place. We love them and want the best for them. Our lives are enriched by their very presence. Give them the love and attention they so crave and deserve.
Play, go on walks, and take them with you on drives. They just want to be with you and spending time with your dog in these activities will help her know she’s loved.
Give kisses, cuddles, lots of pets and even doggie massages. Touch is actually a Love Language. Look it up. (The 5 Love Languages is a really fantastic book on how we express love and need it expressed to us. Just an aside; but if you are looking for keys to your significant other or simply an explanation of how to show them your love, it’s a great read.) Now, back from the side bar….your dog wants and needs this type of contact along with your praise.
Treats and Toys
What dog doesn’t want treats? Treat for good behavior. Treat in training. Heck, we even treat when we are simply standing in the kitchen and they notice that we are near the treat jar. The “treat stare” begins at that time. It doesn’t end and the dogs don’t move except to shift their weight from side to side to ensure we’ve seen and acknowledged the stare and are doing something about it.
Keeping different types of toys and bones around the house keep your dog interested and occupied. You may want to try durable plush toys like Jefferson here if you have dogs whose mission is to seek and destroy all polyfill.
Jefferson is the bomb! This is ours and he’s been around for several weeks now and hasn’t lost an eye, hand, foot or even that beautiful fur. He is, however, a little dirty and slobbery. His buddies, Rosebud, Sanders and Lincoln are made of the same durable material if one wants a choice. If you have a dog that needs to solve puzzles, check out the Toppl in which you can place a treat and let your dog go after it. You may also want to hide a couple of her toys for a few weeks and then bring them back out. It’ll be just as fun for your dog as when she first got them.
Now, not everyone can spend every waking moment with their dog. Wouldn’t it be a beautiful world if we could? Since reality is what it is, try this: when you leave your dog and come back home, don’t make a big production of it. Let them know it’s no big deal and that they are fine on their own for a little bit.
If your dog has separation anxiety, you could try leaving the radio or TV on for them while you’re gone or, you could get a friend for them. Dogs are pack animals and like to have that companionship and playmate. Not every family is a multi-dog family and not every dog does well with siblings. Talk to your vet and know your dog and family situation before you jump into that solution.
Tell us how you love on your dog. We love to hear stories about how you’ve made your dog part of your family and those stories are even better with photos, so send those too! Thank you for being a responsible, loving dog parent. Keep up the good work!