Let’s admit it. Your dog has you wrapped around their little paws.
It’s okay though, you’re in good company! You know how much your dog means to you.
However, have you stopped and thought recently about how you can be the very best dog parent?
Let’s look into 11 things you can do to be a great dog parent…
How To Become A Great Dog Parent
We must treat our dogs with the same love that they selflessly give to us over and over.
Today, we are discussing 11 easy things that you can do to become a great dog parent!
Not only will these tips benefit your precious pup, but you’ll set a fantastic example for other pet owners around you.
1. Do Your Research!
Before anything else, find out as much as you can about your dog’s breed and specific age-related changes they might be going through.
If you haven’t picked out a dog yet, consider these questions and items before choosing a breed. What is the breed’s temperament, exercise needs, and how well they’ll fit into your household (do they get along with other pets, children, etc.?).
If you already have a lucky dog, try to adapt your routine and environment to best suit your dog’s needs.
My Boston Terrier, Nickel, needs a lot of playtime, so without fail, someone spends at least 30 minutes every night throwing or kicking a ball around with her.
Nickel ADORES this, and it keeps her energy levels manageable. Knowing your dog’s breed facts will give you a solid foundation to keep them healthy and happy.
It’s a win, win for everyone involved!
For information on the Boston Terrier breed, see our Boston Terrier Breed Profile.
For information on puppyhood stages, see our article A Boston Terriers First Year – Stages Of Growth And Puppy Development.
2. Take Your Dog On Outings
With many of us now knowing how our dog feels being cooped up inside the same four walls day after day, it should be no surprise that this item is on our list.
Staying inside all day can feel stifling, and dogs can feel just as bored as we do.
Try taking your dog on outings with you to counteract this.
Need some outing ideas? Here are 15 Outdoor Summer Activities You Can Do With Your Dog.
Where To Go & What To Do?
Many places now offer curbside pickup, so it’s easy to take your dog with you as you pick up your groceries.
Your dog will love the escape and seeing all the new sights.
Every time I tell my Boston Terrier, Nickel, that we’re going, “bye, bye,” she rushes to the door. She is so excited that I can barely get the leash on her.
Try taking your dog out with you and see them light up! You’ll feel like a million bucks too, I promise!
3. Have An Emergency Contact
While not the most pleasant thing to think about, it is an incredibly responsible thing to do.
Talk with a friend or family member who could care for your dog if you fall ill or are hospitalized or any other emergency.
Write up a list of general information for them, such as your dog’s feeding schedule and vet information.
Do you have a Boston Terrier first aid kit? Here is a DIY first aid kit Boston Terrier Society created to help owners like you be prepared.
4. Regularly Clean Your Dog’s Things
We know you’re tired of cleaning up after your kids and spouse, but your dog needs a helping hand to keep their things clean.
Food and water bowls can quickly build up dirt and bacteria, which can make your dog sick.
Keeping your dog’s blanket and bedding clean can also help with seasonal allergies, which some dogs can get.
5.Microchips & ID Tags
We never think it will happen to us. Unfortunately, accidents do happen, and dogs do get lost or stolen. In the worst-case scenario, you’ll want to be as prepared as possible.
Consider always having a physical ID tag hooked into your dog’s collar or harness that lists important information like their;
- Contact Numbers
- Your Pet’s Veterinary Office (number Or Address)
This will immediately alert people that your dog is not a stray and provide an easy way for them to contact you without taking your dog to a shelter.
Take The Standard ID Tag To The Next Level
Sadly, there are dishonest people out there who might take your dog’s physical ID tag off, or the tag could simply fall off in your dog’s panic to try and get back to you.
Consider having your dog microchipped at the vet to provide a secondary recovery option.
A microchip has a unique identification code connected to your information so that a vet or animal shelter can reach out to you.
Just make sure you always update this information if you change phone numbers or move!
6. Ample Exercise
All dogs need exercise. While the amount varies per breed, on average, you should be spending anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half exercising your dog.
For exercise, you can do any number of activities like these take them on walks, hikes, or play with them indoors.
Find an exercise routine that works for both of you and stick to it!
This will keep your dog happier, healthier, and less likely to run around, causing havoc with all their pent up energy.
Need some outdoor exercise ideas? Here are 15 ways you can work out with your dog this summer.
Need some indoor exercise ideas? Here are 10 indoor exercise ideas you can do with your dog.
7. Regular Check-ups
Take your dog to regular check-ups, make sure they have their current vaccinations. And talk with your vet to see if there are things you can do to prevent disease within them, like giving them heartworm medication.
Work with your vet to find the best food option for your dog to keep them healthy and strong.
Our dog’s health is so important, and prevention is always better than treatment.
8. Pet Insurance
Planning is an important skill to develop as a great pet parent, and we all know that vet bills can be very costly.
According to Pet Insurance Quotes.com, pet owners spend $16 billion a year on veterinary care.
One way to plan for unexpected costs is by investing in pet insurance.
Get a FREE pet insurance quote with Embrace Pet Insurance, Free Quote.
What Does Pet Insurance Do?
Pet insurance allows you to pay a small monthly fee and will cover a large amount of unexpected veterinary bills related to illnesses and accidents.
The sooner you set up pet insurance, the better because many won’t cover pre-existing conditions.
If possible, get your dog on pet insurance as soon as you adopt them!
Get a FREE pet insurance quote with Embrace Pet Insurance, Free Quote.
The average policy is $43/month, according to the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, and can easily save you thousands of dollars on accidents and illness treatments.
9. Don’t Overfeed Your Dog (Resist Those Puppy Dog Eyes!)
Puppy dog eyes are every dog owner’s weakness, and it may be incredibly hard to resist feeding your dog a little bit of what you’re eating when they look up at you like that.
Work to hold back!
Overfeeding can lead to weight gain, which can compromise your dog’s overall health and shorten their lifespan.
You may also be unknowingly feeding them things that aren’t great for them. Do your research before giving them any human foods and keep the portions small.
Check out this list of dog safe, human foods for some great options.
Ten Common Household Foods & Toxins To Avoid
Avoid These 10 Common Toxins And Foods In Your Home!
10. Oral Hygiene
Did you know that many dogs have canine periodontal disease before they turn three years old?
This dental disease is characterized by bad breath, which we often think is normal for dogs.
Periodontal disease can cause tooth loss, infections, and pain.
To step up your dog parent game, brush your dog’s teeth with dog-safe toothpaste, or use dog teeth wipes.
This doesn’t have to be daily, but regular attendance is essential.
There are also a variety of dental treats and chews that have teeth-cleaning properties. Your dog can do the work for you with these!
11. The Gift Of Your Attention
When was the last time your dog ignored you? Think about it.
They probably don’t ignore you and give you every ounce of their attention when you’re around.
We’re all busy, but make sure that you slow down and give your dog some special one on one attention daily.
Boston Terriers are particularly social dogs, even being called a companion breed, and they crave this attention.
GIVING YOUR DOG ATTENTION ONLY TAKES A FEW MINUTES, BUT MEANS EVERYTHING TO THEM.
My Routine For Showing My Boston Terrier Love & Affection
I’m a morning person, and I hop out of bed the minute my alarm goes off. Nickel is typically still snoozing, so I always leave her to snooze while I work.
I’ve recently been taking the time to cuddle her and rub her belly when I go back to wake her. This has become a favorite part of my day, and it’s something that she clearly appreciates.
Remember that above all else, your attention and love are the most important things you could ever give your dog.
There are so many ways to be a great dog parent, and these are just a few things you can do to provide excellent care to help your dog live a long and happy life.
How do you prioritize your dog? What do you think a great dog parent looks like? Leave a comment below.