Daily Pet Responsibilities
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Having a pet is similar to having a child, meaning as a pet owner, you are fully responsible for their well-being for their entire life. Pets have specific daily needs and fulfilling these requirements will make for a happier, more trusting pet, thus strengthening the bond between you and your animal.
Many dog breeds are very active and require a significant amount of exercise. For young active dogs, two 20 minute play sessions daily plus frequent walks will help to curb their energy and enthusiasm in the house. Also consider:
Training your dog to run with you
A long walk at the local park
Play time at a dog park
Obedience, agility, herding or other classes
Doggy day care
How do I know when to feed my pet?
With pets, it is important to implement a routine feeding time, and remain consistent throughout the course of owning your pet. Once a feeding schedule is introduced, pets will adapt accordingly and will expect their meals at your planned time. Young, growing pets generally need to be fed 3 meals a day. Adult pets can be fed once or twice daily depending on your preference. The total quantity fed is more important than how many meals it is divided into.
How much do I feed my pet?
The amount of food you give your pet will depend on their breed as well as their size. A 10 pound dog will eat much less than a 50 pound dog, but two different breeds of similar height and size may also have different feeding requirements based on activity level. Generally pet food packaging will state a recommended amount for a pet’s weight, but always adjust that according to your pet's body condition. If you find your pet is gaining weight, that means he is eating too many calories and you need to decrease the amount of food being fed.
Some pets require daily grooming, whether it be brushing or deshedding. Pay careful attention to the needs of your pet; neglected pets can end up with horribly tangled hair, requiring a groomer to eventually shave it all off. Hair mats also provide the ideal climate for bacteria to breed.
For a happy household, all dogs should be taught basic manners and some level of obedience. In order for a pet to learn, an owner must dedicate a significant amount of time and patience to train their pet. Most dogs benefit from puppy classes and obedience lessons while young. Working with your pet on an ongoing basis will reiterate training lessons and will provide your pet a better opportunity for success.