10 Things Every Dog Owner Needs to Know About Dogs
There’s nothing better than having a dog as a part of your family. They make your life better and show unconditional love. They’re loyal and ready to defend you if necessary. Many say dogs can also detect epileptic seizures or help people with diabetes keep track of their blood sugar levels. Still, it’s up to you to improve your dog’s life to the best of your abilities. This is what you need to know about your furry friend.
Dogs Don’t Sweat Like Humans
If you think that your furry friend doesn’t sweat at all, think again. Dogs do sweat, but not like humans. Eccrine or merocrine sweat glands are located all over the human body, which is not the case with dogs.
Dogs’ sweat glands are responsible for body temperature control and are located on their paws. If you live in a hot area and pay attention to your dog, you’ll probably notice that it leaves wet paw prints on the floor. This is due to the merocrine glands. These are helping your dog cool off through its paw pads.
However, panting is still the number one method dogs use to cool off. It helps your dog remove moisture from its nose, tongue, and lungs, which controls its body temperature. Keep in mind that some dog breeds have a hard time cooling off. Therefore, you have to provide a shelter from the sun or turn on your sprinklers if your dog spends a lot of time outside.
Your Puppy Can Be Left or Right-Pawed
It may seem strange, but your dog can be left or right-pawed. Numerous studies explored the organization of the dog’s brain and the dominant hemisphere. Like with people, the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and vice versa.
There are several ways researchers study paw preference. The first one is the first-step test. During this test, a dog is sitting. Once it’s called, it’ll most likely lift the dominant paw as it prepares to walk. The other is the Kong test. A dog gets a hollow rubber toy filled with food. It has to hold the toy still and get the food out. The scientists count how many times the dog uses each paw to get the treats out.
Still, some studies claim that dogs may not have a dominant paw. They can use one paw for tasks and the other for walking. Whatever the case may be, you’ll probably have a fun time trying to figure out if your dog is a righty or a lefty.
Dogs Are as Smart as a Two-Year-Old
Canines are smarter than you think. Even though they sometimes behave irrationally, they can also be super intelligent. They manipulate you into giving them treats and pretend to be guilty if they destroy your favorite pillow.
According to some, dogs are as intelligent as children between two and two and a half years old. Still, different dogs will show distinct signs of intelligence, and their breed will usually determine how smart they are. So far, scientists have discovered three types of dog’s intelligence:
- Working and obedience
If you want to know how well your dog understands you, you should know that an average dog can learn up to 165 words and signals. Those that are smarter can learn up to 200. Another interesting fact is that your dog can learn to count.
They Need Regular Exercise
Regardless of the dog breed, your canine needs regular exercise. Some require only a daily walk, while others require more active training. Not getting enough exercise can cause obesity and other health problems. Bear in mind that bored dogs are unhappy and one of the best things to do is keep them active.
If you’re willing to go beyond simple walks, you should consider dog training. With it, you can bond with your furry friend even more but also learn about your dog. A well-trained dog will also improve its behavior. You’ll see less digging and chewing, and your dog will learn more tricks and remain occupied. The training will also reduce the stress levels and help them feel worthy of your time.
Socialization Is Crucial for a Happy Dog
Dogs that go outside and play with other dogs live a better life. By socializing your dog with another, you’re teaching them how to make friends, resulting in a happier pup. Dogs who are socialized will also react better to new environments.
Socializing your dog with other people is equally important. This form of socialization will help you, your dog, and the people you meet. It will keep all of you safe, and going to the park and other public places will be a pleasant experience.
Be careful, though. How your dog feels around people depends on you. If you show that you’re afraid of a certain person, your pet will follow your lead and might become suspicious and scared.
Dogs Can Be Allergic to You
Strangely enough, your dog can be allergic to you. This type of allergy is called human dander allergy, and unfortunately, it’s more common than you think. Many people mistake the human dander allergy for chronic dermatitis.
Similarly to any allergy, if you notice that your dog is scratching all over its body, sneezing, and coughing, chances are it’s allergic. Luckily, human dander allergy rarely causes severe issues other than a secondary infection from scratching.
Some breeds that have a predisposition for human dander allergy are:
- German Shepherds
Don’t Forget About Annual Checkups
A healthy dog is a happy dog. As an owner, your pet’s health is entirely your responsibility. One way to prevent severe health conditions is to head over to the vet once a year for a regular checkup. While your dog won’t like visiting the vet, you’ll rest assured knowing that all is well with your friend.
Annual checkups also save you money. If there happens to be any disease, it will be cheaper to treat it in its early stages. During different stages of growth, your dog will need different care you can provide if you take your dog to the vet regularly.
Annual checkups are also the perfect moment for revaccination and checking to see if your dog needs any dental work. With regular vaccination, you’ll help prevent diseases, and with proper dental work, your dog will have healthy teeth for a long time.
You Need to Wash Their Bowls and Toys Regularly
There are many reasons to avoid keeping dirty food bowls in your home. Even though your dog has a highly acidic environment in its stomach that easily kills salmonella, it can sometimes get sick from other bacteria. Senior dogs are especially prone to catching a disease.
Dogs can also get acne on their chin due to dirty bowls or suffer from various other infections. In case you have a child, the risk is even bigger. Your kid can touch the dirty bowl and ingest the bacteria.
Make sure to wash your dog’s food bowl after each meal. The water bowl should be cleaned at least once a week. When it comes to toys, those should be washed at least every two weeks. Remember to throw away any broken or torn toy and treat your dog with a new one.
Dogs Need a Routine
If you love your routine, it’s easy for you to understand that your dog will enjoy it as well. Dogs love to know when certain things will happen. Routines help reduce anxiety in your dog. When your pet knows what’s going to happen, it won’t worry about it.
Routine also helps with training. This is the most important with potty training. Stick to regular bathroom times to reduce the chance of an accident inside the house. Once your dog learns that there’s a specific time to go potty, chances are it will hold it in until you go outside.
Routine is also helpful when it comes to feeding. By keeping a schedule, you’ll prevent weight gain and overfeeding. Also, with an established feeding routine, your dog is less likely to cheat or ask for food throughout the day.
You Need to Learn to Understand Your Dog’s Behavior
You might think that you’re the leader of the pack and that your dog needs to adhere to your rules. The fact is that you too have to understand your dog’s behavior. This will help you create a powerful bond with your pet and enjoy a healthy relationship.
If you’re a first-time dog owner, learning what your dog loves will also help you create a well-structured routine. If it doesn’t love eating in the morning, you should notice it and adjust the feeding time. By keeping track of its behavior, you’ll be able to grow together and truly become inseparable.
If you owned dogs before, you know that every poppy is different. It will learn with your help, but you also need to create a positive atmosphere and adjust to your new companion.
Dogs may seem demanding, but the love they give in return is worth it. Take the time to learn what your dog loves. This will help you bond and become friends for life. Don’t forget that your dog needs enough training. They are intelligent pets and need constant mental and physical exercise to be happy.
Take your dog to the vet once a year for regular checkups and vaccines to prevent health problems. Remember, a healthy dog is a happy dog.
Guest Blog written by: Terry Stancheva Founder at PawsomeAdvice
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Many purrs and barks,