Or at least he did make it while I was there at the studio that day. So, I was nervous before the visit, that I might be the only dog owner in the world to have dogs, well not really, that like to jump up on people. It was just not so. Wegman's dogs do the same thing and his dogs are bigger than my dogs. This is what he says about two of them, "Topper is the biggest trouble maker. He sometimes bites Flo's back leg when Flo is introducing herself to visitors. He barks a lot. But he's a great dog." I loved being able to go meet the dogs.
I frequently hear, “I had a dog when I was a kid” or “I’ve read a certain book to know what a dog needs”. However, having a dog as a kid and reading about them in books is different from the reality of owning one. I think people get a dog with the intention of properly taking care of it, but what I see is a gap between what the owner thinks a dog needs versus what they truly do. Due to my 22 years of experience I have compiled a list of essentials that I believe will benefit both dogs and their owners:
All dogs need to go outdoors, smell new things, meet other dogs, and run around everyday. Regardless of breed or size, every dog requires daily outdoor exercise. The average dog needs two hours of running or walking per day, but a high energy and sporting dog requires at least three hours of physical activity. Regardless of weather, dogs always need to go out! Exercise is the primary component of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle for your dog.
Dogs are naturally social animals, so interaction with other animals is essential. Contrary to popular belief, New York City offers many options for socializing your dog. To name a few, there is daycare, play dates, dog runs, off leash hours in major parks, breed groups, etc. Whatever you are most comfortable with is fine, but it should be done daily or at least several times a week.
Every dog requires a companion. I stress this point because it is shocking how many people believe that it is okay to leave their dog home alone for 12 hour stretches, 5 days a week. The maximum amount of time a dog should be alone is about 5 hours and less of course for puppies. Just because your dog can sleep all day, does not mean he or she should. If you work full time or you’re days are too busy, I suggest getting a support team of friends, a dog walker, or daycare. If the only chance you get to see your dog is on the weekend, be sure to make up that lost time by taking them for a walk or arranging a play date.
Importance of the Chew
Chewing is a way dogs calm down, self-soothe, and stay busy.
Dogs need to be chewing on something safe and tasty at least few times a day. Younger dogs and puppies need something to chew pretty much all-day; think of it in terms of being a pacifier for a baby.
To keep them interested, frequently rotate the dog’s toys and bones. It can be a task to find something your dog will really enjoy and chew again and again. Even though I have drawers full of "failed bones" for my two little rescues, I have finally had success and all three of us are much more satisfied.
Proper nutrition is essential for good health. It’s simple: the healthier the food, the healthier the dog’s diet. Your pet needs a combination of protein, fruits & vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats. “Real” food is the best option. However most people are not able to cook for their dogs everyday. Therefore, organic dry food mixed with as many “real food” ingredients is your next best choice!