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Many people say dogs are very loyal animals. Not only in charge of being a housekeeper but dogs can also be your friend and family.
I guess this is my first time talking about dogs in my blog. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ll know that I raising three dogs at home. An 8-year-old female Chihuahua and two 8-year-old male Pomeranians.
At first, I refuse to raise dogs. Why? Simply because I love dogs. I am afraid that when I love them too much as a family, they will leave me – because I know the average lifespan of a dog is around 10 to 13 years.
Back in 2013, I was busy studying at college and rarely at home. So, we decided to have dogs accompany my mother at home.
You often heard the phrase that a dog is for life. The reason is simple, raising a dog means you are ready to commit to fulfilling the pet’s life until they close their eyes. Not to mention the food, vet bills, vaccines, grooming, check-ups, neutering, heartworm pills, medicines, and maybe some training.
Don’t forget that dogs also have a strong bond with their owners. Then every change that occurs in your life, will affect their feelings equally. When I’m having a bad day, my dogs will come to me and comfort me. I’m so lucky to have them.
Dogs need a lot of attention. This means you must be willing to spend more time and energy if you intend to raise a dog at home. Because I live with my mom, we both share the duty to take care of our dogs at home. We walk them twice a day and I like to play with them when taking a break from work.
So, without further ado, here are my tips if you plan to raise a dog at home.
The house’s conditions must be safe
Even though there are many items that seem harmless (or you feel they will not attract the dog’s attention). It’s a good idea to remove small objects from the floor or accessible places in a room that (possibly) is often visited by a dog.
There are various objects in the house that are dangerous to dogs and must be kept out of reach by storing them in a place that is not accessible to dogs. My family used to put building tools under the kitchen table and my dog liked to bite them and it was very dangerous if the small tools were swallowed by them. So we moved everything to safer places that were difficult for these children to reach.
Apart from that, medicine for humans and animals is also toxic to dogs, especially if consumed in large quantities. Some of the foods we consume, such as chocolate, onions, raisins, grapes, and even sugarless gum are also toxic to dogs. These types of food should be kept out of your dog’s reach.
Special room for dogs
Before raising a dog, the first thing to determine is a room or a special place for dogs. Think about what rooms can be visited by dogs, and what rooms cannot. Rules like this must be set from the beginning so that your dog does not feel confused.
My room is always open for them, so they can enter my room whenever they want. They don’t trouble me. Since I spend most of my day in the room, they like to sleep under my chair or even my bed. All mine is theirs.
Dogs need special areas for eating and sleeping, as well as ample space for play and exercise. For me, the backyard is easy to clean so I give them meals every day there.
After that, determine the bed for the dog. Some people allow their pet dogs to sleep together on mattresses (like me), while others prefer to buy dog mattresses or kennels so that dogs sleep in separate places. I bought mattresses for my dogs but they prefer to sleep on the floor, under my bed.
My dogs can sleep everywhere in our house but these children usually sleep in different places. Lucky always sleeps with me, sometimes on the mattresses or under the sofa, he likes to sleep in the dark. Pico sleeps on the dog mattresses that I bought and Micky loves to sleep near his mother, Pico.
Buy all the equipment needed
When buying a dog from a pet shop, you may already be provided with some equipment.
However, you still need a necklace and chain that fits the size of the dog, as well as one or two first toys. You also need a bowl of food and water.
If you know the type of food consumed by your dog from the start, it’s a good idea to keep providing the same type of food. You can change the type of food for the dog later, but make sure the changes are made gradually in 5-7 days. Thus, you can prevent health problems such as diarrhea or stomach pain that usually occurs if the type of food is replaced quickly.
I feed my dogs twice a day: morning and evening. My dogs also like snacking. My female dog really likes vegetables, so when I don’t like vegetable stems, I’ll give them to her. She is the only one who likes vegetables among my three dogs.
Feed them regularly
Different dog species, different food needs. If your dog is under one year old, he needs to eat several times a day. For most species, the frequency of this meal can be reduced to twice a day when the dog reaches six months of age. It is not uncommon for dogs to only eat once a day when they are older and their activity decreases.
In the first three years, from 2014 to 2017 I always gave my dogs three meals a day. Because they were also snacking, they became fat and I decided to change their meal to twice a day.
If it’s not dog food, then what food do I give to my dogs? I cook for my dog. I give them homemade dog food – rice mixed with boiled chicken liver. They also like boiled sweet potatoes, fruits and vegetables, and biscuits.
Try to feed at the same time every day. Thus, dogs will know the hours of eating, and you can see the portion or amount of food they spent. One effective way to find out whether a meal is enough (or even too much) is to observe the dog’s weight and physical appearance.
One of my dogs, Lucky sometimes very moody when it comes to food (he often has a stomachache, he has a weak stomach like my mother so we have stomach medicine at home) and doesn’t really ask for food when I’m eating. While I was eating, he would only wait behind my two-lined dogs. He is very independent and hard to train, but he’s not a naughty dog.
Puppies who are overweight need adjustments to eating portions and exercise routines. It’s a good idea to consult with a veterinarian before making changes. I consulted with my veterinarian when I wanted to reduce the portion of my dog food.
As I know, when a dog reaches the age of about eight years, you need to replace his food with food for old dogs. This change prevents excessive calorie intake and weight gain that often occurs in older dogs that are no longer active.
Always provide water
Same as humans, drinking water is number one in everyday life. It is important for you to make sure the water bowl is always full. I always put it in the same place in the kitchen and when my family goes out for a whole day, we will give one extra bowl of water.
The dog must be able to drink when he feels thirsty, and he can drink as much water as possible, without risking danger. And when my dog is not feeling well, I will give them sugar water, it’s very good for their health.
In my experience, dogs will always drink after they run or exercise or when they’re returning from a long trip. The point is that dogs will always drink, so for me who has three dogs, I will use a large bowl and put it in the usual place and not forget to refill it.
Make sure your dog exercises often
Even for a human, not doing anything, just eating and drinking will be very boring. My dogs must run and play often to stay healthy and cheerful. I take my dog for a walk twice a day for at least 30 minutes. However, this activity is usually not quite “heavy” for high-energy dog species.
Just taking your dog outside the house to defecate is not enough. Make sure he can expend his energy every day. My dogs are very active and like to play every day. Taking my dog for a walk every day can also prevent them from stress.
The intensity of exercise that a dog needs depends on his age, species, health condition, and overall energy level. Keep in mind that some species of dogs don’t need as much exercise as other species.
If possible, find a place that is allowed to release the leash, and let your dog run and stretch his body. To prevent bone or joint damage or disruption in young dogs, you are advised not to carry it out running or doing strenuous exercise, such as jumping from a high place.
Interaction through various games can stimulate your dog, both physically and mentally. I love playing ball with my dog or running with them. With that, we can also build a stronger bond with our dogs.
Wash your dog every few weeks
Unlike humans, dogs don’t need to be bathed often. However, if the body starts to smell or get dirty because of wallowing in the mud (or other dirt), you need to bathe them. Use warm water and a mild shampoo made from natural ingredients specially formulated for dogs. In addition, look for grooming supplies that will not cause irritation to the dog’s skin.
Dogs usually like to run around after being bathed (I love seeing my dogs after bathing, they’re so cute!). Therefore, try to limit the time to bathe it so that your dog can run outdoors afterward.
Bathing and combing dog hair is an important treatment to determine whether there are wounds or bumps that require medical treatment on the dog’s body. Here are ASPCA tips for grooming at home.
For my dogs, I usually bathe them once every two weeks at home. I bought their grooming products so I don’t have to bring them to a pet shop for grooming. If you decide to bring your dogs to a pet shop, make sure to choose the right groomer for your dogs.
Make sure you set a veterinary examination schedule
Since raising a dog, I already have a regular veterinarian who will come to my house when I need her, so I rarely come directly to another veterinarian. The veterinarian may also recommend regular blood tests to find out which health problems have not arisen and need to be addressed early.
Make sure your dog gets the immunizations needed. With proper immunization, they will grow into cheerful and healthy dogs. Standard immunization for dogs includes rabies immunization given at 12 weeks (or more) every 1-3 years, depending on the applicable local law or the advice of the veterinarian, in my place is annual. Distemper immunization, parvovirus, and hepatitis are usually given together.
Back in 2019, I sterilized my female dog. Sterilization is a procedure that prevents unwanted pregnancy and can prevent various health and behavioral problems. In male dogs, sterilization prevents testicular cancer, prostate disorders, the habit of marking places with urine, and aggressive behavior. In female dogs, sterilization can eliminate the risk of infection and uterine cancer.
Train your dog to defecate in its place
When raising a dog, the first thing to do is to teach him to defecate outside the house, and not inside the house.
To be trained, there are some rules that need to be followed to simplify the training process. Limit the area that dogs can go to so you can pay attention to the signs that they show when they want to defecate, and immediately take it outside the home.
Set a schedule to take your dogs outside the house. You need to take them out of the house in the morning, after mealtime, and in the evening.
When taking your dog outside the house, make sure he still wore the necklace and the chain so you can teach him to go to a certain place and make sure he really went there to defecate. Always give praise if he managed to go to a place that has been determined.
If he poops in the house, make sure you clean the area affected by dirt or urine thoroughly so that he does not go to the same place to defecate. Never hit or scold your dog when he urinates in the house. He will only feel afraid of you.
In general, dogs have good personalities and can play with children. However, sometimes dogs like to bite and scratch too hard when playing so it is important for you to teach them to play safely.
Give your dog a gift if he succeeds in playing carefully, and ignore him when he starts biting. Eventually, he will learn that playing time feels more fun when he can be more careful.
Teach him not to bark too often
Barking is a normal activity for dogs and is a form of communication. However, the habit of barking too often is annoying and becomes something many dog owners want to change. The process of this exercise needs to be followed slowly and gradually and requires a lot of patience.
There are some general instructions for teaching dogs not to bark small things. As a first step, you can identify the factors that make it bark, then eliminate the trigger. In the case of my dogs, they always bark if someone passes by our house, when people eat or when they see cats passing. Apart from that, they won’t bark too often.
If your dog often barks compulsively, try extending his exercise time and playing. Ignore your dog if he barks for attention and doesn’t give gifts until he stops barking. This problem is difficult to fix and may require the assistance of an experienced behavior expert or trainer.
Well, those are the tips for raising a dog from my experience. If you have a dog at home, don’t forget to share it in the comments below!