Canine Correction: Avoiding Common Doggie Disasters at Home

Canine Correction: Avoiding Common Doggie Disasters at Home

Canine Correction: Avoiding Common Doggie Disasters at Home

When a dog’s been a member of the family for many years, it can be easy to lose sight of its needs. Dogs are social animals that thrive on attention, and they sometimes act out in negative ways when they’re not getting the love they need, which can lead to any number of mishaps occurring inside or outside of the home. Your pet’s a member of the household, but he’s not a person. He’s not acting in premeditated cold blood when something gets soiled or destroyed, but he is responding to some need that isn’t being met. The good news is that you can head off doggie disasters by paying closer attention to the way your pet is behaving.

Runaways

If there’s one thing that every dog owner fears, it’s that their beloved pet will escape and runoff. Any number of doggie disasters might ensue: he could run into traffic and be hit by a car, he could bite someone, or a stranger may decide they need a pet and take him home, leaving a major hole in your heart and devastating the kids. The simple fix is to keep the doors locked and make sure he’s securely attached to a leash whenever he’s outside. Or, you could attack the problem at its source and make sure you’re giving Fido the attention he craves.

Bonding Time

Make sure you and your furry friend are going for a walk at least once a day. This will depend on the breed of dog. If he’s an active or playful type, you may need to ramp it up a bit and go for two walks each day to burn off all that energy. Try teaching him to play fetch, catch a Frisbee, or tug-o-war, something that’ll wear him out a little. Try to keep some fun and engaging doggie toys in the house, or make sure his favorite chew toy is always nearby.

A Slight Correction

If your dog does escape, be careful about punishing him after he’s gotten away. Dogs associate punishment with what’s happening at the moment, not with what they did a half hour ago. And don’t correct him if an escape is attributable to something that really isn’t the dog’s fault, such as fear or separation anxiety because you’ve been away from home. The best time to punish is in the very moment he’s trying to escape.

A Permanent “Fix”

Remember that dogs are desperate to get loose and look for a special friend if they haven’t been spayed or neutered. Some dogs may even become aggressive in their efforts to get loose or bolt the second the front door swings open. Make certain your pooch is “fixed” so you don’t have to worry about what might happen when your pet is in heat. It’s also the responsible thing to do. Millions of homeless dogs are euthanized every year.

Doggie Faux Pas

Dogs have a remarkable tendency to lose control once in a while, usually just when you’ve vacuumed or had the carpets shampooed. Even the best-behaved pooches may slip and leave a deposit in the living room or in front of the TV. While it isn’t always the dog’s fault — you may have left the house without letting him out first — it can also be a manifestation of some more deep-seated problem. Dogs sometimes have accidents when they’re anxious or excited. Whatever the reason, make sure you keep a good handheld vacuum cleaner at the ready, one that’s lightweight, portable and allows easy access to tight, hard-to-reach places. Before you purchase anything, remember to consider the pet hair you’ll be cleaning up: since not every vacuum is made with pets in mind, it’s important to read reviews to figure out which one will work best for you.

Dogs are loving, faithful animals that crave your approval and attention. If there’s a problem with their behavior, there’s probably a reason that can be dealt with fairly easily. If it persists, it may be necessary to look into an obedience class.

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