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Dog Training Classes are a Way to Avoid Unintentionally Mistreating Your Dog

A woman playing with her dog by impersonating itOwning a dog can certainly add an immeasurable amount of enjoyment to the daily lives of a family.  The companionship, playfulness, and unbridled faithfulness of a dog are but a few facets of its character that can bring smiles to the faces and warmth to the hearts of its owner-family.

Owning a dog also means accepting the responsibility for its care and well-being. Since a dog essentially cannot fend for itself in many/most respects, it is therefore incumbent upon its owner to provide the environment and the basic necessities that will allow the dog to lead a happy and healthy life.  Sometimes, however, through either complacency, a lack of appropriate consideration, or simply because they love their dog, an owner may unintentionally or inadvertently subject the dog to mistreatment.

It is very important to reiterate that this discussion will focus on circumstances/actions that are well-intentioned and/or non-deliberate in nature, as the vast majority of owners do not intend to harm or ill-treat their dogs in any way; the fundamental premise here is the difference between the intent of an action and its impact or effect on the dog.

Here are some common aspects of dog ownership in which an owner can unintentionally harm or mistreat their dog:

  • Table Scraps (particularly fatty foods)
    • Dogs do not metabolize foods/fats in the same manner as humans
    • Table scraps can cause dogs to gain weight or become physically ill
    • In severe cases, this may also lead to pancreatitis (inflamed pancreas)
    • Note: giving real bones as treats/rewards falls under ‘no table scraps’too
  • Exercise
    • Consistent exercise will positively impact a dog’s physical and mental health
    • Procrastinating or deferring exercise time can cause dogs to become lethargic
    • This can be particularly harmful if combined with regularly sharing table scraps
  • Nutrition
    • Just putting out any dog food is not suitable; cheap food is cheap for a reason
    • Dogs need a balanced and nutritional diet, and portion control, just like humans
  • Equipment
    • Dogs need a collar for identification purposes but some collar scan be harmful
    • Dog training using choke chains or prong collars can cause pain and neck injury
    • Choose a collar-and-leash or harness-and-leash combo based on dog size/needs
  • Grooming
    • This includes bathing, nail trimming, dental hygiene, and care of the skin/coat
    • Dogs cannot groom/bathe themselves; they rely on their owner (or a groomer)
    • Ignoring grooming can cause arthritis, skin conditions, gum infections/abscesses
  • Health Care
    • Veterinary bills can be expensive but not a reason to ignore annual check-ups
    • Vaccinations and physical exams are vital to preventing/identifying health issues
    • Giving dogs human medications, based on a self-diagnosis, is highly discouraged
    • Dogs cannot metabolize these medications and some are toxic/poisonous as well
  • Dog Training
    • DIY potty training/obedience training are less expensive – and less effective
    • Dog training classes/obedience school help establish good behaviour/manners
    • Positive habits developed at an early stage will lead to a happier, healthier life

A woman playing with her dogIt is easy to see how life’s other priorities may get in the way of providing adequate care for a dog or how one’s best intentions can result in undesirable/unanticipated outcomes. However, owning a dog is not just a responsibility, it is a full-time responsibility, and dog owners must therefore consider the possible impact of any actions on the overall health and well-being of their dogs.

Perhaps said in another way, due to the utter dependence of a dog on its owner, will an action truly be one of kindness or will it have a potentially detrimental effect?

Choose the Dog Obedience School Session that Best Suits You and Your Dog

As noted above, do-it-yourself dog training will likely be less effective and might actually be a disservice to the dog. Despite the best of intentions, such an approach could result in inconsistent or incomplete potty training or obedience training, in turn causing a good deal of frustration for the dog and the owner-family, not to mention the development of undesirable behaviours/bad manners on the part the dog.

To avoid such circumstances or to avert any unintentional mistreatment, in a manner of speaking, dog owners are encouraged to consider the dog training classes offered by the professionals from Alpha Paws.  There are several dog training programs available from Alpha Paws for puppies and older/mature dogs; owners can choose from these options based on their personal/lifestyle preferences as well as the training needs of their dog:

  • Private Lessons – one-on-one obedience training, usually in the owner’s home

To set the groundwork for a happy and healthy life for your dog, call the professionals at Alpha Paws today at 905-830-9500 or 1-877-868-PAWS (5248) to discuss the type of dog training program that would be best for you and your dog.

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