Caring for your Dog

Cora Zhou

My dogs are like members of the family. I spend quality time with them every day at home and at the park where we exercise. My three dogs have learned to trust me and my family. We provide them with a safe environment with plenty of food and clean fresh water. We trained our dogs when they were puppies and allowed them all the exercise needed. “The average adult dog needs about 20 to 45 minutes of moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, twice a day,” states Petco. Active dogs like mine actually need 1 to 2 hours of activity each day. If dogs are not walked and allowed to play outdoors they may chew on cushions, shoes, and damage your backyard.

The local park is the best place to exercise your dog because it has more grass and dirt. Cement and asphalt can damage footpads. You can run with your dog on days with moderate temperature. Playing fetch with your dog with squeaky toys and soft balls are also great sources of exercise. Don’t use sticks which can injure your dog’s mouth. If your dog is panting heavily or dragging its feet, it is probably a sign of too much exercise.

Avoid leaving your dog alone at home for too long. Isolation can lead to behavior changes like separation anxiety, depression, disinterest and even destructive tendencies. The Humane Society states, “dogs are social and typically prefer to be with others… when a dog doesn’t know how to self-soothe or cope, they may turn to chewing or clawing stuff around the house, or barking or howling.”

Properly caring for dogs can be expensive and time consuming, but my family agrees that my dogs are worth these little sacrifices because they give us so much back in return.