Dogs can make our lives whole, but if your dog isn’t well-behaved, you could end up with a lot of problems with neighbors. We all want better relationships with the people we live around. Luckily, you can build positive ties with your neighbors by being a better pet parent. Read on for six simple steps every dog owner needs to keep in mind.
Keep Up with Preventatives and Vet Care
Did you know that one dog with heartworms can dramatically increase the chance of other animals in the area contracting the deadly disease? Diseases and parasites can be contagious, so it is essential to keep your dog’s health in check. Administer heartworm preventatives and flea control on a monthly basis, and keep vaccinations updated. Schedule check-ups with your vet to stay ahead of any other possible health issues. Don’t have a vet? Ask your pet-owning neighbors for recommendations to build rapport and find someone you can trust to care for your dog.
Exercise Your Pup
Dogs tend to have a lot of energy. If they don’t burn some of that energy off, owners often end up with behavioral problems. Bored dogs can be destructive to your property, as well as any that you share with your neighbors (fences, bushes, squirrels, etc.). To avoid damage, and dilemmas between neighbors, exercise your dog’s mind and body. Go for a few walks a day and engage in some play. Have a busy schedule? Consider a dog walker or doggy daycare to help burn off your buddy’s energy before it gets out of hand.
Socialize Your Dog with People and Pets
If your dog is anxious around other people and animals, chances are your neighbors will be anxious around you. Get your dog used to other people and pets by taking them to a dog park. Taking your dog to an area dog park is the perfect opportunity to meet local animals and teach your dog how to behave around other pups. Before you venture out, be sure you are both ready to follow some basic dog park rules. Don’t bring pets who do not have updated vaccinations, use a collar with tags, and clean up any messes left behind. It’s also important to keep a close eye on your dog and quickly address any problematic behavior.
Don’t Let Pet Waste Pile Up
One of the top complaints from neighborhoods with pets is people not picking up after their animals. Aside from being unpleasant to smell or step in, pet waste can create a major hazard for the environment. Stay prepared for any poop situation with your own stash of bags, and have a strategy for keeping your yard sanitized. Pick up waste left on your property as soon as possible and dispose of it promptly to avoid attracting unwanted pests such as flies or rodents.
Avoid Using Tethers or Chains
It may be tempting to leave your pup out on a tether or chain during the day, but this can lead to problems with your dog’s behavior, as well as issues with your neighbors. Dogs left out on chains are more likely to act aggressively to passersby and other pets. If you want to offer your dog freedom outside, think about installing a fence or dog run instead. Don’t leave your dog out unattended, and be sure they are microchipped, in case they figure out how to escape.
Observe Quiet Hours
Barking is your dog’s way of expressing emotions and excitement. If you have neighbors nearby, however, you’ll want to be aware of when your pups are expressing themselves. Don’t let your dog bark or whine late at night or early in the morning, and take steps to put a stop to excessive barking. If you’re away from home, try not to leave your dog outside while you’re gone. If your dog has access to a doggy door, talk to neighbors to determine if barking is an issue while you are away.
Don’t let your dog become the “problem child” of your neighborhood. Keep your neighbors, and your pet, happy and healthy and help your pup make friends everywhere you go.
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