Be Kind to Animals Week: 5 Ways to Be Kind to Dogs

Be Kind to Animals Week is a wonderful time to figuratively walk a mile in your dog’s paws. While it’s a given that dog lovers treat canine companions with compassion every day of the year, during this special celebration, taking stock of what your dog wants out of life can offer insight to keep his tail wagging all year long.

What Dogs Want And Need Out Of Life

Companionship

Our dogs want to be part of a family. That includes the humans in the household, but your dog may also count the other dogs, cats, rabbits, or other animal friends as part of his extended family group.

It’s not quantity, but quality of companionship. One human can be enough, by spending time with the dog and providing what he or she wants. That might be belly rubs, or trick training, or just sweet lap-sitting time.

Food

Your dog might change that word to “treats.” Depending on the dog, some may live to eat and try to gulp anything that doesn’t move faster than they do (can you say Beagle and Labrador?). All dogs require balanced nutrition to stay healthy, and special treats offer added value to a dog’s day.

Consult your dog’s veterinarian to help choose the best nutritional options. Certainly be kind to Bella and Bentley with healthy treats, too. Common sense yummies make the best bonuses, too, if they’re not offered every single day. That makes that bit of bacon or cheese even more of a kind gesture, and keeps him from packing on the pounds and risking his health.

Shelter

Protection from the weather goes beyond a fur coat, and is especially important for very young, very old, or health-challenged dogs. It also extends to keeping dogs safe from outside threats by providing fenced yards, following leash laws, offering shady spots from burning sun, or warm houses that offer shelter from cold or icy conditions.

Health Care

Dogs may love the vet—or fear the visits—but all dogs need and want to stay healthy. Good health fuels their day and provides energy for play and exploration, interactions with their human and furry family members, and everything else that makes life worth living. Preventive veterinary care extends not only the years you share love, but also the quality of the life you share together.

Fear Free Life

Fear cripples and quashes the joy from the human-animal relationship. Dogs are experts at finding joy in everyday experiences—from tracking a bug or wrestling with littermates, to clowning to prompt a beloved human’s smile. Every dog (and pet parent) deserves a fear free home, to allow relationships to blossom and happiness to fuel the wags. That’s the kindest gift we can give our dogs!

 

This article was reviewed/edited by board-certified veterinary behaviorist Dr. Kenneth Martin and/or veterinary technician specialist in behavior Debbie Martin, LVT.