Our dogs give us so much, their love, loyalty and life. Shouldn’t we make sure that every day we make sure we give them some quality time that shows our love and loyalty to them?

Are you a ‘mouse potato’? What a great phrase for the modern age! I know that I spend many hours parked in front of my computer but I also know that I take breaks for ‘dog time’ because it give me a much needed break and my furbabies some much deserved attention.

So here’s some great advise on being the best dog-owner you can be – read and take heed!

TOO SOON, much too soon, tiny puppies who arrived as handfuls and armfuls of warm and cuddly, sweet and willing infant creatures look into our faces with grizzled muzzles and clouded eyes. A lifetime of love they give us. Whether for five years or 15, dogs’ allotted time for being by our sides always ends with us longing for one more day.

Here’s my new promise to my three devoted dogs: Every hour, I will leap up from the computer and do something with them for at least three minutes. I have stationed a kitchen timer beside my computer keyboard. I shall try for the next 30 days to leap up when the timer dings and do something for and with my dogs. How about you? Shall we leap up and reward our patient dogs with a bit of human interaction?
Three-Minute Dog Love Breaks

Rub him all over: Put your hands on your dog. In less than three minutes you can gently feel every bit of him for lumps, bumps and ticks. Smile and tell him something silly that happened during your day. Boring day? Make up a story. Better yet, tell him a short story about his puppy hood. Describe the day you found him and he changed your life to be so much more perfect than it could be without him.

Rubbing leads to brushing: Station his nice dog brush beside your computer or your easy chair. Brush him for three minutes. He’s is not crazy about brushing? Begin with a spot he most likes and as he relaxes try and brush a bit more of his tangled or whiffy bits. Treats offered while performing all dog duties will help to make him believe any task is not quite so objectionable. Think of baby steps to reward his submission. Cardinal rule: Don’t rush the dog as he re-earns new desired behaviors.

Check his collar for size: Yesterday, during an all-over body rub of my dog Gabriel, I realized to my horror that he wears a collar that is too small. How embarrassing to realize he has worn the same lovely leather, brass-trimmed collar since he was 7 months old. Gabriel will be 7 years old in a few months. Eureka! “Mouse potato” time pays off. Bookmarked, waiting to order a new collar for the angel Gabriel, waits pacocollars .com. Paco Collars sells magnificent, hand-made, hardware and precious stone embellished collars. Before you assume these collars are for fancy or dainty dogs, whoa there. Click on “Collars” and then click on “All collars.” A fine dog deserves the finest collar. The one problem you will have with this Web site? How to decide which collar for your fine dog.

Since you are refurbishing your dog’s neck couture you might as well buy him a fancy dog tag. Web-surf over to sallyharrell.net, and goodmangries.com. Splurge! May your deserving dog throw out his proud chest when he parades in public. If some tightwad tells you the dog doesn’t know the difference, smile and beam at your sartorially splendid dog. You and your dog will know.

Read his dog food label: Dog lovers know that the first ingredients listed in an excellent dog food should be a whole meat, not a meat “byproduct,” and certainly not a non-meat ingredient. Dogs are carnivores. They are what they eat. Do you choose dog food because it is conveniently found at a grocery store? Do you stop a moment longer to read and consider the list of ingredients? Invest your time and money where your heart is–in your dog’s nutrition.

Go to your computer; visit altvetmed.org. Click on “Articles.” Next, click on “The Pet Food Primer by Susan Wynn, DVM.” This article is one of hundreds written to educate pet owners who are looking for straight facts about optimal canine nutrition.

Scrub, scrub, scrub your dog’s food and water bowls: Bowls need daily, scrupulous cleaning. Germs multiply in still water and in bowls teeming with tiny food particles. When you run your dishwasher, include Rover’s bowl.

Three minutes of hide-and- seek: Run from the room. Crouch behind a bed, sofa or any bigger than a human hiding place. When your dog runs in looking for you, squeal with delight. Clasp the wiggly dog in your arms and roll around on the floor with him. Dogs love to play. Instead of trying to make dogs act like humans, dog lovers will find canine joy when we let dogs show is the way to dog-human bond fun. Let your dog guide you in a bit of silly playtime.

Your dog’s scrapbook: Where is it? Every beloved dog needs a scrapbook. Have one? Sit down and tell him all about it. Don’t have a scrapbook? Find your camera right this minute and take pictures of your dog. He’s here waiting for your undivided attention today. Don’t wait.

Get up from your computer! Find your dog. Hold him in your lap, or sit with him on the floor. Tell him; show him how deeply you hold him in your heart.

Sarah A. Ferrell of Spotsylvania County, author of “Devoted To Dogs: How To Be Your Dog’s Best Owner,” runs Dog Manners and Obedience. (The Free Lance Star)

Be Sociable, Share!
Email This Post Email This Post

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!