We’re going to make a bold claim and assume that you probably love your dog and want the best for them. That much is obvious, right? Dogs are so cute and loving and compassionate that’s impossible not to want the very best for them. As veterinary professionals in Philadelphia, we treat dogs on a regular basis and it’s touching to see their owners who are concerned about their health and happiness.
But while taking your dog to veterinary checkups is an obvious way to care for the health needs of your dog, there are a lot of other things you can do that will ensure their longevity and keep their bodies healthy. If there’s one thing we’ve noticed at 2nd Street Animal Hospital, it’s that trained dogs are happier and healthier dogs.
Training your dog is a lot of work, but it ultimately serves a greater job than just making your life easier. A trained dog, for several reasons, is likely to live longer and enjoy a higher quality of life. Here are a few reasons why:
A Trained Dog Is Less Likely to Run Into Danger
One of the most important commands a dog can learn is recall, or in other words, coming back to their owner. Dogs are free-spirited animals and for some breeds, it can be a nightmare when they’re let off-leash. Without proper training, a dog could easily run straight into danger, whether it’s into traffic or off a ledge.
Recall is an incredibly important command, and every dog owner should make sure it’s part of their training arsenal, even if it requires professional classes. While it’s fun to teach your dog fun little party tricks like roll over and shake, these ultimately don’t have much utility outside of entertainment. Recall training, however, can save your dog’s life, and prevent them from harassing other animals who might be quick to attack back.
A Trained Dog Is More Likely to Eat Healthy
If there are two things you can absolutely depend on until the end of time, it’s that the sun will always set in the west, and that your dog will always be at your side giving you puppy eyes when you’re eating food. Dogs, as a rule of thumb, generally want to eat everything in sight, and unlike cats, they are extraordinarily poor at gauging what they should and should not eat.
But, despite their endless hunger, dogs can be trained out of this behavior. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it in the long run. First off, it’s important to make your dog understand that they aren’t entitled to your food, and that it’s unacceptable behavior to try to take bites out of it. You should also train them to drop things and not snatch up food if it falls on the floor. Some foods are toxic to dogs, such as grapes, and you don’t want your pupper snatching them up and swallowing them before you even have time to react.
But that’s not the only way dogs get food — if they’re big enough, you can bet they’ll try to grab things off the table or countertop when you’re not looking, and many dogs have also found that the garbage can is the gift that keeps on giving. But this doesn’t do them any favors — trash is trash for a reason, and your dog can come down with serious health problems if they eat the wrong stuff.
A Trained Dog Is Safer Around People and Animals
Another area of training that can seriously impact your dog’s quality of life is how they interact with other people and animals. While it’s hard to tell a dog exactly how they should act, you can at least have hard orders that tell them when to stop doing certain behaviors. Recall training is essential to get them to come back for you, and there are also ways to train your dog not to bite.
This is hugely important, because your dog’s interaction with other pets and humans can have huge ramifications on their life and well-being. If your dog plays too aggressively with other dogs at the park, they could end up getting bitten or attacked. Conversely, if they’re innocently playing with a dog who is too aggressive, you’ll want to be able to pull them out of there to prevent them from getting hurt — this is pretty much impossible without good recall training.
And, of course, it’s absolutely paramount that your dog understands not to bite other people. Even one bite can cause you to lose your dog, and that’s obviously a situation that needs to be avoided at all costs.
Philadelphia Veterinary Care
No matter how much you train your dog, accidents can always happen, as well as natural health problems. When you need to take your dog in for preventative care, wellness services, and non-wellness services, our veterinary team at 2nd Street Animal Hospital can help. We provide every kind of veterinary service, from routine checkups to emergency surgeries. If you’re a dog, cat, or exotic pet owner in Greater Philadelphia, we encourage you to stop by or contact us today to book an appointment!