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Make the Celebration of International Dog Day Meaningful and Special

Aug 26, 2021
As dogs start to wiggle their tail, our hearts melt at the same time. All fur parents out there will agree when I say that it becomes harder and harder to leave our fur babies in the house whenever we head outside to go to work or school, or run errands. If the situation calls for chances to bring our fur pets, we will definitely let them tag along. Sharing our lives with our companion animals has been beneficial to us in both mental and physical health. Pets reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Pets help improve our cardiovascular health by encouraging us to exercise by playing with them or walking them. The companionship that they bring adds real joy and unconditional love to our lives. And for those who have kids, teaching them to take care of their furry friends can help them grow more secure and active, and develop higher emotional intelligence. Pets value the relationships forged with their humans. They stay loyal and are able to understand and interpret our words, tone of voice, body language, and gestures. They can understand what we are thinking and feeling. Many stories out there have been published to attest to these. One good example is the famous Hachiko in Japan, where the dog waits for his human friend at the station every day. Another that went viral is when a dog’s human friend had seizure attacks, the dog shielded the head of the human from banging repeatedly against the floor.

August 26 is International Dog Day

And as we celebrate their day, make it more meaningful by encouraging other people to adopt rather than buy dogs. There are many dogs out there that need foster homes because their old owners have abused and abandoned them. These dogs deserve a better life. And as Mark Twain puts it brilliantly, “If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man.”
Turn your garage into a dog haven
Create a great space for your dog. Your garage can be their space to play, eat and rest. The garage can be a bigger space for them to enjoy. And of course, train them. And when you transform your garage into their new pet haven, positive rewards await you and your fur baby. How do we make the garage a lovely place for them? One, insulate the garage. This will protect them from harsh weather conditions and intense temperatures. The garage will still be warm in the winter, cool in the summer. Use a humidifier when the humidity becomes a problem in the garage due to an imbalance in temperature inside and outside. Our pets will start to feel at home in the garage when the temperature in the room is set for their comfort. Second, provide a space where the dog can rest. Provide a soft bed, blanket, and a pet chair. The bedding can keep the dog warm as most garages have cement floors, thus, will absorb the cold during wintertime. Third, keep the dog active. Refrain from putting a leash on and constructing dog dens that will restrict their movements. You can add a few toys to counter boredom, and chew toys to prevent the dogs from developing a habit of chewing on things that belong to us like shoes, table legs, and the like. Fourth, clear any hazardous materials that are kept in the garage. That includes insecticides, laundry detergents, car fuels, and other poisonous materials. Also remove the things that can have them tangled up and suffocate them like cording wraps, chains, power cords, and other similar items.
Spend time with your dogs and teach them new tricks
Owning a dog can give you much joy, but it also takes responsibility. And it may overwhelm and confuse you if the dog is not responsive to your commands. Here are a few tips and tricks to foster a good relationship with your dog. Use of positive reinforcement. This is pretty simple to understand. If your dog can follow your command, reward your dog with treats or tummy pats. This will teach your dog that good behavior is well accepted by you and thus, the dog will repeat it. Otherwise, it goes without saying that bad behavior does not get a reward. And to enforce that more, you may take the treats or toys away. There is no need for physical punishments. Remember, dogs can read and understand your words and actions. Physical reprimands will only develop more bad behaviors. Mirror training. This kind of training uses a model for the dogs as they learn from observing. Maybe have your child or spouse do simple tasks in front of the dog. Then after completing the tasks, praise the model or give small rewards. Through this, dogs will learn to mimic good behaviors. Or even by yourself, you can do this as well. As dogs tend to follow you around, they will develop a habit of also doing your routines. Fun games with the furry friends. Playing and spending time with your dogs is the best way to train them. Playtime helps with mental stimulation and physical exercise and forges strong bonds with you. You can start by playing fetch with your dog. You can use a soft toy, a ball or a disc. Dogs have an instinct to fetch. Or you can play hide and seek. This can train your dog to practice the recall command. You can also use the treats as hidden items for them to find. As dogs have a superior sense of smell, this can stimulate their brain. Or you can set up dog mazes in your garage. This way they can be active as well as develop other skills. Playing can also help them with following your commands while being entertained and having fun.