Some of us just can’t help it; we’re big dog people. We might find a little French bulldog to be the cutest thing in the world, but all we want is to romp around with a huge mutt. Big dog breeds make great pets, but they can also be a lot to handle.
If you’re thinking of adopting a big dog, check out our tips for practicing good safety habits below.
Keep your dog on a leash in crowded places
There’s nothing like seeing your dog running free, bolting across a field in chase of a tennis ball or Frisbee. But the last thing you’d ever want is for you or a bystander to suffer a personal injury because your pup got a little too excited. Whenever you’re in a public place with other people, it’s always safest to keep your dog leashed up. They can still enjoy sniffing the great outdoors, and you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing your dog and the people around you are safe.
Give your big dog breed time to adjust
When you first adopt a new pup, you’ll probably be super excited — as you should be! You’ll feel like you can’t wait to do all the things you always dreamed of doing with your pup: going to the park, taking a long walk through the neighborhood, meeting all the local dogs. But it’s important to remember that, for your new pet, this can be a confusing and stressful time; it’s a significant change! Experts say that it usually takes a dog about three months to acclimate to its new home fully. Until then, it’s best — and safest — to err on the side of caution when exposing your dog to unfamiliar experiences.
Learn to understand canine body language
Dogs communicate with us through the way they act. Through posture, facial expression, tail position, and more, they can let us know how they’re feeling — but we have to listen to what they’re saying. A big part of being a safe and responsible pet owner is learning to read your dog’s body language. Whether they feel playful or threatened, it’s up to us to recognize the difference and respond accordingly. A lot of these behaviors are common across the species, but ultimately every pup is unique; learning to read your pet’s specific body language is a huge part of keeping everyone around you safe.
Opt for a harness over a collar
Attaching the leash to a body harness instead of a collar can be much better for your dog’s neck — but just as importantly, it provides more control when you’re on a walk. That can be crucial if your pooch gets a bit too excited when you’re walking on a busy street. You can still use a collar for your pet’s ID tags, but it’s better to clip the leash directly onto a harness.
Big dog breeds require extra care
There are a lot of advantages to adopting a larger breed. But before you decide to adopt, it’s essential to consider the additional care a bigger dog requires. While it can be a little intimidating to welcome such a big creature into your household, following these simple suggestions can go a long way towards ensuring that your pet and the people it comes in contact with all stay safe. That way, you can focus your energy and attention where you want to: having the time of your life with your new canine friend!