There are a lot of ways to spoil your dog. You can give them treats, rub their bellies every night, give them a comfortable bed to sleep in, feed them a good diet and regularly brush them to keep their coats shiny and lustrous, and otherwise show them that you love them.
These are great ways to spoil your dog, but there are some things that you can do that aren’t going to have the positive effects your dog really needs. With news pictures of celebrities carrying their pups becoming a popular trend, the act of carrying your four-legged friend around has grown in popularity, and that’s not just for the smaller toy sizes. Even larger dogs are being lifted off their paws and carried when they don’t really need to be.
Carry to care
First of all, we must start with when it’s a good idea to carry your dog. After all, there was some point in your life when someone else carried you. As a dog owner, you must understand that it will be necessary to pick your dog up and help them in their time of need.
How about when they’re sick? Maybe when they’re injured? Of course these are situations in which you should carry your dog when they need the assistance. They can’t always get into the car or want to eagerly hop up on the veterinarian’s table, so they need a little help. As a loving dog owner, it is your role to ensure they are happy and healthy, just like a parent would for a child.
Then there are the many situations in which dangers lay under-paw. Parking lots can have numerous dangers, as can any sidewalk or walkway. Broken glass, hot cement, or even stickers can all pose a threat to paws. If you wouldn’t walk on it with bare feet, your dog shouldn’t have to put their paws to it. Rather than having to carry your dog, you should work to avoid these types of situations in the first place.
Consider high risk areas, such as public walkways where small dogs could get stepped on or have their paws smashed by sliding doors. It’s better to avoid these locations if your dog is not socially ready, but when you must, it is better to carry them than to chance them getting injured.
Then there are situations in which you need your dog to get out of danger quicker than it might take them to respond, or if they are enticed by the danger such as chasing a moving car or a pursuing a cat into a dangerous area.
Let your dog walk
But do not be mistaken, because it is very possible to spoil your dog by carrying them regularly. Dogs quickly pick up on habits, and if you regularly carry them, it is as though you are training them to rely on you to transport them. It may not be considered spoiling. Rather, it has become a habit that they let you carry them around everywhere. And you can be assured that if you constantly carry your dog around, they will expect you to do the walking for them.
Let your dog carry themselves when they can. If they’re getting into the car, let them get in themselves. If they want to walk, let them (squiggly worms in your arms may be a hint they want down). Don’t hold your dog back from being their own dog, or they’ll always want you to carry them around.
Most importantly, they need the exercise. If you constantly carry your dog, they aren’t exactly getting the exercise they really need. They aren’t as active. They’ll wait for you to come get them or expect you to do things for them that dogs should do on their own (I’ve seen older dogs that wouldn’t eat unless fed by hand).
You may be thinking about situations in which your dog doesn’t want to get into the car because they know where they’re going (groomers?), but you really shouldn’t force them or you’ll always have to force them. Instead, treat or entice them to want to get in and go.
In truth, it is completely possible to spoil your dog by carrying them everywhere. But that’s only if you do it all the time. There will be moments in which you need to pick them up and move them around to keep them safe. After all, it’s your job to make sure they stay safe and happy, and it is nice to spoil them a little bit every now and then.
Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember. After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again. Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!