On Monday we’ll celebrate the importance of Family, but as we do so, let’s not forget the most devoted members of our own families…the furry ones! Pets play an integral role in Canadian families and so I say, let’s celebrate our four-legged family members this year, too!
As a pet owner, I know how incredibly beneficial these companions are to any family. In fact, according to a recent Dog Chow® Poll which surveyed dog owners (current and past), 40 per cent of respondents look to their furry family member as a role model – which comes as no surprise given the typical canine’s enthusiasm for life, unconditional love, unwavering loyalty and their ability to easily forgive. And if you’re looking to spend more time with the family, over half of Canadians claim adding a dog to the mix brings us together more frequently. This isn’t surprising given over 70 per cent of those polled describe their family dog as a playmate, with this number increasing slightly for those with kids (76%).
And even when it comes to making big family decisions (like the purchase of a new car, house or even vacation) eight in 10 take their pooches into account. It’s amazing how the role of the dog has gained prominence and how passionate we are about our pups!
All right, so I’ve won you over and you think you might want to add a dog to your pack – or if you’re looking to enhance your relationship with your family – I’ve tapped into the expertise of dog behaviourist and trainer Jill Priest (nee Skorochod) and the experts at Dog Chow to share these great tips and ideas.
- What dog is right for me? There is an incredible variety of breeds, sizes and temperaments in dogs, so it’s important to think about your lifestyle and family dynamics, and do your research before jumping ahead.
- Leaders Not Littermates: Children should take on smaller tasks such as feeding, positive treat training and walking the dog to ensure the family dog understands his position in the pack.
- Consistency is Key: When it comes to timing for feeding, exercise and discipline, getting on the same page as an entire family is a great way to bring everyone together and assign responsibilities.
- Encourage everyone to feed the family dog at the same time every day and make sure they know the right amount of food to serve up. According to Priest, a trusted kibble such as Dog Chow ensures complete nutrition for the family dog no matter who is in charge.
- How much time can you put into training your dog? Training and socializing is extremely important. Not training your dog is kind of like having kids and not teaching them manners! Each dog is an individual and times required to train them effectively will vary.
- Life is truly better with our furry family members and it’s time to celebrate! A great dog will be a loving companion to your family for many years to come.
Hey UrbanMoms members in the GTA: to meet Jill in person and gain additional insights on how to enhance the role of the family dog for everyone, head to PawsWay
at 245 Queens Quay West in Toronto on Monday, February 20th for the Dog Chow
Family Day celebration. Check out PawsWay.com/Events for more information and details.
Everyone deserves to have fun this Family Day – including the family
dog! Get your four-legged family member in on the action
with the Dog Chow Family Day Prize Pack. Valued at $125, this giveaway is filled with family-friendly items that will be sure to provide a tail-wagging good time! To enter the contest simply share why dogs make the perfect addition to the family.
You must sign-in to enter so we know how to get in touch with you. Click here to join.
The contest closes on February 24, 2012.
This blog post is sponsored by Purina Dog Chow.