This post was provided to Pet Guardian Angels of America by Noah Rue
The Fine Line Between Pampering and Spoiling Your Rescued Dog
By Noah Y. Rue
When you adopt a rescue pup, everyone’s a little nervous and excited at the same time. You want to give your new companion all your love and affection to show him he is welcome in your home. We all do it; we want to spoil our babies!
But there’s a fine line between pampering and spoiling your rescue dog. To some extent, you should make sure your pup is happy, comfortable, secure, and healthy, but it’s easy to give into that cute face and maybe spoil him, “just a little bit!” But spoiling can lead to unwanted behaviors and even insecurities in your dog.
To ensure a happy life for you and your rescue dog, keep reading to learn how to give him all your love without spoiling him rotten.
Safe Pet Pampering
It’s important to ensure the way you treat your dog helps them to become a happy, healthy, and confident pup. Next, we’ll list some good ways to pamper your rescue pup, then we’ll cover examples of spoiling that you’ll want to avoid.
Every dog loves a cookie! But offering snacks off your plate is a slippery slope. Healthy dog treats are an essential part of training your pup. If you really want to treat your dog to something special, whip up some healthy homemade treats just for them. Here are some dog-friendly foods you can use to make your puppy cookies:
- Peanut butter
Check out this homemade dog treats recipe to spoil your pup without letting them go rotten.
A New Dog Bed
After your pup has spent any amount of time in a shelter, your home is going to feel like heaven. Keep in mind there might be an adjustment period where your pup needs to get to know their new surroundings, and they might take some time to warm up to your home. But a plushy new dog bed just for them is a perfect welcoming gift.
If your pup is older or has an injury, a comfortable bed is essential. But any pup will appreciate the sense of security their own bed will give them. A dog bed will also be a great training opportunity. Teach your pup with healthy treats that their bed is where they need to rest instead of other furniture.
Behaviors That Can Spoil Your Pet
This might not be as fun as pampering your dog, but it is just as important. Pampering shows your pup they are loved and safe. But crossing that line into spoiling can cause some serious issues. We’ll cover some tips to help ensure you don’t have that problem.
One of the most common mistakes when pampering your pup is treating them to a little of your own food. Not only can this habit be unhealthy, it can be fatal. I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but avoiding people food for your pup is important. In fact, this issue is so bad, some pets have mistakenly eaten poisoned meatballs that were left in public areas.
Not only is it essential to avoid giving your own food to your pup, it’s important to watch out for dangers on walks, in parks, and even from well-meaning friends and family members. A friend might think it’s cute to sneak your new pup a bite of their dinner, but this can enable bad behaviors. If you really want to treat your pup to some whole and healthy ingredients – see the homemade dog treat recipe above.
We all want to give in to those sweet puppy dog eyes, but it still takes some firm boundaries to make a happy, healthy, and confident dog. Setting boundaries is important for all dogs but especially for rescue pups that might have had a very different environment before coming to your home.
Sure, you want to show your dog that they are now in a safe place where they are loved and protected. But part of what makes a dog happy and secure is knowing what they can and can’t do. If you don’t want your pup on the furniture, make sure you stick firmly to that house rule and use positive reinforcement by giving them treats and attention when they follow the rules.
All dogs will test their boundaries – just give a quick redirection by calling them off the couch and directing them to their own bed. Try grabbing one of their toys and leading your pup to their bed to show them that this what they can do when they’re bored. Then be sure to treat them for following your lead.
Rescuing a dog is exciting but can also be a little scary for you and your new pup. Show your dog he is loved by giving positive reinforcement, lots of healthy treats, and a comfy place to call home. But don’t cross that line into spoiling or you’ll be spending more time correcting bad behavior than enjoying your time with your new companion. That’s a good boy!
Noah Yarnol Rue is always looking where his next trip will take him . When he’s not traveling the world, he’s writing articles on the new things he learns. Noah also enjoys a good meme from time to time. You can find Noah on LinkedIn.