Dogs are so much more than pets, they’re part of the family. So getting one is a big responsibility, it’s up to you to make sure that their needs are met and they’re kept happy, healthy and content. Here are the four ‘T’s’ to enrich their life.

Training

Training allows your dog to understand what you want and expect of them. It allows you to live together side by side happily- to be domesticated pets, dogs need to know that they’re not allowed to chew up your stuff, go to the toilet in the house, bark or jump up. Instead, they’ll learn what they can do and will be much happier and more settled rather than causing chaos and getting into trouble. There are all kinds of training groups and one on one sessions you could attend, from obedience training to agility training, even therapy dog training. It helps to build the bond between you and your dog as it helps you to trust and understand each other.

Travel

Not all dogs are suited to travel- if yours gets travel sick or is nervous around new people and situations then it might not be for them. However, if your dog is generally relaxed and well socialised then travelling together can be a great way to enrich their life. From road trips to camping to staying in dog friendly hotels, boating, playing on the beach and exploring the countrysides and cities- what could be better than travel than having your best friend by your side? If you start travelling with your dog when they’re young, they’ll get used to things and you can enjoy a lifetime of adventures.

Toys

Toys are great for keeping your dog mentally and physically occupied, whether it’s to play together (like a ball of a tug of war toy) or for them to play on their own. Kongs are simple and excellent ways to keep your dog entertained for a little while. Stuff them with treats and let them spend time trying to get them out. There are even puzzle and maze type games you can buy for dogs, or you could set up ‘treasure hunts’ where you hide treats and toys in things like old cereal boxes around the room.

Time

Finally, spending time with your dog is one of the best ways to enrich your dog’s life. It’s simple and costs nothing, just sitting together while you watch tv, going on long walks together and letting them snooze on the end of your bed are all ways to make your dog feel happy and content. When you have a dog, you really do need time to commit to them, if you’re considering getting one and work very long hours or have lots of overseas holidays then it probably isn’t the right time to go ahead.