How Much Do You Love Your Dog Checklist

5 Key Areas of Canine Care that Must Not Be Neglected


I want to ask you a serious question…

When was the last time you thought about how much you love your dog?

I know that might sound like a weird question to ask as most of us truly believe we love our dogs. But, it’s an important question to contemplate.

Perhaps a better question is, “Do you know what it means to love your dog?”

Have I got you thinking?

Today I want to walk you through a kind of checklist that identifies 5 key areas all dog lovers need to look at while determining how well they love and care for their pups. After all, it’s our job as pup parents to give our dogs the “gift” of happiness and care in all five of the areas I’m about to dive into below.

Do you excel in all five areas? Or is there a category of care you need to work harder on?

Read my list to find out…

Area #1: Give Your Dog the Gift of a Healthy, Balanced Diet

When it comes to things that dogs love, there are few things that dogs love more than food.

For this reason, it’s important to reflect on what you’re feeding your dog.

Now, this area of care isn’t intended to be a debate on what’s best to feed your dog. I know that is a complex and passionate place to go 🙂

So, I’m not asking whether your dog eats a raw diet or gets fed dry kibble.

But rather there are two things I want you to think about…the quality and variety of food you’re feeding your dog

If you’re buying the cheapest food off the store shelf, you’re possibly not purchasing a food formula that’s the healthiest for your pup. In fact, it may be doing damage to your dog or pup. And in the long run, you’ll be amazed how much worse your dog’s health is and how much more you spend at the vets!

For this reason, it’s important to read the label and ensure that the food you’re buying isn’t filled with loads of fillers (like corn) or preservatives. Some of these preservatives are terrible and are banned from any human food because they are known to be so bad for us.

Always look for more natural ingredients like chicken or lamb, and whole grains and veggies. If you can’t picture the food or pronounce the food in the ingredients then there is a good chance it’s not that great for your dog!

So take a minute and think…would it really break your bank to spend a few extra dollars on your dog’s food each month to ensure it’s a quality formula?

Next, I want to bring up variety. Is your dog eating the same thing every single day?

Now, there’s nothing wrong with sticking with a specific brand of dog food or a certain flavor. But, every once in a while it would be a treat for your dog to have the opportunity to try a different type of food so eating every night doesn’t get boring.

Not to mention, there’s no such thing as a completely balanced dog food brand. Think about it this way…what would happen if you only ate spaghetti for dinner every night? It wouldn’t be healthy!

The same is true for your dog’s food.

Providing your dog with variety, whether it be mixing in some veggies from time to time or trying a new variety of your dog’s favorite food, is important!

Sharing your table scraps with your dog is also a great way to let your pup know he is loved. Of course, always make sure that the scraps you’re sharing are safe and healthy and always avoid sharing things like chicken bones with your pup.

So don’t forget…always think quality and variety when feeding your dog!

Area #2: Give Your Dog the Gift of Exercise

Dogs absolutely love walks, yet most dogs don’t get walked enough.

Of course, every dog varies with how much exercise he/she needs.

Some high energy dogs need to run and run. Other dogs can only handle a brief stroll around the neighborhood. Regardless, all dogs need a little outside time to stretch their legs and sniff the grass.

When it comes to walks, I encourage you to vary up your walking routine. After all, most dogs love to mix it up.

Change up your walking route so your pup doesn’t get bored. Or take your pup to a place where he can run off leash. Variety makes things fun for your pup! Maybe they want to go smell a certain area or venture somewhere different… give them that gift…it means to much to them 🙂

Whatever you do, it’s important to make sure your dog is getting outside every day, (so long as it’s not pouring with rain!)

So are you giving your dog this gift?

Area #3: Give Your Dog the Gift of Affection

All dogs desire some form of affection.

In fact, many dogs love nothing more than being cuddled and pet all the time. And, if you have a dog that loves the attention, you need to make sure to give them that time.

Of course, it’s important to always give this affection on your own terms, otherwise, your dog might develop bad habits such as jumping or barking to get attention.

How do you find the balance?

I recommend you make time in the morning or the evening (whenever you’ve got some quiet time) to spend quality time with your pup. Grab a cup of tea, beer, a glass of wine and let your dog cuddle with you.

Or, get on the floor and give your dog some extra pats or scratches.

Just make sure that when you give affection you do it on your terms… so YOU decide when the cuddles start (by calling your dog over) and YOU decide when it stops by moving them away or walking away.

Basically, avoid letting your dog run all over you.

However, absolutely it’s great to sit and cuddle and connect with your dog for a full 2-hour movie…

You don’t have to do anything extravagant. Just make the time to love on your dog every day.

Area #4: Give Your Dog the Gift of Safety, Comfort, and Good Health

How closely you pay attention to your dog’s physical needs?

For example, if you notice your dog itching have you checked him for fleas or a skin rash? If you have fleas then make sure you use a flea Bomb. Personally, I would avoid the highly toxic pour on agents that go into your dog’s blood and kidneys… (Most of the fleas remain in your house and in the dogs bedding anyway unless you use a flea bomb!)

If your dog has a limp, do you take him to the vet or do you wait it out to see if it gets better?

If you leave your dog outside, do you pay attention to the temperature to ensure your pup never gets overheated or too cold? Maybe they would love a shade cloth or plant a tree…if its really hot maybe a small plastic pool for your dog to splash around in would bring total joy to your dog.

Does your dog need a haircut because it’s hot outside or her hair has grown over her eyes and impacts her ability to see?

Remember your dog can’t talk. And there’s nothing worse than letting him remain uncomfortable in a situation you have control over.

If you notice your dog is itchy, has matted fur, or isn’t feeling well always make sure to take him to a vet or groomer ASAP before the problem gets worse.

If you know it’s going to be hot outside, make sure your dog has plenty of water, a shady spot to lay in, a pool to take a dip in or bring your pup inside until it cools down. The same goes for cold weather, except make sure your dog has a warm blanket, a sheltered space that’s out of the wind/snow, or bring your dog inside to warm up.

It’s that simple!

Area #5: Find Out What Make Your Dog Jump for Joy

As humans, we all have things that make us really excited…whether it be visiting friends or watching a sport or enjoying a hobby.

Believe it or not, the same is true for your dog!

All dogs have something that makes them very excited.

For instance, if you have a husky, a trip to the snow might make him jump for joy.

If your dog loves to run and chase, a game of frisbee might be right up his alley.

Or, if your pup loves the water, a trip to the beach, lake, or stream might make her wag her tail with joy.

As a dog parent, it’s your job to figure out what makes your dog jump for joy. Then, once you know, be sure to incorporate those activities into your daily, weekly, or monthly routine.

Area #6: Give Your Dog the Gift of Peace.

Last, but not least, I want to ask if you’ve given your dog the gift of peace.

I know that sounds like a funny thing to ask, but in today’s society, most dogs are so stressed.

Put another way, have you checked your dog’s mental health lately?

If your dog…

  • Runs around anxiously
  • Barks constantly
  • Pulls on the leash
  • Cries when you leave the house
  • Growls, nips, or bites
  • Jumps/goes crazy when people come over

…he is likely suffering from some sort of anxiety and can’t relax.

Over time, this stress builds up and can wreak havoc on your dog’s wellbeing.

The great news is it does not need to be this way…

You can easily provide your pup with proper training program, such as the Dog Calming Code program , or my Puppy Coach training program that will allow your dog or puppy to calm down and listen so he doesn’t have to stress out.

Or, if you currently have a puppy, my Puppy Coach training program will offer the same benefits in a way that’s better structured for young pups.

Getting your dog to calm down isn’t as simple as waving a magic wand. But, once you learn the how and why behind how to help your dog turn off, it’s actually quite easy.

I know because I’ve dedicated my entire life to training dogs to calm down and listen when it matters most. And I have put all my training methods into my program The Dog Calming Code.

If you’d like to learn how to give your dog the gift of peace, I encourage you to check out The Dog Calming Code program here.

And, of course, if you think this has been helpful or interesting be sure to share the list with other dog lovers in your life!


Doggy Dan Signature
~Doggy Dan 🙂

Doggy Dan

Doggy Dan is the founder of The Online Dog Trainer, a wildly successful online training program for dog owners. His goal is to continue to share his unique approach to dog training with like-minded people who wish to make a difference in the world of dogs. His training methods focus on creating and building the connection between dogs and dog owners, and are shared and used around the world.

4 Responses

  1. We have a wonderful 3yo mixed breed that loves to run. We take her daily to an off-leash park. Today she chased a bicycle and almost got kicked. She doesn’t react while on leash anymore. So what can we do?
    Thank you,

    1. Hi Bill, Everyday objects like bicycles or scooters can be things that some dogs find unsettling and their behaviour towards those things can become a little problematic. Having good recall when a dog is off-leash is really important for their safety, but it’s also something that can be achieved with a little practice and patience. We have a really great section about mastering recall on my website …maybe take a quick look…its a $1USD trial for 3 days…all the best Doggy Dan

    1. Hi Beverly…Dogs can suffer from car sickness for a number of reasons. Most obvious is that the movement and momentum of the car makes them feel unwell, similar to what humans may experience, or they can view the car journey as anxiety inducing and that can lead to vomiting. A few things that may help if the sickness is caused by the first factor…..try having your dog travel in a covered crate or tethered in the mid section of the car as it’s less bouncy. Also having your dog travel on the floor of the car, where they can’t see out the windows may help. Avoid feeding your dog just before you go on a car trip, this tip alone can solve the issue quite quickly. Try practicing really short trips in your car to help your dog get used to the movement of the car but without them getting to the point where they feel ill. Some people also swear by giving their dogs ginger but I have not tried this personally.
      If the cause of your dog’s car sickness is the second factor then my website has some resources that will be helpful…maybe take a quick look…its a $1USD trial for 3 days…all the best Doggy Dan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No More "Accidents" In Just 3 Days!

No More "Accidents" In Just 3 Days!

Get your Free Potty Training Made Easy video series and regular updates…


Is your dog the problem, or are you?

Start my Training Level Quiz... the answer will surprise you!

Recent Posts


Is your dog the problem, or are you?

Start my Training Level Quiz... the answer will surprise you!

Is your dog the problem, or are you?

Start my Training Level Quiz... the answer will surprise you!

Homepage Quiz

7 Massive Mistakes Every Dog Owner Is Making

Have you tried just about everything, but you're still having problems with your dog? Discover how to fix the errors you're inadvertently making so you can finally have the dog of your dreams.

We will only send you awesome stuff!