You’ve thought about it. You’ve done your research. You’ve prepared yourself as best you can. And you adopted a pit bull – congratulations! As you hopefully already know, owning a dog can be hard work. It requires time, money, and sometimes even personal sacrifice to make sure your dog is happy and healthy. So how might caring for a pit bull specifically differ from caring for other dog breeds? Read on to find out.
Pit bulls are not dogs for inexperienced dog owners. Because of their unfortunate reputation as being aggressive fighting dogs, pit bull owners must be especially mindful when out in public with their dog. Pit bull owners must be extremely responsible and willing to act as a breed ambassador at all times.
While every individual dog is different, and because the term “pit bull” actually encompasses many breeds, it can be difficult to know what to expect when you adopt a pit or bully breed dog. There are a few things, however, that most pit bulls have in common:
–Exercise needs: considerable
–Life expectancy: 11-14 years
Pit bulls are muscular, athletic dogs that require daily exercise. They should be walked every day and played with (fetch, tug-of-war, etc.) often. Pit bulls are usually medium-sized dogs (or bigger) and should have enough space to move around comfortably.
Because pit bulls have short hair, they require little grooming. Be mindful, though, if you live in an area where it gets cold in the winter months. Do not leave your pit outside if it’s raining, snowing, or cold. Dogs can get frostbite and hypothermia too!
As we’ve mentioned in previous articles, part of being a responsible pit bull owner is making sure your dog is well-trained. Your dog’s behavior is a reflection of the entire pit bull/bully breed community. Pit bulls can be stubborn, but they are also obedient and eager-to-please. They are smart, inquisitive animals who can benefit from the kind of mental stimulation that training classes can offer.
Depending, of course, on the individual, pit bulls are generally very social, people-oriented dogs. Like all dogs, they should receive lots of love and attention. Do not leave your dog home alone for long periods of time, especially if he/she does not have access to the outside. Pit bulls are generally known to be gentle with kids as well, but always be cautious when introducing your dog to new people. Never leave your dog unattended with a child.
Other basic things to consider:
-Make sure your dog is licensed, up-to-date on all required vaccinations, and always wears identification tags
-Make sure your dog is spayed or neutered
-Make sure your dog is fed at least once a day and has access to fresh water at all times