If you are going to have a dog brought into your life, then it is important that you know how to take care of a dog. This means that you will get to handle both the physical and emotional needs of the dog even dealing with dog poop. The dog needs nutritious food, a shelter, Accessories, clean drinking water, and a safe home . This will always lead to having a playful and happy dog all the time. Caring for a dog is something that people often take for granted, it is time we changed all that.
Bringing a dog into a home has a way of impacting one’s life forever. Dogs, especially puppies, are a lot of work. However, they bring a lot of joy into the home. Taking care of your dog is very important, whether you are getting your first puppy or you are adopting a grown-up dog to your home.
As a loving pet owner, you need to do everything within your reach to make sure your dog is in tip-top shape. These ranges from feeding your dog with the most nutritious meals to vaccinating your dog for preventative care to treats that ensure your dog exercises on a regular basis.
Taking care of your dog comprises of a couple of factors. Your time, patience, and effort are also needed if you really want to give your dog quality care. In this article are some tips to help you take care of your dog properly. This would set you on the right path and provide you with the knowledge on how to get your dog on the right track to adulthood.
Below is a guideline that will help you know more about how to take care of a dog.
- 1 Feeding the dog
- 2 The health of your dog
- 3 Don’t Ignore Grooming and Nail Trimming
- 4 Exercising and playing with your dog
- 5 Treat the dog with love and respect
- 6 Take Your Dog to a Good Vet
- 7 Feed a Quality Diet and Prevent Obesity
- 8 A Clean and Protected Living Environment
- 9 Provide Opportunities to Exercise
- 10 Teach Obedience
- 11 Teach Your Dog to Be Social
- 12 How to Care for Dog Teeth
Feeding the dog
The dog needs high quality and nutritious food to stay healthy and look great all the time. You need to use only dog food to ensure that the dog gets the required nutrients. Read the label of the dog food to see the different types of ingredients. Having the right amounts of different food types will help in keeping the dog in a healthy shape. The food generally should have a high amount of proteins. Anything else will just be a filler product. If you are unsure of the type of food to choose, consider asking your veterinarian for recommendations.
Still, on feeding, it would be better if you develop a schedule for your dog. Most of the time it is recommended that you feed the dog twice a day. Follow the instructions on the food label on how to feed the dog. It can be hard when feeding the dog thrice a day and you still have to work. Having a stable routine should help with house training of the dog. Most dogs would want to go to the bathroom within 20 minutes after eating.
Hydration is very important for your dog. Whenever you give it food, ensure that you also give it water. You can fill up an open container with water so that the dog has easy access to the water during any time of the day even when you are not around.
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The health of your dog
It is quite important that your dog gets the right health care at all times, this means finding the right and reliable veterinarian. A good vet will know more about the different types of dog breeds and the way to treat them in case they need treatment. Finding a reliable vet is important to the dog’s health. Sometimes asking your friends who own dogs could be quite helpful. This will lead to easy identification of the right vet from the recommendations most of them will be offering.
Most vets will always advise you on the various types of diseased to vaccinate against. The vaccinations will help give the dog a chance to battle with the disease and defeat it. Your dogs will still need booster injections that will keep the vaccination active for longer. You will find that in most countries, you have to vaccinate the dog against rabies. This should keep your family and the dog from this deadly disease.
Don’t Ignore Grooming and Nail Trimming
Brushing your dog is part of grooming the dog. When to brush and how many times a week to do so will always vary with the breed you have. Whenever you brush your dog regularly, it helps in reducing the shedding and gives you access to the dog’s body. The most important part is that you get to keep the coat in the right condition and without knots. You might need to use combs and clippers to help remove the knots and tangles.
Keep your pet clean by washing its coat. Having dirty coats will always lead to cases of skin infections. Take the time to bathe your dog with a mild shampoo whenever it gets dirty. Do not worry about the baths, as most dogs might just need a bath twice a month. That is not a lot to do as compared to human beings.
Still, as part of grooming the dog, you have to keep the dog nails trimmed. If you are unsure on how to trim the nails, you might want to take it to the pet care center. Here they will have all the necessary tools that will keep the dog calm while the trimming is done.
Dogs with long coats are prone to developing ice balls and matted hair. Elderly dogs are also commonly associated with overgrown nails, and this makes it a bit difficult for them to walk around. Long nails can also break easily, and this can be very painful. Hence, it is crucial that you groom your dog regularly.
If you don’t have the time to do this, you can take your dog to a professional dog groomer to groom your dog and trim its nails. Grooming your dog and trimming its nails regularly will help your dog to maintain optimal health.
Exercising and playing with your dog
Your dog does not need to sit around the house the whole day when there is a chance to get some exercise. Some dogs would be doing enough exercise when you play with them the normal fetch game. Other breeds you might have to take a walk of around 30 minutes daily to give it a chance to exercise. Most dogs will not tire out even after doing various types of exercises during the day. Statistics show that having more exercises help a lot with diverting the attention of the dog from undesirable behavioral problems such as excess barking, chewing or digging.
Dogs often get stimulated when they know there is a reward to an exercise. Make it clear to the dog that the reward comes after having the exercise. This should help with obedience training where the dog can be taught simple commands such as sit, come or stay and a reward after that. The dogs will know that with the right behavior and following commands will always lead to rewards.
Treat the dog with love and respect
The dog too has emotions. You have to be ready to take care of such emotions and keep the dog happy always. The first thing would be having your dog registered and get a collar for it. The dog can now be taken back to the owner if it has a collar. Depending on where you live, there are different types of legislation that govern the registration of dogs, just ensure you follow them.
It is not wise to punish a dog by using physical force or shouting at it. This will always influence how the dog responds to you. If the dog misbehaves, you have to look for ways on how to punish it without making it develop the act as a behavior. Always ask your dog trainer for guidance.
Take Your Dog to a Good Vet
The very first step you should take towards ensuring your dog is always healthy is to visit a very good vet. You should take your dog to a vet for regular checkups. Regular visits to the vet will not only help to make sure that your dog is healthy and free of severe health issues, but it will help to ensure that you take the first step towards a quality preventive health routine.
If you don’t have a vet, you should get recommendations by asking family and friends. If your dog is gotten from a shelter, do well to seek their advice as they may already know some reliable vets. You can also get recommendations from local dog groomers and walkers.
Feed a Quality Diet and Prevent Obesity
The body of a dog, especially a puppy, grows in critical ways. As a result, you need to opt for a food that is formulated specifically for your type of dog. Watch out for a statement from AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) on the pack of the food to ensure that your choice of food will meet the nutritional requirements of your dog.
Small and medium-sized breed dogs can make the leap to food made for adult dogs between nine and twelve months of age. If you have a large breed dog, you should stick with puppy kibbles until the dog gets to two years old. You also need to feed your dog multiple times a day.
For dogs aged between six and twelve weeks, you should feed them four times a day. Dogs between three to six months, you should feed three times a day. And between six and twelve months, two meals a day is okay. You should avoid overfeeding your dog. Overweight animals and humans can adversely affect health in several ways.
A Clean and Protected Living Environment
When taking care of a dog, it is crucial that you provide the dog with a clean and protected living environment. You should provide the dog with a shelter that is free from hazards and with good hygiene. This is very important as a healthy environment will play a vital role in the overall well-being of your dog.
You should also make fresh water available for your dog. Maintaining optimal hydration is of utmost importance for the energy and health of your dog.
Provide Opportunities to Exercise
Exercise is very important for the general health of your dog. Ensure your dog gets the regular exercise it requires to remain fit. When your dog is in shape, it would be more capable to partake in activities that it would enjoy.
You need to teach your dog good manners. By so doing, you will set it up for a life of positive social interaction. Obedience training will also help in creating a strong bond between you and your dog. Teaching your dog some obedience commands such as stay, sit, come, and down will help keep it under control and safe in potentially hazardous situations.
Teach Your Dog to Be Social
Teaching your dog on how to be social is one of the best things you can do for your dog. Adequate socialization will help your dog to avoid behavioral problems as it grows old. When dogs are about two to four months of age, they start accepting other animals, people, environment, and places. To rack up positive social experiences with your dog, you need to ensure your dog passes through socialization classes.
How to Care for Dog Teeth
Caring for your dog’s teeth is very important. Your dog’s teeth should always be clean and free from plaque and tartar (scaly, hard or sticky discolorations). Also, the 42 teeth of your dog should be intact and not broken or jagged.
Your dog’s tongue should be moist – with no signs of cuts or lumps. In most cases, the tongue of your dog should be salmon pink. Some breeds naturally have black-and-pink or black gums. Make sure you know the natural color of your dog’s mouth so you can talk to a vet when you start noticing pale gums, bright red tissue, raised spots or lumps.
To care for your dog’s teeth, you need to brush the teeth of your dog with dog-specific toothpaste and toothbrush. This helps a lot, and so do some treats and toys which are designed to minimize bacteria in your dog’s mouth. Just as you brush your teeth on a daily basis, your dog’s mouth should also be given such attention.