There are several things to consider when thinking about how to take care of a dog. Below are some of the obvious and maybe not so obvious things to know.
Clean and safe living environment
Keeping a clean house is just good hygiene. A safe living environment for a dog especially if you have a puppy, is being aware of those things he may chew or eat . This could cause your dog to choke and if it’s your favorite shirt you won’t be very happy. It is also important to realize those things that could hurt your dog, like leaving an open bottle of cleaning solution on the floor.
Your dog should have as much fresh water as he wants. It’s important that your dog stay hydrated, especially if you are outside and it’s hot. Dogs often pant when they are hot even if they are not thirsty. However, this could be a sign that they are in need of water. Dogs don’t release heat as easily as humans do through their skin, so staying hydrated also helps them from overheating.
We suggest that you follow the guidelines from your veterinarian which will vary based on the size and age of your dog. Puppies usually require more small meals per day than adult dogs, which require only one feeding per day. However, if your adult dog tends to over eat then two smaller meals per day is best.
Give your dog a high quality food with meat not meat fillers. If you prefer there are great vegan dog foods that still have the necessary nutrients your dog needs. We don’t recommend feeding your dog human food since there are many things unhealthy for a dog to eat. Dog treats are a great option and dental dog treats are a great way to reduce plaque and tartar build up.
Regular veterinarian exam
You should take your dog to get an exam at least once per year. Your veterinarian will tell you what shots your dog needs, deworming and how to prevent parasites. There are certain medications your dog will need to prevent things such as heartworm, flees and ticks.
Depending on the breed of dog will determine how much exercise it needs. Don’t think that if you have a small dog that he won’t require a lot of exercise. Even if your dog uses a dog wheelchair they still require exercise. All puppies will have more energy than a lot of adult dogs. Choosing the right breed based on your living conditions, your schedule and also your activity level, should all be taken into consideration before choosing a dog.
Develop a good relationship
Dogs are social creatures just like humans. Most breeds love affection and need attention. This goes beyond just walking your dog. Talking to your dog and socializing him with other humans and dogs are important. If not, they can develop social anxiety and may become aggressive towards others.
If adopting a dog it is important to know as much about the dog as possible before adopting it. Some dogs have gone through trauma which you may not be aware of until placed in a certain environment and see how they react.
Train your dog
Just like with children, it can be obvious from the parents why kids act a certain way. It can be more difficult to train an adult dog, if discipline is not instilled when they are a puppy. Dog training classes are very beneficial. Having your dog work with a trained professional is best. However, you will need to continue using the same commands and training that a professional recommends, so the dog sees consistency and remembers what he has learned.
Spay or neuter your dog
There are millions of dogs each year in the United States that need a home. Many of these dogs would not be homeless if the parents were spayed or neutered. If you are adopting a dog often times the dog will already be spayed or neutered. This is the right thing to do unless you are planning on breeding your dog.
We highly recommend that your dog gets an ID chip. In the unfortunate event that your dog gets lost, he will be much easier to find. It has a unique number that appears on a device when swiped over your dog. There is no battery and does not need to be replaced. Make sure that the ID chip is checked annually by your veterinarian that it is still functioning properly. However, this does not replace a collar which should have the dog’s name and contact number of the owner.
Pet health insurance
There are several good companies that offer pet health insurance. Do some research to make sure you can afford the monthly premiums depending on what is covered. Also, make sure you are aware of what the plans max payout it. Typically pet health insurance companies don’t cover routine health maintenance such as teeth cleaning.
Your dog needs to have its teeth cleaned by a veterinarian. Giving your dog teeth cleaning treats and brush them yourself. This will help keep them clean and decrease the frequency of having them cleaned professionally by your vet. You can choose to bath and trim your dog’s nails at home. However, many people do not know how or are apprehensive to do it themselves.
Bathing your dog is harder if it has long hair, since it requires more maintenance. The frequency that your dog should be bathed depends on how active it is and how much it plays outdoors. If your dog spends most of its time inside then it can be less frequent.
We recommend that you don’t wash your dog more often than ever two to three weeks. Bathing a dog too often can wash away necessary oils that your dog needs to maintain healthy skin. We do recommend wiping your dog’s paws off each time they come in from playing. Who knows what is on their paws and you don’t want it to be tracked into hour house.
Some dogs are more low maintenance than others. Some dogs are more prone to health issues than others. Some dogs aren’t good around children. Getting a dog should be a lifelong commitment. Do the research before getting a dog to determine the best breed for you. This is really how to take care of a dog by first choosing the right breed for you.
Taking care of a dog requires a lot of work. We hope you have gained a few tips from reading this post!