A dog is a great addition to any family, but you need to know how to look after it. Your dog’s needs are not a lot different from your own, as they will need to have a safe shelter, be treated with love, have exercise, and regular food.
You should never buy a dog on a whim, as caring for one is a big responsibility. However, your four-legged friend can become your faithful companion, so here are some essential tips to make sure you both get along.
Your dog needs to eat proper, nutritious foods that are high in protein. Dogs are not fussy creatures, so most supermarket brands should do. However, your vet will be able to recommend the best foods for your dog, and how much you should feed it dependent on its age and size.
Avoid feeding your dog too many treats, especially of the human variety, such as chocolate and salty foods, as they can be dangerous to your dog’s health. Always buy official dog treats, especially those that will benefit health, such as chews for dental care.
Your dog also needs plenty of water to survive, so there should be access at all times, especially if you are out for long periods of the day.
It is important to find a good and reliable vet as soon as you can, and book your dog in for regular check-ups, even if they appear fine. Your dog should be vaccinated from known diseases, including rabies, heartworm and kennel cough.
Dogs are prone to picking up parasites, such as fleas and worms, especially if they spend a lot of time outdoors. Therefore, preventative treatments are a necessity, so take your vet’s advice.
Veterinary treatment can be expensive, so taking out pet health insurance will cover you for any unexpected costs during your pet’s lifetime. Your dog’s health is paramount, so while insurance will cost you financially each month, you don’t want to see your dog suffer if you can’t afford the vet bills.
Unlike a cat, a dog doesn’t tend to stray far from home. However, your dog may still get lost or stolen, so consider fitting it with an ID chip. When your dog is found by a third party, it may get taken to a local vet or police station, where your details can easily be located.
Fun and exercise
Dog’s are very sociable animals, especially with the people they have bonded with. Ensure you take the time to play with your dog, at home and outdoors. Considering dogs can chew anything to pieces, you should purchase things that are safe for your dog to play with, such as indestructible squeaky dog toys.
When playing outside, be aware that small dogs will tire easier than large ones, so don’t overdo it with them. The same applies when you take your dog for a walk. Walk reasonable lengths to let your dog burn off excess energy, and secure it with a retractable leash for better control.