Caring for dogs goes far beyond putting food in a bowl and scooping up the odorous land mines they leave in the yard. Like people, pups have emotional and physical needs to be met through a variety of care measures that the owner must assume the day the dog is brought home. Whether they need to increase oral hygiene with dental chews, or keep their coat cleaned and trimmed, go for a long walk, or eat a well-balanced diet; providing the dog a healthy lifestyle is one of the pet-owner’s primary responsibilities.
Dog Care Items
Failing to have certain dog care items at home is like bringing a new baby from the hospital without a crib, bottles, or diapers. Your dog will need to have his basic needs covered, such as a food and water bowl, and some balanced dog food to help him grow strong. Be prepared with a brush to minimize your dog’s shedding, a collar to identify him, and a leash for the rigorous walking that is now in your future. Your puppy will also need to feel that he has his own designated space where he can retreat and rest, so a bed or a dog mat will be in order. Also be sure to provide your pooch an ample supply of chew toys, ropes, rawhides, etc., to distract him from gnawing on your new leather shoes. From the initial necessities to the luxurious additions, your dog will be much happier if he is well-provided for.
Exercising and Playing
Dogs of all sizes seem to have an excess of inexhaustible energy –it’s part of their charm. Many dogs were bred to hunt, herd, work, or fight, which are deeply imbedded instincts that need to be regarded with importance. By exercising, a dog is able to expel energy, stress and tension, as well as stimulate their mind by exploring their environment. Dogs who do not get to experience regular walks/runs/hikes, etc. tend to develop negative behaviors, becoming whiney, territorial, even aggressive. Even if the dog is of smaller stature, he will require daily exercise in spurts between 30-60 minutes to optimize his health emotionally and physically. Here we have listed some creative ways to play with your dog and help him exercise both mind and body.
Many dog owners do not give a lot of thought to their choice of dog food beyond what is the largest quantity for the best price. This kind of thinking unfortunately often inhibits your dog from receiving the nutrients he needs, since many of the most “popular” dog food brands are made with flavorful but nutritionally void additives and meat “by-products” that do nothing for your dog’s wellness. Even if a dog seems to enjoy the food, that does not mean that it is beneficial for him, since many brands add syrups and sugar to make kibbles (which have the nutritional value of cardboard) taste better. Dog owners are beginning to see the value in ordering organic food made from an array of natural ingredients like raw meats, bone, cartilage, fruits, veggies, and vitamins which will provide the pup with the best nutrition possible. Before you choose a brand of dog food to give your pet, research what he needs to promote a balanced and healthy life. If humans require a variety of food groups to thrive, so does your canine companion!
Not every dog breed requires frequent attention from the groomer, as many pups can get by with a good brush and a regular bath. However, many dogs will need their coats regularly maintained, trimmed, and washed by a professional. Indoor dogs, lap dogs, or pups with ornate coats (like Shih-Tzus, Yorkies, and Poodles) require routine attention from a groomer to keep their fur in top order. Pet-owners often like to play with different styles for their pets, allowing the fur to grow long and silky, or giving them a cleaner, shorn look. Dogs will also need attention given to any skin allergies, scratches or matting they might have, the health of their paws and nails, their oral hygiene and gum health, as well as a check up on their eyes and ears for any infection. Grooming has become an important element of caring for your dog both in health and appearance.
From joint swelling, to vomiting and diarrhea, or internal and external infections, dogs often battle numerous ailments in their lives. These struggles can occur due to environmental exposure to bacteria, through diet and a lack of nutrition, or heredity, obesity and lack of exercise. Many dogs struggle with worms, and infections of the eyes, ears and skin. Infections and skin allergies (which can often lead to bold spots through frequent itching), will need to be treated by a vet. Dogs also face a variety of other health concerns such as infectious diseases, joint strains, hip dysplasia, bone fractures, and even different kinds of cancer. When any unusual symptoms or behaviors are evident in your dog, it is your responsibility to make sure he visits the veterinarian as soon as possible.