How do I take care of my pet dog

Dog ownership is enjoyable, gratifying and one of the best decisions you’ll ever make. Important to recollect that every dog is an individual requiring specific diet, health care, exercise, training and love. 

It’s your responsibility to make sure your hound is mentally and physically healthy and happy. Your new companion will repay you a thousand times over bestowing you with unconditional affection and companionship. 

To find out how to care for your pet dog and set you both on the right path, please follow these handy tips.

Understanding Your Dog Need’s

Dogs are pack animals that depend upon humans for companionship to satisfy their needs for social interaction and physical safety. Once we bring a canine into our home, we become his pack and assume all obligation of meeting his desires and protection. 

Most important from your canine’s perspective is that he or she are incorporated as a vital part of the family and given the emotional support they deserve. 

7 Pillars of Health & Wellness

  1. Healthy Diet 

Your dog’s nutrition is a key factor in maintaining his or her health. Several problems can be traced to diet deficiencies, while wholesome, life-supporting sustenance allows your mutt bodily systems to function best. You need to consider not only most meals, but all the bits and pieces during the day they consume including table scraps, treats, and other titbits. 

Although dogs can eat both animal and plant food, for puppies to flourish, they need to have a diet high in animal protein (meat-based diet), look for products containing at minimum of 20% protein unless your vet made other recommendations. Reassess your dog’s nutrition as their activity, health needs and age changes. Most vital look for products that are labelled ‘complete and balanced’ and minimise processed foods as these can cause inflammatory responses.  

Don’t forget Water! Humans need about two litres of water per day, your pup’s water needs is influenced by their breed, size, season, activity level and location. Generally, they need 60 millilitres of water per day for every kilo of their bodyweight (Grant, 2017). To make sure your pooch gets enough water, keep their bowl clean and always topped up with fresh water.  

  1. Healthy Home Environment

Your house is your castle and will be same for your pupper. The home is where your best friend’s main physical and emotional needs are met. It should be safe, not only shelter from the elements but from stress and unseen dangers that will risk his health. Your home should be a place where he or she can feel secure and loved unconditionally. Provide supportive bedding to allow for rest and relaxation, safeguard your pet from the weather and offer non-slip surfaces for good traction. 

  1. Appropriate Exercise 

All mutts need daily play and exercise to assist maintain their fitness, health, avoid boredom, anxiety and obesity. Exerting along with your doggo builds energy, strengthens the circulatory system, offers enrichment, boosts immunity and reinforces the animal-human bond.

There is a powerful link between your dog’s workout and overall behaviour. All doggies are instinctively linked to the work they’ve been bred to try to do and if not given the chance to perform these, will find other outlets to the unused energy so keep your pupper occupied and well exercised. 

Correct exercises contain a combination of on/off leash exercises, minimise throwing ball in the air, frisbee and extreme rough wrestling. 

  1. Grooming

Keep your dog’s coat looking clean, reduce shedding and strengthen your bond with daily brushing. Brushing is an excellent time to check for fleas, ticks and other lumps or bumps that may arise. Brushing removes physical debris, minimises matting and helps spread the natural oils in their coat. 

Washing your fido is important when they are dirty or smelly; roughly every four to six weeks. Over washing can cause skin problems and irritations. Ear cleaning and drying is necessary after a bath once you’ve been shown how to do it correctly by your vet. 

Nail clipping can be attempted at home, however, be mindful dogs don’t like their nail clipped and they may wriggle around. To avoid accidents, ask your vet nurse to perform it at the clinic.  

Get your puppy accustomed to handling early on in order that grooming, and nail clipping are going to be a standard part of life as your pooch grows up with the use of treats and positive reinforcement. 

  1. Behaviour and Training

Dog’s have varying temperaments which causes them to react inversely to people and hounds. 

They learnt the way to understand human non-verbal cues and the way to read our faces. Since they want to live with us amicably consistency and predictability is important for your dog. 

Training isn’t about tricks or entertainment; it’s ensuring your dog is given the power to become a treasured part of the household and society, encouraging desired behaviours and curbing unwanted ones.  

Training doesn’t only involve compliance commands, but also entails teaching them coping strategies with being left alone to avoid separation related problems. 

Dogs look up to you for guidance and taught the proper way to act. Hire an expert trainer if you don’t wish to train them yourself, though you’ll have to remain involved in ongoing support for the remainder of their life – training doesn’t stop after puppyhood. 

  1. Brain Stimulation 

Keep your doggies mind stimulated with puzzle feeders, snuffle mats, scent enrichment (nose works) along with trick training to alleviate boredom, reduce anxiety and decrease body impact.  

  1. Vet Care 

Choose your veterinary health care team before your puppy joins the family. Discuss vaccination schedule, parasite control, de-sexing age and ongoing health care obligations such as dental care.  

Have your pet examined once they join the household plus continue with frequent vet check-ups as they mature and age. 

Think about obtaining pet insurance before issues arise and make sure to read the fine print. A first-aid kit is also a must for the home and vehicle. 

Conclusion

Choosing the correct dog that matches your lifestyle and circumstances is the first step in being a responsible and caring pet owner. 

Don’t wait till you get your new pooch to confirm all its needs are met, learn all you’ll be able to about their breed, obedience training, dogs in general and prepare the environment before his or her arrival, take time to foster the relationship with plenty of patience, love and TLC. 

Bibliography

DVM, J. A. (2003). The complete holistic dog book. Celestial Arts. Retrieved February 27, 2021

Grant, L. (2017). Simple Dog Care. Sydney, NSW, Australia: Lerida Grant. Retrieved February 28, 2021

Monk, M. (2019). 5 Pillars of Canine Health. Australia. Retrieved March 01, 2021

Author: Melina Grin CMT, ISFM CertFN, Fear Free™ Certified Professional from Pet Nurture – Pet Nurture delivers safe and effective Rehab Therapies for Small Animals, Training for Animal Companions and Loving Pet Care services.

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