There are a couple dog necessities you need to know about before taking responsibility for your new furry friend. Care for your dog correctly with these tips.
Are you keen to provide a loving home to one of the 3.3 million dogs that end up in animal shelters every year?
Homing a shelter dog is a noble and rewarding decision, but you need to ensure that your new arrival is better off with you than it was in the shelter.
In order to make that happen, you need to prepare yourself for the new arrival and educate yourself on correct pet care. Here are some dog necessities you might not have thought of.
Dogs are highly social animals and they’ll want to be a part of the family. Keeping your dog outside is hardly ever the best option.
Dogs that live outside need a warm weather-proof shelter to ensure they’re safe from the evening chills. Please don’t leave your dog outside when it’s snowing or when there’s heavy rain.
You’ll form much stronger bonds with them if you allow them to spend as much time with you as possible.
That said, all dogs need some time outside to play, exercise, and relieve themselves. A small grassy area is ideal; otherwise, you’ll need to take them for walks every day.
Many dogs live happily in apartments, but larger, more active breeds do need a yard where they can burn off excess energy. A secure doggie door that suits the size of your pet is the ideal solution for when you’re away from home.
Whether your dog lives inside or out, it’s important to keep them clean and well-groomed. Choose a dog shampoo and dog brushes that suit their coat and implement a regular bathing and brushing routine.
Book an appointment with your veterinarian to trim their nails and clean their teeth when needed.
Bear in mind that dog care is an ongoing task, so if you travel often, you need a reliable person to take care of your animal while you’re away.
Designated Dog Spaces
Ideally, dogs should have a pen or closed off area within the house where they can stay out of the way and out of trouble too. They do need a space where they can escape for some me-time when needed.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to give your pets free reign when it comes to lounging on the couch, that’s fine too.
Some people allow their dogs to sleep on their bed with them. But this isn’t the most hygienic option or the best route, discipline-wise.
Rather, buy a comfortable spacious dog bed for your canine companion and keep it in a space designated just for them. They’ll also need some dog blankets to keep them cozy in cold weather.
Feeding is the most important part of caring for a dog. Research your best options when it comes to pet food, or ask your veterinarian for advice; they’re the experts on taking care of dogs.
Some dogs are fussy, so ask the shelter if you can buy a few portions of their usual dog food to mix in with your chosen brand. This helps ease fussy eaters into the new flavor and texture of your preferred dog food.
For optimum health, you can look into giving your dog a daily supplement from reputable brands like Purina, Bark Nutrition supplements, or Dr. Lyon’s.
All dogs need a constant supply of fresh, clean water. Investing in an automatic water feeder is the best option. Otherwise, be sure to refresh your dog’s water bowl a few times a day.
Buy a dog food bowl that’s the correct size for your breed of dog and wash it every day. You can feed your dog once or twice a day according to your schedule, although puppies need more regular feeds.
You’ll also need a safe, secure place to store your dog food where it’s safe from rodents and out of your dog’s reach.
It’s in the best interests of you and your pet to ensure they’re obedient and well-behaved. An unruly, disobedient dog is a danger to itself and others.
House training your pet is a vital first step in any dog’s education. Sign up at a dog training center to ensure your pet gets the best start in life.
During these classes, they’ll also learn important lessons in socialization. This is important if you ever intend to take your dog out in public.
Your dog trainer will advise you on their preferred equipment, but every dog needs a correctly fitted collar, a name tag, and a leash. You won’t need any fancy training aids unless your trainer recommends them.
It’s a good idea to get your dog microchipped at their initial checkup.
Dog Necessities for Health and Safety
No matter how well you train your dog, there’s no telling what they’ll get up to when you’re not around.
If you work during the day, you must ensure that your dog can’t escape from their living quarters or they’ll end up back in the shelter (or worse) before long.
Remove any poisonous plants from your home to prevent tragedy if your dog chews on the leaves. If you have plants in your garden, cordon them off so the dog can’t reach them.
Lock up all medications that your dog might chew on or swallow. Don’t assume herbal tonics are safe for dogs. For example, tea tree oil is harmful to dogs, and so are artificial sweeteners.
Make sure you know where your nearest veterinarian is and arrange for them to check up on your dog’s health right away and ensure their vaccinations are up-to-date.
Get your dog’s record book filled out and keep it in a safe place. Set up a reminder on your phone or laptop about when their next shots are due.
If you’re getting a puppy, ask your veterinarian about how soon you can get them sterilized and make a note of that too. Sterilizing your pet is not only vital to avoid unwanted litters, but it also helps prevent certain cancers too.
The Finer Details
The main basic dog necessities are good food, regular grooming, diligent training, and adequate health care. Owning a pet involves almost as much responsibility as raising a child.
For more detailed guidance and advice on caring for every kind of pet, keep browsing our website. We have all the best information on creatures great and small.