When you bring home a dog and welcome him into your family, he repays you with loyalty and commitment. Being a two-way street, you also have to provide the right care to ensure optimum health, security, and longevity. Below is a list of 7 things you must do for your dog because he can’t do them himself.
Things YOU Must Do for Your Dog
1. Set Strict Guidelines Regarding Food
Human food is not meant to be consumed by dogs. Of course, dogs don’t know that some foods are toxic to them, so you have to set those strict guidelines in order to protect your dog. Do not feed him food scraps, and if any food falls to the floor, be swift and clean it up. See TOXIC FOODS. For instance, a chocolate bar can kill your dog, as can choking on a slippery chicken bone. Equally important is the amount of food your dog eats. You want to protect him from obesity, diabetes, and other food related problems that can arise from overeating.
Dogs need to be groomed regularly, some more so than others, depending on the type of coat. They need brushing to avoid matting and tangling, which can also lead to infection. Dogs also need baths from time to time, otherwise they can become very smelly and even develop bacterial infections or get parasites. Nail trimming is another important task that comes with dog ownership. Dogs that spend a great deal of time outdoors on abrasive surfaces don’t always need it, but indoor dogs need their paws checked frequently.
Dog Dental Care
Brush your dog’s teeth daily. This will keep him healthy, and he’ll enjoy having teeth throughout his lifetime, making it easy for him to eat.
Additionally, dogs have to be cleaned in hard-to-reach places as well. Although this may not be the most pleasant tasks, they are necessary. Check your dog’s ears and clean them accordingly, as well as their backsides.
3. Vet Visits and Vaccines
Regular checkups are a must to ensure your dog stays healthy. Dogs are susceptible to viral infections and parasites, in addition to other health issues. Vaccinate your pet accordingly. Preventative care is the best care you can provide your dog. Quickly treat any pests, parasites, or diseases before the situation worsens. Your dog will not know what’s wrong with him, so it’s your responsibility to watch the signs and act accordingly.
4. Train Your Dog
Dogs are brought into your home and they need to be domesticated. Social skills need to be developed so that the environment is calm and safe for everyone. Certain behaviors need to be addressed and curbed, while others need to be encouraged. A dog that listens and obeys will be happier and so will his human family. The earlier you set the rules, the easier life will get for everyone.
5. Dress Your Dog
High tolerance to cold is not a given for all dog breeds. In fact, many can succumb to hypothermia if outdoors and extreme temperatures for an extended period. Provide a warm coat for your furry friend if you notice him shivering. Go a step further and provide foot protection, as in dog booties to protect his paws from freezing and from ice melt products. By the same token, protect your dog from overheating in very hot weather conditions by limiting outdoor activities. Extreme heat or cold can be dangerous to your dog, and that’s important to keep in mind.
6. Protect Your Dog from Running Away
Your dog may want to explore the entire neighborhood, but it is crucial that you set the boundaries to avoid him from getting lost and never coming home. Additionally, most dogs don’t know how to cross the street, so they can easily get run over by a car. Also, keep your dog on a leash to ensure he stays safe and by your side, without endangering anyone else.
7. Provide Senior Care
Senior dogs slow down and they will have aches and pains like humans. Although they will continue to require exercise, it won’t be nearly as intensive as when they were young. Give him the quality of life of which he is so deserving. Be sure to keep up with the vet visits to treat any illnesses. Provide love, help keep his mind sharp and his body fit with the proper activities.
Your pup, regardless of age, may not like all the boundaries and limitations, but they are there for his own good. Strive to be a good friend and a responsible dog owner everyday.