Being a dog owner isn’t all fun and games as it is a responsibility you need to carry with you as long as you’re caring for one. When you have a dog, you’ll have a furry companion with you wherever you go, giving you the kind of bliss only they can provide.
However, you need to ensure that they’ll live a good and comfortable life under your care by providing for their needs and, sometimes, even for their wants.
If you’re a first-time dog owner, you need to make sure that you are knowledgeable of how to take care of a dog properly. In this article, you’ll learn about dog care essentials that you need to know, so you can happily care for your fur baby.
1. Provide Dog Food
Purchasing dog food is a must. Ideally, your dog should be having two full meals per day, one in the morning and one at night. This will help fuel your dog for a whole day of fun activities and exercises. Therefore, your dog food should be ready before your new dog arrives at your home.
When shopping, it’s ideal to choose a dog food appropriate for their size, breed, and nutritional needs. Dog food isn’t the same as what humans consume. Some include an additional dietary value that’ll help make your dog grow healthy and strong.
You may want to consult your veterinarian about which dog food is appropriate for your pet.
2. Prepare Dog Bowls
When it comes to feeding your dog, their food should always be placed in a dog bowl for hygienic purposes. Ideally, you should have two bowls sitting next to each other; one for the dog food and one for the water.
This will allow your dog to have a quick drink once they get thirsty and after meals. To ensure your dog’s getting enough hydration, you should never leave the water bowl empty for the whole day.
3. Bathe Regularly
Depending on your dog’s coat and skin condition, you should bathe your dog regularly to keep its skin healthy and smooth. Unless instructed by your vet, it’s a good rule that you don’t clean your dog more than once per week as bathing often causes dryness or irritation to the skin.
However, if your dog’s coat is perfectly healthy, bathing once a month will be beneficial.
4. Walk Daily
Dogs need daily exercise. If they stay indoors the entire day, allowing them to take a daily walk will help move their muscles, avoiding any possible bone problems or injuries.
For puppies, taking them for a 15-minute walk a day would be helpful. For your adult dogs, you can take them out for a 30- to 45-minute walk daily. Just ensure that you bring water with you and your dog if you get thirsty while on your trip.
5. Sturdy Leash
As you’ll be taking your dog for a walk, purchasing a sturdy dog harness and leash is a must. No matter how much you’d like for your dog to run freely, the environment and situation might not call for it.
Moreover, a dog leash can also be helpful when it comes to dog training as you can teach them to be patient with your walking phase and avoid dragging you down the street.
6. Dog Tag
Even if you plan to keep your dog indoors, giving them a dog tag with proper identification will be extremely useful if they get lost. You may never know what could happen once you leave your dog alone in your home or your dog suddenly runs off, pulling its leash away.
With a dog tag, people can immediately know that they belong to somebody and give your number a call so they can bring them back to you.
If you have a dog with a furry coat, regular grooming is necessary. This will help ensure that its fur is in the best shape possible by having healthy and soft strands. This will also help eliminate any tangles and extra length that can hinder its view and comfort.
Depending on your dog’s hair growth, you might need to groom your dog at least once every three months. You can choose to bring them to your local groomer or try to groom them yourself.
8. Regular Vet Visits
Bring your dog to a regular vet visit and for shots. You’ll be given a schedule on when you should come back for the next shot. Once your dog completes its early vaccines, you may need to come back annually for a booster shot.
9. Dog Sitter or Walker
If you don’t have the luxury of time to take your dog out for a daily walk or exercise, especially when you need to head out early in the morning, hire a dog walker.
Moreover, if you’re planning to go out of town for a few days and unfortunately cannot bring your dog with you, hiring a dog sitter would help ensure that your pet will be well fed and get the right amount of care while you’re away.
10. Dog Bed
Some dogs get cold easily, especially when lying on the floor. While you might choose to invite them to your sofa or bed to catch some sleep, it would be beneficial if you could provide them with their dog bed, giving them their personal space and privacy.
This will allow them to sleep comfortably without having to endure the ice-cold surface, which could make them uneasy.
11. Dog Toys and Treats
Dogs need to have fun as well. Apart from interacting with other humans and dogs, giving them dog toys would help to keep them happy. They’ll help to keep their mind off things and enjoy their alone time.
Apart from dog toys, giving them occasional dog treats would also be good for them. Apart from feeding them, a dog treat would be helpful for training, giving you a more desirable result.
With proper training, you’ll have a more peaceful and hygienic home.
Having a dog requires plenty of responsibilities. While they’re enjoyable to be around, you need to ensure that you can fully provide their daily needs, such as food, water, exercise, and shelter.
With proper care, you’ll have a happy and healthy dog, and a household full of life and happiness.