Adopting or owning a dog comes with several responsibilities. From birth to the day they breathe their last, you want to be with them every step of the way. As such, it’s essential to know how to be there for them in every aspect of their furry life. More than feeding them and making sure they’re comfortable as they spend each day in your care, you also need to learn how to care for their other essential needs to ensure they remain at the peak of their health.
Regular vet visits, along with other preventive health care services, go a long way in diagnosing or identifying any problems as early as possible to make them preventable, treatable, or manageable.
And as disheartening as it may be, you also need to be prepared for the inevitable possibility they’d one day say goodbye and leave you with memories to get you by.
That being said, you need to be equipped with a range of pet services to better take care of your dog, from birth to farewell. From veterinary care to dog cremation services you’d need in the end, preparation is the best strategy in ensuring you provide the most special care for your furry friend.
Pet Service Checklist For Your Dog
Being a responsible dog owner means ensuring your beloved pet remains healthy, happy, and comfortable throughout their life. As they grow and change, their needs also change and evolve as necessary.
You’d need to be acquainted and well versed in knowing what they need when they need it. To give you better insight, below you’d find a checklist of pet services your dog would require, starting from their birth to the end of their life.
1. Veterinary Care
Veterinary care is among the most critical components of ensuring the health and welfare of your dog. Wellness checkups are essential from the time they were born. If you adopted them, make sure to take them to the vet as soon as possible to let your furry companion be acquainted with their doctor immediately.
During the consultation, the vet would recommend how you can better take care of your pet based on their assessment. Building a good relationship with your pup’s doctor would also significantly help identify any nutritional, behavioral, or health issues you may have noticed in your pet.
Puppies require at least a monthly visit to the vet as they grow. Adult dogs, on the other hand, need at least a yearly wellness check moving forward. If you have senior dogs (at least seven years old or older), they might need to see the doctor more frequently since older dogs are more prone to illnesses and health concerns.
Just as infants and children need vaccination to protect them from acquiring certain illnesses, your dog also needs to get vaccinated to stimulate their immune system against diseases and infections. Several core vaccines need to be routinely given to your dog to defend them from severe infectious illnesses, including the following:
- Canine hepatitis
- Canine distemper
- Canine parvovirus infection
Additionally, booster vaccinations may also be recommended by your doctor to boost the protection provided by the vaccines. Ask the vet if other immunizations are needed for your pups, such as non-core vaccines for Bordetella or kennel cough, canine influenza, and Lyme disease.
3. Grooming Services
Grooming your dog is especially necessary if they have a shaggy or thick hair coat that can easily tangle. However, this doesn’t mean you won’t be needing to groom your pet if they don’t have such a kind of coating. Grooming refers to a variety of services and not just haircuts alone. It essentially means physical maintenance for your pet so they’d look neat and smell nice.
Nail trimming, tooth brushing, and bathing are just some of the things you need to regularly do when it comes to the physical maintenance and grooming of your pet.
You also need to brush their teeth regularly. Each time you’re brushing or grooming their long hair, make sure to check for ticks and fleas, especially during the summer months, when the weather is hot, as that’s usually the season of infestation.
You can either find a trusted groomer to take care of your dog’s basic needs or learn to groom and maintain them on your own. You can ask their vet how to tackle some of the easy grooming tasks so you won’t have to spend extra money when it’s time to get the services done.
Unless you intend to use the dog for breeding, you should consider getting them spayed or neutered. Doing so can go a long way in preventing possible medical issues in the future, such as mammary cancer or uterine infection in female dogs.
Neutered male dogs, on the other hand, can be prevented from getting the prostate disease.
Also, it’s an effective way to avoid having unwanted puppies in the household. Veterinarians recommend such procedures if you want to improve your pet’s quality of life as they mature. Female dogs can be spayed before they hit the first heat cycle, usually at around six months of age or so.
Meanwhile, male dogs may be neutered any time from five to 10 months of age, depending on their size and breed.
It’s best to ask for the vet’s advice regarding spaying and neutering to make sure you’re doing it correctly and at the right time.
5. End-Of-Life Care
No matter how well you take care of your pets and their needs, you can’t tell for sure when they’d be nearing the end of their life. As much as it’s something every pet owner wishes to avoid, you also need to be logical and prepare for what might come ahead in case an incurable illness strikes your beloved little buddy.
At this point, it’s a wise idea to consider providing your pet with end-of-life care that’d best suit their needs. Depending on their condition or the type of illness they’ve acquired, you might need to make some decisions concerning their welfare.
Work closely with their veterinarian to find out how you can best help your dog or at least make the remaining days of their life comfortable and as pain-free as possible.
Vets offer tailored end-of-life care according to your dog’s condition. If therapy or surgery can still work, they’d walk you through the whole process and let you know what the chance of survival is.
If and when the situation is no longer repairable, you also need to prepare yourself for the possibility of having them euthanized as the best way to relieve them from further suffering and pain.
6. Pet Cremation
As a pet owner, nothing can ever compare to the heartache you’d feel for losing your beloved dog. It’s indeed one of the worst experiences you’d have to go through at some point, but this is also the stage where you need to be strong and pull yourself together.
More than the pain of knowing you won’t be seeing your pooch anymore, you can take comfort in knowing they’re no longer in pain or suffering.
This alone is more than enough reason to keep you going and take a step forward. The best you can do at this point is to take care of their memorial and cremation services.
There’s no easy way to say goodbye to a dear pet who’s been with you for years, but you should still take time to honor your dog with the dignity and love they utterly deserve. You can hold an intimate gathering to remember them. Or you may create memorabilia that can help you adjust and mourn at your own pace.
Unique albums containing pet photos and other little keepsakes are available online if you want to have one.
From Hello To Goodbye
Indeed, being a fur parent is an experience of a lifetime. You get the chance to take care of them from the moment they’re born up to the last minute of their life. All the happy and fun memories you spend together each day are more than enough to last you a lifetime of remembering.
Saying goodbye is never an easy thing. But surely, your dog also wants you to move on and be happy despite their death. Hang in there, and when you’re ready to have a new pet, your old buddy shall be smiling down on you happily and gratefully.