Looking for a loving, loyal, and joyful companion? A dog may be the perfect friend you’re searching for!
Dogs are amazing, smart, and loving animals. They can meld so well with your family, people oftentimes think of them as a family member rather than a pet. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that!
Before you welcome a dog into your family, there are several things to consider. Your new addition to the family requires a lot of care and commitment. Fortunately, caring for a dog is a lot easier than you think.
With responsible care, your dog will give you many years of adventure, happiness, laughs, and love.
If you’ve decided you’re 100% committed to taking care of a dog, check out these 8 easy tips to ensure both you and your canine friend will be the happiest of buds!
Tip #1: Prepare Your Home
Before you pick up your new best friend, there are a few items to prepare your home before taking care of a dog. Like humans, dogs enjoy the comfort of a bed, food dishes, toys for entertainment, and brushes for grooming.
Start with the essentials. A bed and/or roomy kennel with a blanket or towel is recommended for sleeping and training. Dogs should have a warm, quiet, and comfortable place to sleep. Clean your living area of small items that could be hazardous to your dog if they were to chew on them.
Dog dishes for food and water are essential for a clean eating environment and to avoid messes.
Dogs are furry creatures requiring regular brushing to keep their coats healthy and clean. A couple dog brushes will keep grooming easy and keep shedding minimal.
Invest in a few toys for your dog. Safe dog toys will prevent your dog from being bored and developing destructive behaviors.
Tip #2: Identification
No matter how loving, caring, and spoiling you are to your dog, there is always a chance your canine friend may wander off.
A dog caller with a name tag, your contact info, and your dog’s license is recommended. These items will make it easy for neighbors to safely return your four legged friend.
Check your community’s licensing regulations to get your dog licensed. A microchip along with the ID will help make sure your dog get’s return should he run off.
When caring for a dog outside your home or outside of a fenced in area, keep your dog on a leash. There are several types and styles of leashes to keep both your dog and others safe.
Tip #3: Eat Good Food
You wouldn’t only feed your kids or yourself, junk food for every meal, would you? Well, when taking care of a dog, you want to feed him or her nutritious dog food and avoid the junk.
Purchase quality food that offers plenty of vitamins, nutrients, and protein to maintain your dog’s stamina and overall good health. Dog foods high in fats, carbs, and fillers are fattening and unhealthy for dogs.
Avoid overfeeding your dog. Most adult dogs, including large breeds, only need to be fed once or twice a day. A healthy dog weight will result in a happier and healthier furry friend.
Tip #4: Get Some Exercise
Dogs make great exercising companions. Both dog owners and their dogs benefit from regular exercise. This includes, walking, running, playing at the dog park, adventuring local trails, or wandering in town.
Exercising stimulates a dog’s mind and body. Get out and play with your dog. They will love you for it!
Tip #5 for Taking Care of a Dog: Grooming
Your dog doesn’t need to look like the next winner of the Westminster Dog Show, but a shiny even coat does show your dog’s good health.
When caring for a dog, their fur coats require regular brushing during the summer months to prevent shedding and matting. Picking out knots and checking for ticks and bugs will prevent disease or illness.
Most dogs enjoy a warm bath. Dogs should be bathed a few times a year, especially if your pooch enjoys having too much fun in the mud.
Interested in having your furry friend regularly groomed? Get more information about the different grooming services that are right for you and your dog.
Tip #6: Spend Time With Your 4-Legged Friend
For experienced dog lovers, this is a no-brainer. If you’re caring for a dog, you need to spend time with him or her.
You’d be surprised how many people with insanely busy schedules will adopt a dog and rarely spend time with him or her. A few months later, the same people will find their dog doesn’t listen, is destructive, and simply not a good fit.
Spending time with your dog will allow you both to set a routine. A routine that establishes a time for meals, bathroom breaks, and play time will keep your dog stimulated and aware of his or her day.
Dogs love and need attention. Spending time (indoors and out) with you dog will build a strong bond between you and your four-legged friend. They will be more likely to listen to you and less likely to tear your house apart.
Tip #7: Vaccinations
If you’ve experienced trips to the vet, you know how fun it can be. Some dogs are not afraid to put up a fight when they sense they’re going to the veterinarian.
Caring for a dog requires you keep up on vaccinations and regular check-ups. Always save a copy of your dog’s health records for your reference.
Tip #8: Be Alert to Your Dog’s Changing Needs
Your dog as a puppy requires different needs than your dog as an adult. When you’re caring for a dog, be aware of their changing needs.
A few needs you should watch out for (but are not limited to):
- Amount and type of food needed
- New toys to avoid boredom
- More or less exercise
- Socializing your dog
- Separation anxiety
- A dog sweater for the winter months
- Changes in bathroom frequency and poo amount
Changes in your dog’s needs could be sign of poor health, age, emotional distress, or a need for more physical and mental stimulation.
As you and your dog get to know each other, picking up on their changing needs will be easy and can avoid serious problems in the future.
You and your dog are going to go through a lot together. Exciting new adventures, relaxing evenings in, and support for each other are a few perks to caring for a dog.
A dog can be a great addition to a family or make a great companion. With the proper care and attention, you and your dog will live happily together for many years.
Curious about more tips to keep your dog healthy and happy? Check out the rest of our site to learn everything dog-related from improving naughty behaviors to the best dog accessories.