Caring for a Dog 101

Working DogGetting a new canine member into your family is a beautiful thing. A dog will show you unconditional love and affection and will be by your side in the good times and the bad times. Many parents jump at the chance of getting their kids a dog because they had a great experience when they were kids or because they always wanted a dog. Perhaps the kids were promised a dog as a reward for good grades. Indeed a dog can be a child’s best friend, and at the same time teach your child about compassion, care and responsibility. But are you and your child ready for that responsibility? A dog is not a toy; it must be cared for and loved. Here are some things that will ensure your family knows how to care for a dog.

The Daily Walk with a Dog

The best way to ensure your dog is happy and well behaved is the daily walk. Some people may be busy and think that they can skip a day, and soon they are skipping two or three days. Being busy is no excuse to not walk your dog. Your dog needs the walk in order to exercise, socialize and release stress. Two daily 30 minute walks will ensure that your dog is happy. A daily walk also creates a bond between dog and the owner. Every dog deserves that chance at that bond. Also remember that taking your dog to a dog park to run and play is not the same thing as taking him for a walk. The dog park is great, but the walk is still necessary.

Dog Grooming

Depending on the breed of dog, the grooming can go from once a week to once a day. Grooming involves brushing their hair, bathing, even brushing their teeth. If your dog has longer hair brushing it daily will help keep the coat healthy as well help you with shedding problems you may have. If the dog’s hair is on the hair brush, then it is not on the carpet. A dog with a good coat and untangled hair is a happy dog.  A lot of owners love their puppy kisses, but let’s face it a dog’s breath can be a bit unpleasant. If you brush your dog’s teeth daily not only will they have better breath, but it will also help prevent oral problems later in the dog’s life.

Vet’s Visits and Vaccinations

Regular vet visits may be the most important way to keep your dog happy. One visit per year even when your dog is healthy can help prevent a lot of diseases, and problems your canine friend may have. Vaccinations are a part of the vet visits. Keeping on schedule is important because vaccinations will keep your pet healthy. Being alert to changes in the mood of your dog are important as they are often the way a dog will let you know something is bothering it. Vet visits can help your dog remain healthy and save you money in procedures that could have been avoided if a problem was detected earlier.

Training your dog

Training your dog is probably the most bonding activity you can possibly have. A dog wants to please, and will be thrilled to hear that it has done a good job. You and your family will also be proud to show what the dog can do. But training can also keep your dog safe. A “stay” or “sit” command can stop the dog from going in front of a car. A “leave it” command can keep your dog from ingesting something that can endanger them. Before you get a pet, make sure you understand what it means. If you do then you will have a relationship that you will be talking about forever.

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